Saturday, February 18, 2006

Texas Winter

A run-in shed at our old house on a real winter day
We have two of our twelve federally mandated days of winter this weekend. We even had to put coats on the horses; I think they look rather distinguished, but they suffer through the fitting session with an air of offended sensibilities. You have to duck under and around them to fasten all the hooks and straps, and it's never far from my mind that they could kick out and crush my skull with fairly little effort. Luckily their fashion sense is not outraged to the point of physical violence, but if Joan Rivers ever rolls out the red carpet and starts critiquing them, I'm sure all bets would be off.

The donkeys don't seem to like the horses' coats too much either. They huddle at the back of the barn, staring doubtfully out at Toby's blue blazer with particular disgust. I can't tell if they're afraid or if they simply have a keener sense of style than we do.

We've also shrouded the house and all outside faucets with snug winter wear, and the interior sinks are dutifully dripping. At our last house, we got hit several times with real winter weather, including snow and everything. It was my first time to ever actually see snow falling, so it was pretty neat. At least, until the pipes froze, thawed, and promptly shattered. For some reason the guy who built our last house thought that running the water supply tight up against the uninsulated metal roof through uninsulated pipes would be a great idea. Of course this is the same guy who had the brilliant innovation of running the washing machine's gray water outlet pipe uphill so I shouldn't have been surprised.

Hopefully we'll weather this cold snap in our new house a little better. Green grass has been popping up over the last few weeks and the occasional leaf has emerged, lulled into a false sense of security by the 80 degree temperatures earlier in February. They're done for now -- old man winter has snuck in a sucker punch just when they felt safe, and they'll be forced back into hibernation for who knows how long.

I know how they feel. Frozen water makes me want to snatch a few cubes, plunk them into a glass with some Jack Daniels and Coca-Cola, and crawl under the covers until it's shorts weather again. I imagine the horses feel the same way, though they'd probably settle for just taking the coats off, and weather be damned. An animal has to have pride, after all.


annie'sbuddie said...

Another opportunity to burn logs in the fireplace without having to run the AC. Our redbud trees were breaking out into bloom not to mention the dandelions that have gotten to be almost 3ft tall - I hope it freezes them back to the ground.
Don't know if we're getting as cold as expected but I put a warming light out in the wellhouse just in case.
At least the rain stopped so we won't be getting any icy stuff.

The Cow Whisperer said...

We are doing what every good Texan does when it gets cold. Eatin' leftovers and watching WWII movies.

Frankly, I'm glad to have the day off.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the perspective Jeff, up here in The Great White North you're describing spring, only we have had a super mild winter except for the odd cold snap. So we got kind of spoiled and this past week was bitter rather than brisk (at -40 or so).

Actually most of our "winter" hasn't been much harsher than what you had, and around here it would be cause for wearing of shorts and t-shirts. Well almost ;-) Actually I have a cousin who would often wear shorts with no complaints at anything over freezing. We all thought he was a bit odd though :-D

Jeff Hebert said...

I can't really imagine what a "real" winter would be like. I see photos of blizzards and people in Chicago having to hold ropes so they don't get blown down the icy streets and my brain just shuts off. There shouldn't be a -40 on the scale, that's just wrong.

Jill Phenix Avila said...

I am sending you pictures of the horses and ice.. =)

Jill Phenix Avila said...

Have you ever wondered why they call it a "run-in" shed? Okay the animals that "run-in" are rather large and really cannot "run-in" if the weather turns bad.. not to mention the fact that the very large animals don't seem to "get" that they can relieve themselves of the cold, rain, sleet, snow, hail, or sun by "running-in" in the first place. ;)
Donkeys are way smarter… just check out Sparky in the other post. He was teaching himself how to tap dance like Donkey in the movie Shrek.

Jill Phenix Avila said...

did I hear you say Jack Daniel's??