What really helped was finally deciding on a barn design for our future horse farm (definitely more on that in an upcoming post). While we are probably a year out from building the barn, it is the singular most important thing that needs to be done in my mind, and when I couldn't develop a cohesive vision for how the farm would come together, including how the barn would look and what its footprint would be, I started struggling with everything because my brain wouldn't leave it alone. (Thank you to everyone who uses Pinterest and posts all things barn-related - you all helped solve my problem!)
So now I've got some catching up to do on the blog. To start off, you get the story of Winter Storm Jonas, which is probably kind of old news at this point, but is significant enough to warrant its own post anyway.
Winter Storm Jonas was predicted by meteorologists well in advance, so there was plenty of time to prepare. However, I admit to having been highly skeptical of the predicted impact (which at one point was listed as 30-40 inches of snow for where I live). It wouldn't be the first time that a great and epic storm was predicted and reality fell so far short of the mark that one had to wonder if meteorology is a real science. Nonetheless, as D-Day drew closer, the predictions became more confident and consistent across models, until things were mostly in alignment with many areas surrounding Washington, D.C. expected to get more than 2 feet of snow.
Seriously? Two feet of snow in one snowstorm? Come on. That said, even two inches of snow in the metro area is enough to cause endless problems, as we were reminded a few days before Jonas' arrival when about an inch or so of snow fell on non-treated roads during rush hour and caused traffic delays of a level not seen since the last time it snowed. (In the defense of all the poor souls out on the road that night, even where I live, which is well outside the Beltway, the roads were slippery and I spent over an hour driving in the worst traffic I've ever seen just to get to the barn by 8 pm.) Ever mindful of the potential for chaos on the roads, most schools and even the Federal government decided to either close or cut things short on Friday, January 22.
I was teleworking that day, but my husband opted to take the day off solely so that he wouldn't be stuck in the hours worth of traffic that would likely be in existence at noon that day, when the Federal government closed and all employees made mad dashes to the store and then home. Because God forbid you don't have enough milk, orange juice, bread, and, of course, marshmallows - there was only one bag of marshmallows in the grocery store the night before the storm, so I adopted it and made Rice Krispie treats - in the event of a snow storm. It's like nobody has anything in their house unless it's going to snow, at which point it becomes essential to have 17 weeks worth of supplies.
The first snow flakes started falling at about noon for us, a little earlier than predicted. At first, there wasn't much to get excited about.
|My daughter "shoveling" snow into her wagon|
During my trip to and back from the barn, I saw about 2 dozen snow plows, and only 4 of them were plowing anything. I think it should be a criminal offense to be driving a plow in the middle of a major snow storm and not be plowing anything. It's asinine. It's a dereliction of public duty. It's a waste of tax dollars. And it's a real waste of gas, which was in short supply, with many gas stations completely out due to the stupidity of people who think that they will need huge vats of gasoline so they can drive around in a snow storm. Sigh...
Anyway, I made it to the barn safely and checked in on Nimo. He was doing just fine. He was, I kid you not, the only horse on the whole farm that was outside. Many of the horses are on full stall board, so they come in at night and during bad weather, but there are still probably 10-12 field board horses. Every single one of them was happily munching hay in the run-in sheds. Except Nimo. He was snarfing down the round bale like there was no tomorrow and seemed totally happy to be covered in snow.
|Nimo coming in from the field to see me|
|Nimo is totally coated in heavy snow, which is starting to melt|
|Life is good when there is a whole bale of hay to eat!|
The next morning, it appeared that it had snowed a lot overnight. Predictions were around 12 inches, so in my head, that added up to 15 inches of snow. Which is a perfectly respectable amount of snow to drive in with a 4-wheel drive truck. So when there was a lull in the storm, I told my husband that I was going out to the barn to see Nimo. He laughed, he mocked, and then he shook his head in resignation. And he helped me shovel a path to my truck. And he watched from the doorway while I drove approximately 12 feet before becoming hopelessly stuck.
|There is kind of a lot of snow.|
So I texted the barn owner and told her that I wouldn't be able to come out and asked for reassurance that my horse was still alive and well. She told me he was fine and I decided to let him stay out, even though some of the worst was still to come.
The winds got increasingly nasty throughout Saturday and more snow fell. We shoveled some of it, but it was kind of disheartening that it kept blowing around and coming down, so eventually we gave up and I fantasized about Sunday, when the storm would be over and I could go out and see Nimo.
The snow finally ended at some point during the night, and Sunday dawned with lots of sun and warm temperatures. But no snow plows...anywhere...ever...at all. The barn owner told me the only way she could get to the barn was to take the giant farm tractor because the road had not been plowed. Our neighborhood had not been plowed either, and the final snow fall total for us was a whopping 30 inches.
So, I would not be going out to the barn. I decided to channel my frustration into shoveling snow. My OCD and micro-managing tendencies took over and I wanted to show my husband the proper technique for clearing snow because if I couldn't see my horse, at least the driveway would be clear.
|Me demonstrating proper snow removal|
|Everyone else having fun because proper snow removal instruction is boring|
|The snow wasn't as deep out at the barn and the horses were happy to be out|
Thankfully, the sound of a big snow plow awakened me at 6 am Monday morning and I looked out the window to see blessed pavement, along with a house-sized pile of snow that probably won't melt until July.
|Ahhh, pavement, thou art my friend!|
|A sight for sore eyes!|
Then I headed home and back to life, which involved lots of snow removal and cleaning up melted snow and supervising the climbing of the snow mountain.
|If at first you don't succeed...|
|Get Daddy to push you up the mountain!|