It’s not actually snowing right now, you guys, nor is it supposed to snow in the next week according the weather forecast, which we all know is always accurate, right? Right.
There were so very many years in my life where “getting ready for snow” meant looking outside, and if it was snowing, maybe putting on a hat. If I could even find a hat, which I probably couldn’t. And then, you know, going about my business as usual. Not much was different except everything was covered in white.
Now there are a lot more fuzzy donkey faces in my life (begging for more hay), but I also have to start planning for snow in September. Remember this list of everything I needed to get done to have the farm ready for winter? Well, twelve weeks later, I’m finally ready. My life has gone from “trying to find a hat before I walk outside” to this…
1.) Barn work
Deep clean the chicken coop, donkey stall, and floor. Put down new bedding, organize for winter. DONE. The Nugs helped, as usual.
- Fix man-door – I didn’t get to this, but, I mean… it’s not really that broken.
Fix donkey door– DONE. Close up windows– DONE. But it was the majorest pain in my ass. I don’t even care that majorest isn’t a word… it was that bad.
2.) Prep animals for winter
Stock up on hay, straw, feed– DONE. Thirty bales unloaded and stored in the barn last weekend. Get water heaters set upDONE. Although I’m considering an upgrade to the nug waterer because it’s such a pain in the ass to fill. Get guineasDONE. And they are making their presence known every day.
Move new guinea coop out to pastureDONE. Except they decided to move themselves into the barn with the chickens. So that was a lot of stress over the coop situation for nothing.
Run electric to barn DONE. And only one electrician had to risk his life in the process. Build table for drill press/ router tableDONE. Check out the workshop. So much awesomeness.
- Fix wall – Turns out this was not necessary for the stove installation, but I still need to get it done.
5.) Refinish dining room floor finally – Uh… kind of forgot this was on the list.
6.) Finish some projects
Clean up dead tree branches– DONE. And learned how to use my chainsaw in the process. Fix or store truck cap– DONE. Thanks to my awesome neighbors.
- Paint back of barn – Didn’t get to this one…
Put cross beams on pergola– DONE. SO MUCH DONE YOU GUYS.
- Put gravel under pergola – This will also be a spring project…
Finish propane fence– DONE. See it here.
- Patch holes in soffits, cap chimney – Well… I bought an extension ladder so I can do this… does that count? Not really.
7.) Work the land
Mow the Back 4DONE. One of the last best days outside this year. I love this tractor.
- Plant fruit trees dammit, you’ve been talking about it for years – Didn’t get to this one again this year… but there’s always spring!
Plant garlic, onions, anything else that needs to go in the groundDONE. I miss drinking wine in the garden.
Lists like this are what my life on the farm is made of, and it may seem overwhelming. Some people may wonder why I’d willingly spend twelve weeks prepping this place for winter and snow that may or may not come. And I don’t have a good answer for that, except, honestly, the work feels good. Taking care of this place feels good. Looking back at the last few months and taking pride in what I’ve done isn’t exhausting, it’s energizing. It makes me feel strong and capable, and like maybe I deserve just a small part of the joy and stability this farm brings me every day.
I’ve got food stocked for the animals. Lights in the barn. Heat in my workshop. I don’t know what else I could ask for as we enter a long, dark winter… well, okay, I could ask for that damn bathroom to be finished so I could lounge around in a hot bath with a glass of wine. But I’d take a barn full of hay over that any day. Which is how I know I’m in exactly the right place, and happy to be here.