Like many other places we’ve been having some unseasonably cold and unpredictable weather. As a SoCal (southern California… aka someone raised to believe that “normal” weather is 85 and sunny) girl, I have to remind myself that the rain and snow are good, and that we need them to maintain and create the beautiful greenery around us. Not to mention the fact that we subsist off of well water and if that runs dry… This recent cold snap with snow has turned everything a brittle white. You don’t sink into fluffy snow, but instead break through icy snow leaving a wake of crisp foot falls on the way to the wood shed. This also means that for the first time in years (so we were told), the pond at the farm has frozen solid.
What better way to celebrate such cold weather? Why, yes, a hotdog roast and skate-fest down in the sheep pasture. Ever since one of the new lambs almost froze to death by the frozen pond, the Farmer-Landlord has closed this pasture off to the sheep until things warm up a bit. Don’t fret, the lamb is now healthy and happy.
The day before the hotdog roast we could see the Farmer-Landlord and his family down by the pond with a snow shovel and ice skates zamboni-ing (scraping off the ice) the pond. Then the day of the roast, after Little Man’s nap, we headed down the hill towards the party.
There was a fire pit for roasting the hot dogs, a table with a propane burner for a vat of delicious hot chocolate, and lots of other munchies. There was also the frozen pond. I’ve never been on a frozen pond before, and luckily this one wasn’t too slick. My poor, misused Uggs will not survive this winter, but they did just fine keeping me upright on the ice.
I don’t know if you can make it out in this shot (check out the top image of the post and you might be able to see it better), but Dave even caught one of the skaters texting while enjoying the ice. 🙂
This was Little Man’s inaugural experience with hockey, and I’m glad to say that he emerged with all of his teeth intact and no spills. In the above picture he’s getting his first “lesson” in hockey, namely how to hold the stick with awkwardly fluffy gloves. His second lesson would come quickly as he learned that the farm dog likes to eat the pucks, so the goal is less to pass the puck to your friend, and more to keep it away from the dog. The dog usually won.
Here’s Little Man and his buddy playing hockey. They actually did a great job passing the puck back and forth to each other, until the dog stole the puck that is. This is also where we learned of the importance of having an ice helmet for him. Little Man has inherited my grace, which means that we’re both lucky that neither one of us fell and dragged the other one down.
Always the innovator, Dave went to get Little Man’s bike helmet and saved the day. Little Man is completely enthralled with the Farmer’s Daughter, and is the happiest when we’re all outside playing together… or even better when she babysits. Here the Farmer’s Daughter is giving Little Man a tour of the ice. When they got to the far side of the pond, Little Man decided he was done with the ice and started hiking off over the snow. When Dave caught up with him, there was a slight disagreement since Little Man had decided he was going to walk to the snow covered mountain in the distance. I’m not exactly sure how a peace accord was reached, but shortly thereafter Little Man appeared at my side asking for some hot chocolate and his Pooh Bear.
We didn’t last long at the pond after that, but it was nice to be outside again, and to play (even if ever so briefly) on the frozen pond. It likely won’t happen again this season, and this morning (only a couple of days after the hot dog roast) the pond is mostly melted and the pasture is flooded with rain waters. Not a nice hot dog roast site now, but the geese seem to prefer it this way. But the evening of the hot dog roast, the snow was still on the ground, crunchy as ever. Since we didn’t get to stay long at the roast, we hadn’t eaten our fill of hot dogs. So Dave grilled some delicious pork chops (sourced from the farm we live on, of course) out in the snow. If you can read his mind from this photo, you have to know he’s only missing a beer.