Tuesday, February 09, 2010

enough already

Today my heart (and my sympathies) lie with the folks in the DC area where they have been bombarded by snow, snow, snow.

But a little piece of that sympathy lies right here at home with ME. Why? Because I'm not an outdoor kind of girl. BUT, with my DH laid up for a few days (he had scope surgery on his knee yesterday to repair a torn meniscus) that leaves the 'man' chores to me. Let me tell ya. I found out this morning that I'm not much of a man.

Thanks to old man winter (I get it now why it's old MAN winter, not old WOMAN winter) dumping another 8 or so inches of fresh snow on Iowa overnight, my first order of business this morning was to scoop enough snow to get the back door open and get out of the fenced in yard. Forget about getting my car out today. It ain't gonna happen - probably WON'T happen until dear DH is back on his feet again and can get the little Bobcat (Bob - another man name - are we sensing a theme here?) running. Later today, I WILL attempt to wade down to the big garage and get the 4-wheel drive pick-up (and yes, I'm developing a whole new appreciation for pickups - another MAN toy) out to drive into town to get milk.

Okay. I digress. Snow scooped. Check. Now the MAN chores await me. There are 5 hungry horses and a dozen barn cats all wondering why they weren't fed 2 hours ago. Yep. Hubster is generally up around 4:30 (INSANE) and outside taking care of the critters by 5:30. It was 7:30 before I managed to bundle up into my mukluks - (okay, I don't have mukluks so I have to wear a pair of his heavy boots - a whole other story in itself), my heavy coat (and jeez, I forgot what a stocking cap can do to initiate a truly BAD hair day) and begin my long, arduous trek down to the barn. Right. It's only about a 100 yards away but when you're standing knee deep in snow drifts and can barely lift one foot over the other, it seems like a journey of a thousand miles.

To my credit, I only fell twice but by the time I'd trudged around the barnyard, scooping grain, feeding cats, and pitching hay, my red chore coat was decidedly white and my ankles were freezing because there was about three inches of snow packed inside my boots.

Can we say inept? I've got to tell ya. I was not only frozen I was exhausted by the time I bumbled back to the house and my little heart was beating like a kettle drum.

1) Men are great! Especially my DH because he can effortlessly do all sorts of cool things that I don't want to do and do it well.

2) Men are nuts! Especially my DH who has been dealing with this snow (seriously, I walked through snow tunnels that were over my head to get to the barn) since early December all for the love of his horses.

3) Horses are pretty to look at but a LOT of work.

4) I am in lousy shape. I should be forced to go through this very same exercise EVERY morning until I toughen up.

5) As DH recovers, I will BE going through this very same exercise EVERY morning and night for the next several days and I hope I'll toughen up. My secondary goal is to not fall in a snow bank next trip out - which will be tonight. (I see a nap in my future so I can rest up for the big event.)

6) I am spoiled. I take for granted that the DH is going to be out there, shoveling snow, clearing the drive, feeding the critters, making my life easy.

So, in conclusion, hat's off to the men in our lives. Be they hubbies, boyfriends, brothers, sons, fathers, neighbors, or friends.

And to you I ask, have you experienced anything recently that reminds you how much the men in our life do for us? Or are you the self-reliant type (unlike me) but occasionally wish there was a man to help you out of a tight spot?


Terry Odell said...

After 40 years together, we've kind of fallen into the he does, she does rut. He was out of town 4 days last week, and remembering to deal with the little things like taking the trash to the curb and bringing the empties back are trivial but I still like that he's in charge. Plus, as we're selling our house, the inspector gave us a list of "have to fix" items, and we only have to hire out for one.

Plus he's really good at opening the pickle jar.

KylieBrant said...

Not only am I spoiled, I am weak. Really really weak. This in spite of the thrice weekly trips to Curves and Nautilus and time on the tread mill. Add to that a back that finds even bending over too much of a strain at times, I'd be in that house with him calling someone to come do the chores!

And yes, I appreciate the time my honey spends blowing snow. I can count on one hand the number of times I've shoveled, and even that was merely helping. I have no idea how to even start the snow blower, which brings us back to spoiled.

Cindy Gerard said...

Terry - I forgot about the pickle jar!!!

Kylie - like you I have NO clue how to start the snowblower. And after today, I'd kind of like to learn. DH would have someone here in a minute to do the chores if I asked him but I want to do this. I need to know that deep down I'm not a total wuss :o)

Deb said...

Hi, Cindy. (Deb, waving from Victor, just down the road.) My husband is not supposed to shovel because he had a heart attack over a year ago. But, I am lucky because my neighbor uses his snowblower to help me out.
I like winter and snow, but it's the ice that worries me after that ice storm we had 3 years ago.
No school today--like everyone else, so I am enjoying time with my daughter, a book, and some blogs.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Deb. Waving right back!! Wow. I didn't realize you were so close to me. Also didn't realize school was called off. I think it was just late here.
Have fun with the kids!!

Kathleen Eagle said...

It's scary to think about the things I wouldn't know how to do myself, like start the snow blower. Another winter man chore is raking the roof. Clyde does a lot more of that here in MN than he did in ND, where the wind tends to help out. (It can put a drift the size of Bear Butte in front of the door, too.)

I'm concerned about the weeks-long power outage they've had at Cheyenne River Reservation in SD.

Debra Dixon said...


Poor Cindy!

I can so relate to doing the "man chores" while hubby is recovering from knee surgery.

Been there. Done that. But without the snow. :)

Helen Brenna said...

Yes, I know how to start the snowblower. Heck, I even own a pair of mukluks and an Alaskan trapper style hat to boot!

But I will say that since I injured my back last March, I haven't been able to shovel. DS broke his collar bone and can't shovel, so my poor dh has been out there nonstop clearing the sidewalk and driveway. And, I have to admit, it's been heaven!

Christie Ridgway said...

When Surfer Guy went through his back surgeries I learned to do a lot of things myself. However, I've already forgotten some things and it was he who had to get the power washer going even when I was the one using it.

I can't tell you how many times he's shown me where/how to turn off the water and gas (wait, can I do that one?) but heck if it sticks in my head. I need to write all that stuff down, because on occasion he's out of town without me.

So, I'm with you, men are great! And also, I really can't imagine all that you guys have to do dealing with snow. Boggles the mind of this California girl.

Cindy Gerard said...

Kathy - we have a cabin in Northern Mn where the snow, apparently REALLY gets deep and the roof has to be shoveled regularly. Fortunately, we have someone who watches over the cabin for us take care of it.
And I hope the power comes back on at the reservation soon. We were without for 5 days last Feb. it wasn't fun.

Cindy Gerard said...

Deb - this is Tom's second knee surgery - the last one was a total knee replacement and he was laid up for a long time. We scheduled that one for Aug so I didn't have to trudge through snow.
We had hoped we would miss yet another arctic blast for this surgery but it wasn't to be.
I've got to tell ya, just getting to the barn was a major accomplishment. DH is all twisted out of shape just thinking about me going out again tonight. He wants to call the neighbor but I won't let him.
I'm going to do these chores if it kills me. If I miss my next blog date, you'll know it did - either that or I'm still wandering around amid the snow tunnels trying to find my way to the house. Seriously - there are DEEP drifts and tall snow piles. The grandkids would be loving it.

Cindy Gerard said...

Helen - Next year, I'm getting my very own trapper hat. I think it makes a cool fashion statement.

And what's this about a broken collar bone? didn't DS break his arm last year? Gotta get that boy more milk!! :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Christie - here's some advice: remain blissfully boggled. This snow business ain't for the faint of heart :o)
Have a whole new appreciation for the women who pioneered the Midwest and the great plains

Anonymous said...

And just think, about the time that you're used to doing this, you won't have to anymore!

I'm not married so have to do things myself, but really like it when my dad can help me out with some stuff. Of course, I try to help my parents out back. A couple weeks ago, my nephew and I shoveled the deck off for them. I am so glad I don't have a big deck to shovel off!!!

As to the snow thing, I'm in Minnesota and I'm thinking this has got to be enough. . .There is no place else to put it. I know they're already talking about spring flooding.


Cindy Gerard said...

Denise - I totally hear you. When I shoved our deck this morning I thought - Where the heck am i going to put this??
And the paths Tom had cut through the snow to get to the barn - well, like I said, they're already shoulder high and that's AFTER some melting the past 2 weeks. there's just no place to put it.
I hope we start getting some early thaws that take a while for the snow to melt or we're sure to have flooding again here too.

Michele Hauf said...

I am spoiled too. I don't do any of that 'outdoor' maintenance stuff either. And nope, have no idea how to start the snow blower, or where to even find the shovel.

I have to admit though, I watched the hubby blow snow last night for over an hour (he does all the neighbor's driveways) and much as it's hard work, I think it's just plain fun for him, too. He was having a great time building up that wall of snow hugging the driveway. He came in frozen, but with a big smile on his face.

We gotta let our boyz play with their snow toyz. ;-)

Cindy Gerard said...

Michele - you are SO right. Twice today, Tom had thumped into my office on his crutches and begged to go outside. He just can't stand seeing all that snow without his mark on it.

Marcie said...

I have to rely on myself to shovel. Unfortunately the brutal cold triggered my asthma yesterday and when a guy knocked on my door this morning snow-shovel in hand, I really wanted to answer and say 'yes please shovel my driveway.' But I didn't - no cash in the wallet and I doubt he was going to shovel for free. I did go out a couple hours later and taking my time I shoveled. So yeah, today taught me - always keep extra cash lying around, you never know when you might need it to pay a guy to shovel the driveway!

Cindy Gerard said...

Marcie - I dont' even have asthma and I just got back inside from shoveling enough of a path to get out of the yard before I bumbled my way back down to the barn and I'M still winded from pitching hay and wading through those deep snow drifts.
And some how, I have to try to make it look effortless because DH is watching and worrying and insisting that HE can go out and do the chores. Men. they just can't play the invalid. At least mine can't!

jacabur1 said...

Cindy this is a fortuitous post for me as today I actually have something to add in praise of my darling loving helpful DH!!
This last week my Dad's younger sister passed away which meant taking off for a funeral on Friday with my Mom and not coming home until all the family business was taken care of by us while in South Texas area on Monday. We spent 3 days in a motel and my DH spent the time taking care of MY 2 cats and MY Chihuahua for me. I worried because he does not normally even pitch in with the little furry fiends but the babies all did well and when got home he had not even made a mess for me to clean up. I am gratified and happy to say that once again in a pinch a man came through, they just need to be needed sometimes and they will do things for us gladly just like we do things for them!!
This being one shining example of many for my sweetie of almost 30 years!!!!
jackie b central texas

Cindy Gerard said...

Ah, Jackie. that's so sweet. and good on him. He did exactly what he should have done. Helped you out. I figure it goes both ways. Now I'm doing my share to help.
Thanks for posting!!
And I'm sorry about your aunt.

Cindy Gerard said...

PS Jackie - BEAUTIFUL cat!

Betina Krahn said...

I hear you on the usefulness of men! I lived alone for almost nine years after 23 years of living with one of the strongest, most helpful, and amazingly handy men who ever walked the earth. I learned to do alot of things from him and with him. . . which prepared me well for years of Minnesota snows where I was alone and HAD to start the snowblower and get out the shovel or be trapped in the house for weeks. Son's, it turns out, aren't as reliable as husbands for such stuff.

Here in Florida, believe it or not, it's the yard work that's overwhelming. . . everything grows year around (mostly) and you have to mow, cut, trim, rake, replant, weed and such every darned week! At least in Minnesnowta, you get the winter off! LOL!

Cindy, my heart goes out to you-- but you're seeing the brighter side and appreciating the hubby even more. . . so all's well that ends well.

Betina Krahn said...

Arghhhhh! A stray apostrophe landed in that "Sons." Mea culpa, all you grammar grurus out there!


alba said...

ME self reliant hahahahaha
nope not me would not know which end of the shovel to use snick! blush!
My DH get up every morning@ 5am to take me to work it will be earlier tomorrow because there is a lot of snow that came down starting at noon today...
The best is he never complains ever.....
BTW Love the Horses...
Have a good one Ann

Cindy Gerard said...

Betina and Alba - yep. The man he do a lot :o)
Here's an update: i did manage to stumble back to the barn for the evening chores and didn't fall down once! but man, oh, man, is it a winter wonderland down there. HUGE drifts. They'll be worse in the morning. I'm taking a shovel with me when I next head for the barn or I'll be trying to walk over or through 4 foot drifts.
This, however, is the best thing that could have happened to me. My appreciation level is off the charts ... my heart rate, too. I need to get in shape. It's a real wake up call. and provided I can get out of bed in the morning, I'll be getting a good work out again :o)

Linda Henderson said...

My hat is off to you and all your husbands. I'm by myself but I live in an apartment so thank goodness I don't have to deal with all that. I couldn't anyway because of my severa RA. I can count on on hand how many times I've been out of the house since Christmas, 5. It's the pits using a walker in the ice and snow and the cold is a killer on my joints so I've been just staying inside. Thank goodness we haven't had a power outage so at least I have my satellite tv, internet and my books. I may not go out again until spring at this rate.

Cindy Gerard said...

Linda. Big hugs, sweetie. I'd be going stir crazy too! It's been one rough winter. This kind of cold and snow remind me of the winters we used to have when I was a kid.
It was fun then. Snow forts. Ice skating. Snow angels. No school for days and days.
Not so much fun now :o(

Cindy Gerard said...

update: Thought I'd update you on my situation. Wind blew like a witch last night so this morning I actually had to take a shovel to get through hip and waist hi snow drifts to get to the barn. Darn near killed me :o)
Good news though: Wonderful, wonderful neighbor with a big tractor and a snow blade saw that we were snowed in, figured Tom was sick or something and he cleaned out driveway out! Heaven. Stubborn soul that I am, I was going to try to figure out the snowblower this afternoon and now I don't have to.
What a nice guy!!!

Danielle said...

So glad you have such a great neighbor, Cindy! But props to you for getting so much done on your own! :)

I'm definitely the independent type. So much so that my last boyfriend always wanted to help me with things and make things easier on me, sweetheart that he was, and I struggled to even let him! For me, it's harder to let someone help me half the time than it is to do it myself!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Danielle.
Usually I am the independent type too. But this snow was really starting to get me down. It's such hard physical work and I'm a weakling. Made up my mind, though. I'm getting in shape. And if this keeps up, it won't take long.
I'll be shoveling even more snow tonight when I feed the horses and try to open up a bigger path so I won't have to wade through so much snow the rest of the week and so DH won't have to struggle to get through it when he does get up and about. It's killing him that he can't take care of his horses himself. :o)

alba said...

Cindy I cant tell you how much I enjoyed explanation of your trips to the barn.
I so feel for you.
I came to Canada in 75 in 78 we had the worst snow storm ever the whole city shut down, We had power lines down so we could not cook any thing.
My brother -In -Law called said there is a camp stove in the garage get that to cook on.
OK I got the snow suit on big boots dug out the back door to the garage door once I got it open could not be shut.. got the stove NO propane I work an HR/1/2 getting the darn thing & still couldn't cook on it.
so it was PBJ sarnies for lunch and supper for 2 days.....
I so wanted to high tail it back to Scotland freezing high wind I can deal with 3ft to 5ft of snow is another story....

Cindy Gerard said...

Alba. boy do I hear you. We're used to snow here in Iowa but we've had record amounts this year. And trust me - a trek to the barn in this stuff is like negotiating the Arctic only without snow shoes :o0
i just got back in again. 45 minutes to make a trip and do chores that generally take 5 minutes. Again, I'm getting a good workout and i need it!!

GunDiva said...

The best way to get into shape is take care of horses. Add snow shoveling to it and you're going to be in unbelievable shape.

Cindy Gerard said...

Gun Diva - I think you're right. And what doesn't kill me will make me stronger. I just hope this doesn't kill me :o)