Not deferential enough: And so it begins

Posted Friday, November 21, 2014 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: And so it begins

by Gina Hamilton

It's cold. Not just ordinary late November cold, it's truly cold, with biting wind chills and dangerously chilly temperatures.

Not so dangerous for us, perhaps, but we had to move the ducks into the ancient root cellar this week, so I wandered over to Tractor Supply and bought a bale of straw and laid it on the ground, then tried to catch the ducks and put them in the cat carrier to ferry them downstairs. We moved the dog's pool and the duck's pond pool downstairs as well, and their little coop, which had to be emptied of some rather stinky litter -- luckily it was right next to the compost pile -- and slowly carried down. It's downstairs now, but I have to arrange it better so they can use it as their little hideaway. I'll also fill up a dishpan for them to have some water to splash in. Right now they have water and feed, and a lot of straw to get used to.

The baby chickens -- well, they're full size now, but they were babies not all that long ago -- are beginning to lay eggs, so I put the wooden eggs in their nesting boxes to give them a clue about where the eggs should go. They need a heat lamp if this weather keeps up. They have one, but I have to figure out how to attach it inside the coop in the morning. I bought some new bulbs this morning. I also have to invest in a second set of waterers if things are going to freeze, and the "babies" now need a bigger feeder, too.

I also have to cover the back of their coop with some plywood and tape down some tarps on the side and on the front for the winter. They need deeper litter, too. The older chickens need a new heat lamp bulb, but they already have the fixture in their coop, and I need to find the other plexiglass window, somewhere under the dead leaves, to put on the north side of the coop. I was not prepared for winter. Even so, we have a Plan.

Having a Plan is a good thing. It means that some thought has gone into the whole process, at least. Today I bought a second outdoor extension cord and a three-prong thing to plug both extension cords into. I bought baby guards to cover up the holes that aren't being used.

Tomorrow, we'll carry down the hoses and carry up the Adirondack chairs and finish cleaning up the yard and move the summer garden things to the back of the shed and move the winter things to the front. And Chris will shut off the tap to the water in the so called warm basement, and we'll put away the greenhouse and empty out the onion, carrot, and potato bins, I'll cut back my roses if I seem like I've got the time, and I'll neatly stack all the tomato cages in the secret garden and bring in the bench, the fragile plant pots -- the rest can stay in the shed -- and the beach chairs and bicycles and other things lying around. Maybe we can try to put the roofing pieces on the pergola so we can perhaps store wood pellets there. 

It's all just so much fun down at Turning Tide Cottage, and it's hard to believe Thanksgiving is coming just a week from now.

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