What the heck is thunder snow??
When i woke up this morning, around 7:30, and visited the little girl’s room, I glanced out the window before heading back to my warm bed and I was compuzzled. Was that snow out in the north yard? No…. it was WATER!!! We were flooding.
Oh my! Well, I rushed to the kitchen and took a gander out the back window and I realized that we were under siege by some creepy dark brown water that was slowly surrounding the house. And worse of it all, Cody’s barn was under water!
Oh crap. This was TOTALLY not how I had planned my day! Not at all. My day was supposed to be get up, shower, check email and such, go to town, stop at Julia’s then get the girls, go to Toledo, take Maggie to the dentist (that we cancelled from last week) meet my buddy Rob, go to the storage unit with the girls, meet Steve, load up Blue and his new truck, stop at Lowes for primer and paint for the living room, come home, unload and then paint in the evening.
Needless to say, I pretty much accomplished none of the above, not even the shower! Haha… Seeing all the water, knowing that Cody was standing in at least 6 inches of cold water, and seeing that the sheep shack was close to becoming an island, I went and got the troops ready for combat. Waking up my two dear daughters, whom had been playing their new video game till nearly 2:30 the night before and were quite possibly going to be uber grumps, I threw on my farm grubbies and boots and we got a plan together.
Thankfully, I have the most wonderful young ladies as children, and they know when it’s okay to be sleep grumps and when it’s time to act. They were ready and getting geared up as best as they could within a half hour of the call. It was SUPER apparent that we were not prepared for WATER… we have good farm boots for snow and muck, but they are lace up and I knew they would not last long as the water seeped in. Only Maggie, bless her soul, was ready with her 25 cent fireman boots that she bought at a yard sale and we all snickered… well, she was our saviour, or should I say Cody pony’s best friend! She could make it out there in those huge goofy but dry boots and save our little equine!
She was a good kid and did as I said, walked close to the barn so she wouldn’t slip into the little creek where the water was rushing. I also gave her instructions on how to get him out, that he needed to be his own boss and to stay out of his way after letting him out. I didn’t want her to get tangled up in his possible panic. She got to the barn, and unhooked his gate, and he was a good boy and waited for her to get out the way. She said he was a little concerned, shaking his head and all, whinnying a bit, but he calmed down when he saw she was trying to help him. He was in almost a foot of water! Poor baby!
Maggie got out and back to the side of barn, calling him, but he was very hesitant to come out into the high water. Being that he’s only about 3 feet tall, a foot of water is up past his elbows and he was not too sure about it all. But Maggie said he finally decided he’d better follow Maggie and started to carefully come after her, and at one point he had his head right up against her back! He was pretty sure she knew what she was doing and he was pretty comfy with her being in command!
We got him to the courtyard and dry land and began to make him a spot in the garage. We had a couple hay bales in there, so we spread some out on the gravel floor and shoved a bunch of stuff around to give him a nice dry space. And then we went after the sheepies!
The sheep paddock was getting soggy and puddles were forming. Within an hour it was submerged. The sheepies were bleating and calling to us from the doorway of their shack. Still dry, but quickly becoming an island. We left them for a bit and went to check the big barn and all the chickens. I had a plan to take the sheep and lock them up in the feed room, but we had to make it ready for them. Clean it up a bit and lock up anything they might get into. The chickens were all pretty much inside, except for a few ladies that were out trying to brave the rain and the puddles. Wet hens are pretty funny to watch, trying to shake and puff up to keep the cold off. We filled up their feeder big and full, and found the barn to be nice and dry. Maggie checked all around it and the highest water was on the south side, about 10 or 12 feet from the barn, so it seemed it would be dry for a while longer. We quickly got the feed room ready. Jessy came out to help with the sheep transfer and to man the paddock gate.
I caught and carried the lambs, one at a time out of the sheep paddock and back to the barn. It would have been super easy to just herd them back there, but there are no fences back there and I just did not want to risk having to chase sheep all over in the rain and flooded waters. So one by one, we caught and carried them through the flooding puddles. By the time I had the three lambs trotted back, the paddock was under water. Miss Julia arrived to see what she might do… thankfully, they are on higher ground and though they had some good mini lakes in the yard and near the drive, they were doing pretty good.
Maggie and I both had to carry the yearlings, as they were frightened and much heavier. I got a hold of the front and Maggie got the back end! I do say, I had the better deal as scared ewes tend to scatter little poo raisins all about! But Maggie is made of sterner stuff and was just worried about her little sheepie friends. Thank goodness it was only about 20 feet back to the feed room.
The little coop was fine, and we filled up their feeder and gave them a good pep talk to stay outta the rain and keep practicing their egg laying! The silly little pullets… they have been doing a good job of laying eggs, however, their placement judgement has been a little outta whack as they leave them laying all about the coop floor. They have two lovely nest boxes and we have two fake eggs in there to help them learn. We put all their new eggs up in there to help them get the hang of it! One on the floor had been stepped on, thus is the fate of eggs laid all willy nilly around the coop! I hope they took our advice!
Well, we were all soaked to the skin, and our feet wet. That is not a good thing when it is 35 degrees out. With everyone safe for the moment, and only Jack missing from role call, we decided he was probably holed up in a barn and safe, and that we needed more solid rain gear to keep working. So off to Tractor Supply we went!
It was kind of funny… we were hardly the only ones there looking at rubber calf high muck boots and waterproof gloves! In fact, the selection was just a wee bit picked over. But thankfully, we all have big feet and so we had both womens and mens boots to pick over. Maggie found a nice solid green basic pair that she liked. Jessy got some cool polka dot ones with a black background and colored dots! Me? I found some magenta colored ones with roosters all over it!!! Yeah! We stocked up on duct tape and a bag of sheep feed (in case we couldn’t get hay back there easily, a bucket of feed was much easier and might stick with them a little longer…) an extra heat lamp bulb in case we blew one out and some more wood pellets for the stove. After that, we grabbed lunch at Burger King, because, well, fast food is a treat anymore and we were HUNGRY! haha… And then we stopped and filled up the kerosene jug and got pop. You know, important things…
Driving home, we learned that the whole county is under water… there were a few roads that will be unpassible in no time. All the creeks and rivers are swollen and high… the St. Joseph is at 16 feet and still rising. Many homes we saw were islands… water all around them! Fields were huge lakes of water. And more was coming down.
This is a creek about 3 miles from the house. It’s normally about oh, 2 feet across. Right now? It’s the mighty Mississippi! It’s right up against the bridge, in fact, you really can’t see the little road bridge. And yes… that is SNOW…. around 3 PM the rain stopped and turned into slushy snow. We are expected to get 3 to 5 inches of the stuff over night. I really don’t plan on going anywhere tomorrow until afternoon. We need to go and get some dry hay, the last two bales we had got all wet. We gave them to Cody and the sheep anyway and they ate them greedily. They had ONLY just gotten wet, so I don’t think they will mind too much. No mold or anything yet. Just a little damp around the edges. Thankfully our hay guy is only about 5 miles away. We were already planning to go on Wednesday, I just hope that it’s not a total yucky ordeal. We’ll probably just get a car load for right now, 5 bales will last us nearly a week.
I believe in being prepared, not scared and so we parked Blue way up near the road and on the highest part of the driveway. She’s ready in case we need to move her. It’s actually worse across the street, and the water is creeping up to the road. Down near the south side of our frontage is high and dry, so that’s where we would move her initially if the driveway flooded out. Since it’s just dirt and grass, I really don’t want her stuck in the mud and eventual ice. Cody is in the garage for now, but if it goes under, we’ll have to move him back with the chickens and the sheep. He’ll just have to deal with it.
There are a few places where it looked like it was going down a bit, yet, others that seemed a bit higher. Guess that is the nature of the beast. We’ve gotten over 1 and half inches of rainfall in less than 18 hours and another half inch of snow. It’s still snowing outside, so I suppose we will wake to a winter wonderland. Tomorrow the temps are to drop well below freezing, and I am certain that will lend itself to more issues, but we’ll deal with those as they come. We’ve got the place all nice and warm with the heaters and as long as we can keep the power on, we’re good to go. It’s a little worrisome, trying to sleep and you keep listening to the sump pump coming on like the house’s heartbeat. We have a little water in the basement, just damp puddles, so I know it’s working overtime. I believe that as soon as we are able, we will be investing in a battery backup pump. I believe that would be a good thing, here in the land of the low priority electrical service! (haha…. we lost power for a moment while we were at TSC… that was a dreadful feeling, but thankfully, it came right back up…)
One nice thing about being close to the road… is that it’s not too far to shovel and get outta Dodge when you want to! Maggie dug out our snow shovels and I got a bag of salt at the dollar store with our pop stash. Just have a little area to keep shoveled. Of course, making a path out to the big barn will be fun… but I’m just going to not think about that at the moment.
Oh yes…. we did find Jack! Nobody worry! He had jumped into the trash shed through the window when the waters were rising and had gotten trapped in there. The girls searched all over the farm through the waters and checking all the buildings until they found him in the last spot… sitting up on a couple trash bags. I guess he figured he would have food for awhile. But he was sure happy to see the girls and was a big bawling baby as they carried his little farm kitty butt into the screen porch and then into the big house. He is STILL inside, which is something amazing for him. In fact, all the kitties came in and most are laying on the kitchen rug around the kerosene heater. They know where it’s nice and toasty warm.
Well, that’s the story of my non-planned day! Going to go and try and get a little more sleep now… my warm bed is calling me. See you all in the morning… hope you are all safe and dry and warm wherever you are!!! Keep us in your good thoughts and prayers!!! We’re doing okay, but could use a little sunshine and a little mopping up for sure!