Saturday, December 20, 2008

Still Cold Here

Yard Art Hen & Chick in the Snow~ where are the other 3 chicks?

It is still very cold here today. Much snow is still on the ground, at least in the shady places. No new snow for a few days, but very cold temps have kept the snow around and made the roads and driveways icy.

It's been so cold in fact, that I moved my remaining two old hens into my living room a couple of nights ago.

Hens in the House

I think they were getting a little frostbite happening on their combs and wattles. I brought them inside to warm them up and to observe them. They seemed fine the next day, so I moved them back outside after adding more straw to their nest boxes and replacing their light bulb (used for warmth) with a higher wattage one.

I heard a strange sound a few nights ago, and wondered if it was a bobcat or coyote. Then I found these tracks on the snow.

Animal Tracks

They look more like dog tracks than a bobcat or even coyote. I did also see a stray dog running around by my driveway that same day.

I have been staying mostly inside and keeping warm with my electric heaters or with a fire in my woodstove. Of course, these beautiful red roses helped to keep my heart warm.

Thank you for my roses, Bob.

With the cold weather, and me being more housebound, I've been baking more often this week too. I find that using the oven to bake something really helps to heat the cold house and also makes some delicious food too. I love that it serves two useful purposes at the same time.

More Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread ~ this time with whole wheat flour added

I also baked a nice apricot crisp last night. No photos. No crisp left either. Between me and the guys, it is long gone already!

Happy Winter to you! Winter Solstice is tomorrow. Celebrate by lighting a candle and thanking our Universe for the light, the warmth of the sun, and the seasons.

I am thankful for all of you.

© Copyright 2008 Mountain Harvest Basket


CaliforniaGrammy said...

Those men in your life sure take care of you. Roses yet again! Beautiful friends.

It certainly has been cold. My daughter's place is much higher in elevation than ours (3200') and she still has lots of snow. We haven't had any snow stay with us as yet!

I'm thinking baking is a great way to keep the house cozy!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Sharon/primthyme said...

How sweet of you to bring the hens inside !! "Your girls are so pretty " I love chickens.
Prim Hugs,

Hardware Bob said...

It has been very frigid cold here in the mountains, my nearly vertical icy driveway has been a challenge all week.

Thanks to the constant warm rain last night, most of the treacherous slippery ice is practically gone now.

I enjoy giving you flowers and seeing that wonderful Greek smile, plus samplings of cornbread and apricot crisp is a good deal for me.

Our Winter Solstice celebration last night was fabulous as always.

Christmas is just around the corner, Happy holidays everyone. I'm getting excited.

frugalmom said...

I loved seeing the pics of your hens in your living room. How sweet is that?

And the roses...btwn that and the oven....they are both sure to keep the house cozy and smelling great!

Farmer Jen said...

Hi CA Grammy,
Yes, I am blessed with good men and beautiful roses.

Hi Sharon,
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. Please come back and visit often.

Hi Bob,
It has been very cold here, but I am not sure about it being frigid. I am glad you enjoy giving me flowers. I really appreciate them. Our Winter Solstice celebration was very nice. Yes, Christmas is almost here.

Hi Marcee,
I only bring the chickens in when I have to for their own good. They are very messy and noisy and really prefer to be outside where they can run around and flap their wings. These two old girls really liked the warmth of my house that night though. It's been very cold and getting colder. Should be a white Christmas around here this year.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Merry Christmas Jen! Gee, you have been cold, with more snow than us, we've had the ice. I love to bake when it's cold, double duty! lol That's so funny having chickens inside, ours would stay out year round, and they would get a little frost bite on their cones but it doesn't hurt them. Your a good mama hugs!

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Hey Jen, you asked me a while ago whether I had ever vaselined the chickens against frostbite. The answer is yes...but I waited until it was dark out and they had already roosted to lessen their flapping and protesting while I did it. I didn't do the ones that had smaller wattles or pea combs, but I've got a number of chickens that have HUGE combs (Rooper the roo, the RIRs, the Black Stars, etc). I also wait until it's in the 20's before I do it. Their house is pretty well insulated and they have done well keeping dry, so the frostbite hasn't been too big of an issue. Anyway, 'nuff about that.
Your girls look quite cozy in your living room! You're a nicer chicken mama than I am. When I have overnight "guests" they are given the chicken guest room (the laundry room) only. lol

Beautiful roses, are very thoughtful!

I got your pretty card in the mail yesterday - thank you so much! (if I knew how to make the hearts that you guys do, I would put three right here --> xxx)

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Sue,
Yes, we have cold, and were supposed to get snow for Christmas day, but so far none has appeared. Merry Christmas to you!

Hi Danni,
Thanks for the vaseline info. My hens are older and used to me handling them, but they still struggle a little when confined in my arms. I've only had to put the vaseline on twice so far.

Glad you got our card. I wish UPS would deliver the package I sent to you. Their tracking service says it's "out for delivery" for a day now. Yes, I know it's because of all the heavy weather you've had there.

Hold down the Alt key and hit the number 3 on the numeric pad on the right of the keyboard to make the ♥'s. Merry Christmas Danni.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Merry Christmas Jen. I really do appreciate your gentle and kind sentiments regarding my accident and dissapointing holiday experience. Your words lifted my spirits a little, my friend.

I love seeing your girls cozy in your home. I have several of my hens that would probably ne happy to take up residence not only in my house, but up on my bed.
Maybe I should but them some chicken diapers so they can live indoors with me? hehe
I doubt my hubby would be overjoyed with that idea, though :P

How blessed you are to have such special partners and friends in your life, too. Of course, a kind and beautiful person like yourself acts as a magnet to draw people in. You're like a little joy-filled light :)

Merry Christmas Jen :)
New Mexico

ps: I don't have a number pad on my laptop. Is there another way to make those cute hearts?

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Lisa,
You say such sweet things about me. I am smiling with your praise. Thank you so much. It feels great to know that I have touched someone's life in a positive way.

I have thought about putting diapers on my chickens so that could come in the house and run around without making a mess, but I can't figure out how to make the diapers stay on the chicken!

Here's another way to make symbols like the ♥'s using the Windows XP character map instead of the Alt key with the numeric keypad. I copied these words from an instructional file I found on the internet: Another method is to use the "Character Map" to copy and paste the required symbols. In Windows (XP) you'll find the Character Map by clicking on the Windows Start Menu, then All Programs, then Accessories, System Tools and Character Map. The Character Map box pops up. Select the font you want to use and then select & copy the symbol you want. Then paste the symbol in your document.

Now if you are using a Mac laptop, there may be a whole different way to do this, but while I do use a Mac occasionally, I am not very "Mac fluent", so I can't help much in that case.

I am glad you are getting good support from your friends. I need to remember to take good care of myself first, so that I can be in good shape mentally and physically to take care of my loved ones. I forget this sometimes. I think maybe we all do. Be kind to yourself Lisa. Heal well.

PS. I do have special partners and friends in my life. I feel blessed in that way. I love that you called me a "joy filled light". I am beaming right now with happiness. Thanks again. You made my day.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Yay! Your first explanation didn't work for me (I don't have a numeric keypad on my laptop), but this second one most certainly did!
Check this out and call me SUPER COOL: ♥ ☺ ☼ ☻ ♫

frugalmom said...

WhatEVER, Miss Super Cool....

Jen, Now youve gone and done it! Im not sure you know what you have created here!!!!!

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Danni,
I never even thought about the difference between a desktop keyboard like the one I usually use, and a laptop keyboard. My laptop doesn't have the numeric keypad either. I don't use my laptop very often, so I didn't even know that. I am glad you found the other method works for you. Have fun, and you really are super cool!

Hi Marcee,
Let's just humor her for awhile until she gets it out of her system...(you two crack me up! Thanks. I need funny friends like you.)