Thursday, January 31, 2019

More Snow

We had a cold but sunny morning. Right after the horses were fed here I left for Middle Grove to check on the horses there and make sure the automatic waterer hadn't frozen in our -20 temps and -40 wind chills. As all of Karin's schools were closed again because of the extreme cold she offered to go with me. When we arrived all was well. Karin got her horse fix as each horse was greeted and handled.
 above is Sally and below is Cookie

 Above I am grooming Lisa while Sky looks on and below Karin is checking over Madiera. Sky is behind Karin asking for her turn.

 Above is Lily and below is Foxy

 Above Karin is checking over Bunni and Sky is right there still asking for her turn. Below is finally Sky's turn. 

 Above is Marika and Below are Sangria and Jewel

 Above is Lola, Mika and Sheena and below is Roxanne

 Above is Ripper and below is Tatiana

 Above is Star and below is Missy

 Above is Foxy and below is Hadassah

 Above Zalena is getting a drink out of the waterer and below Lisa had followed all the way to the gate when we were leaving. 
 As soon as I got home the weanlings were watered again then 7 loads of wood were brought inside for the wood burners. The snow started falling this afternoon and quickly was covering the horses backs of those that were standing out in the snow.  What is interesting as their winter coats are so well insulated that the snow does not melt from off of their back.
 I decided to leave early for Rhoda and Lee's house and was glad I did. The roads were snow covered and Interstate 74 was a white out at times. I was thankful for good snow tires. I made it in time for Rhoda and Lee to go to Lee's work appreciation dinner. Iris got to go to the dinner with them wearing her special shirt Lee's co-workers gave her.

 I stayed back to watch Zion and we had fun playing with Ruby.
The drive home was not bad at all. The plows had been out and the interstate clear. The temperature was also rising and is now in positive single digits. Hopefully tomorrow we will have a good warm-up.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Yep It's COLD

We awoke to -19 but just a mile away Ruth and Fedi had -21 and ice in their tub. It dropped down to -20 around 7:30 am. The picture below was posted on facebook and I thought it was interesting that we were colder than Antarctica and the North Pole. Anchorage Alaska is having a heat wave at 14 ABOVE zero.
Mark checked on the waterers and all were open but the weanling waterer. The one I worked on last night trying to get it insulated. The weanlings had pulled the blanket off and it was so frozen that even though the hair dryer was left running inside for a half an hour the ice wouldn't melt. Instead two water buckets were filled with warm water and the weanlings watered like that 4 times today. Each time facing those -40 degree windchill while hiking up to the barn. All of the horses are doing well. None of them even seem cold unlike Emma who walked outside, turned around and asked to come right back in. Mark and I brought load after load of wood in and with the 2 wood burners going full blast were comfortable. Joan used the extreme cold to do some experiments outside. The first was to throw hot water into the air and watch it turn to mist.
The second experiment was to blow smoke bubbles outside.
Other than keeping the home fires burning by bringing in wood and then hiking up to the barn to water the weanlings not much else was done.  For dinner tonight we met over at mom's where everyone contributed something. The meal was delicious.
 As church was cancelled after dinner we hunkered down in mom's living room to listen on AC Central. We were able to listen to Craig Stickling when he was in Taylor Sunday. Below we are getting ready to start church. Mark and Ruth had joined me on the couch. Joan was in Nancy's chair, mom was in her chair and the rest were comfortable on the floor. 
Nancy called just as we were starting so we all had to say hello.
After church we played games and had such a good time with the lead switching back and forth. Berlica and I were partners and went from last place to 2nd by the end. We had a lot of high fives. On the way back home I stopped up at the barn for one last time tonight to water the weanlings. The temperature is rising. The wind has died down a bit and it is -12 right now which feels much better than -19 with stiff winds. Unfortunately that heat isn't going to last, it is suppose to drop back down to -20 by 1:00 am.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Record Cold Temperatures

This very cold windy day was spent opening up frozen waterers every few hours and I'm sure that will continue tomorrow. We started the day with single digits and so much wind that as one was walking across the driveways it was more like sailing across the icy driveways. Right now we are -1 but according to the weather we will be right at -20 by 7:00 am tomorrow.  That is actual temperatures and the wind is suppose to be blowing 15-16 miles an hour giving us wind chills of -45. This cold spell is suppose to be breaking all kinds of records. Those records we DON'T want to break. We are comfy inside our house with both wood burners going strong. Of course that meant carrying in loads of wood but that is a small price to pay to be warm.
We have cancelled our walk and just about everything else. Even Meister companies are not going to be open. It is too dangerous for people to drive in. Mark said they will be working from home and we are praying no one has a heating emergency.
I just came down from one last trip up to the barn. Only the last weanling paddock had ice on it. I used the hair dryer to melt the ice then used an old horse blanket, wrapped it around the waterer, tied it with a rein and hope that tomorrow they will have water.
This evening the mare album was worked on and placed on Facebook. It tells the due date and the stallion each mare was bred to. If interested on seeing what is coming for 2019 click HERE. You will need to click on each picture for the information.
And now for a little comic relief on this SNOW COLD DAY brought to you by Swartz Creek Community Schools Superintendent Ben Mainka and Principal Jim Kitchen

Monday, January 28, 2019

And SO It Starts

We had about 2 inches of wet heavy snow during the night. Mark went right to work first shoveling off our patio before heading up to the barn to start on the drives.
We had a relatively warm morning at 33 degrees and wonderful packing snow. This was just perfect to play outside and Joan's kids had fun today helping their snowman GROW.
They were able to finish the igloo and below are a couple pictures of the inside of this big 2 room igloo.

Joan also posted a picture of their snowboarding trip last Monday.
By 10:00 am the wind had changed from west to northwest and was blowing steady at 20 miles and hour with gusts up to 35. This dropped the temperature drastically and by the time I left at 3:30 pm for Middle Grove the thermometer was reading 16 degrees. The wind chill was ferocious. The herd was pretty much all up at the bales enjoying the hay when I arrived.
The first job out at Middle Grove was to check the automatic waterer and thankfully that was working great.
I went around snapping pictures of the horses.  When Hadassah came up I was a little afraid that she may have lost her foal. She is due April 5th and just didn't look very big. Behind her in the picture below is Ripper.
When Hadassah turned to face me it was obvious she was still pregnant. She just carries her foals well.
We have a lady that wanted updated pictures of Lisa and it took a bit to find her. She had some frost on her muzzle which made it easy to identify once the pictures were uploaded on the computer. The two pictures below are both of Lisa. 
Jay Ulm, the man that offered to drive his tractor down to move bales for us arrived just after 4:30 pm and went right to work moving the bales down by the creek which is out of the wind.

He was able to have those bales moved and was driving back by 5:00 pm. We are very thankful he was willing to do this.  If you would like to see the rest of the pictures taken at Middle Grove click HERE. It was only 11 degrees according to my truck on the way home and the wind hadn't calmed down at all. The roads were drifting pretty badly.  Emily and Mitchel were here working Valiant when I arrived home but I was too cold and miserable to stay and watch. It will soon be below zero. Berean has been called off tomorrow as the weather is not going to improve. By Wednesday the news is reporting it will be dangerously cold with -40 to -45 wind chills and our actual temp for the high of the day is only suppose to get up to -12 degrees. BRRRR. I am very thankful to have plenty of hay out for all of the horses. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Magic Man

It was again below zero when we awoke and I just didn't want to go outside to check waterers. Mark not only did that, he also checked our two propane tanks then walked over to mom's and checked hers. All the waterers were open and all the propane tanks are more than half full.  He was gone so long I was worried we would be late for church but made it with a good 10 minutes to spare.  Mike Kaisner had the morning service at church. At lunch a very nice message came in with pictures and some videos from a lady I didn't know. This is what she wrote: So I just had to share this with you. I've been following your page and drooling over your foals for quite some time now. Don't have room for a foal at the moment so we recently bought a Friesian tb cross gelding. He is the most amazing horse, awesome temperament, gorgeous movement. We lucked out so much with him. I just finally sat down to go through his pedigree today and just about fell out of my chair when I found out he was Ravens son! No wonder he's so awesome ❤

I had to wait until we got home from church to find out who this could be. It turned out to be Magic Man. He is out of a Jockey club registered Thoroughbred mare that was owned by Jeanie Kapraun.  The mare had cut her leg quite badly and couldn't be ridden until she healed up so Jeanie decided she may as well raise a foal while she waited for the healing.  The colt was born July 6th, 2004 and isn't he amazing!  Megan his owner was kind enough to let me share the pictures and video here.  I am so thankful for these updates.
We had haystacks for dinner tonight and shared the meal with Nolan, Sarah, Zion,Phil, Anna, Braelyn, Taegan, and Kensley.
Mark took the small Kubota out after church and spread more sand but we don't know how this will work by tomorrow morning. Snow is moving in tonight and then tomorrow suppose to turn to rain.  I'm meeting the farmer with the tractor tomorrow around 4:30 pm to move bales in for the horses at Middle Grove. We want to move a bunch down to either side of the creek so they can eat out of the wind. Monday isn't going to be too bad, Tuesday morning early it drops below zero but is sunny and makes it into single digits. Wednesday the forecast is actually scary. The high for the day is only predicted to be -12 with the low -22 and the wind chills -30 to -40. If we can just make it through Tuesday and Wednesday a warm up is going to follow.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Snowman Accident?

Karin made it in with Studly who was so excited to be at mom's that he ran right over to her snowman and relieved himself, right in the most obvious spot. This made it look like the poor snowman had an accident as no one would let him inside last night.
Do you know how hard it is to 'hold it' in the cold?  We awoke to -10 degrees. I waited to go outside to check the waterers until the sun came up but even then it had only raised to -4. Only 1 waterer wasn't full and that turned out not to be frozen but the float was stuck from the ice yesterday not allowing the water to flow. This was on one of the weanling paddocks and they didn't seem at all thirsty. Mark was up working on taking the trailer off the truck.
Mike and Diane left for Springfield but not before Mike called to report we will probably have to bring all 23 horses at Middle Grove here since the second tractor failed.  Instead Karin put an ad out on the Farmington facebook page and within an hour we had someone from the Middle Grove area willing to move in hay.  They knew exactly where we wanted the hay and sent me a text with the pictures below:

stating "I took these Nov 2017 of the horses, they were so beautiful and right where we could see them."  I asked her if they had any hay for sale as the last 25 bales we have reserved would need to be scheduled and unloaded but she didn't have any hay for sale but her husband was willing to meet with the hay man, unload and feed."  A few minutes later another farmer responded to Karin's ad and this one not only is willing to move the bales in for us, also had hay for sale.  He is going to bring 7 bales on Friday if the weather is ok and move them in. If the horses like the hay we will order the rest from him and just have the 25 bales moved here when the weather is decent. We are going to keep the first person's number as we may still need it but are thrilled to find hay close by Middle Grove. Our other bales were stored in Princeville, IL and it takes too much time to haul them.
This afternoon Ruth, Joan, Karin and I went to mom's for games. We sure don't want to be outside in this cold. It was snowing pretty much all morning dropping another couple of inches on top of the 3 we got last night. The snow is beautiful but sure makes walking dangerous as we can no longer see the solid slippery ice. Karin called off play practice again for Sunday. It is just too dangerous to get up to the barn and get the horses into the barn with all the ice on the ground.  Instead they are going to try to practice next Saturday morning. Time for some horse pictures so we may as well do another age test. Oksana was born June 14th, 2012. The video below is Eliza giving birth to Oksana.

Mark and I were at Wheaten College for a reunion when Eliza went into labor. Karin and Steven were in charge. Karin ran the camera while Steven assisted. They tried very hard to get Eliza to lay down for the delivery but she had no idea of what was going on and just wouldn't lay down. This was the first time we had ever had a mare deliver standing up. Mike was called to help catch the baby. The next picture I have of Oksana she is a month old. She was sold by this time and the owner was making payments on her.
The buyer continued to make payments until she was within a thousand of having her paid off when she decided she would rather have 2 of our warmblood mares, Cor and Clair instead of Oksana. We gladly made that trade and Oksana was then ours for good. Emily took her to the IL Horse Fair when she was not yet 3 years old.
The picture below was taken on Jan 18th, 2019.
We couldn't be more thrilled that we were able to keep Oksana for our program. She is another of those beautiful Raven daughters.  Anyone who has a Raven offspring loves them. They are like the Golden Retrievers of the horse world. They love people, want to please and intelligent. We say that because Oksana is always curious about everything. She has to taste things, knock things off to hear how they sound. step on crinkly paper, pick up whips and swing them around and nothing can be left out if Oksana is loose in the arena. She even had to check out the heater and singed her nose whiskers last year. 
We are having a lazy afternoon but plan on leaving for the Night of Worship at 6:15 pm as it starts at 6:30 pm. If you aren't doing anything come on down to the Hanna City Gym for a wonderful evening. There are a lot of bands scheduled a speaker at 7:30 pm and singing groups after the speaker. This is FREE and there will be FREE refreshments!