I've never seen ice like this before. Usually it ices a little and then melts away ... but there has been no melting since it happened on Sunday! We got an ice storm, then a snow storm. Then more snow. The ice is so heavy that we watched tree branches break off and shatter on the ground. After I watched it happen three times I told my children to walk directly into the house - not under any trees. They started in and a branch broke directly above us and just missed my son. It was a branch, not a limb, but it would've done some damage! When you drive around, you see limb after limb on the ground. 80,000 people lost power.
Of course, when it's this cold there are bound to be problems on the farm.
On Sunday, Kris came home later than usual. His sister and brother-in-law were visiting from Texas. We sat down and asked Kris how his morning went. He said, "Oh ... I had a few issues."
But he didn't say it in his normal voice, because he could hardly talk. He said his throat hurt. (I can't even remember the last time Kris was sick, so this was odd.) So while we ate lunch, he ate out of an ice cream container. After he'd cooled his throat off, he listed what happened that morning due to the cold:
The tractor door was so frozen. He had to scrape it and the windshield for 10 minutes. Eventually, he pried it open with a crowbar.
The garage door to the barn wouldn't open. He could do it manually if he could push and pull these cords at the same time, but in order to do that he had to balance on top of the metal poles that are placed there so no one runs into the barn. Super safe anytime, especially when icy!
He noticed the cows were gathered around the water tanks ... and saw that they had no water. When the power had gone off and back on, the water pump had stopped pumping. He was able to restart it.
There were issues with the milking.
As he was telling us this ... our power went out. Kris said he'd better go start the generator, because the milk truck wouldn't be able to pump out the morning milking without electricity. (Apparently it's not like flipping a switch. You have to hook it up to a tractor.) But he made no move to leave.
That's when I knew he was really sick.
The power was out for about an hour, and when it flashed on for a moment and I said, "Quick! Make a cup of coffee!" Hoping that would heal him.
It stayed on (thankfully!) and he didn't have to start the generator.
He went to see the doctor as soon as they opened on Monday. He had strep throat. She told him it was the worst she'd seen in awhile.
But! I couldn't post any of that because our internet provider in town didn't have power. We got it back last night. So as of today, everything is still frozen, it's still super cold (24), people still don't have power ... but we were lucky enough not to lose it for any length of time. Kris' antibiotics made him feel like a new person within 24 hours, and we had a fantastic Christmas with our friends and families.
So, merry day-after-Christmas from the frozen farm! I hope your holiday was merry, bright, and free of falling branches!