When you live on a farm, there is one thing you can count on every day – farm chores! Most of the time this is very enjoyable for me. It's actually fun going out to feed the chickens and having them gather around my feet, clucking softly and waiting expectantly.
I love going the the barn with the dogs in tow and having my girls and Everest meet me at the gate. I feed Lacey and Evie from my hand and give Ellie and Honey a pat as I pour the feed in the trough. Then I battle Beatrice, as I take the lamb's hay and the bucket of grain down to the creep feeder. Bea is very demanding and she tries her best to pull the hay out of my hands or get her head in the bucket and trip me up.
But the last couple of weeks, chores haven't been so much fun. Temperatures have dropped drastically, and I have to bundle up before braving the outdoors. I put on my Carhartt coveralls (I call them my Michelin Man suit), the hunting boots Aubry gave me, my furry ear flap hat, and look dejectedly at several pairs of gloves, trying to decide which might be warmest. I have poor circulation in my hands and my fingers are always cold. For years I've tried to find warm work gloves. If I get waterproof ones they are too thin, and the fingers freeze. If I wear thicker ones, they are not water proof, clumsy to wear, and still not warm enough. If I wear leather ones, they are too cold, get too dirty and sometimes tear on barbed wire.
I had given up in despair until a miracle happened this week. I went to the hunting clothes in Walmart to buy new socks and found a pair of gloves hanging just below them. The tag said Guaranteed Waterproof with Fleece Lining. I tried them on. They fit snugly (like a glove), were light to wear, and so soft and warm inside. But they were pricey. I looked at them for a long time. I thought about all the days with those hunting hand warmers in my pockets and how I'd put out some feed, jam my hands in my pockets and wait several moments until I could bare to take them out and grab another bucket of feed or water and continue the chores. I thought about how I'd hurry the dogs on their walk so I could rush into the house and hold my hands to the fire, or under hot running water just to get the feeling back in them. In the end, I decided it was worth the risk.
The next morning I couldn't wait to get into my "gear." I pulled on the gloves, grabbed the tea kettle of hot water, and headed to the chicken pens to thaw the water pans. And my hands stayed warm! I even slopped some water on them by accident and found that they are waterproof! Then it was off to the barn to feed grain and hay and break the ice on the troughs. And sure enough, miracle of miracles, my hands actually stayed warm!! The dogs were rather shocked when I didn't hurry them on the way home. In fact, Beau was ready to go in before I was.
The brand name is Huntworth, and they are the best gloves I've ever found! And I have learned something. Aside from the Carhartt work clothes, no one really thinks of keeping the farmer warm. The work boots and gloves found in farm stores are sturdy and wear well, but give no thought to warmth and comfort. But boots and gloves made for the hunter? That's another thing entirely. These people sit for hours in hides and tree stands and the companies understand that warmth and comfort are a necessity. So from now on, I buy all my farm accessories in the hunting section. Warm wool socks, fleece-lined ear flap hunting caps or wool knitted caps, waterproof moon-boot style boots, and especially the Huntworth gloves!