The wind is blowing pretty hard from the wrong direction tonight. The absolute wrong direction. It NEVER blows from the southeast! But right now it is, and of course my goat sheds all have their doors facing away from the prevailing wind. Which means all the shelters now have mini hurricanes blowing around inside them. Add to that the fact that our ground is mushy wet from two feet of snow that fell last Tuesday and there’s not much keeping these igloos from winging off over the edge of our hillside. And that’s just precisely what happened half an hour ago.
I’d just stepped out of the shower when I heard Phil banging around on the basement patio. “What in the world is he doing out there at this time of night in a wind storm? Is one of the goats sick?”
I hurried out to the porch and saw him moving around the doe pen with a headlamp, and I could see only one goat shelter. In the dimness beyond the glow of the porch lights I could make out a large white object leaning drunkenly against the bushes with both of my horses eagerly pawing and sniffing at it. Ever since we’ve moved here, if something blows away we look for it in the front pasture. This shed was in the back pasture and in grave danger of rolling to the bottom of a long, steep hill if we didn’t recover it quickly. A short stand of scrub oak was all that held it in place. Quickly I ran back into the house and put my wet hair up under a clean tie-dye hat–the one that has a string to keep it on my head in a wind storm (groovy!). My favorite Darth Vader pajamas look amazing, but they are a bit thin for the wind chill and I didn’t want to risk tearing them on something out there. So I slapped a pair of snow pants and a barn jacket over top, put my rubber muck boots on, and donned a pair of worn out leather gloves so I could help Phil move the goat shed up to the house. Phil only found two of the spikes that held the shed down, so there was no hope of putting it back in the doe pen tonight. He put those spikes into the remaining shed in hopes of battening it down enough to survive the night. The five girls won’t share one shed, but at least it’s a warm night even if it’s windy.
The first order of business was to get the horses out of there. Jet followed me happily up the hill into the corral, but Phil had to grab Skokie by the mane and escort him along. I guess he wanted to stay and help. But one thing I’ve learned over the years is that horses (like goats) are generally not helpful for most projects. As I was walking back toward the wayward shed after locking the horses up, I noticed a peculiar movement in my shadow that was cast by the glowing porch lights. It was my Darth Vader cape! I realized I must really look a picture in that outfit! I tucked the cape into the back of my snow pants so as to avoid any potential entanglements. I’m sure my bubble-butt look was even MORE attractive! Luckily we have no near neighbors.
Rolling the shed up to the house was thankfully straightforward. We were in the lee of the house, so the wind was not able to put up much of a fight. We stowed the thing on the back patio where I roped it down in case the wind shifts. I’ll have to buy more spikes before we can put it back in the pen. Thankfully all the sheds in the boys’ pen are against trees so they should stay put even if the wind gets inside. Hopefully the girls will keep their remaining shed for the night. Phil spiked it down well, but I don’t have much confidence in the soft ground right now.