Cold Frozen North LIVING THE DREAM 2017

JANUARY 2017

Today's Thursday, January 12, 2017 and we are awaiting what will possibly be the coldest winter temps in Delta Junction since 1999. Who ever knows what the weather will do here? We just wait until it gets here but in the meanwhile I want to document it for all the friends and family who never get to see it or to FEEL 50 BELOW 0 temps on their face; how your skin burns, you inhale as little as you can because the lining of your nose and throat burns, your eyelashes crust over with ice, your limbs go numb, and your thighs will actually go numb in blue jeans. Instead of sipping hot cocoa and warming my feet by the fire, I will dare the winter adventures that are on our farm. Kids will hate me, the sheep will ram me, my own body will ache and burn but I'm committed to my goal of connecting better with social media in 2017. Follow me and see where this Alaska Winter Storm takes us!

The Richardson Hwy down near Paxson and Summit Lake is always my favorite place to be - no matter what season. These ice "stars" were at the Spring (a roadside pulloff where you can stop and get water coming out from under a glacier. Water that hasn't seen the light of day for thousands of years just doesn't sound like it could be any cleaner to me!

Waiting to see if we will get this Winter Storm or not, doesn't really change our daily schedules. Animals still need to be fed and every time the kids get dressed to go outside, they never want to come back in, especially today when the weather was 2 Below and sunny - well as sunny as it gets on a mid-day in January. When the kids want to play, I am always amazed at how fast they can complete chores!

Today they found the snow pile that got scooped off our back deck to be unavoidable. I had not realized until today that the pile is so tall that the kids can almost climb it back onto the deck. If we get much more snow they'll be able to sled off the deck rail and down to the sheep -- how long before Garrett figures THAT out???
In these shots of the building projects I just realized how much plywood you see. Well, they call it OSB here and act like they've never heard the word "plywood" here. I guess I was raised using that word like I always order a "Coke" even if I actually want Dr. Pepper haha. Up top is the sheep shelter which is still not 100% finished but it keeps them out of the wind & snow and will keep them dry during breakup because it's off the ground. The playhouse didn't quiet get finished before snow or work schedules rained down on us but it'll be super cool when it's finished - Will used it to practice building a real cabin for us and he did an amazing job. The chicken coop is coming along too. I plan on painting the whole thing red and decorating it with old tools and tags. Will wants to cover ALL the buildings with rough strips of timber that still have the bark on the edges and that would look fabulous but we have find some first!
The kids always feed animals and until our sheep ram got aggressive this Fall, they do most of it alone. I'm not lazy but I want them to understand and appreciate what it takes to get food - it is more than just walking into WalMart. Our goats were sleeping in this dog kennel until the sheep ram (Ragnar) began ramming them from the door; I can't figure a good reason. Ellie has only lost three teeth and this fourth one is hanging in there to the point that she plays with it and shows it off and the number of boy - friends has doubled this past week. The snow is over 2ft deep and even deeper in drifts here. It is beautiful now but I do wonder how long it will take the back yard & chicken run to dry out this Spring. The chicken coop had to be raked off so it would stop dropping on us every time we opened the doors. This last snow was more like a whiteout here at our place and you can see how the snow coated the trees like this Paper Birch; the next day everything in sight was "fuzzy" with snow coating and it really is a winter wonderland here.
Our black goat is Harley. Our chicken flock has been all but abolished, from either selling, eating, or death by weasel. We have Palmetto Turkeys and so far I love, love, love turkeys. My only complaint is that during the winter, they don't hang over the poop boxes like the chickens do and so I can't guarantee where the "piles" will be - I don't like that. Today the temp was below 20degrees so I got another heat lamp to hang. I tried it in several spots where they could get closer to the bulb but they keep trying to light on it, and unplugging it. Our goal for this summer is to wire the coop so that it's more streamlined next winter. You can see the frosted over doorknob and the beautiful ice designs on the door; and where the coop vents on the side it makes really cool ice crystals over Will's traps. The trail is the one leading out of the coop, to the back yard. We don't usually have to shovel like we have this year but it's great exercise and it's kind of fun (because we don't do it often probably). The sheep are great animals but I have about had it with the ram. Ragnar will tolerate anyone for as long as it takes to put the food down but then if you do not miraculously disappear he will butt you until ...... I don't know when he would stop because he never does. I can grab his horn and stop him but as soon as I release he charges again and it is very frustrating. He is beautiful in this picture though so maybe I can like him again. Maybe.
Created By
Vanessa Heath
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Vanessa Heath Photography

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