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Friday, January 1, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

How was your Christmas and New Year?? I hope you had a good one - do you do anything special, or get something that is particularly interesting? If so, you can share it here, I don't mind!!

I got some particularly nice bath salts that someone made. Just right, when it's so terribly cold out there is nothing better than a hot woodstove or a hot bath.

Speaking of which.......the week of Christmas we had a heat wave. Known as the Pineapple Express, it's a warm front that comes up the ocean from Hawaii directly up to Alaska. It has to be a big storm to make it this far, and have plenty of strength to it. It made it! We were above freezing most of the week. That's quite a long heatwave for us for winter time. Then, after last weekend, the temperatures began to drop back to normal, and then kept going. As of last night, we had -5. Right now as I type, it's -7 at 7pm. Ok, that's kinda cold but not TOO cold. -15 is when I begin to think it's too cold, and at -20, everyone thinks it's too cold and they begin to get witchy about it too. I think the new shopping malls are lovely, a string of stores on a plot of land with trees and parking lots, all with their own store fronts and pretty sidewalks........but they aren't friendly to Alaskans. Why would you want to be in a nice comfy store, shopping away, and then remember you need to go to a store 3 stores down from where you're at. You're warm. It's cold out there. If the wind is blowing, as it does allot in Wasilla, then the thought of walking to your truck, putting in your shopping, going back out to the sidewalk and walking down to another store all the while freezing your butt off - now, if the store you're already IN might have the same thing, why bother to walk down to the next store in the cold in the least that's what most people think. Now the old fashioned shopping mall with all the stores under one roof - THAT is what we love in Alaska! And there is one, but sadly it's in Anchorage. Oh well.......

So back to the cold. Tonight when doing chores, I brought the goats into the barn and turned on the blast heater. While it was going, I went outside and did the rest of feeding and watering. Then I can go back into the barn and it's 20 degrees warmer in there - just enough to make things feel comfortable, get the milking done, and turn out the lights for the night. Bedding is deep for everyone; extra hay put out so that if they think they are getting chilled they can get up and eat more hay for more instant energy. The sheep are free-choicing hay right now and getting some grain morning and night also. The sheep also got a fresh batch of trace mineral salt in their bins and in the cold weather, they eat allot more of it than usual in the warmer weather. So don't forget to give your livestock extra free choice salts and mineral/vitamin mixes too!

Hope your new year is a good one!!

1 comment:

Laura said...

Does the "Pineapple Express" come every year to Alaska? I'm glad I'm in WI as 2 degrees F seems too cold! (My hands got cold milking the cow this morning.) Interesting that you sheep eat more minerals in the winter, mine gobble it up in the summer, but just nibble it in the winter.