Friday, February 28, 2020

february passing

This has been a February with all the bells and whistles.
Cold, grim, freezing rain, ice, snow, sleet.

An occasional clear day.
Then back to bitter cold, strong winds, more precipitation.

And always - always! - the ice.

At the end of December I bought an inexpensive pair of boots
to keep my ice cleats on, "in case" they would be needed.
But I felt so uncomfortable about buying boots made in China
that I returned them without even taking them out of the box.
Actually, the box never even made it out of my truck - 
it went straight back to the store the next day.

I called my logger boots back into service as "designated cleated boots"
and my gosh, have they seen a lot of wear this past month!

Absolutely everything has been covered in ice.
Without cleats, I couldn't have carried hay to the paddocks or water buckets to the barns. I have been thankful for those boots every single day in February.

Also thankful for my new barn coat.

I've been reluctantly trying to replace my old barn coat for a couple of years. It was a great old coat. It was purchased when I was about to start doing Continuous Forest Inventory plots in the winter of 2000-2001, and almost 20 years later still had remnants of tree-marking paint on it here and there.

I wore this coat day in day out for years, and as garments go, it was like an old and trusty friend. It accumulated rips from getting caught on fencing or nails - and saving my skin from the same. The insulated lining was worn into tatters. Over time both big pockets had holes chewed into their bottoms and their top seams torn by goats seeking carrot pennies or peanuts.

So I watched eBay and Etsy, and checked thrift shops every time I had the chance. Last year I bought what looked like an acceptable replacement at the Hospice Shop but soon discovered my "bargain" was very badly constructed. I salvaged fabric and buttons for future sewing projects and vowed to keep looking, be patient, and only buy exactly what I wanted next time.

My persnickety determination to find a particular (goat-baffling pocket design non-negotiable), long-discontinued model of a high-quality, low-mileage barn coat at a reasonable price was at last rewarded with a coat from eBay that looked like it had just come from the original shop. It may have been hanging in someone's closet, unworn, for years. I'm still breaking it in. This coat may outlast me.

So despite the weather and the need to fill the woodbox every other day, February has passed - almost! one more day! fingers remain crossed! - without causing great difficulty. Just to be on the safe side, I may spend tomorrow a bit like this: