December was so warm and dry, January has been just the opposite and though there isn’t much snow forecast for the next 10 days, there is some bitter cold weather. Yesterday was comparatively mild, getting up into the low 40’s and we got out our driveway for the first time since Sunday, up the gravel state road that had been plowed yesterday morning, and down the mountain to deliver a birthday card and gift to the local grandson who celebrated his 15th birthday yesterday. It seems like I just drove to Florida where he was born to help daughter out in her first week post partum and deliver an Amish made rocking chair and high chair to her. I love that they are now living within 20 miles of us and we see them weekly, not a couple times a year.
The prissy hens finally came out on the hay mat I threw down for them. When I dug their outdoor water tub out to fill it yesterday, it was buried in a foot of snow that had drifted into the run. Walking on the hay mat, I now sink several inches each time I go over. Taking advantage of it being “warmer” and not windy, I cleared the wet straw from their coop. I need to figure out how to seal the drop down window on the east side for winter. Though moisture rarely comes from that direction, there is no eave overhang on that side of the coop and the weekend snow storm blew in that direction making a small snowdrift inside the coop that melted with the heat they generate and soaked their straw. With fresh dry straw in there, I need to protect it. While tossing the damp straw into their run, a few hens ventured out on the straw surface and out the gate, only to realize that it was cold and white outside the run, so they retreated back onto the straw and hay. Fortunately they are still laying eggs, though now in the quantity they did last summer.
Overnight, it rained for an hour or two and this morning, the snow pack is thin and brittle, beginning to show grass patches through in some areas. Today is much colder again and snow flurries are the moisture of the morning.
While we were in town yesterday, we supplied with milk, juice, fruit, and soup veggies as we will have all three of our children and a houseful of grands for Sunday. I am going to make a huge pot of vegetable soup and a couple loaves of bread, a pan of cornbread (because that is the only “homemade” bread on of the grands will eat) and feed a dozen or more folks dinner. Homemade muffins for breakfast, probably pizza for lunch. Daughter and her two will only be here for dinner. This will be the first time in a decade they will all be here and there are many more of us now than there were then. I am beyond myself with excitement to have them all together.