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Friday, January 9, 2015

Serious Winter!

Looking out on a sunny, snowy landscape at the moment. We do not have a LOT of snow, but the ground is finally covered and not likely to be bare for a while. We have temperatures that are forecast to remain below freezing and at least one (more) night that looks to drop into the double-digits-below-zero with wind. We had a -13 temperature over night a couple of nights ago, and with winds running about 20 MPH, considerable wind chills. Even with heat lights on the pipes under the house and in the cabinets where they usually freeze, we have no running water. And with another frigid night in the forecast with days that do not reach even close to freezing, let alone going above, I do not hold much hope for thawing any time soon.

We have been shoveling snow into a large kettle on the space heater to melt for flushing and watering fowl, and each time I renew the fowl's liquid water, I bring the ice that I can collect from dumping their basins back in to thaw. It is, after all, more densely packed than snow, so I have to carry less to get more water.

Peace, Love and Protection
Meanwhile my push to get things done prior to surgery continues. The freeze-drying laundry totaled a couple of the aging clotheslines, but after repairing some and relocating laundry to others, it all did dry successfully. The final roosters are in the freezer and all of the chickens are now happily sharing the new coop. How do I know they are happy? Well, despite the temperatures and regardless of the short days, I have been getting an egg, or even two, each day! The ducks seem happier with just Christmas, the remaining white turkey, as a house mate and have been willing to go into the coop even on nights when, previously, they would have just hunkered down in the snow.

Abundance and Prosperity hex sign from http://www.dutchhexsign.com
Busy hex painting days continue. Today I will ship a 2 foot Abundance and Prosperity, left, and a new design, for Peace, Love and Protection, which was commissioned by someone who has not yet purchased, and loved by my youngest daughter, for whom I painted a 1 foot version for her to hang indoors (though it is a wooden sign, it has a picture hanger on back instead of the drilled mounting holes .  I hope to be able to feature this sign on my web site, http://www.dutchhexsign.com, as a regular offering soon!

Mighty Oak, 36" hex sign from http://www.dutchhexsign.com
We were also finally able to connect with the local (Maine) folks who had bought a 36" Mighty Oak sign which we were supposed to meet to deliver. Since they are in southern Maine and we are in the center of the state, we agreed to meet about mid-way, in the Mardens parking lot in Waterville. While I am NOT a fan of our local Mardens store -- it is poorly lit, badly organized and dirty -- I was blown away the first time I visited their Waterville location earlier this year and never mind a good excuse to get down that way. We were early and while waiting for the buyer's husband to arrive around 6 pm, we browsed the store and I found huge roll of webbing -- like for dog leashes -- for $5. I was wanting a LONG leash for the Moose to allow him to explore the grounds with greater freedom and still be able to rein him in if needed and this will work well. All I need is the clip to attach the lead to his harness and a bit of time with the sewing machine!

I had also been keeping my eye open for a good deal on some new baking sheets as mine are very ratty and much more suited to their spring time alternative use as a base for the soil blocks -- and found some very nice once for 99 cents each! So, a successful trip all round. The client is very happy with their sign, too.