January 22 – We had a bunch of snow for a couple days – we probably got a foot of new.  One of the things I like about snow is getting to see where the critters have been.  This bunny trail runs behind the little chicken coop in the chicken yard (which this spring will be garden annex, and thus I will have to fix the fence).   The trail leads through the chicken yard to the barn, where on snow days you can see where the bunnies have burrowed under it.  The dogs will go straight for those burrows and stick their faces in, inhaling bunny essence.  They can easily distract themselves for an hour running back and forth from the front of the barn to the back.  I’m guessing the bunnies stay in the middle.

Here’s David checking out his handiwork.  It took a bit of work to get those posts into the frozen ground (I ran back and forth with a pot of boiling water to help) but he did it.  The girls respect a fence and will wait behind it for me, even though the fence doesn’t run all the way across the property.  It does stop their instant access to the road, and hopefully will stop other dogs from walking up the driveway.  Eventually, we will incorporate a fence all around the house so the dogs can stay out if they want and the chickens will be protected.

The girls and the gate.

So as you can see, we had a nice sunny day.  I opened the barn door so the sun could get in for the chickens.  No one wanted to walk in the snow, but they did all line up thusly:

All they way back, even into the Littles’ pen, chickens lined up for the sun.  It made me smile.

Sleepy chickens in the sun.

January 23

Pretty peppers.  Clearance peppers from the grocery store, just 50 cents.  They’re mini bells.

A tiny still life.  I was setting my camera down as it was shutting off.  However, when it hit the counter it was still on and I saw this.  So I turned it back on, set it in the same place and took this picture.  I’ve had the little dalmatian figurine since I was a kid.

January 24 – This is what it looks like when I’m driving when wearing my sock monkey mitts.

I’m making sausage and this time decided to make extra of the spice mixture.  As I was throwing them in the jar, I noticed it looked rather like sand painting and so took a picture.    Salt, sage, chipotle pepper, pepper and the surprise to me, ginger.  I got the recipe online here.  I get to use my own turkey, so it’s amazing.

January 25 – Happy birthday to two new chicks!  Sadly, none of my (rather expensive) BBS Orpington eggs hatched.  But when I put them in the incubator, I grabbed two eggs from my chickens because I wasn’t going to mess with turning eggs and monitoring temps and humidity for 21 days and get nothing at the end.  So these two are Jack’s kids.  One little black and (yay!) one little blue:  I got lucky and grabbed one of Precious’s eggs.

So pretty.  I love the blue chickens!  I’m handling these two a lot.  I hadn’t been handling my chicks much because I wanted a bit of wildness in them since I was letting them range free.  Well, that didn’t save them in the end, so now that they’re fenced I want friendly pet chickens.  The replacement chickens have all turned out to be friendly pets, and I really do like that a lot.  So I hold these two and let them sleep under my cupped hands.  This is something I’ve found that really calms chicks – it must feel like being under a hen a little.

So while chicks were hatching and drying in the incubator, I was having a big cooking morning.  David got into town but couldn’t come home, and he had no food in the truck.  So I made muffins and granola and bags of salad and hummus and fresh coffee and packed it all up with some other supplies and toted it into town.  While there, I went to the Goodwill and discovered these:

These are brand new Naot Mary Janes.  They had maybe been worn once, based on the lack of wear on the bottoms.  They aren’t this season’s (I checked and can’t find them) but they are lovely and very comfy.  Literally the night before I had pinned a pair of Naots on Pinterest, because I love me some Mary Janes.  Because of that, the name was in my head and I saw these and couldn’t believe my luck.  The price?  $3.99!!  A pair of easily $150 shoes for $3.99.  I can’t wait til spring to wear them!  (the soles are not very … treaded?  smooth, let’s say, so I’d fall in the snow.)  (my cool socks are Smartwool, a gift from Dawn.  I think they’re cute with the shoes.)  They require no break-in period, either.  Comfy from the get-go.  I don’t buy shoes that aren’t comfy, even if they were a good deal.  Though something like this I’d grab and ebay.  No way I wouldn’t make back my $3.99…  The new shoes on my radar are a pair of turquoise Chucks.  I have a pair of white ones, and am considering painting or dyeing them, so I can have turquoise.

January 26 – This crumbly leaf on my floor looked like a seahorse to me.  So I took its picture.

January 27 – Two-day old peeps.  I love them.

Fuzzy little bottom.  🙂

January 28 – Phoebe wants to play.  She will pick up one of her toys (she’s a stuffed toy gal) and just stare at you until you do something.  She sat like this while I found my camera, turned it on, and shot a couple pictures.  Then I grabbed the toy and threw it for her.  She likes to chase them down a couple times, then she shakes them and growls at them before settling down to nibble on them.  The cat still has stuffing in it.  It’s a made-for-dogs stuffed toy.  The others she has (various sheep and a raccoon puppet) are just stuffed animal skins at this point.  When David’s home, she grabs the raccoon and they play “getcha!” with it.  That’s their special thing and it drives poor Sadie crazy.  She starts barking at them, then runs over to me barking, letting me know they’re up to something.  This behavior has earned her the title of “Office Manager.”   David will often move the recliners together to block Sadie so she can’t interfere, in which case she lies down in back of them and barks through the crack between the chairs.  Sometimes I lure her away with a liver snack. This has, of course, encouraged her.  She comes looking for the snack now.  It does quiet her down for a bit, so that’s a good thing.