Feb 3, 2012

"Dear Phil..."

We heard that you peeked out of your Punxatawny groundhog hole yesterday, sniffed the air, looked around, and announced:

"There will be six more weeks of winter!"
That was very kind of you.


when Gustav and I got up this morning it was
-30 degrees Celsius.

We quickly lit the fire in the woodstove in the kitchen,
waited to make sure it was really going strong,

  put on the pot  of hot water to boil,  set the kettles to heat,

and headed outside.

*We each had on:
 two pairs of long underwear,
 thick woollen socks,
wool lined boots with wool insoles,
heavy winter jackets,
thick wool gloves,
 and wool hats.

First it was "Big Red", the furnace out in the pannrum that fires the hot water system throughout the farm.  Gustav built the fire in there.

Good, good.

 Next to the icicle-laden pump house where the barn clothes are kept.  Even with the floor heat on it barely
took the chill off!

  Finally, winter coveralls fastened over the above-mentioned clothing items*,
 we rushed to the barn where we hoped that 
the body heat from all the cows would make it toasty warm in there.

No chance.

This was the INSIDE of the barn door covered with ice.
This was the INSIDE of the milk room window covered with ice.

And this was the INSIDE of the entry door covered with ice.

It was FREEZING in there for everyone but the cows.
They had their wonderful, warm,  furry, skins to protect them and  mountains of fresh, crunchy, hay to feed their internal heating systems while we flew through our barn chores as fast as we could.

(Lucky bugs!)

So Phil...

now that we're safely back in the storstuga,
huddled by the warmth of the woodstove, 
we wanted to say,
 "Thanks a lot for telling us 
that we still have a fair amount of winter left to face this year".

But it's official...

here on the farm in northern Sweden...

...we already knew.

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