The Latest Conundrum

So the storm is over.  The mud has begun and the roads are horrible.  There is a big Caterpillar front loader down the road from us stuck to it’s axles in the mud, and from what I hear, Nebraska is already flooding severely and they are monitoring the water levels around a nuclear plant. The locals at the cafe were expounding how they have never seen the like;  But thats nothing!  Everything is well for everyone else;  We have GOATS!

Goats like to be up high.  No.  They LOVE to be up high!  Just like mountain goats, they are climbers.  The bucks have the bomb shelter to hop around on; BUT, now there are a whole bunch of new high places to play on!  Snow drifts!  And, of course, the snow drifts have completely buried sections of the fences!

I went out to feed this afternoon and I turned to look, as the boys were calling to me like they usually do, and there they were…. on top of a drift at the edge of the fence line.  I think there is only one reason they didn’t walk over the top, down the other side and off into the big wide world:  Electric fencing.

Because the fence is essentially buried right now, the hot wire is grounded out.  They wouldn’t get shocked if they touched it;  But they do know what it looks like and what it does.  I think it was enough of a deterrent to keep them from stepping over the top and going off into the great wide world.  But wait!  That’s not all!  The same thing is true in the pasture where the girls live!  Not only is this a problem with the goats, turkeys also like to get up high.  Their drift is right next to a tree line (roosts!) and is as tall as I am.  This one buried the fence completely!

Nigerian Dwarf goats come into heat once a month.  So maybe they didn’t escape today, but two of the girls are still due for March and we could look out one day and see out of control Foat Gucking right out in the driveway!  Trust me, they will move mountains and swim oceans to “satisfy” their needs.  Worse than teenagers.

Then… we have two yellow labs!  Bird dogs!  They like chickens and would love to play with the goats!  Sage has already found the entertainment value of running up the drift that could give her access to the chicken run.  There is never a dull moment when it comes to the critters!  As we have also had some trouble with foxes, now the access to the chicken free range pasture is now open to the public.  Chickens, as well as all the other critters, stay put until these things shrink (supposed to be 60 next weekend).

Quick thinking and problem solving needed doing.  We have the ability to separate the big chicken coop into two coops.  So I did it and put the boy goats in that side of the poultry barn (Should have done that during the storm too.  Live and learn).  They now have part of a small barn and half the fenced in run to goof around in.  They will be fine and I won’t have to try to rope two rambunctious goats running down the county road – I’ve already done that with piglets, wouldn’t recommend it.  Because chickens are stoooooopid, the bucks will be sharing the space with one chicken that refused to go over with the rest of the flock.

The girl goats are sequestered in their pen in the barn and the turkeys are in their coop, also closed up.  There will be no free ranging for awhile.  Zina thought we could keep them in their pens until we have a chance to plow out the drift.  Nope.  Its WAY too muddy and because it is warming up, the snow is too heavy.  So until these drifts melt down some, the playgrounds are closed.

Julio and Donovan, the two gray Gurus, just stand there looking at me like I’m a mental deficient.  All they want to do is roam the pasture, but it is a mud hole so they just hang out in the barn.

As if two days of a land based hurricane wasn’t enough; This melting is already a mess and yesterday it was still a storm….. oh ya, there’s a chance of another round next weekend (probably rain this time.. oh joy).

It’s always an adventure.  Golf…. I guess I could sell it all and go play golf.  Nah.  Too many people, my back doesn’t bend that way anymore, and its a game that is almost as stupid as the chickens.


(Above) Boy goats and chicken free range pasture. You can see the bomb shelter in the back (the cinder blocks and railroad ties).


(Above) Girl goats, turkeys, donkeys.

We also have a new neighbor husky dog who’s owners think its ok for their dog to run all over creation.  He/she can get through those trees.  I’ve seen it sitting there drooling over the turkeys.  I’ve warned the neighbors that I’ll shoot it if I see it in the pasture chasing the goats and turkeys (The donkeys would stomp it if it got too close to them).  Now it has a ladder straight into a turkey dinner.  All of my defenses have been breached!!!  Melt, damn it, melt!

Out To Feed. Hope That You Never Have To Bug Out In This!

The wind howled all night.  Thumps and bumps kept us wondering what will need to be fixed.  We can’t tell yet if the snow has stopped and is just blowing around now, or if it’s still coming down.  I posted yesterday that this wasn’t the biggest storm I’ve been through but it is in the top 2.  The biggest was when I lived at 8200 feet back in the 80’s.  The drifts are as tall as me.  I’m 6’1” with my boots on.  Zina is dwarfed by them.  Many of the fences are completely buried as you can see on one of them relative to the T Post.  I took a few pictures this morning until I started to frost bite my fingers.

The snow was pretty wet while it accumulated and the 40 mph winds glazed everything with ice.  I could walk up onto the drifts and then sink as the ice gave way.  It was aerobic work just to get to the barn to feed.

The critters are all fine.  The boy goats took the brunt of it.  The wind swirled around their hut and some came inside.  We gave them a whole bale of hay this morning to both eat and curl up in.  Tank had ice on his fur and Dozer had a frozen hairdo.  Tough tough little buggers.

Tank and Dozer’s struggle through the night gave me Prepper pause. So many blogs about having to leave or “bug out” because of an LCE (Life Changing Event) seem to revolve around the non-winter months.  I’m tellin’ ya, if you had to bug out, or survive in this……. you wouldn’t.  I’ve snow camped before.  Folks would only find a human popsicle with a lot of neat gear.

The girl goats and the donkeys and the turkeys were all sequestered in the barn and are fine.  We discovered where the barn isn’t air tight.  The blizzard found all the cracks.

The chicken coop is completely drifted in and we couldn’t open the door to get eggs.  Once this blows out of here we will go shovel it out.  Fortunately, with the blowing snow, the chicken wire cover didn’t get loaded down.

For all the hassles we went through to get our greenhouse, you won’t hear me complain about it.  It took this wind, drift weight and snow with no issues.

This was one for the JAZ Farm history book.  I guess we are making up for the drought from the past 2 years.  Some of these drifts will be here for weeks.


The greenhouse is still standing!!


It seems we won’t be camping soon.


Those are 5 foot posts.




Nanook of the worrywart clan.


What drought?


Taller than me.  That brown isn’t just the ground.  It is dust encrusted ice.  Very slick.


I don’t think the dogs will be using their huts any time soon!


Living Up To The Hype

So the much ado wasn’t about nothing.  The sustained winds are up around 40 mph.  Fortunately, the gusts really haven’t happened.  It is just a combination of strong winds and LOTS of snow.  That translates into drifts.  Zina just made an attempt to go out to the barn to check on the critters (that you cannot see from the house right now).  The pioneer woman couldn’t get there and got turned back.  Of course the dogs think its a hoot.  So far we have 4 to 6 foot drifts and can only get out of the house via the basement door.  We are told to expect another 7 inches by midnight.  Oh boy!

I can understand completely, how, in generations past,  it was possible to get lost just going out to the outhouse.  You dress like you are wearing a space suit and venture out into the unknown.  It’s a Mars white-scape.  There is about ZERO visibility.  There is nothing left to do now but wait it out.  It’s supposed to be in the 40’s on Friday.  Which, of course, will bring … floods.

My only regret is that I haven’t gotten the new water catchment system hooked up yet.  This storm would have filled the 1000 gallon tank all by itself.  We haven’t lost power; although it wasn’t for lack of trying.   The inter-webs are very slow.  I guess smoke signals don’t travel well in a blizzard.  I canned 22 quarts of roast, weaved a bit, and Zina has been working from home and sorting through boxes as a result of our house consolidations.  This isn’t the biggest I’ve been through, but the drifting and white out conditions have been impressive.



So the blizzard has arrived.  It rained all night to start it all out so the snow is now piling over mud puddles.  Zina closed up everyone in the barn so all should be well.  The little bucks hunker down in a 12 foot hog hut and it has a wind break fence behind them so they are all toasty.  It isn’t exceptionally cold, its just a huge blow.

We are officially cut off from the world.  The highway is closed from Denver to the Kansas state line.  This is expected to last through noon tomorrow.

This storm made the barometric pressure plummet.  That is bad for folks with muscle and joint issues.  I had to take drugs first thing this morning.  I haven’t been this frozen up since surgery.  Mostly all better now.

The inter-tubes and the power are flickering so hopefully this gets posted before it all cuts out and we have to run on batteries.

Bombogenesis:  Native American word for Big Ass Storm.  Then comes the mud….. again.

Might As Well Get Something Done Before Stormaggedon

It’s almost 60 degrees and no wind.  The calm before it all cuts loose.  The weatherdude just gave us a 100% chance of a blizzard tomorrow with over 75 mph gusts.  Evidently, the farther out onto the plains you go, the more snow is to be expected.  So that puts us at a foot or more of wet heavy slop.  We are definitely east/central Colorado.  Unfortunately, because the mountains are expecting up to 2 feet, that means that very soon when spring runnoff starts we are going to have to contend with hail again.  The last wind storm cost us shingles.  All the other buildings have metal roofs…. just not the house.  Figures.

That being said, I finished up the last of the hail guard frames for the raised beds and tried out the screens.  Looks like they will work.  One down and “only” 26 more to go.  This is the part that pokes and scratches.  I’ll just turn up the radio so no one hears my cherub like expressions and colorful chanting.

Tomorrow is a canning and weaving day intermixed with clearing the snow off of the chicken coop netting.  We had it collapse once under the weight.  Lesson learned.