Monday, 9 January 2017

Preparing for winter....small steps

There is a cold front coming towards the end of the week so I’m making plans to ensure we don’t get caught out.  The last thing we want to be doing is walking to the wood store or topping up the outside animals’ bedding when it’s either raining or snowing, which is predicted.  According to today’s forecast on the BBC for our postcode, the temperature will drop from Thursday.
So the plan is:
  • Have all hats, scarves and gloves ready.
  • Bring wet shoes in to dry in front of the Aga.
  • Order new muck boots as mine are full of cracks – you get what you pay for.
  • Put extra straw into hens area for warmth.
  • Have horses rugs out ready to put on.
  • Top sheep hay up and move crystalyx to less poached area (unrelated to cold, but I just remembered!)
  • Keep animals water topped up constantly with spare buckets full in case pipes freeze over again.
  • Put extra food in for hens, cook pasta for bed time treat and have porridge ready to put in warm on a morning.
  • Have thick socks, thick trousers, jumpers and coat ready for Thursday morning for the morning feeds.  The last thing I want to be doing at 5:15am is hunting for warm clothes.
  • Fill the log basket.
  • Fill the coal basket.
  • Ensure enough kindling.
  • Have blankets in the room so we can cosy up as a family and if it does snow, watch it sat next to the wood burner with a hot chocolate in hand.
  • Just in case, have a sledge ready for us to have lots of fun on!
 
Planning a little further ahead I need to make sure we have enough medicine in should we need it.  We take tablets as infrequently as possible and prefer as natural a remedy as possible, but if we need to, we take it. 
 
In the meantime, I know this list can be seen as totally over the top, so here’s a picture of the dogs all chilling together to relax us all J

It was nearly 9C in the barn this morning.  Far too mild for this time of the year.  It's turned out to be a bright day and the rain that was forecast didn't really arrive.

19 comments:

  1. Hi Tracy its done nothing but rain here all day. Beginning to feel like a duck. In the winter months as a child lived on the top of a hill and we always had bad snow and the preparations you mention used to be the norm and we only had one fire in the house as did most there was no central heating until a little later. If you have a slow cooker do the porridge in there might give you some extra time in the long run. Take care and keep warm Pattypan x

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    1. Hiya I hope you're tucked up inside whilst it is raining and you continue to recover. I love the idea of living on top of a hill. I have visions of being snowed in when I think about that. I have a slow cooker, interesting reading doing porridge in it. I will have a Google. Thank you

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    2. Just thought it would make your life easier in the long run. Its all the little tricks and timesaving measures. I have five different sized slow cookers and intend to get a couple of more from the charity shops when i see them one for candle making and the other for soap. I wabt to keep the food ones just for food. A slow cooker is also good for keeping sausage and bacon warm for breakfasts when you have a houseful. I have keopt tucked up at home and hopefully will be a better day tomorrow. Take care and keep warm. Pattypan xx

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    4. Oh why didn't I think of that for keeping the sausages warm? I do breakfast for a crowd most weekends and that would be a great idea - you're a star!
      I had no idea you could use them for candle making nor soap - amazing. Thanks xx

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    5. Hi Tracy before Christmas posted a link to how to make candles on my blog. I sourced the soy wax off of ebay and the oils and wicks. Just need to be steadier on my feet before i play. If you search soapmaking or candlemaking in a crockpot or slow cooker should give you a sekection of links as well as just searching crock pot or slow cooker.in the winter months i use them a lot as we have a nice hit meal to come home to. You can akso make chicken stock or other stock and leave it and then either can or freeze it once done.i am all for utilising things that make my life easier. Take care. Pattypan x

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  2. Hi Tracy its done nothing but rain here all day. Beginning to feel like a duck. In the winter months as a child lived on the top of a hill and we always had bad snow and the preparations you mention used to be the norm and we only had one fire in the house as did most there was no central heating until a little later. If you have a slow cooker do the porridge in there might give you some extra time in the long run. Take care and keep warm Pattypan x

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  3. Nothing wrong with being prepared, better than being caught out, you didnt mention a snow shovel :-)

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    1. You're right! Thankfully we have one though. I might get some salt though. Thanks for the thought.

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  4. You need to be prepared with animals, they care is in your hands, and why would you leave things and make life difficult for yourselves. I love the cold weather, it brings the family together in one room to snuggle.

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    1. You're so right on all counts! Thank you. Yes there is some thing cosy about the cold weather if you have a roof over your head and heat to your disposal.

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  5. The temperatures across Europe have been frighteningly low. Russia has recorded -40,Greece -15. We are very lucky in the UK. Well done on your forward planning.

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    1. My word that is cold. I can't actually imagine it. I guess they will be ready for it but I did hear there had been some deaths in Poland I think from the cold. Scary. Thank you. I do enjoy planning!

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  6. Today we are at -20C but with the wind chill is is -33C. You do get used to it but the wind is bitter cold, that makes it difficult to deal with. Especially when I was shovelling the driveway this morning. It is supposed to be above zero by the end of the week so that will be a nice change.

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  7. Love a list, chic. I will be doing some of these things. Jon and the boys filled up on logs etc at the weekend but I think there may be a few more done this afternoon or tomorrow. We have a snow shovel! I actually need to buy more straw for the chickens. I've just put Jon's warmest work coat in the washer so he will have that ready. My boys love cuddling up in the throws and blankets we keep in the living and tv room but I need to bring the hat bag as we call it so we can warm gloves and hats on the Rayburn. Good post Tracy, reminded us of a few things we need to do.x

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    1. Absolutely - where would we be without our lists? We buy the straw in bulk when I get the horses hay delivered, last year we only used 1 large round bale but this year will be different as the pigs will be on straw I think....se you have me thinking ahead again :) Thank you xx

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  8. lots to do with animals and no matter the weather you still have to tend them, dont you. Good that you are ready. Even if we dont get snow, prep is never a bad thing to do. It also helps you find things that may need mending or replacing before you really need it. Good to be ready.

    The sky is white here today. I hope that doesnt mean we will have a freeze. We had a lot of rain yesterday all in one hour. My weather monitor got broken in the wind in October, so I dont know how much rain.

    Keep on prepping!

    p.s thanks for your kind words on my blog yesterday.

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    1. You're more than welcome.
      Totally right re the animals. Thankfully I've not been truly ill when I've had them yet, I don't want to jinx myself, but I do think that it is mind over matter in certain situations. For example if I felt a bit rough and didn't have the animals to do, I could stay in bed a bit longer but as they rely on me, I get up and feel better for it. So I think they make me healthier too (sorry, went off on one there lol).
      I have a weather monitor too :D I love it! Thanks again :)

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