The butcher, soup Nazi that he is, is unwilling to butcher the last few pigs. It’s scheduling thing and there’s nothing I can do. (I should add that the guy is really good. He’s good enough that I’m unwilling to go elsewhere. He’s a butchering rock star.)
I’m losing money on the extra feed. The good news is that there are worse problems than having pigs that are “too big”. I just have to be patient; as I’ve said before, the butcher is an important man!
In the meantime old man winter arrived and he was pissed. Sometimes winter arrives with a gentle drifting beautiful snow. Other times the season kicks in the door with a baseball bat and an attitude. This year it’s the latter. It rained, hard and steady, for a few days. Everything turned to a sea of mud. Then the temperature dropped precipitously, the wind turned into a two day long relentless gale, and it snowed (well mostly it just “iced”).
Everything froze up; including me. I was fighting some minor medical issues and spent the four day transition in zombie mode. Something nagged in the back of my head. I was forgetting a task of some import. What was it?
The pig pen turned into a sea of mud. The pigs dug craters in the soup. The craters filled with rain. The puddles turned to ice. Snow drifted over the ice. My usually pastoral scene looked like a war zone. I was forgetting something. The pigs shrugged it off. The duck glared at the ice and blamed me personally.
Two days later I stumbled over the frozen hoses. I water the pigs with hoses that go to a “fountain” that’s a lot like a giant hamster water bottle nozzle. I was forgetting something but not the hoses. I was aware they’d freeze. (They’re “scavenged” hose. If one splits I’ll consider it acceptable losses.)
The pigs had plenty of water. The hoses were toast but I wasn’t worried about that. I was too sick to scoop up the iced hoses but I’d have to do that before the snowplow chewed them up. Was that it?
At sunset my brain caught up with my forgotten task. Have you guessed it?
Hoses get water from somewhere. I’d left the “frost free hydrant” on all summer and now it was winter. Shit!
I hustled for the chicken coop and… DAMMIT! It was froze solid.
Ugh! For those of you who don’t know, a frost free hydrant works even in very cold conditions. When you open the valve there’s a pause while water comes up from way deep; below the frost line. Then, when you turn off the valve, the water drops down with an audible gurgle. This leaves the aboveground part of the pipe evacuated of freezable water.
It’s an ideal system. Unless some dickhead leaves the valve open in freezing weather.
I’d made a rookie mistake. Damn!