Saturday 7 January 2017


by Pam Haynes
January 7 2017

With a cabin feverish mind and the prospect of still more snow, one must strive to find new exercises, both physical and mental, to keep oneself from going stark raving bonkers.

The news stations have been feeding us a steady diet of potential roof issues, things like "roof dams", "buckling and sagging" and the sure knowledge that a roof never designed to handle this kind of snow load might have a "catastrophic failure."  Needless to say, in my world, climbing up on a roof with an inch thick layer of ice under a foot of snow, maybe to attack the ice with an anemic hair dryer or even an ice pick, isn't going to happen.

I have however stumbled across a wonderful new aerobic exercise called icicle whacking.  The goal is simple, i.e., to eliminate the five plus foot icicles hanging off my ancient roof, which have gone from being beautiful and soothing to becoming vicious swords, projecting evil death ray thoughts into my snow bound addled brain.

My ice whacking tool of choice is a simple shovel handle (minus the shovel) which for some reason I didn't toss out after said shovel busted.  Lightweight and long, it is the perfect tool for attacking said icicles.  First of course, after dressing for the subzero weather (which is quite aerobic on its own), one must wade through up to three feet (I am NOT exaggerating) of snow covering what used to be a lawn, so you can get close enough to start icicle whacking.  Then with swings worthy of Babe Ruth, DEATH TO THE ICICLES!!!  (Be careful that you don't get too enthusastic with the swing, otherwise you might find yourself on your well padded rear end, trying to stand up while buried in a three foot snow berm.)

The noise and impact are quite satisfying.  Be warned, I advise wearing some sort of glasses to avoid the inevitable shards of flying ice, and do NOT stand too close or you risk being impaled.

So when every day chores of shoveling snow, peeling apart frozen bales of hay, trying to scoop frozen horse poop, filling the water troughs, trying to feed beet pulp before it freezes, shoveling more snow, trying to start the truck, worrying about the water to the house freezing, living in terror of trying to deal with a sick horse (knowing your trailer is firmly encased in several feet of snow) and shoveling still more snow aren't enough, there's always ICICLE WHACKING!!!  

DEATH TO THE ICICLES shall be our rallying cry!!!