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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A little extra bird seed

"You're as co-o-o-o-ld as ice ... "

Down to 14F this morning; a little extra birdseed in the feeder. To get water to the poultry under these conditions we keep five gallon buckets under the inside taps that we've left dribbling, and when they are full we rotate them out to the henyard.

The ducks and geese have kiddie pools which they use for their baths, and these do still have some water in them but there is now a good three inch layer of ice. We're keeping about a third of each pool open with a pickaxe. The trick is not to punch through the bottom!

A Rosie (Rhode Island Red) tops up on ice water

In a few days this polar outbreak will ease up, and I hope to work in the crawl space under the house again. Not, I hope, on the plumbing ...

We've put up four blankets to cut off unused parts of the house so that the wood stove will be equal to the task of keeping us warm. We're into the heavy part of our annual diet: Cornbread, split-pea soup, three-bean soup, potatoes, eggs-and-broccoli, winter squash with rice.

Hot choco alternating with home brew.

The hoophouse stood up to some spectacular winds a few days ago, and now it's standing in the still air and bright sun of the cold snap, shedding condensation ice all over its interior. The bok choi, kale, broccoli, onions, lettuce, and arugula look hammered but they seem to be coming round.

We were in the Big City a few days ago, helping Daughter move house, and I spotted a neglected female holly tree. Squirrelled away a couple of bright-red-berry laden twigs, and today I made a nice wreath, adding some Douglas fir, lodgepole pine, male holly, rosemary, and lavendar, all from home.

We're not showy and have never put up outside lights or vinyl reindeer. The wreath will go on the living room door, on the inside where we can enjoy it. On Christmas Eve we'll add an extra plate to the table and put a candle in the kitchen window. Then, in the morning ... a little extra bird seed in the feeder.


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