On this third day of official winter, I had an easy time taking breakfast hay in the cart to the barnyard for the horses.
Bill went out early, fired up the Kubota and, before cleaning out the driveway, he plowed a couple of nice circles around the barnyard as well as swath to the manure pile.
In the case of the manure, that path makes it easier for me to dump the newest deposit of overnight horse apples from barn stalls and, maybe more importantly, much easier for the dogs to get at 'em for their morning treats.
After last winter, spring and summer's sore shoulder, et. al., I requested a few weeks ago that when winter comes if he would he do just that for me, I would not have to shovel snow in the early mornings.
As many months as that mysterious, stubborn and painful injury lasted, I decided that this ol' tough girl was gonna turn a bit wussy and do whatever possible to save my body.
In following that approach, I should be able to continue taking care of horses the year around. There was actually a time last winter that I was thinking I may have to give up on them.
Happily, whatever my shoulder, back and neck problem happened to be, it has gone into remission. I'm figuring, however, that it would happily return if I started shoveling snow again.
So, with Bill's help with the tractor or the snowblower, which I greatly appreciate, I think we can manage.
Ain't fun having a body start getting old, but if we find ways to compensate, all will work out.
Yesterday's day-long and into-the-night snowy slopfest had a few elements that reminded me of my favorite seasonal cliche "why we hate winter," and that includes the dogs.
Dogs have to spend more time in the garage drying out. They would much rather come into the house, where Liam usually unmakes a bed, crawls under the covers and takes long winter's naps, while Foster hangs out on the couch.
Kiwi seems to prefer the garage as her personal "dog cave."
BTW: she's back to being Kiwi, which includes successfully begging for at least ten biscuits a day as I walk through the garage to and fro from the house.
The wet-weather dog inconveniences, however, are not nearly as frustrating as yesterday's intensive advent of cleaning off satellite dishes.
Wet weather tends to keep folks inside, where playing on the computer or watching TV fill up the recreational hours.
There must have been a special mixture in yesterday's winter slop cuz I went outside to clean off the two dishes (TV and Internet) at least 15 times: a record!
And, at least a couple of those times, I talked out loud while slogging back inside with my broom and my wet head.
"This is why I hate winter!" I grouched to myself, as if I've never told myself that before.
When we get old, though, we have a right to repeat ourselves, even if only snow-laden trees are listening.
I'm really hoping that yesterday's frequency of satellite dish sweeping was an anomaly.
Otherwise, we'll have to do as my friend Helen and I agreed: set up a schedule where family members sit outside near the dishes with brooms so they can do dish snow maintenance every five minutes.
That strategy could surely alleviate a couch explosion from whoever happens to be inside the house watching a compelling program where the instant the most crucial part of a program unfolds, the television screen turns into a dancing jigsaw puzzle.
This very scenario actually happened to me last night while watching a documentary about former Indiana basketball coach Bobby Knight, and I had not pre-recorded the program.
My situation of missing the exact moment an old video clip in the documentary showed Bobby Knight putting his hand on a basketball player's neck during practice made me realize that the idea of putting someone on dish duty is not practical when only you and the dogs are home.
Bill had gone to choir practice so I could not call upon him.
Speaking of dogs, though, and especially Border Collies, maybe I could start training Liam to go out and clean off the dish. He loves his jobs and he has already demonstrated his jumping ability with the town squirrels.
Just stick a broom in his mouth and let him go at it.
Once he masters the chore, I could even video him in action and then add the video to all those others I see on Facebook, clearly demonstrating that Border Collies sure are smart dogs.
Anyway, today looks like a kinder, gentler winter day, especially after having an easy start in the barnyard.
We had stars in the sky this morning, and the precip has stopped for at least a day.
In other good news, Willie's basketball team won their second game last night in Priest River. So, we're all happy and proud of the coaches and the girls.
With that, I'll get on with this better winter day.
Happy Wednesday. And, do spread the love here in the season!