Monday, February 23, 2009

The Grass is Always Greener...

This is Komiko. She is fascinated by something that is happening on the other side of the door. What could be so enticing?

Ah. It's Louie and Rolf looking back at the door, convinced that all the GOOD stuff is on Komiko's side.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Snow Critters

Rabbits hanging around in and on their favorite hidey-hole. They don't mind the cold at all. They'll lie out there on the ground in sub-freezing weather like it's the most comfortable thing in the world.

The chickens, on the other hand, are distrustful of the snow, mostly because it's different. They stand and stare at it for a long time before setting foot in it. Once out, they'll walk kind of funny, trying to keep their feet out of the snow. But Speckled Sussex are insatiably curious and love to scratch and be outside, so eventually they just get out in it and do their chickeny things.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Snow Pics

My poor laundry.

Rolf making his rounds and checking everything out while Louie looks on from the porch. This photo was taken in November before Louie died at the end of December. Rolf has always been a conscientious worker dog, helping feed the chickens and rabbits and generally getting underfoot no matter what you're doing and no matter what the weather. Louie was more of a supervisor during snowy weather. The ice and snow caked up in the long fur between his foot pads pretty quickly. He liked the snow, but only for quick runs and romps.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weird Bush Thing in Snow

I've got some snow pics I'm going to post over the next couple of days or so. They were mostly (all?) taken in November when we got our first snow and I was real excited about it. I've calmed down some now, but I wouldn't mind another good snowfall in the slightest.

This weird bush thing caught my eye because it looked like a string of beads against the snow.

Closeup of weird bush thing. I'm sure the cats have gotten tons of these stuck in their fur by now.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom

My birthday was a while back. The kids presented me with this delightful birthday plate.

It's chocolate chip cookie dough formed to make two festive balloons and "H B M" which of course stands for "Happy Birthday, Mom". The plate also sports two candles made from pieces of candy cane.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Barn at Sunrise, in Snow

This was taken in December one morning while I was out feeding the rabbits and chickens. Usually when we get snow it's gray and cloudy. This sunrise was a nice surprise. You can see my poor garden never got properly put to bed for the winter. Ah, well... the old dead stuff will still be there waiting on me come spring.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Power Outage

We had a big storm come through here Wednesday the 11th. We lost power for three days, almost to the hour. It was pretty fun, actually, and very relaxing. It was very quiet and we could hear the coyotes on the hill with crystal clarity. Our place is pretty quiet, we don't have sirens or traffic or manufacturers near us. Still, losing power for an extended time does give one the opportunity to realize how much noise is created by the fridge, freezer, computer fans, well pump, and other daily power activities that happen in the background without our being conscious of them.

The easy stuff - we sat by the window and read a lot during the day, we got some stuff done around the place outside once the weather settled down, we lit candles as night fell, we ate canned soups, chili, and similar heated on the gas cooktop.

The manageable stuff - we ran the generator occasionally to keep the fridge and deep chest freezer cold, and during these times we filled water containers for the rabbits and chickens, for ourselves, and made coffee in the coffee maker. We filled the bathtub so we'd have water with which to flush.

The stuff that concerns us - the gas pressure here is poor and the gas fails when demands are placed on it. Our generator runs on natural gas but we only got 7 to 15 minutes out of it at a time before the gas would fail. In extremely cold weather we'd be unable to drip water to keep the pipes from freezing, even if we put out the pilot lights on the two heaters and the hot water tank.

We're re-committed to getting the solar panels up and the control panel in place, so we can run the freezer, fridge, and well pump off of solar. The batteries are in place and the rack is on the roof, so much of the work is done. We have the materials to do the rest. And so it goes.

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