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Showing posts from December, 2021

Snow and Ice on the Farm

 Several more inches of snow fell since our first 11 inches the other day, covering up our vehicles again.  Wicked-looking icicles, some more than four feet long, formed all along our roofline.  With temperatures remaining in the 20s F for a week and more snow expected, we are stuck in this winter storm for a while.   Yesterday, our weather station in front of the house recorded a low of 14 degrees F.  Our three biggest concerns during this winter storm are keeping our chickens and ducks warm enough, preventing our water pipes from freezing, and keeping the heat going in the house. Ducks love water and their instinct is to submerge themselves in it.  But there are times when swimming in the water just isn't appropriate.  Here it is well below freezing, so cold that the ducks can't walk on the snow for very long. Their feet get so cold that they stop walking and sit down to try to warm their feet. They literally sit in the snow rather than walk on it! And yet, despite the snow a

A Snowy Christmas

It snowed on Christmas! How rare and beautiful to see so much snow over the long holiday weekend.  Below are a few photos from around the farm on Christmas Day, as well as the day after Christmas when even more snow fell. Late on Christmas Day, Reggie the miniature horse made a trip out to the end of the field wearing his holiday best. We were delighted to greet him and visit with Andrea that evening.  We also walked around the farm. My favorite Christmas tree is behind our house by the creek, as you can see above.  We also walked out to the community barn to see the animals there. Only a few inches had fallen by the end of the day, just enough to create some excitement in the neighborhood.  We could hear kids nearby, screaming with excitement, likely immersed in a snowball fight.  We left holiday treats for the barn animals: peanuts for Patch, apples and a carrot for Reggie, and kitty treats for Barney the barn cat. Otherwise, w e spent most of Christmas Day indoors, enjoying a quiet

Our First Homemade Gingerbread House

Decorating a gingerbread house at Christmas time has become a tradition in our home.  Normally we buy a kit with the gingerbread shapes already baked and ready for assembly.  This year, for the first time, we decided to make the entire gingerbread house from scratch! We were inspired by a book we came across in the library, A Year of Gingerbread Houses by Kristine Samuell. It wasn't nearly as difficult as we thought it might be to do the entire thing ourselves. The three main difficulties in making a gingerbread house from scratch are: 1) Finding inspiration for the design of the house; 2) Being patient enough to wait for the house to finish baking; and 3) Using caution when assembling the house, by allowing adequate drying time for each phase of assembly. As for the first challenge, our daughter Elizabeth provided the inspiration for the house.  We decided to create the design on the computer, using Microsoft Word to insert shapes (squares and triangles) to create the front, side

Behind Our Home - Views of Morse Creek

What a wet and rainy fall we've had here thanks to the Pineapple Express, which has caused "Atmospheric Rivers" to pass through multiple times. It sounds frightening, this latest weather buzzword. Whoever heard of rivers in the atmosphere before 2021? But here we are, with rivers running above us, dropping huge amounts of rain on this whole corner of the Pacific Northwest.  So far Morse Creek, which runs behind our house on its way to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, has swelled and is rushing hard.  Since it has a big enough place to dump its water in the Strait, so far we seem to be okay.  But just in case, let's say a prayer, think positive thoughts, and knock on wood.  We still worry of course, as we are in what's known as a 300 year flood plain.  We are super thankful for our flood insurance policy, which gives us peace of mind at night when we can hear the rain pounding on the roof as we try to sleep.   I thought I'd put a few photos here to update you all on