This morning I checked my horses' water on the way to work...I've been chopping ice since the cold snap started, what, 10 days ago? Anyway, both containers finally froze solid so I bought another, and then it iced up so there was just a little cone of water in the middle, and to chop the hard ice on the sides is to risk poking holes in the water containers (I've done that many times, thank you). So this morning, I went to check, and sure enough, I was able to chop to the little bit of water, which isn't enough for both horses to drink their fill, and went to use the hose, which though I drain it carefully and religiously managed to get enough water somewhere in it to make it useless. So I put the hose in my rig to thaw and raced to the hardware store to get a bucket and the only buckets they had were these little tiny ones, so I was like okay, I guess I'll use the tiny buckets to fill what space there is available in the big container, and leave the little bucket with water out and that can hold them until tonight, when I'll lug a huge, ice-filled water container into my car, to my house, into the house, to thaw. But the hardware store owner said "you're a good customer, you can have this one" and gave me one of those industrial buckets that things like pickles and macaroni salad come in (he'd used it to mix something in). Thank goodness, he saved my bacon. So I left the big container as it was, knowing the horses would drink it down, and I'd be able to more easily carry it to my car and house, because instead of being completely full of ice, it would only have the ice along the sides and bottoms (inches of it). It worked, I filled up the pickle bucket and the little bucket, and left the big tub...when I got off work they'd drunk all the water, I was able to dump the tub upside down and bounced it and the ice came out, and the pickle bucket gets put aside until the next time. I filled the big tub a little more than halfway, hopefully they'll drink most of it, so I won't have so much ice build up. Winter's a bitch with horses. We're supposed to have freezing rain next. Can't WAIT for that. At least there's a barn for them, they will go in there for that. And the creek will start running, for a while, until it finally freezes and I have to start watering again. The funny thing is the hardware store owner told me when he gave it to me, "I'll let you have this one, but don't tell anyone or I'll get called an asshole." I about died. I wanted to say, oh, never fear, I know I'm considered a much larger asshole than you are in this berg, everyone hates case workers, and 2/3 of the population in this town are on my caseload, but didn't want him to change his mind. Well, boring for everyone but me I'm sure. But it SUCKED this morning. I was late for work, my receptionist was pissed because I didn't call (no cell phone). And the ice is piling up around the horse's water station. I moved the tub further down because otherwise I'm falling on my ass...it's a solid sheet between the faucet and the fence because I turn on the water and take it over there, and it just covers the drive and ices over, and then there's all the ice I pull out of the buckets (by hand, thank you, in zero degree weather) morning and night. The fun never ends. And my house is about 52 degrees. I refuse to buy stove oil because then I have a huge electric bill AND a huge oil bill. I'm going to just get one of those radiators. Right now I'm using my stove and a tiny ceramic heater, and my electric blanket turned up to 10. Which resulted in me oversleeping and waking up feeling like all the blood in my body was about to burst out the top of my head, like an overheated human thermometer.