Relief Is...

Relief: successfully feeding the livestock in windy -30 Celsius weather.

There is some nasty, windy, cold weather here and I’m offering the sheep some hay bales each day to get them through. Since we switched from leaving bales on the pasture to taking bales out to the sheep each day, it’s interesting how extreme cold now shifts my perspective for the day. Rather than a barrage of things to do, the focus is on getting animals fed.  If I do that I will have done enough. What remains of the day is minor and is wide open.

I also tend to approach cold days in increments, one step at a time.
I put on an extra layer of clothing, adding on the layers of outer clothes until I’m ready to go.

Next, the tractor just needs to run, it doesn’t matter that there is no cab and it will be cold. If the tractor starts and the hydraulics work we’re off to a good start.

Retrieve a bale from the stack and thoughtfully pick my route out to pasture. If I don’t get stuck the day will go much smoother. Assure myself that if I do get stuck, there’s always a shovel, the animals will still get fed, just a little later than hoped.

Once I get bales out to the pasture I breath a sigh of relief. Then I know the sheep will be fed, even if not where I intended to feed them, there is now food available to them.

Preferably get the bales to a sheltered spot, again if I get stuck, there is always the shovel and shoveling snow warms one up in a hurry.

Successfully unroll a couple bale. Assure myself if I don’t get the bales unrolled, there’s always a pitch fork to move hay around so four hundred plus animals have access to eat or to let them bale graze.

Failing all the above, curse and cry, then call Allen for advice and/or the neighbour for help.

On the days that Allen is home my perspective is different again. I automatically feel a sense of relief that comes from having a fix-anything-farmer-man at hand, and knowing there are two of us to accomplish the days feeding.


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