Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Monday, 10 February 2014

So close and yet so far (watering bowl woes)

I have written  before about he  automatic  watering bowls here on  the farm. We have  4 and  every morning and  night all  winter I check  them , I am  vigilant and only  skip checking  when I am  physically not here ,or when it is above zero. Why? because  the  rotten  @#**#**'s  freeze up! Last  year  was  probably  the closest we  came to a trouble  free  winter,  with only  a couple  brief  incidents, one involving  a burnt out pan  heater and the other  just  too damn  cold . Both were  fixed in  a matter of  hours. 

But then  there is my "problem  child "  the waterer  by  the barn, it is old and the  thermostat is  funky (has  been changed  but still) it  heats the  water  too  warm and tends  to over  time  melt t he fittings . I have  a brass  float ball in  it which helps, but apparently it   overheated again  and  caused a slow  leak, the  water  trickles  down and  then  when  the weather  turns  really  cold, bam! frozen  solid. At least  I presume  that is what  happened. I have been  keeping a  close  eye on it and  had  not noticed a leak, but this morning  when I checked it was  frozen and there  was  water inside  the  base (so if it looks  like a  duck and  quacks  like a  duck...) 

So while I did  try to convince  my friend  Deb, that I was  going to just let  the critters  go without and  she  should  call her  coworkers  at the  SPCA  to rat me  out , truth is , thats not who  I am . I started  packing pails  of  water to fill a tank(for the  critters  affected  as it was too  cold  to run  a hose 30 + pails  later  everyone  seemed  satisfied  for the moment , and I jumped in the shower  to head for the  city  for a meeting. While in  town  I grabbed  a  couple of these X hoses  the link  goes  to an  ad that  includes  a video. Thinking  that  in  the  later  warmer  part of the day, I could  fill  a big  tank  and  save  packing  pails . The  good  news is the X hose  works  a treat! Just as  advertised and LIGHT!! Which is  wonderful because after  carrying all  those  pails, and  dragging the  tank  to the back of the barn I was/am  whupped! can  barely  lift  a coffee cup! 
I also shop vac`ed  the water out of the base of the  waterer and had  my  blow dryer in there  most of the day  ,but no success  yet.It is supposed to be  warmer  on  the weekend so hopefully  we  will  get it fixed.Meanwhile  the  critters all  have  water , and I have  wine  so life is good ! 

Also  noticed  while  doing  the  rest of my chores  we have a  few uninvited  guests again.

They  weren't actually  eating the hay, but ...
Time for  Skeeter , deer  dog  extraordinaire to start his  rounds! He  takes  chasing  the deer  away  from  the feed  very seriously and as  soon  as  he  saw them from the truck  he was  bouncing  and singing  his  little  squeaky  " Let me at 'em" song.
That's it  for me for  now , I am DONE  today 
As always my  friends,  stay  safe and warm! 


Unknown said...

Well as long as you have wine...the rest will fall into place!

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh your deer must be short on feed to be eating your hay it is getting that bad here too.
I am impressed at your skills I have to chop ice every morning a job that I used to do with an axe NOW that I am old and well old I use the prongs on the tractor and I am getting pretty good at it. Thank goodness. We could use that warmup pretty soon don't you think?:) Hug B

4RRanch said...

We are lucky here to have developed springs or creeks in all of our fields. They never freeze up. Hope you don't have to water all of the "guests" too.

aurora said...

There always has to be one in the crowd...glad you found a work-a-round & some well deserved wine!! You are a good mom!

Shirley said...

I see new waterers on the horizon this year! I know they are expensive but so worth it.
Good dog Skeeter! Go Git'em!

GoLightly said...

As usual, your description of your day makes me need a nap.

I heard a chickadee cheeping his spring song, I told him to give his little head a shake. But the little guys are rarely wrong.
However, I won't believe that spring will EVER get here, until it actually gets here :)
Rest easy, wonder woman!

Cut-N-Jump said...

We don't often have freezing weather or iced over tubs, instead we have HELL for 6-9 months of the year... I'm not sure about that tradeoff.

Let the wine flow. It's medicinal. Yeah, yeah. That's it. Medicinal. Warming and soothing from the inside out. It's all good.

Willow said...

Ya dragging water buckets around for just 3 horses is hard , I couldn't imagine having to crack ice for a whole here. And with the price of hay these days , glad to hear you have a deer chasing dog lol

C-ingspots said...

You must have had spaghetti arms for sure after 30 buckets! Damn woman!! You deserved that wine...hang in there cuz spring is not far away. Right? :)

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Oh man...I know all too well how miserable bucketing water is....and running hoses when it's cold. I feel for ya for sure. :-(

Weekend-Windup said...

Be safe in the chill climate.
You are doing a good job for the horses to get warm water for them to drink in this chill climate.
Happy Valentine Day!!

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

I don't know, if you can pack rice around the inside of the heater to dry it out, or not, but it worked wonders when I soaked my Ninja Blender right after we bought it! I put it in a pail of rice for a week, and it still worked! I was surprised at how well it worked, (even though I already knew it worked on a phone. lol), but I was impressed. So maybe a few pounds of rice would help? Or would the rice just attract mice?

Hope you don't have any more problems with watering this winter! It's just been entirely too cold! Stay warm!!