Sunday, January 15

Winter Weather, Hot Coals and Cold Tile

Our very mild winter has finally given way to the icy cold and snow that we usually have this time of year. I was sad to see the temperate climate go but January is a month made for drifts and chills. There have been many variations on the total snowfall we are to expect, as well as temperature, the threat of ice covered roads and wind chill advisories. I listen to them and dismiss most of the them because, as I’ve discovered over time, all weather forecasts are not created equal. I find that if I want to know what is happening with the weather, it is best to just go look out the kitchen window.

Tonight i am curled up in from of a glowing fire on my garage sale couch under an afghan I made when I was in college. It was quiet - the little man and Roy both having gone to bed early, so it is just me and the little lady. She has made herself comfortable in her bassinet, smiling in her sleep and snug in her fleece jammies. I am enjoying the latest installment of Birchthorn, a novella from the Cold Antler Farm blog. A great story but it makes me a little edgy when I go out to feed and water the chickens after dinner. I never noticed how spooky and shadow-filled my property is....

The fonts in the coop had frozen solid when I checked them earlier this evening but the ladies all seem to be taking the cold in stride. Although I only got 4 eggs today. Again. The poor egg production these past few days is giving me the impression that the ladies have decided to go on strike or that i will find a cache of hidden eggs somewhere besides the nest boxes. I'll look tomorrow when it is light out.

Also earlier today, I restocked the suet in the bird feeders and was immediately visited by about 20 chickadees and this red bellied woodpecker. So nice to see his red colors on such a bleak day.

The wood supply on the front porch is gone so a trip to the bottom barn is necessary and i am dreading it. It is a freezer outside, with wind gusting and ice coating the driveway. I have no desire whatsoever to get out from under this afghan, put on snow boots and my heavy coat to have the wind chill me to the bone as soon as I step out the back door. The red hot coals are glowing and putting out a good deal of heat and I just wish I could stay here all closed up for the night.

That calm and content feeling has more than set in and I have two of my three cats taking up couch space. Buffin has decided to sleep elsewhere this evening due to his fear of the baby and sudden movements. I have no doubt that he is curled up somewhere warm and with a vantage point rivaling Germany's Atlantic Wall in '44. That cat is never without a line of sight to every room on the first floor.

Until 2:30 am comes and I am awakened by a crying baby needing a bottle and a dead, cold fireplace. The stove room might still be warm but the kitchen at the back of the house will be cold as the heat does not travel well into that part of the house. there is almost nothing worse than forcing yourself out from under a warm afghan or two to walk across cold tiles on the kitchen floor. Even if you are wearing socks, it is still a shock to the system.

So I am off to the barn for a few armloads to tide me over until morning and I will have a toasty fire at 2:30 when she wants her late-night snack. I will make the bottle and we will sit on the couch by the fire, her drinking enfamil and I staring at hot coals, listening to the wind outside and knowing that we are safe and warm until morning.

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