Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday Wordy Wanderings

Well, b-r-r-r!  We've been chucking wood into our stoves all day today, but I'm not sure we're gaining much on the Arctic air descending upon us.  There's a warning of dangerous wind chills overnight and into the afternoon tomorrow.  Snow showers and blowing snow (the blowing snow making travel dangerous) with wind chills of -35° to -45°.  Don't know what you would do, but we stick darn close to home in this weather.  Geesh.

We have so much snow on the ground that the wildlife, the deer especially, are struggling to get around.  Many people in our area feed hay and corn to the deer, but we don't.  However, in the past week we have been putting out some of our apples that are starting to turn along with extra beets and mangels.  We put them at the top of a snowbank at the curve of our driveway where a deer path passes.  We've been regularly seeing deer helping themselves to the goodies.

A week or so ago we heard that a lynx had been spotted close by.  Last week we lost three hens and a rooster.  The tracks in the snow were identifiable and not those of a lynx, but a bobcat.  (Lynx and bobcats are easily mistaken for one another.)  Yes, we feel bad about losing the chickens, but in a way it was their own fault.  They were ones that refused to go into the chicken house, and preferred (bird brains?) to roost in a heavily branched evergreen right by the chicken house.  We felt for sure they were going to freeze solid in the frigid nights we've been having, but Papa Pea got tired of capturing them every night (nearly impossible as they tried to outsmart him by roosting higher and higher) when they so definitely wanted to stay outside.  Now we don't have to worry about them freezing to death.  End of (sad) story.  End of our Icelandic breed of chickens.

I can't remember if I mentioned I was giving thought to putting batting in my spring shower curtain (and am too lazy to go back and check) or not, but since I've been looking at it for the past day or so trying to decide how to quilt it, I'm thinking I want to use some batting to give the quilting more definition.  I purchased a cheap economical low loft batting that will be even lighter (I think) than the Thermore I used once before on a shower curtain.  It's not nearly as dense (or nice) as the Thermore, but may just give me the results I want.  We'll see.

I have three messes projects spread out on my desk here and another one on the bed behind me.  I should try to clear them up before calling it quits for the night.  Or not.  Okay, I'll move the one on the bed to join the others on the desk . . . before I add another quilt to the bed for tonight.  We may need it.

18 comments:

Weekend-Windup said...

Cool climate will make us lazy. Sad ti hear about the loss of your chickens and rooster.

Ruth Dixon said...

I know you are freezing, and I'm sorry. I see spring here and it scares me...

Sparkless said...

Looks like another blast from the polar vortex is coming your way. We, luckily, will not be in for that blast. I hope the cold doesn't last long.

Lisa said...

I guess your chicken breed was living up to their name?! Icelandic?! That bobcat would be coming pretty close in then? Have you considered backing your shower curtain with a cotton fabric, that way you'd not have to worry about 'thickness' and 'quiltiness'? Will you have a shower liner up too? I do feel sorry for you, for the winter you've been having. Stay safe and stay warm!!!!!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Brrrrr......is right, I hear on the news you're getting hammered with the cold arctic winds. Stay warm and safe up there.

Were expecting cold and arctic winds over the weekend.

Mama Pea said...

Weekend-Windup - Ha! The heat in the summer time makes me lazy, too! The chickens we lost were a breed that we had decided not to keep . . . so it could have been worse.

Mama Pea said...

Ruth Dixon - The outside temps are freezing (no doubt about that!) but we are not suffering, truly. No trouble (knock on wood!) with frozen pipes, we have a vehicle in the garage and engine heaters available on outside ones. Plenty of food and are enjoying the hours working and relaxing inside since we don't want to spend much time outside. We still have a window cracked open in our bedroom!

The coming of spring scares you? Because it will be so busy all of a sudden or . . . ?

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - So far, this frigid weather of our winter is lasting much longer than it should! Temps for the very last of February should be much warmer!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - We originally tried the Icelandics because they were supposed to be so hardy. I guess they proved that . . . until the visit from the bobcat. Their egg production, however, did not prove out to be what we wanted and they were a very scrawny bird. Since I stew all our old hens, they weren't very desirable on that scale either!

I always back my shower curtain with muslin, and then quilt through both layers. I'm not crazy about hanging the quilted top without any quilting . . . because it just doesn't look like a quilt to me. Yes, I do have a plastic curtain on the inside (closest to the inside of the shower stall). That way the cloth curtain never gets wet.

Let's all send our sympathies to those who are having trouble with heating their homes and functioning with frozen pipes this winter. We're doing fine on those counts, no problems at all. We're just staying inside more than usual which is kind of a fun thing. Getting lots done (cleaned, organized, sorted) and spending more time than we ever had in front of the fire. We are warm and safe so don't worry. (Sure do appreciate your concern for us though!)

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - Our actual temp this morning was 18° below. But, so far, we have sunshine which always helps! And we're doing fine. Still keeping a window in the kitchen and bedroom cracked for cold air intake because of our wood heating system. We don't even notice the cold air in here unless we're right up against the window.

Hope your cold blast this weekend is not too severe!

Candy C. said...

It's nice that you guys don't have to be out in the cold very much. Sorry about the chickens but sometimes you just have to let nature take it's course. We have been so warm here that all my fruit trees are blooming and we could still get freezes. Maybe that's what Ruth Dixon meant?

Mama Pea said...

Candy C. - Our outside chores are minimal, compared to others with a lot of animals. We had really wanted to spend a lot more time skiing, snowshoeing, etc. this winter but so much really frigid (even dangerous) weather has put the kabosh on that.

Oh, right, you're probably correct about what Ruth meant. That's happened to us a couple of times and really bursts your balloon when hoping for a good fruit crop! I truly hope your trees don't suffer a bad freeze this year. Ugh.

Susan said...

I shouldn't complain after reading your temps - but I will anyway..:) Everyone told me how great Ameracaunas were - other than the pretty eggs, they are a pain in the patootie. Good to know you have lots to keep you busy inside. I cannot wait to see the finished shower curtain - is the batting very lightweight? I would think that it's a job trying to get the look of quilting to stand out, while still having it drape nicely. I'm sure it will be perfecto!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - The batting I'm going to use (IF I can ever get into my quilt room this morning . . . oops, the morning is done gone already) is the lightest, I think, out there on the market. Will it be perfecto? Nah, but I think it will hang better than the curtain I did with the Thermore batting. Stay tuned and we shall see!

Constance Ann Morrison said...

Sorry you've lost the hens and rooster. Chickens are birds of "very little brain" and can get very determined to roost where they want.
Hope you're staying warm.

Anonymous said...

Awww, sorry to hear about the chickens. Animals can be such stubborn little buggers, even when you are trying to do what is best for them. Hope you get a heat wave soon, you are definitely overdue for one!

Mama Pea said...

Constance Ann Morrison - "Very little brain!" I'll have to remember that along with birdbrain and dumb cluck! We're managing to stay warm and comfy, thanks.

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - No warm up for us in sight as far as the forecast goes. Oh well, it's bound to stop this nonsense some day! In the meantime, we'll stay close to home and enjoy the less busy time of year!