It's even colder now. I mean, seriously, you have to be careful just breathing outside! The air is so cold it feels like it freezes your lungs. We can't step outside for even a minute without our faces covered. It hurts so bad. I don't know how the animals are handling it. They all seem to be fine though. The dogs still enjoy romping in the snow in the afternoons too. People are wimps.
We haven't been out much. No visiting. I hope everyone else is doing ok. If not, they'll have to come here, cause we aren't going there!
On a positive note, the fishing should be good if we get a rise in temp. The lakes should be well frozen over. The Bigs are rather excited to get out ice fishing, and have spent the last few days finding and packing supplies. Normally they would go to a friend's ice hut, but that's too far to walk now, and no telling if there are even any huts out on the lake. They packed a small tent that they hope will work as a bit of a wind break. I think if it's windy the tent will just blow away. They've got blow up cushions for seats, blankets, and candles, along with all of the fishing gear. The hard part will be breaking through the ice. We're going to try one of the lakes along the highway, where hopefully others will have been out cutting holes already, rather than the small lakes behind us which are likely to be solid. But not until it gets a little warmer...
In the meantime, I've been taking advantage of the extra labour in the house. We've sorted through everyone's closet and removed worn out, damaged, and no longer fitting clothes. Anything that didn't get hand me downed has been added to my material stash. I'm slowly getting old blankets recovered, ready for a few more years use. Buttons and zippers are carefully removed and stored. Seams from old jeans are cut and saved for garden ties. Nothing can be wasted now.
The Bigs did a cobweb sweep of the basement. It was starting to feel so creepy, with the dim light from the candles and the cobwebs seemingly everywhere. I hate spiders.
We sorted and tidied the cold room. It's a little emptier than I had thought, but we're still doing ok. We'll make it through winter anyway. The last pumpkin was starting to turn, so it's on cooking now.
We're on our last bag of rice. That's going to change things drastically. Rice is one of the key ingredients for doggy stew, as well as our current chicken feed. We haven't been eating as much of it this winter, but even with cutting back and extra meat for the dogs- this is it. I don't know what we're going to feed them without it either. I don't have much oatmeal or flour. They might have to go on a mostly meat diet. We might have to think about reducing the number of dogs too.
Rice is irreplaceable. I can't grow it in the garden. There is wild rice along some of the lakes, but not nearly enough to harvest and store for next winter. I only have a bit of wheat seed, not enough for a crop, just enough to grow for more seed. Peas are the only thing I can think of that will grow in sufficient quantity and provide that same filling consistency. I wonder what the dogs will think of that. Pea soup.
We're down to our last two bales of hay. Husband is hoping for a break in the weather- then he'll try taking the sleigh down the back roads and hopefully find someone to trade with. We're hoping we don't have to go to the Hutterite village. That would be a long cold ride. We'll need at least another 15 bales to make it through the winter. Then we'll need to do some serious fencing in the spring. I've been trying to get more fences up for years now, but it never seems to happen. This year we'll have to make it a priority.
There are so many things to make priorities this year; fences, gardens, foraging, fishing, firewood, hay. At least everyone will be home to help. There will be many long days of hard work ahead.