Dealing with Winter

Early morning after snowfall

I’m finding winter hard.

There are the obvious things.  Chores are more difficult when all the water is frozen every morning and your fingers stick to every metal latch that won’t open while you’re wearing gloves.  You can’t put in fence posts when the ground is frozen.  You’ve got to feed  hay to the goats because there’s nothing left for them to browse.

What’s been harder for me is the waiting and planning.  Planning makes me fret.  We’ve got all of these things we need to get done, and I’m wondering how in the world it can all happen.

We are trying to put a perimeter fence around some of our pastures to keep predators out and our own livestock and guardian dogs safely in.  That was supposed to happen this winter but the medical bills from my appendectomy seem to be preventing it for now.

We are trying to plan and design our Lifestyle Lane simulation, but the more I read about the regulations, the more daunting the expenditures to comply seem to become.  There are some quite specific regulations, even to the point of dictating how far one camper’s head can be from another camper’s head while they are sleeping.  We’ve got to have a single structure capable of holding all campers with a 30 square foot minimum per person.  For us, that mean a minimum of a 5,400 square foot building with a poured concrete floor complete with at least 16 showers, 12 toilets, 4 urinals, and 12 sinks.  There must be 30 foot-candles of light at a height of 18″ off the floor that has built-in drains.  Bunk beds must have a minimum of 27″ from the top of the bottom mattress to the bottom of the top mattress.  I wonder how bunk beds reconcile with the 6 foot distance between heads while sleeping?  Maybe if we arrange the bedding head to toe and measure on the diagonal…

If we want to put a kitchen in the building, the regulations start to make my head spin.  One kitchen would require a minimum of 5 sinks, 7 signs, 3 freezers, 3 refrigerators, 2 non-cooled food storage areas, 8 calibrated thermometers (both independent and mounted on various appliances), a dishwasher with a warning bell in case the detergent is not dispensed, and various implements of food preparation and destruction that may or may not be able to include cast iron, depending upon how you are reading the law.  It’s also unclear whether the kickplates on appliances and counters can be attached with Phillips-head screws or hex screws.  Hmmm…

This is a situation where normally I would go do some physical labor or run around outdoors to make my head quit spinning, but it’s hard to find something that I am able to do right outside right now.  There’s only so many times I can clean the rabbits.

So I make some drawings of structures we want to build, try to imagine building the fences in short sections, and hope we get a grant for some of this.

And I wait for spring.

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3 thoughts on “Dealing with Winter

  1. Mary says:

    Like the new blog format, but also liked the ‘big green’ format you had before. The snow looks lovely, but I’m sure you’re sick of it by now. Hang in there, the mud and planting and fence posting will be here before you know it!

  2. sally ferguson says:

    Good grief –you are making my head spin– I wonder how in the world I survived at Girl Scout camp–life in the 30’s with very few regulations must have made us tougher– my buddy at Camp Redwing and I are still alive at 82.
    A little benign neglect must have served us well. What bureaucrat will be there checking? As I said good grief. Love and and admire you all tremendously. GG

  3. @Mary – Thanks for the format feedback and the encouragement. Maybe the mean green format will make a comeback in future years.

    @GG – The bureaucrat checking us is from the Casey County office of the Kentucky Dept of Health. No benign neglect is permissible any longer – one of the statutes actually says that we have to minimize things that are “splinter hazards.” I can’t wait to see the guy’s face when he sees what we make. 🙂

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