Riding 29 year old Sandy in 1997

Monday, October 31, 2011

Geting ready for winter

I just looked at the weather forecast.  Within a week, our lovely highs in the mid-70's and lows in the mid 30's will have been replaced with highs in the 50's and lows in the 20's.

We will have had about a week and a half of autumn.  By this time next week, winter will have arrived.  I barely remember summer, autumn went by in the blink of an eye, and winter will be here.

So . . . it's time to clean last year's ashes out of the woodstove and fill up the woodbox (before the wood gets rained on this coming Friday and Saturday).  Time to turn off the water to the orchard and drain the water lines.  Time to winterize the garage bathroom and turn off the water there.  Time to take the timers off the barn faucet and have to start filling water buckets manually.  Time to get out the immersible water heaters and install them in the horse buckets, and get out the heated water bucket for the chickens and feral cats to use and set it up behind the pump house.  Oh, and time to plug in the heat lamp for the pumphouse (or get around to wrapping heat tape around a couple of pipes in there).

Time to rake the leaves that dropped three days ago and add them to the manure cart to be turned into compost by the guy down the road.  He's been taking my manure for four or five years now.

Time to get the gardener over to rake the last of the fallen apples from the orchard and add them to the manure trailer too.  Time to finish cutting down the tree that was hit by lightning a few years ago and cut it up for next year's firewood.  Time to then haul off all the piles of branches from earlier yard work to the brush pit a few miles away so they can be burned.

Time to dig out winter blankets for horses to use if it gets below 20 degrees.

Time to put that 300 gallon water tank I bought earlier this year into the alleyway in the barn between the stalls and fill it up.  Time to put the hose bib on it and be ready to use it to water horses in case I lose water sometime during the winter.  Time to coil up extra hoses and find a way to run the three I need to use above the ground so they don't get buried and frozen if it snows.

Time to find my vests and jackets and insulated gloves, and time to make sure each vehicle has emergency food and water in it.

Time to straighten up the leaning carport I park the truck under during snow season so I don't have to shovel snow off the windshield to use it. 

Time to put away the portable air conditioner and the window fans.  Time to plug in the heater in the garage that I turn on for the feral cats when it gets extremely cold.

And just about the time I get all the above done . . . or so it will seem . . . the first robin will appear and the cycle of life will begin again.  And it will be time to reverse all the above (except the leaning carport thing -- it can remain upright) and prepare for summer.

And that's the latest from the Ranch.

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