I got all of my feeding and milking done last night well before dark, I had looked forward to coming back into the warm house to thaw out. My DH had to run to town to pick up some corn for my chickens and some prime rib that has been processed into dog food for my dogs or at least that is what I think they make it out of, it may be veal, leg of lamb or New York Strip.
He took too long shopping while in town and it got dark, so he called me and asked me to feed his horses for him. Not a problem or so I thought, but because of the recent 59 degree weather and rain showers, then the drastic drop of temperatures into the low teens, things were not as easy as I had anticipated.
First the side door of the barn was frozen shut. I had to leave the feed buckets full of grain beside the door and went out the front sliding door, came around and put my shoulder into shoving the door open.
I managed to feed the stallion without any problems. Then I came to the second metal gate that leads to the lot where the 2 yr. old, yearling and weanlings get fed. The chain on that gate was frozen to the gate, this slowed me down and was a little hard to get opened. I had to put the buckets down and try to get the chain loose while holding the flashlight.
With this accomplished, I went over to set the bunk feeder up on it's feet because my DH always leaves it on it's side so that water won't collect in it. Of course, it was frozen to the ground and it was a struggle for me to break it loose and set it up.
Next came the third metal gate where the younglings come into the feed lot, the chain on it was frozen too, this one wasn't as bad as the other one, but still aggravating.
I finally arrived at the fourth metal gate that lets the younglings into the lot that contains the feed lot. Is this perfectly clear? Anyway they were waiting impatiently at this gate to be let in for their grain. They were huffing, puffing and pushing, but the problem here was a busted metal gate that was tied together with a doubled piece of rope in a fancy knot.
Now this knot had been rained upon then frozen solid, I tried and tried, but it is very difficult to untie a fancy frozen knot with cold ungloved hands while trying to hold a metal flashlight in your mouth. I finally realized that it wasn't going to happen. My face and fingers were nearly frostbitten, so I started for the house to get some pliers and a screwdriver to pry the fancy knot loose.
As I arrived at the house I remembered the one thing that I had asked for for Christmas, a Headlight! You know, one of those lights that miners and coon hunters wear on their heads.
I knew it was in the big Christmas box of gifts waiting to be wrapped. So I tore into the box, found my lonely Christmas gift and started the long process of getting it out of the impossible packaging. I ripped and cut my way in with a steak knife, put the batteries in it and strapped in on my head.
Oh, my! I love this thing, it is an Energizer, Trailfinder Series, 1 Watt, LED Headlight. We got it at Walmart, so it was made in China but it has a Lifetime Guarantee. The button switch on top is a little small and hard to use but it has three different light settings and it tilts to aim where you need it. The main spotlight setting is really bright and lights up a wide area.
I took my pliers and screwdriver and managed to work the fancy knot loose, got the gate open and the horses were saved from starvation, all because of this really handy little headlight. I don't know how long it will last or how fast that it will go through batteries but my DH had to try it out when he got home and he wants one of his own.