Sunday 24 December 2023

Happy Holidays!

December has been a tiring month for me. Mostly just chasing down the greenhouse and solar people for updates as well as trying to make sure all the chickens are healthy through being stuck in one spot for the winter.

Jennifer's legs are back to a nice healthy shape and colour.

So very soon after Jennifer got back to full health, I walked into the shed one morning and it looked like a pillow exploded. Just black feathers, everywhere. Isabella had decided that moulting slowly over the course of a month or two just wasn't for her and she was gonna shed a third of her feathers overnight.

Gotta say that the assless chaps is not a good look on her.

Because it's been hitting freezing temps, and not just overnight, and she still had so much more to moult, I brought her inside for a week and a half. She was still loosing an entire dustpan full of feathers pretty much every day for a while and was a very naked chicken.

Eventually her new feathers started to come in and she looked like a hairbrush. She did scare us for a bit by walking funny until I looked it up and watched her again with new eyes. Turns out she was so shockingly naked that she was weirded-out by her own wings or a breeze touching her and she'd walk sideways to try to avoid it. Isabella was a lovely houseguest but was missing her flock. (humans are so boring in comparison)

When her pin-feathers started turning from pins to feathers I put her back out with the rest of the flock because the weather had turned a little warmer and although I knew she wasn't going to be completely comfortable, it had really been too long away socially. 

When I took her back out to the shed it took a couple minutes for them to recognize her, a couple hours to agree she was still top hen, and a couple days before everything completely settled back down through the chain. Poor thing still isn't fully feathered out a week later and is hiding in the shed during the day to avoid the wind. Hopefully just a few more days will clear those feather sheaths and she'll be nice and cozy

About a week ago we found a cool shop nearby called Always Proud that sells everything from vibrators to nick-nacks and uses the proceeds to further LGBT causes in the local government. We also popped into a local community association / mutual aid group to drop off some extra soap and laundry detergent, and pick up some yogourt and gluten-free stuff from the second harvest delivery. It's a really great way for folks to support each other and keep food out of the landfill.

I was going to have a cool before-and-after photo set of installing lazy susans into my corner kitchen cupboards to make use of all the space.... but it seems that's not going to work with these cupboards. Any size big enough to make use of the space can't spin properly due to the weird shape... so now I've gotta send them back. :-(

I've also been busy this week with some canning. Seven litres of Habitant style pea soup and another seven litres of chili with meat.

The neighbours that were going to come by for RPGs are too busy due to the holidays so all that is put on hold until January. On the upside, they liked my carrot cake so much we traded a cake for a pie. :-)

Hugslut and I are going to have our usual christmas brunch with cold sausage rolls for her and some sort of gluten free cake for me served with boozy-coffee and mimosas in front of a youtube video promising "Christmas music and fireplace - 10 hours". I'm looking forward to it, but today was just jam packed with finishing off all the little things on my to-do list so I don't have to think for a few days. :-)

In other news, the weather and the crew lined up after two months of waiting, and as of Dec 22nd, we have a brand spanking new greenhouse and it it gorgeous. Now I've just gotta get a bunch of dirt to fill it with. Hopefully I'll have that all taken care of before the end of January in order to have seeds in the soil for February.

Happy holidays to you all and I am wishing you a wonderful 2024.

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