Friday, February 6, 2015

Snow Maiden

I had every intention of giving you a nice update about my latest rides on Maggie, really I did. But you see, there have not been any rides thanks to - you guessed it - snow. At least that's what I'm going to blame it on, though there's certainly a little inkling of laziness with a pinch of grumpiness tossed in there.

So let me give you an idea of what the past two weeks have been like. And yes, I would like some cheese with this whine.

Last Tuesday was the epic blizzard of all blizzards which gave me the day off work because the governor shut down the city's public transit system. Wednesday I was out of luck too and waited at the train station for two hours for a no-show train, before I got a message from my boss telling me to just go home (which I happily did. I actually went to the barn and trotted around bareback for a bit first though.)

Thursday and Friday I went to work as normal, and then I think I went to the gym both days in the evening...or maybe just Friday. Whatever. No riding because I wasn't ambitious enough to shovel out the path to the indoor arena on Wednesday or after work on Thursday or Friday. 

On Saturday I grocery shopped at like 9:30 am which was a little weird, but 1.) we were out of coffee, and 2.) It was Super Bowl weekend so everyone and their mother would be out shopping later. When I got home I plopped myself in a chair and watched both the stadium jumping and XC phases of the Wellington Eventing Showcase and dreamed about riding under palm trees instead of snow-laden pines.

The view out my window as I watched the Welly Eventing live stream.
I had to go back to reality at some point and get outside and take care of my own pony, though. So I went to the barn Saturday afternoon and I wore breeches just in case I decided to ride (spoiler alert: didn't happen.) Instead, I had to do the worst of all winter chores.

I alluded to said terrible chore by posting this picture on Wednesday:

Some of you knew what it was and commiserated with me, but for those of you that didn't know: it's a roof rake. When there is a large accumulation of snow on roofs there's a danger of it getting too heavy and collapsing the roof. In 2011 we had a big storm that was all heavy wet snow and we did actually have a beam crack under the pressure, which we replaced with the help of one of the particularly handy horse husbands associated with our barn group. In that same storm part of the roof of the elementary school in a neighboring town collapsed - fortunately, no kids were inside because school had been cancelled already. Very scary nonetheless. So that's why you see fewer flat roofs in the north, kids. Because snow.

To avoid having your roof collapse, you rake off the snow using a very long pole with essentially a hoe on the end. Let me tell you, roof raking is the most delightful of winter chores. ESPECIALLY, on a windy day. (That was a lie.) Saturday I spent about an hour raking the portion of the roof above Maggie's stall and honestly, I did kind of a half-assed job of it but I got a good amount off. Adding insult to injury, when you're done raking the roof you then have to shovel again. I did not end up riding on Saturday. 

On Sunday, I told myself that I HAD to ride my poor horse. But I was still to lazy to shovel the path to the indoor...such problems. Sigh. So I rode bareback and with a halter again. And by riding I mean I just kind of sat on my horse and we walked around the snowy grass paddock. I was in kind of a crabby mood Sunday so I asked Maggie for just one little canter around the paddock, which she obliged to, and that made me smile. Seriously, there's nothing like cantering bareback. One of the best feelings ever. But then Maggie was all like, "Mom, this so boring. Can't I just go eat my lunch hay?" And I was like, "Oh, fine."

"I eat boot. Nom"
I then went to take care of Zipper and Billy and then after that I watched the Super Bowl with my husband and I believe that was the first time I have ever watched a football game from start to finish. I REALLY don't care about football. I mean, I'm from Boston and the Patriots won and I'm still all 'meh.' Give me my soccer and hockey and get off my commuter rail train, you rowdy football fans. Srsly.

I knew it was forecasted to snow again on Monday, but after last Tuesday I thought, "Eh, at least it won't be that bad." Wrong. It turned out to be an additional foot and half of snow. Boston had now had a record 40" fall in less than 10 days. And this time MIT (where I work) stayed open and the MBTA (public transit) stayed running (or at least was mildly functional at best). For once they underestimated a storm instead of hyping it up like crazy - who would have thought? So I went to work, had an ok day, and then a crappy commute. But the slow/ delayed train was the least of my worries when I finally got off and discovered that my truck had been plowed in.

I have a GMC Sierra - which isn't the biggest truck out there, but it's certainly not a tiny car - and the snow was up past the front bumper. Maybe I could have gunned it out, but I really didn't feel like taking the chance and getting stuck. However, I had given the little shovel that usually lives in the bed of my truck to my husband last week. I was lamenting this to some friends via text, and one of them reminded me that I also keep a pitchfork in the bed of my truck for when I'm trailering the horses. And thus, I dug out my truck with a pitchfork. Took me about 20 minutes but worked surprisingly well.

Boom. Owned.
Then it was off to the barn to check on the horses, who were surely snowed in again. I found out ahead of time through my friends that the barn owner hadn't plowed all day and when she called him and asked him to please plow he said he wasn't going to until after the snow stopped. Bull. Shit. That made me completely lived. One of our other barn members had dug out her car and driven to the barn only to have to turn around because she couldn't get into the driveway (and there was no room to park on the side of he road thanks to the snow banks.) So it was up to me and a different barn member to make it there to shovel each horse a path out to their water again plus muck stalls and feed.

I'm really frustrated with this barn owner right addition to not plowing during Monday's storm (and he did a fine job the week prior) he's messed up two feedings within the past couple weeks (one of which was during Maggie's colic episode and he FED HER when I had told him not to) because he can't follow simple directions. Very frustrating. So yeah, Monday was an absolute joy.

Tuesday the trains were still all kinds of messed up and I didn't feel like going to the barn. Did not ride, went to the gym instead.

Wednesday I actually had a relatively normal commute on the way home, but I still did not feel like going to the barn or riding. I went to the gym instead.

Thursday I had to go to the barn for my chore night, so I got that done and then went to the gym. Sensing a pattern here?

The owner of the barn and indoor next door did text me though to say that she hasn't forgotten about me and she has asked a friend with a snowblower to come and clear a path for me, so that's really nice. I had also already given her a check for the month of February for the indoor rental, but she said she won't cash it until she clears me a path.

This pic was taken by a barn friend/fellow boarder yesterday. That is the top rail of the 3-rail split-rail fence.
Hopefully this weekend I might actually work my horse, though I don't think she's been complaining about having the week off. She seems to be enjoy plowing around in her paddock (walking through snow is kind fo like working?) And just to kick all of us Bostonians while we're down, there's another big storm forecasted for Saturday evening through Tuesday morning. Yeah, two whole days of snow. Just dandy.

Also, earlier this week I stopped at the liqour store on my way home from the gym to get some "supplies" and I happened across some sake. My husband lived in Japan for four years and likes it, and I thought would be nice to get him some, so I got this:

I thought the name was appropriate.


  1. I'm a big fan of snow but this is getting to be a lot of fricken snow. I've come to the conclusion that February is really just a wash as far as work goes, and I'll be picking things back up in March.

    1. That sounds like a really good plan...I might follow suit if I don't get out of this funk :/

  2. love that sake name - so appropriate! but yea, i am really feelin for ya, all that snow is intense.... good luck making it through ok - and at least Maggie doesn't look like she's gone completely feral yet?

    1. Lol she actually used to be practically feral before the MSPCA picked her up - so at least she knows how to deal!

  3. We're living the same existance right now. I am in the same place you are (mentally AND geographically). It's gotta end sometime, right???

    1. Dear lord I hope gods have mercy!!!

      Where are you from?? (If you don't mind my asking) just checked out your blog and I couldn't find it. But yay for a new blog to follow and someone to commiserate with!!!

    2. I'm in Southeastern Mass - I live about 15 min from Foxboro (Go Pats)!!! So tired of the snow!!!

    3. Nice! I'm up on the north shore. If you ever were trailering up this way for whatever reason I'd be happy to take you for a ride on Crane Beach in ipswich so you can tick off one of your 2015 goals!

  4. I'm so glad my self-care barn doesn't get snow. No part of that looks fun. Although I do miss riding in the snow.

    1. The snow riding is definitely fun...everything else, not so much