You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

Dec 13 – Drove David down to the truck yard, which is a little south of Grand Rapids.  He’s leaving for Denver.  As they pay a premium for driving on Christmas, he may not be back until a day or two after.

On my way home, I stopped to get a few groceries and while in the car after I noticed these house sparrows and how they’ve adapted to living in the parking lot.   These had evidently just bathed in a slushy puddle.  They perched on the hood of each car down the line, eating bugs from the windshield wipers.  I’m going to guess that pickings will be very slim soon and what they were getting were old bugs.  I thought it was rather clever of them.  I’ve seen birds doing similar things at truck stops – they love the grills of big trucks as they are veritable smorgasboards!

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Dec 12 – this photo has not been altered in any way.  I had been taking pictures (hopefully for our Christmas card) and using a low-light portrait setting.  After, David and Phoebe were playing and I went to take a picture without changing the setting.  Got this ghostly weirdness.

Dec 11 – Yesterday I had to run the snowblower in order to be able to leave the house today to pick up David.  I run the snowblower maybe once a season – last year I didn’t at all because David was home all winter.  As a result, I tend to forget what parts need tweaking just to get it started.  So this year I did this:

I have a seasonal instruction manual I keep for myself, to remind me of the things that need doing only once a year (for instance, fall clean-up, so the snowblower can be run without running over things like dog toys or planters or such – when that happens a certain man about this house gets rather…irate.  So I started taking notes so I wouldn’t forget.)  I’ve never been a property owner or lived with such diverse seasons, so there’s a lot to remember that is new.

When I told David I needed a picture so I wouldn’t forget, he thought it a little strange, but I know me.  Of course, now that I’ve taken the picture, labeled it (yay Photoshop) and put it in my book, I may not need it again.  But if I do, I’m ready.  Having David tell me to turn the choke doesn’t help if I don’t remember that the middle knob is the choke, you know?  So I do what I have to.

All that aside, I did get it started, did get the driveway (and a place to turn around – learned that lesson 2 years ago and remembered it well after getting stuck) and the walkway cleared.  Of course, this morning there was another 3 inches of snow, bringing the total to well over a foot.   Clearing off the car was not fun…driving to Grand Rapids, also not fun.

Dec 10 – Here’s a strange one.  Avery laid this egg today, and it’s smaller than a peanut m&m.   I plan to blow it out and save the tiny shell.  It’s so cute!  Very strange, but cute.

That’s one of her regular eggs next to the strangely tiny egg.  I wonder if such an egg would’ve been fertile, had she been around roosters (those bantam boys are very interested in her when they see her) and if so would it result in a strange midget chicken or what?  I’m baffled.

Dec 9 – right place at the right time after all the snow…Pretty, aren’t they?

It’s still coming down, as you can see.

Dec 8 – before the storm

A big storm is on the way in.  At first they wouldn’t even predict how much snow.  Then they started saying at least a foot.  I went to town for supplies then started gathering chickens and put them all in the barn in their new room.  It’s not completely finished (doorless, for instance) but it’s so much better than a foot of snow!  I put two wooden sawhorses in for roosting, as well as a couple bales of straw.

When it came time to put them in, the chickens had already gone to their wee coop to roost.  While I was setting up the new room, they had come in to see what I was doing, and I had hoped they would stay.  Alas, not to be.  Fortunately, when I got out there, the baby chicklets were still hanging out near the chicken entrance to the new room.  I sat Sadie down at the front of the barn and circled around the back, catching the chicklets between us in a run with the barn on one side and the chicken yard fence on the other.  I called Sadie to me, then had her stop after a couple steps.  The chicklets moved towards me.  I stepped towards them and they tried to run towards Sadie so I had her come closer.  After a couple more movements, we had pinchered them in to where their only choice was to go inside the new coop area.  I put a board in the doorway to keep them there, as trying to catch them any other way would not have been fun.  Mama chicken had already gone to their small coop and was clucking for them.

Next I began gathering the other chickens.  Most everyone submitted to being picked up rather calmly, most notably Papi, the rooster, who just let me pick him up and never struggled.  The most difficult was mama chicken, who fought me then screamed bloody murder when I finally caught her.   I had to make numerous trips as I can only carry two at a time and no one was willing to just walk.  I finally got everyone in and settled before the snow really started to fly.  They seem quite content in their new area.

Dec 7 – This is what happens to poor Phoebe in soft new snow.  It wraps around the fur on her feathery places (chest and back of legs mostly) and forms wee snowballs.

This is how much came off her:

Whew, what a relief!

We think it doesn’t happen to Sadie because she’s part Husky.  But we aren’t sure.  Sometimes if Sadie sits in the snow for a bit she’ll have a snowball form on her bottom and she then tries to remove it, resulting in circular motions.

Dec 6 – I found this wee cupboard at the Restore (thrift store run by Habitat for Humanity).  It was only $4.99.  It’s evidently brand new as it hadn’t yet been completely assembled (I did that).  The very top is missing but I just plan on having a basket there anyway, so some regular wood will do for now.  Eventually I think a cutting board on top would look nice.

Dec 5 – My finished floorcloth, on the floor and getting dirty.   The Turtle Wax might have worked better had I sealed the paint first.  I have since found a book on painting floorcloths and they recommend bowling alley paste wax.  I plan to (once I locate said wax) scrub off the Turtle Wax, touch up paint as needed, seal the paint, then wax with the new wax.  Until then, it’s where it should be in my kitchen, making me smile every time I go in there.

Dec 4 – It snowed all day today.  So today’s photo had to be inside because I didn’t want to go out.  This represents the extent of any Christmas decor as all my stuff is in a big bin in the garage overhang.  The ladder is out in the barn.  (see: didn’t want to go out)  However, I had just bought this lovely bit of glass at the Goodwill, so it is lying about all jolly and bright and it makes me smile when I see it.

Perhaps tomorrow I will feel like braving the snow for the ladder and I can get some sparkly lights going.  That would feel festive indeed.