Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why I love Minnesota!

This morning I awoke, let the dogs out, and went to get a drink of water. I turned the faucet on and a tiny dribble of water came out which then quite quickly stopped. You guessed it! My pipes are froze! Now I will be the first to admit that I have a really old house with poor insulation and the pipes have to travel from the ground up two feet to get into the house and all of my water pipes are on the south east corner of the house, where there are no trees to help protect from the terrible winds we seem to be getting there more and more often. Granted we do have 'frost blankets' and straw up against the house and insulation around the pipe underneath the house but this is the second year in a row that i've had this problem. Its usually nothing more than an annoyance as last year it froze just under the floor and it took a few moments to thaw before the ice popped out and water and came rushing back. But now I have to not only go to my parents to check my email on their PC but also shower, get water for the dogs and myself and I cannot do laundry. Last year it was over New Years or Christmas and no one would come (businesses) to thaw my was days without water.

On the temperature front it was -41 when I let the dogs out at 6am, without windchill. I need everyone who doesn't live in this state to stop saying how cold they are are 0 or +20 degrees! My Shetlands dig holes in the snow and hunker down for the night. They eat hay outside and eat snow (no water). They do have straw in a 3-sided shelter but they rarely use it. My BFLs who are of the UK style with finer fleeces and thin skin, have been eating snow as well, and getting fed outside but because they are younger I have been giving them a couple of pounds TOTAL of corn for eight head. I don't think they really need it but they tell me they do. I give my ducks/geese/chickens and pigeons all more corn when its this cold as that is all they really want as its loaded with energy to keep warm. The BFLs do use the shelter at night and pile in there snuggled as one big mass. They aren't dumb.

We must live in the coldest part of the lower 48 states. The Red Rive Valley which has Grand Forks and Fargo in it is not that far from us....(the valley itself starts about 35 miles from us and its a huge noticeable drop) and whatever wind/snow/rain they get, we tend to get it later in the day. They are the coldest places I think on a regular basis. I guess we don't have hurricanes or earthquakes so I shouldn't be complaining.

We haven't had a day above freezing (+32 degrees) since November 8th. That's what our local radio dj said. We also have had 38 inches of snow since the beginning of the season and NONE has melted as we haven't been above freezing here. One day we were at 30 degrees and it was t-shirt weather! Next week we are supposed to get to +28-+30 degrees weather so maybe the animals will have a reprieve from the bitter cold. They really don't seem to mind it as much as I think they do.

Its also sad when you have to talk about degrees in + or - !! I keep telling myself I love the changes of seasons and the gorgeous fall days and that's why I live here. And the beautiful scenery. I think..........


Winjammin' said...

It's -17 here this morning, and I could barely even get the dogs out. They are out literally for about 30 seconds before I have to start carrying them back in the house, because their feet froze. So, I do feel for you and I could never survive -41. You can just keep it up there! ;o)

Just an might actually experience above +32 this weekend, as we're supposed to get sun and +28 and higher all weekend. YAYYY!!!

Hope the pipes get unfrozen before you leave and see you tomorrow!


penni said...

I read your post and found myself shivering. You can only put on so many layers of clothing. To me, it's a big deal when we track early to put on silk longjohns for a little extra warmth under the jeans. You are definitely a stalwart! I'll bet your Cardis hold coat really well.

Kathy and Kim Gibson said...

-20 this morning when I let the Corgis 3 out, and I think they stayed out a minute. Except the fools keep asking to go back out as if it has warmed up.

Hey I am a bit of an expert with frozen pipes. We have a cottage on the Mississippi and the dang pipes always freeze. I can determine the source, get heat on it in minutes. Unfortunately I have had to go as far as cutting a hole in the floor to get heat to a pipe that I was afraid would burst. Oh yes, frozen pipes been there done that!

Good luck!

Carol Bator said...

I suppose I should not be complaining. It was -8 degrees outside this morning when I fed my animals. Not much wind either. When I think of -41, I cannot even imagine it. There will be wind later today, according to the forecast. I plan to stay inside as much as possible.

I am glad to know that your BFL's and Shetlands are hardy enough to tolerate what I think is very extreme cold. I do have to haul water to my sheep though. We have less than an inch of snow on the ground. The sheep may eat some of it, but dogs and sheep are definitely drinking water from the heated buckets here.

I worry about paws and ears getting frost bitten. I guess I have to just hope it doesn't happen.

I hate the thought of frozen pipes. My little house is easy to heat, but if the power ever went out, everything would freeze since I have no back up source of heat.

I am glad they forecast normal temps for this weekend. +20 will feel like a heat wave.

Sharrie said...

You got me on the temp. We were only in the minus twenties. AND...the pipes weren't frozen in the little house. Go figure! I don't get it.
Hope yours get going SOON!

Rayna said...

Came home from work this morning and Denny and I promtly went to bed! It's too damn cold to stay awake! lol. Our poor house is usually set at 70, and it's struggling to keep up at 66 :( We'll make it through this, G...we

Becky Utecht said...

Garrett, -41F is the pits! And so is having your pipes freeze. Been there, done that, but we didn't have the luxury of living right next door to relatives. We had to shower at the neighbors for about a week. Fortunately, our friends eventually managed to heat the ground and tunnel down with a torch and thaw out the pipes to our sandpoint well. We melted snow for dishes, etc. It's amazing how little water you can by with when you have to.
On a serious note, when temps are this cold, the sheep should not be expected to eat snow. In these extremely low temps, the snow is drier and they have to eat more to get keep hydrated. That makes it even harder for them to keep up their body temps. I would be (and I am) supplementing all the sheep with good quality hay in this kind of weather. Good luck, I can't wait until next week and the January thaw!

dreameyce said...

You know how recently I asked if I could move there to play with your agility equipment? Well, I retract that request ;)

Stay warm, and hope those darn pipes unfreeze without drama! BRRRR! I'm so glad it's t-shirt and hoodie weather here!

Jinnie said...

Sorry Garrett :-)

Why I love the SW, 300+ days of sunshine and 63 degrees today.

Of course we have very little green and I don't think your sheep would have anything to eat out here.

country girl said...

I left Minneapolis in 1968; I just couldn't take another winter and my winters there weren't anything like yours. I know there are beautiful times of the year there but I just couldn't handle the below zero weather with the barren trees, dirty snow and gray skies. In Lincoln, CA it hit 72 degrees today. I am thankful for that but admire your stalwart Minnesota native qualities. Someone has to do it.

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