This round of cold weather has been a real challenge. Our pipes froze and then busted, so we have had no hot water for four days. We're getting a minor warm up today, so Chris finally gets the unpleasant job of crawling under the house to attempt repairs. We heat primarily with wood, and have burned through our stockpile a lot faster than we had expected, just keeping the house at 60 degrees. Chris and Katlin have the outside chores of feeding the animals. Chris is up at 5:00 AM, because a job that takes under half an hour in the summer now takes 2 solid hours - breaking through thick ice in water tanks, hand-carrying fresh water from the house, giving extra rations of hay and grain, etc. We have a house full of our own dogs and cats, and have even taken in our neighbors' outdoor pets. So, needles to say, I am walking through the house with a broom and dustpan pretty much all day. The chickens are cooped up for their own good, which they hate, being free range chickens most of the year. We started deep-bedding the coop early in fall, so they're snug.
Chris saw animal tracks leading right up to the chicken house door, and packs of coyotes yip-yip across they lake all night. But we don't have to worry too much, because our handsome and loyal (and slightly crazy) Anatolian/Akbash Shepherd "Scout" refuses to come inside at night, even in temps down to negative 7, wind chill negative 12. He has his own cozy straw bale doghouse, but I'm still amazed that, though we try and try to coax him into the house, he simply will not leave his post. He's bred to be a sheep guard dog, and he loves his job. He should get a medal for a job well done.
Scout on Guard
Our Handsome Scoutie!
Scout in His Cozy Straw Bale House