As planned, I awoke at gawdawful in the morning today, to sit with the nephews whilst the majority of the FarmFamily made the pilgrimage to the Black Friday sale.
Ok, ok, I was awakened at gawdawful in the morning by Farmmom because I had forgotten to set the alarm on my cell phone. Sue me.
Froze parts that I'm rather fond of on the trip to the Farmbrother and Sister In Law's house, then stretched out on their couch to catch a couple more hours of z's before the munchkins awoke for the day. Or so I thought.
A few minutes into my warm up period I heard a rustling in the other room. Well, along with FB, SIL and the munchkins, there are two cats and a dog living there, so I didn't think too much of it. That is, until I heard something else.
The oldest nephew was awake, and the sleepily annoyed expression on his face told me he'd been being very quiet (just like his mother and father had told him he had to be when he got up before anyone else), but I was supposed to have heard him anyway. Considering his volume at that point was somewhere slightly above that of a mouse tiptoeing across plush carpeting, I thought I was doing good to have understood him at all, personally.
"That would be me."
"What are you doing here?"
"I was trying to sleep."
"But why are you sleeping here??"
At this point I decided that as fun as playing word games with eldest nephew is under normal circumstances, if we continued in this vein he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. Which, of course, meant that I wouldn't be able to either.
"Mom and Dad had to go to Lamar to get some stuff, so I'm staying with you till they get back."
"What did you need, kiddo?"
"Ok, let's get you a drink, then you can go back to sleep."
He stepped back from the edge of the couch and turned to walk to the kitchen, and I realized that while he was big enough to want underwear like his dad's, he wasn't quite big enough to fit the boxer briefs, since they were hanging off of one cheek.
After FB and SIL came home from the war, I migrated back to the Old Homestead and curled up with a good book for several hours. I then realized that I had to make a trip to the horses, since I had left Red shut in the top pen for ease of catching when I had time to ride him again.
See, early this morning, sometime between Eldest Nephew's groggy interrogation and the time I woke up for the day, it snowed about two inches, and then froze.
Red's pen had only a shallow tank, shallow enough to freeze solid. Red's pen also had the hay bale. Snow on the ground, freezing temperatures...
I had to let Red out where he could get to water that didn't resemble the world's largest ice cube, and so that the other horses could get to the hay.
So, I bundled up and went... eventually. See, there's a secret about driving in rural areas in the winter time. If the highways are icy, but the entire world isn't one big bruised tailbone waiting to happen, your best bet for travel is the dirt roads.
That is, as long as they aren't muddy. The moisture will make them slick, but if the temperature is below freezing, and they haven't been churned to muck, they're safer than the highways. Better traction.
By the time I realized that I had to go to the horses, the temperature had risen above freezing, but it was already on it's way back down. So I waited.
Got Red turned out (for which he was eternally grateful, and showed it by farting in my general direction as he ran out of the corrals calling for his buddies) and checked the big water tank... Which they hadn't gotten the tank heater in yet.
So, I had to break ice. Without an axe. Or a hammer.
I was in my car, fer gossake, I didn't have anything bigger than a socket wrench, and my tire iron is collapsible.
So I broke ice with my foot, and Farmmom's Toastytoes Boots.
It worked, and I didn't wind up hip deep in cold, cold water, mostly through luck and excellent traction on the soles of the boots... I had to jump up and down on the ice a few times to get it to crack, then balance on one foot on the edge of the tank (and holding on to the fence) to get it broken up. But I did.
Tomorrow, I'll take an axe.
After that, it was more laziness with the book, and my feet up. Best way to spend a winter day, I just wish there was a fireplace.