The horses each get a glug of this stuff with their evening feed. It slows down on the way out of the jug at the freezing point. At about -5C it becomes kind of like a yellow cloudy goo. At -10C it's getting difficult to pour it over the horse feed. By the time we're at -15C it's like rubber, which in a way is easier, because I just pour it into the cap -- sloooowwwwly --and tap that onto the edge of the feed pan. Blup. There ya go. However then I have to stir it up so the arthritis medication sticks to the feed...
It's got molasses mixed into it. Need I say more?
VITAMIN E OINTMENT
I need this stuff. My hands are red and raw from the cold. My skin actually splits open like paper cuts in this cold. So I'd like to rub some Vitamin E on my ravaged skin. I squeeze the tube, as hard as I can, and a cold clear chunk reluctantly expels forth. Luckily it warms up faster than I do.
INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH MOISTURIZING CREAM
I guess setting the jar on the windowsill didn't help much, right beside the frosty glass. The stuff wasn't quite warmed up yet but I slathered it on my rough heels and jammed my socks on. A few seconds later when every step felt squishy, I closed my eyes and shivered and then headed up to bed.
There's a bucket of it on the kitchen counter. I'm not kidding - a plastic bucket with a snap on lid. Normally you just stick a spoon in there and scoop up a nice amount, spin the spoon to keep it from dripping everywhere, and plop it into your tea. Today, it's more like molasses.
I don't really see much point in keeping it in a butter dish on the counter at this point. You have to shave it off with a table knife to spread it on your toast. Fridge, table, countertop... not much difference.
C'mon, you knew this was coming. It doesn't squish in this weather. It freezes to the cement floor of the open shed. It freezes into oblong balls. You'll turn an ankle if you step on them the wrong way. They make a THUNK when you fling it into the empty wheelbarrow. There is one positive aspect to this: it doesn't smell when it's frozen!!
Well duh. I have a trough heater, which is a life saver. I have to skim it with an old pool skimmer every day but at least it's not frozen over. Just around the edges where the heater can't quite reach. But if the horses go into their stalls for the night I have to fill a water bucket for each of them. Then the next day I have to chip out the ice and stray bits of hay. Here's the thing - when it's this cold I put them in at night (see reference to cement floor in open shed, above) and when it's this cold, those buckets will freeze. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Yeah those straps and things get real stiff but you know what? If my face is going to freeze in twenty minutes, I'm not riding. Sorry. I'm just not.
My nose runs when the temperature drops. I don't quite understand this. It's like something inside my head has melted and is dripping out but that makes no sense when it's this cold. Yet there I am, wiping the snot drips off my upper lip. I've taken to carrying a "hankie" in my pocket. They're really legit classic hick handkerchiefs: red with a grid of white dots. But this week, down around -17C, the snot just freezes before it has a chance to drip. Convenient, sure, but really just another source of unpleasantness.
MY SON'S WINTER COAT
It crackles. I don't know what's going on there. The air is so cold, the coat crackles.
You know why I really shouldn't whine about all of this? I have horses. I have to go out and take care of them, even when it's so cold my face goes numb. Lucky me. I live in a house. As opposed to a camper or a tent or a cardboard box. Even if this drafty old farmhouse struggles to keep any heat inside. Quit bragging, eh?