Wednesday, December 30, 2009
"U.S. Government cold weather Mickey Mouse boots with valve are made for U.S. government troops in arctic conditions down to -60 degrees. Rubber design keeps the wool insulation dry. White Mickey Mouse boots are great for snowmobiling, ice fishing, or outdoor workers, etc." from the Army Surplus store description
We call them bunny boots. I heard it was because they make your feet look really big like bunny feet. Mickey Mouse works for me too.
I wear Outdoor Research gaiters over my boots because I cannot stand to get my jeans bottoms wet. With the gaiters on I can walk in snow up to my knees and still be comfortable.
When I first moved up here and got into all the outdoor activities I went shopping for boots, gloves, hats and snow pants. Everything I tried on made me look like the Michelin Man. So I bought the Gucci snow resort gear............and froze my butt off. I learned first hand that function trumps pretty any day.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, both male and female reindeer grow antlers. Although adult males grow the largest racks, adult females can have some very impressive antlers making it difficult or impossible to distinguish the sex based on antlers alone. Bulls generally shed their antlers in winter between November and December. Pregnant females will retain their antlers until after they have their calves in late April and May.
Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.
We should've known…...
only women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.
A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL
Monday, December 21, 2009
The biggest advantage to that is that we can begin a ride at 7 pm, ride for at least 4 hours, and be assured that we will be coming home in the daylight. It does take some getting used to though. Anyone remember Northern Exposure? There was a great episode about this.
The other reason that this is a favorite day is that December 21, 2009 will be our 6th wedding anniversary. We had a stealth wedding and didn't tell anyone except the friend who performed the ceremony. My wedding dress was a ratty old Carhartt jacket and I wore bunny boots and fur mittens. We had a blast.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
After almost 4 days of continuous snowfall, the totals in this area went from2.6 inches in south Anchorage to 63.5 inches in Valdez. I am so glad I don't live in Valdez. Here in my barn lot the totals were about average. My 1 ton dually hadn't been moved since just before this last round of snow.
Parked just behind the dually is the flatbed hay trailer and the horse trailer is behind that. Neither one of those have been moved or shoveled since it started to snow in November. We haven't had any days above freezing so the snow total is pretty accurate for the whole winter.
My favorite day of the year is fast approaching. We will have a bonfire to celebrate.
My animals have been so neglected. My daughter feeds morning and night and checks water. I go out with a flashlight to count noses and check the critters before I go to bed. Until last night I think I got a total of 6 hours of sleep from Sunday morning. Because we have several large parking lots that need to be plowed before the stores open, we generally plow from 3 am to 9 am on the commercials then start the residentials. That's at least another 6 to 8 hours depending on how much snow we have. This past week we plowed four times in 5 days. Some of the residentials only got plowed three times. One place got plowed twice in the same day.
The forecast now is for cold temps so hopefully we won't get another storm like this one for a while. We have plowed in this week half as many times as we plowed all of last season. I heard that in Wahington DC the snow was falling at a rate of 1 inch per hour and the plows couldn't keep up with it. I can so sympathize with you.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Snow. Snow accumulation 8 to 12 inches. Highs 5 to 15 above. Light winds.
This is on top of the snow that's been falling for the past two days. My sweety is chomping to go snowmachining. All I want to do now is sleep. We've been plowing since Sunday afternoon. I have a church parking lot to do for evening services tonight. Then we'll start all over at 3 am.
Maybe this should be Plowing Log since I'm certainly not getting to ride!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Happy Birthday, lovey.
Wait till next year!!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
One of my long yearling Suffolk ewes died. Her name was Thirty (because I couldn't think of a name and her ear tag number was 8430) and she would have been 2 years old in January. She's the one in the middle. She came home from the Alaska State Fair in September underweight and unthrifty. I worked extra hard with her as far as feeding away from the rest of the flock and hand feeding grain. She was dewormed, had access to a sheep mineral block and finally was completely separated from the flock and kept in a semi-heated box stall. I called the vet in last week when I couldn't think of anything else I could do by myself and Thirty's face started swelling up.
The swelling was caused by edema and is known as bottle jaw. Sheep get it usually because of a parasite overload. The first thing I noticed was a swollen left ear. I thought it was frostbite but when the vet came out she said hematoma. We pulled fluid and it was just edema. Then the space under Thirty's jaw got bigger: more edema and the diagnosis of bottle jaw. We pulled blood and a fecal and sent it off to the lab in Washington. (Another drawback of living in Alaska - no lab.) Meanwhile Thirty is getting weaker. We thought pneumonia so I started a round of antibiotics and probiotics. She didn't get any better. Last night she was lying flat out so I called the vet who said she would come out this morning to give some steroids to see if we could get some of the fluid off Thirty.
I plowed from 2 am until 5:30 am. Thirty was still alive at 5:30 but when I checked on her at 7 she was gone. The vet came out at nine thinking she was just going to do some injections but our plans changed. So she did the things she had planned and came back about 1:30 pm to do a necropsy. Boy did I learn some interesting things. Briar took pictures. No, I didn't post them but they are on my photobucket if anyone is interested.
Bottom line? Thirty died of congestive heart failure. Why? We don't know. Her lymph glands were swollen, there was bruising on the tissue in her throat and heart, and her heart was abnormally formed. There was a lot of fluid in the heart cavity as well as the abdominal cavity. The rumen was working fine. We found no signs of parasites, a blockage, or a foreign body. The bloodwork hasn't come back yet so we're going to ask for another test to determine Vitamin E and selenium levels.
I have a long list of things to eliminate to get to the bottom of this. Meanwhile, I have eight sheep that are fat, happy and hopefully five of them are bred for late February lambs.