Monday, December 10, 2007

Some Men Just Bring Flowers...

...but my wonderful, dear Hubby brought me a bale of hay today! Hay, you say? Yes...bless his lil 'ol heart - HAY!

This past weekend we had terrible winds and blowing rain. I didn't want to even chance on trying to pick up a few bales from the feed store and get them home, unloaded and stacked in the feed room in the barn without getting them soaking wet. Our original forecast was for the freezing rains/sleet/snow to end by Monday morning, so I thought I would wait until today to go into town with the truck. Wrong!
We woke up with four more inches of snow on top of the six compacted layers of snow we had yesterday. When I checked The Weather Channel, I saw a Winter Storm Watch for our area. OK, so it's a "watch" and not a "warning"...maybe later in the day it'll be good enough to go into town, switch vehicles and get the hay. When I sat down to have lunch I thought this plan would work. Well, no sooner than I had finished my lunch when our momentary sunny skies turned slowly to white-out conditions. First the sun disappeared, then the soft snowfall became much more opaque in nature.

As the snow got thicker, I thought I should go out and shovel the walk again. I have found that by removing snow every three inches or so I make less heavy lifting for myself. I really don't mind shovelling the walk. It's when I have to shovel out to the barn I curse at winter. And now I learned we were in a true "Storm Warning" for our area. I even heard accumulations of 16 more inches possible. I hadn't gotten halfway through the length of the walk when I saw a black truck pull into the driveway. At first I thought it was someone stopping to ask for help, but as I cleared the snow off my glasses I realized that my DH was home early and headed down the driveway to the barn. He had used the snowblower on our garden tractor to make a path to the barn over the weekend. Now it came in handy as the snow was too deep in the pasture to gt the truck near the barn. Instead, I got the wheelbarrow out, we loaded the bale of hay he had covered in plastic to keep dry, and as he made tracks up the driveway in the truck to park up next to my car, I schlepped the bale into the barn. (No...I didn't lift it, but used the force of tipping the wheelbarrow up to the stoop of the feedroom to flip the bale into the barn. All I had to do was re-arrange its placement.)

Now I feel I can make it through the storm comfortably. My sheep will eat well and not be on short hay rations. I do also feed pelleted alfalfa along with a bit of grain this time of year, but a vet we know stated to us once that eating good hay keep these animals warmer and more comfortable than all the concentrated rations in the world. Our problem is the hay hasn't been of good quality of late. This is something we have to deal with here in Arizona. Grass hay is shipped in from out of state as most hayfields here are alfalfa.
This is something I had to get used to when we first moved here and had our horses. Back where I grew up, alfalfa hay was used for dairy cattle, not horses or sheep. They got good grass hay. I guess here in Arizona land is too expensive for a crop of "just grass". Whoever baled the hay we're getting now waited way too long to cut the hay. I see dead grasses when I open bales, not the good green I should be seeing. When I went back out to the barn to get animals in and fed I had to laugh. There was Skittles, standing next to his tire-toy, guarding it, looking at me as if to plead that I save it from the snow - which might make it melt and therefore be gone. I had to actually tell him it would be OK to leave it there overnight. The girls knew better. They had seen me bring the hay in. Now they just wanted out of the weather and into the barn...but only IF a meal is served!

OK, you go for the night. At least you know when to come in out of the weather, which is more than I can say for a ram who talks to his tire-toy! I promise it'll be there in the morning, Skit. Really...

Random thought for the day: Why is it we drive on Parkways, but park on driveways?


Leigh said...

"Wow! " for your snow, and "awwww" for Skittles and his tire. I got a chuckle out of this post. We've had a lot of stories about hay shortages on the news around here of late, so I know how worrisome this could be. Even so, I can relate to the gift your DH brought. If mine ever got me flowers (which I admit that he does from time to time) my first thought would be 'now why did he spend money on that! He could have gotten me ______ '(insert object of current fiber lust here.)

Tina T-P said...

Wow - I'll bet we could find you some acreage around here that is a little bit more on the flat :-) YOU BE CAREFUL IN THAT SNOW! (Yes, I was yelling) Take care! T.

shepherdchik said...

That weather looks about as bad as what we are getting. Lots and lots of snow and ice. The weatherman uses the euphemism "wintery mix" but we all know it i just snow and ice. Taking the tire away from Skit is probably about like taking the TV set away from most men. Poor Skit.

Kathy said...

Thanks Everyone! I'm glad you stopped in!
Tina: I heard you way down here! :) Yes, I've taken it easy with the shoveling, but will say I've had to take a few additional pain meds these past couple of days. Keep looking for that affordable property - IF one exists! :)

Becca: I know you're getting it too! I was thinking about you today, hoping everyone is OK. I know the kids enjoy the snow, but sometimes it can be hard on Mom & Dad with all the chores, work, etc. You take care!

Leigh: Yup...your DH sounds like mine. I have the best umbrella swift ever - when I first started weaving we were a military family with not much extra income. My DH had plans for a handmade umbrella swift and presented me with same, just out of nowhere 'cause he knew I needed one. It works better than any store-bought one and is beautiful! I may not get flowers too often, but I sure have everything I need. ;) He's always been supportive.

Again, thanks for checking in...I fell asleep in my chair this afternoon. I woke up to sun! I guess it means now it's gonna get c-o-l-d! :)

Tina - omme i London said...

What a wonderful story. I think your bale of hay was way better than flowers!