There are years I am happy beyond belief to start the new year, this year it sort of rolled in without fan fare or announcement. We had great get togethers with our neighbors in the midst of snow storms and holiday wishes.
The gallery is coming along nicely. Still wall pieces to get made and up. Shelves for for plates, mugs and bowls; but it is getting there. There have been so many diversions, deviations and distractions. Chicken roost collapse, children home, field trips to museums and parks, dog tending, and cooking, lots and lots of cooking.
A few years ago I picked this little table off somebodies tree lawn on trash day. After I stripped off the old coats of paint, sanded it down and new stain it's got a new life. The perfect little table for the new space and cup of coffee.
And roost collapse. The old roost was a very nice tree fell from the old maple tree. The girls have been well fed this winter and pretty happy in the Chicken Chalet, so happy they have been packing on the pounds.
As the temps dropped the girls took to the roost. One morning I heard loud complaining and after careful inspection found them on the floor of the coop. Arghhhh, Roost Collapse! After a bit of research I built a nice roost out of left over lumber. Very excited I put the two tiered roost in the coop and waited for the buxom hens to jump on. Nuts! Only half of the buxom babes fit and they looked like the church choir. The other 4 hunkered down in the straw with their tail feathers out of sorts. The next day I put in two perches in the peak of the coop. The dominate girls hopped up to the skylights and the lowly straw sleepers were elevated to the choir loft. Finally everybody is together and happy.
Chickens have taken up a bit more time than I wanted this winter and in deed this year. But then I am an newbie to this Mistress of the Flock detail. I keep thinking it's going to get easier but with each month there seems to be a new challenge. I now see why many Flock Mistresses choose not to over winter their birds and start again in the Spring. Chicken and Dumplings might be the winter dish for February if they keep this up.
Christmas and New Year's past I sat down to my desk tonight; hmmmm, seed catalogs, library books on gardens, bills, a few orders, fishing lures, earrings and taxes.......
The joy of the holidays has been having family home. Rachael was home for an extended stay and respite from graduation and an intense MBA program. Time to sleep, visit, eat, drink and play. Abby was home for Christmas dinner and a short visit to play at the Cleveland Museum of Art. We ate too much, drank too much and talked until we ran out of words. We watched British TV until we started eating lemon curd on biscuits for afternoon tea. Hetty Wainthroupp, Rosemary and Thyme, Harry Potter....... all delicious! We went through our daily rituals of coffee and food prep under the watchful eye of our faithful dog. He has been failing but managed to make it through the holidays rallied by the kids coming home. He tottled around the kitchen table until yesterday. He body is just giving out. Yesterday morning he was sleeping soundly when Rachael and I left to make a chicken feed, cheese and fire wood run. Figured we would come home and make the final drive to the vet but he rallied...... again. He was happy to be here, we cheered when he pee'd outside, we cheered when he ate toast and eggs. This morning he was back in bed and tired. Rachael flew out this afternoon and he isn't rallying. Gonna be a quiet and perhaps very long week. He has been my muse, my partner in the studio, my fishing buddy, hiking buddy, my protector, vacuum cleaner in the kitchen while cooking, always there, always present, always approving. Slept on the floor by my side of the bed since he arrived so many years ago. He isn't in pain but he is not happy in his container. He has had a spectacular run. Tonight I will light candle, call in the old dogs who have lived under this roof. They will help him cross the rainbow bridge; where the rag tag pack of 2 golden retrievers, 1 yellow lab and a wayward corgi will run through summer fields, chase rabbits and rollick...... waiting for me.
And so the New Year begins..........