I am feeling a bit better, but slowly so. This is good, considering my day.
When I went to feed the Boys, I was about to open the new "alfalfa" cubes, only to realize they had sent me home with timothy/alfalfa mix. So, I needed to take them back for an exchange. I tried to start the tractor so I could cart the bags back to the car, and no luck. It had gotten so cold last night the tractor battery was gasping and it just didn't have the energy to turn the engine over.
So I pulled out the batter charger, hooked it up, and after a few minutes, got the tractor going. I loaded the bags into the car. But then, I noticed that something was leaking out of one of the hoses on the loader--again. Spritzes of fluid were spurting out of another hose. I trudged back into the house to call the tractor repair place. After one missed call, it turned out the repair guy was in my area and he'd be on his way shortly.
I had my cup of tea and sure enough, the tractor guy was out there. I went out to see how things were going and another truck pulled into the driveway. This was my hay man checking up on my hay stock before the storm. We both agreed we'd be happier if I had a few more bales on hand--just in case So, since he didn't have his pick up truck today, I'd drive over in my truck and get some bales to put directly into the barn.
As soon as tractor man left, I went out to start the truck, only to find its battery dead. Darn! I'd driven it right before Christmas, but not long enough to give the battery a good charging, so I guess I earned that one. Funny thing, though, all the lights, bells and whistles in the truck were working just fine. There just wasn't enough power to inspire a very cold engine to run. (Please note: While truck is a 2003, it only has about 6,000 miles or so on it, so it's a really good shape. The battery was replaced not many years ago, but I don't run the truck enough. I will have to remedy that, at least for the winter.) Anyhow, after much fussing, I hooked up the battery charger and managed to get the truck running.
Then I headed next door to get the hay. Sweet hay man loaded my truck and then followed me home to unload it as well. I stacked it in the barn, but he did the main labor. What a guy!
Then, I decided that the truck really needed to be driven some more, so I transfered the bags of cubes from the car into the truck and headed off to the feed store. No problem making the exchange there, and since I had the truck, when I got home, I was able to four wheel drive it right up to the barn door, making the unload a cinch.
Then, I went into the barn and stripped all three stalls. I've been a bit neglectful of doing super cleaning jobs over the last week with this darn cold/fever thing, so the cleaning was rather a challenge. But it's done. I'll put some nice fresh shavings in when I go out to feed in a little while and I will be able to give the Boys their alfalfa cubes.
I do have to laugh. This morning, after I fed, Chance came out of his stall to stand by the fence near the feed room, kind of giving me a look as if to say, "Hey, didn't you forget something?" He loves his cubes and this was perhaps the first time he didn't get any with breakfast. He was SO cute. He is going to be one happy camper tonight when he gets a nice little bucket full of them with dinner.
I am still waiting for an uncomplicated day around here. With an impending snowstorm (6-10 inches or more) tomorrow doesn't look too simple either. But maybe we will luck out. The less snow the better.
Oh, yes, hoses. I thought of a heated hose, but it has to run--unless I were to figure out something else--along the edge of the aisle and then out through my feed room to the water tub. Too many places for it to get damaged. Of course, it could stay on a hose coil in the barn to be pulled out just to water the Boys, but I already have hoses I keep on the back porch for that. I carried one of them out this morning to fill the tub and it was fine. Hopefully I drained it completely, but if not, I can always bring it in the house to thaw. While it's annoying, carrying buckets of water to fill the tub is actually sometimes less hassle than carting the hose out there. The point is that I cannot recall such an extended period of time when the hose I have set up to fill the tub with little effort on my part has stayed frozen for so long.
This winter has had some unusually extended periods of very cold weather around here.