Winter whipped in cow country

Farm Forum

Experiencing the winter season in cow country has its ups and its downs. And according to some of my farm and ranch friends, there have been significantly more downs than ups lately. This negative down turn in spirit is probably due in large part to the especially dad-blasted recent cold weather.

A salute to livestock people

Thus, I want to give a hardy salute to anyone who has to get out there on a daily basis and take care of livestock. And I also want to salute anyone who has to take care of the people who take care of the livestock. These individuals all realize the real death-defying trauma of winter weather. Livestock people are made of hardy stuff but even hardy stuff must succumb to the wintry blasts and deserve a break from the minus 40 below weather. Am I right?

I must confess that the trauma of being out in this recent jaw chilling cold weather has caused country folk to do and/or follow some unusual out-of-the ordinary practices. Most of the time these practices have had to be done in the safe warm confines of their houses because who in their right mind wants to go outside and freeze their a— off? Not me!

Anyway, some of my exasperated cattle friends have even gone so far as to give this negative aspect of the winter season a specific name with specific symptoms. (No, I don’t mean those dastardly name calling words!) I mean it’s being identified as “winter whipped.”

Winter whipped definition

Winter whipped by definition is an annual winter condition that usually fades with the first hint of green grass and returns with the first dip in temperatures below zero. The winter whipped condition has various and multi-faceted symptoms. With the input from several friends like Lois, Bruce, Marge, Amy, and others, I’ve listed a few of the more common ones for your review. Read through the list and feel free to add your own. Hopefully, it will bring you a chuckle or two and carry you through the trauma of winter weather.

You know you’re suffering from the winter whipped trauma if you…

• Make your 1st order from a garden seed catalog and it’s only Jan. 1.

• Keep the soup kettle going 24-7.

• Find that your wool stockings have taken up permanent residence on your feet.

• Wear extra layers of clothing at all times of the day.

• Never take off your stocking cap or your hooded sweatshirt.

• Buy old tired worn- out cheap plants just to have something green in the house.

• Check the cattle waterers numerous times a day and then do it again right before bedtime.

• Tremble every time the lights flicker.

• Wait impatiently each day for the mailman to come and then realize it’s the highlight of your day.

• Check your candle supply often and worry if you have enough strike matches.

• Know that you’ve heard the same story nine times at nine different places and you still have to laugh .

• Purchase extra flashlight batteries every time you go to town.

• Germinate your seed wheat and then let it keep growing just to see something grow.

• Buy extra toilet paper even if it isn’t on sale.

• Start stewing about nothing because there’s nothing else to do.

• Lay in a good supply of candy bars, trail mix, and chips.

• Race to the mailbox to see if there is a new seed catalog or something good to read.

• Worry about where that last piece of the 1000 piece puzzle is hiding.

• Plant garden bean seeds in a paper cup and check daily for a sprout.

• Retrace your steps in order to make sure you really did plug in the block heater.

• Hold your breath hoping the engine will catch as the starter barely turns over.

• Feel like you’ve already done a day’s work as you tug into the last layer of outside clothes.

• Feel like there’s just got to be one more thing to do inside where its warm before going outside where its cold.

• Have this gosh awful empty feeling as you survey the countryside with nothing green upon it.

• Wonder if the days are too short or is it the nights are too long.

• Think that those who go South may be smart, but somehow lack a backbone.

• Realize that anything can be postponed or can wait especially if it involves travel.

• Observe that three sundogs surrounding a pale sun in a pale sky may be pretty but not a good sign.

• Make a firm commitment to delete from your Christmas list the name of the next person who asks you if it’s cold enough for you.

Jane Green and her husband, Jim, live near Clark. Contact Jane for some public speaking, to order one of her books, or to register your comments. E-mail her at: