About this time of year it seems like the winter will never end. The days are cold, the nights come early and the sun rarely shines it's rays (at least here in Ohio). Will spring ever come?
Chores are always harder around the farm during the winter. Not only do you have to feed hay and keep water from freezing, but you have to do it in the dark and with 15 layers of clothes on. Here are 5 ways to avoid the winter chore blues.
1. Fun winter clothes
If you have to layer up, you might as well have a good time doing it. Buy yourself a funky hat or brightly colored gloves. This time of year you can probably find a good winter clearance sale, so treat yourself to something new. Who cares what you look like long as you are warm and having fun.
2. Turn chore time into a game
Our boys are notorious for spending an excessive amount of time doing chores. Sometimes it is a way to avoid homework, and other times it is because they have become sidetracked. It is not unusual for us to go check on them and find them playing hide and seek or shooting their toy guns while they are waiting on the water troughs to finish filling. Nobody said work has to be all work...add a little play to the mix.
3. Check the weather
Scan the forecast to see what the week's weather looks like and plan to do more on the better days. If it is going to be snowing, raining or below freezing tomorrow, then put out an extra bale of hay tonight. There will always be those weeks with no relief and you just have to trudge through, but do the best you can to minimize your exposure on the really bad days.
4. Do more so you can do less
That may not sound like it makes any sense, but it really does. Do more now so you can do less tomorrow. For instance, give the chickens a couple extra scoops of feed tonight so that it will last them for two days and you don't have to feed them tomorrow. If your cows don't empty the water trough every day, fill it to the brim tonight so that you don't have to do it tomorrow. Try to have one night that you do all of the extra chores so that the next night will be extra light. If you are smart, you will also plan this around the weather.
5. Reward yourself
There is nothing more refreshing than a cup of hot chocolate or a warm bath on a cold night. Farm chores are hard work and winter farm chores are extra hard work. You have done a good job caring for your animals each and every day, but don't forget to take good care of yourself. Giving yourself an extra bonus not only gives you something to look forward to at the end, but it makes you move a little faster to come in out of the cold.
Don't get weary and discouraged at the never ending winter. Spring will come...eventually. Put on your fun winter hat and gloves, try to turn chore time into fun time, check the weather to do more on the nicer days, double up on chores to give yourself an easy day and be sure to reward yourself for a hard job well done.
Don't forget to enjoy the beauty of winter. Some of the most majestic scenes are the icicles hanging from the trees. Before you know it, the snow will melt and you will be baking in the sun on the back of a hay wagon.
In other news...
Last Saturday night we had our first calf. Daniel and the boys were down in Lebanon, Ohio at the BEST show. Fortunately I had decided to stay home on Saturday and get some things done at home. I came home from the grocery, went and checked on Rachel and found her in labor with a foot sticking out.
We have a very healthy and strong little bull calf. He is Mitchell's very first offspring and we can already tell he is going to be a lot like his daddy.
Our next calf is not due until May. Come on heifers!
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Hello! I am Heather... the city girl turned mom to manure loving country boys. My husband and I both grew up in the city, but spent weekends visiting grandparents in the country. We are first generation farmers who learn best by almost always doing things the hard way. I hope you enjoy following along with our adventures down on the farm.