It took a few extra arm muscles this morning to open the barn door. The ground beneath the door has begun to heave with colder temps.
The good news is that I managed to push, pull and shove the door open without saying a bad word.
The bad news is that bad words may come out in the next few days as lower and lower overnight temperatures help that ground heave even more.
The door is about 12 feet wide, so as it gets colder, the process of pushing, shoving, pulling and chipping away at frozen dirt and rocks that have built up each day from heaving, is gonna take up a major portion of the morning chores.
Also, my horses Lefty and Lily now have to pick their way through ruts and frozen horse apple piles on their way to breakfast.
That's a bit tough on their sensitive hooves. No racing around the barnyard until the ground thaws again or until a blanket of snow covers up all that hard, punishing surface.
Yesterday the water in the horse tank also froze---enough that my arm muscles got some more exercise, chipping away at the ice with a sharp tree-planting shovel.
I was amazed at the depth of that ice layer from the first real overnight freeze. So, out came the tank heater and the extension cord. No more chipping there.
All the extra outdoor barn-related work brought on by a freeze is downright minimal, however, compared to the good news associated with our start to a week promising cool, crisp, clear weather.
Finally, the dogs could go out and play to their hearts' content without getting sopping wet or muddy.
Plus, their human friends were pretty happy too, knowing that we'd be getting a substantial "toweling off/bathing" break and embracing the extended opportunities for outdoor exercise.
I swear that such days (gifts) take off at least 30 years from the official chronological age.
After all, except for avoiding the sheets of ice, walking opportunities open up virtually all over our farm. And, that makes me very happy.
Plus, the exhilaration of taking in sheer beauty with virtually every outdoor scene is like finding the Mother lode.
It's a wonderful change from the past two-plus months of almost constant rain, and it's nice to know that this brand of weather is gonna hang around for a while.
Granted, I might complain about the barn door getting stuck as these days continue to get colder, but with all the other advantages of this crisp, clear winter weather, I'm thrilled, to say the least.
It's the best.