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And it continues!!
Here are before and after pictures of the FIRST time I dug the car out yesterday. we were expecting a foot or more of new snow, then rain. I thought it best to dig it out BEFORE it rained. That meant digging it out twice.
You can see my progress because I was able to take off my snow shoes and put them on the hood, and just dig in my knee high insulated rubber boots. 2 sessions of about an hour each got the driveway cleared almost to pavement/gravel.

I also had to get snow off the chicken coop roof before the rain made it so heavy that it crushed the roof. I bought a roof rake a few years back that I only just now needed to open up...parts were missing!! the braces that keep the head from waggling all over and ALL the bolts. They gave me nuts, no bolts. What the heck? Anyway, there is a parts list but the rain was coming. I couldn't find my baling wire...had to use twine and a bit of duct tape. Got me through this time.

I was home from work. The office ended up closing at 1:30 to let people try to get home...probably safer if no one had driven in in the first place. I let my boss know a day ahead I would be home


Sky Snow Mountain Tree Slope
Land vehicle Snow Car Vehicle Automotive tire
 

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From where I'm sitting it looks beautiful. Reminds me of the winters of my childhood. I didn't have to drive in it then and I don't now. I hop the spring melt doesn't cause flooding or landslides.
 

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I finally cleaned my stove pipe cap! The spark arrester thingy gets clogged up and then the failure won't draft well. I bought a 'sooteater' with Xmas $$ and man... the amount of build up that rained down!! The gadget is a drill powered chimney brush. Like a 'weed eater' on a long stick. 70$.

I had some money left over and next on the list was a little self powere fan that sits on the wood stove and blows the heat around. Also works great!

The chickens are enjoying the bits of fresh air with the warmer days thonthe deep snow keeps them limited to the spot I dug out for them. And they are eating like pigs!!! NO foraging plus chilly nights I guess. Or perhaps just because it is there??

Still snowshoeing to the car parked down by the road. The snow has crusted over but trying to walk in boots I slide on the ice until one leg pokes through and I bark my shin on the crust. snowshoeing is just easier and a bit of fun to start the day.

It got up to 50 in my tiny greenhouse today!! I keep hoping the radish seeds I put in there in december will grow. Just an experiment. So far nope.
 

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"former lake"? Like recently or in the ice age?

The thaw continues. I COULD post-hole walk punching through the snow now, BUT the ice on top of and sometimes below the snow is a booger so I am wearing my snow shoes just for the crampon action. Better traction. I don't think yaktrax would cut it in the 1' of snow still on the ground. The old snow shoe trails, because the snow is more packed down, are now high spots and hard to walk on. Better to boot up, snow-shoe-up and create a new trail pretty much each morning. I think by the end of the weekend I will be back down to just knee high rubber boots! The excitement.

When I stopped at goodwill yesterday I noticed that every single customer was wearing knee high rubber boots...cheap, expensive, fancy, wornout, new...all versions, but tall and waterproof.

The chickens have enough space, and it is warm enough that I am back to watering them outside. This cuts down on one trip into the poop-zone inside the coop. They also started eating more of the calcium supplement oyster shells so they are getting my hopes up that maybe another will start laying eggs in the next few weeks.
The thrifted solar xmas lights I found are working well as cheapo coop lighting. It does tend to make the whole thing glow at 4am when I turn the lights on because the whole south wall including the door is sided with old greenhouse plastic. No other lights on the property. People on the highway just this crazy patchwork glowing shed thing with patchwork metal roof and oddly long bits of siding. The siding is temporary and with the lack of available lumber here, I didn't want to cut boards shorter just to fit over there for a few months until I get the real walls up! Anyway, either they think "typical idaho" or "when did the clampets move in??"

Re-upped my building permit for another 6 months yesterday. Asked the inspector (also the boss of the dept) about a change I want to make. He said he will meditate on it. I will continue to bug him until I win...per usual.
 

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Very cool info Martha. Thanks.

Having a great sunny day here so off to try to get ahead on chores. Did mending this morning while it was cold out and now have 2 more long sleeve t shirts back in the wearable pile and maybe a pair of sox to wear as slippers...they are more darn than original now but still sock shaped. Also fixed a nice draw strong bag I use for toting tools and nails when I am trying to do stuff. It came with a pair if "earth" brand sandals over 20 years ago....sandals that are on my feet right now keeping my slipper sox from picking up saw dust and slivers from woodstove debris around the shed. No amount of sweeping seems to keep that stuff at bay
 

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The chickens are able to walk around again!! Finally have a path where the snow is melted and the chickens can get some e excuse and forage. Until yesterday they were trapped by snow to a small area by the coop. I think they can't see with the snow and the sun or something. Anyway, they are back to wandering and I see them pecking at things like they are eating. Hopefully they will ease off the feed consumption.

I 'upgraded' to a used 4g flip phone this week and am re-entering contacts by hand. The SIM card had to be changed so I figured it was a good tome to decluttering the contacts. Most people are making the cut, but not everyone.

I think it is warm enough to start switching my winter clothes out for lighter weight stuff from storage. Nice. I will keep a few things around I. Case of coke snap but I think one pair of long johns will be enough now.
 

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There was some coop drama a couple of nights ago! At 1am I have an alarm set so I make sure I get up to pee BEFORE it is a crisis. So, the alarm goes off and I'm having my internal debate "well, I could PROBABLY make it to 4am and not be so doubled up I can't make it down the ladder to the toilet..." (stupid debate, just get up and pee). Anyway, I start hearing what sounds like a critter outside which wakes me up a bit more. Then silence. Then rattling and I'm trying to figure out what would rattle and how far away it is...is it the coop? Sounds fluttery but no chicken hysterics. chickens tend to make a lot of noise when attacked. This goes on for over 30min when I finally hear the rooster make a noise. Not a hysterical noise but not a happy noise and chickens sleep at night unless disrupted. So...up I get. Hit the turlet, find pants to go over the jammies, and a coat, and get the headlamp sorted out...off to the coop through the snow.

4 or 5 of the 8 chickens including the rooster are on the floor. They sleep up on their roosts. They are crammed in a corner with the banty jammed under the oyster shell feeder. 3 others are on various roosts but awake. I don't see rodent poo or lots of feathers/blood or chickens looking attacked. I try to get awake enough to really check them and by then they think it is daytime and some move to the feeder which lets the banty (Flora) get some room. She seems fine. Fully feathered. No one is bleeding. BUT one roost, the lowest one I have never seen anyone use, is busted! Did they all gather on it and start jumping rythmically to bust it like a balcony at a frat-dance party? Have they eaten so much feed all winter that it just broke under the strain of their chunky butts?

I go in and take down the broken bits. Take a closer look at them while in there. No one seemed bitten. I have rodent droppings in a corner I can't get to but those are from when I forgot the lid on the feed can a month ago. No new droppings. No rodents in the traps outside the chicken area. No one with a neck bit like a weasel had been in. No one with a stomach bit like a raccoon got in. Strange. So, I leave them. In the morning they are still on the floor with 3 on roosts, and still have all 8 and no feather or blood chaos. STRANGE. Must have just been the broken roost. If my bed busted and dropped me in the middle of the night I would be upset as well, but the prolonged noise making is still confusing. Anyway, the few who are laying in the winter still are laying the past few days so I guess they weren't that upset.
 

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True confessions: I was in Santa Fe for 10 days at my mom's 80th Bday. Just got back Weds night. I never post trips on any social media...even this!
Anyway, it was for mom's 80th bday and to help a friend who has moved there to retire and has health issue that make her mobility challenged.

Seeing her super cute 1950s/60s fake adobe (they call it "faux-dobe") house. I am all about polished plaster as an interior finish! Pretty and smooth but doesn't bounce sound like other hard surfaces.
Then...mom and the other relatives, 6 total women counting me, showed up and we moved into 2 2-bedroom condos for the week of visiting. Each condo had 2 1/2 baths...6 women and 6 toilets is a good ratio for us older gals.

We ate excellent food. My sister and mom are staying a month while my sister works from home ...from a vacation rental. Mom's older sister lives just outside Santa Fe so they can visit for a good long time. Of course there is one jerk in any group and that is the california aunt. It was my job to divide the 6 of us between the 2 condos...but 4 of the 6 don't want to room with that aunt. Neither of her sisters. So I took the hit, I prefer not to stay with her but can do it. I slept on the couch because I get up early, work out and move on. The cranky aunt does NOTHING before noon but did rent the only car and avoid putting any other drivers on it which helps her maintain control of those who don't walk. I walk. And I learned to use "Lyft". I would just walk 10 min to downtown santa fe and start my day with more coffee, food and art. So much fun. When the rest of the made it out of the condos we met up for lunch.

It was a fairly thrifty trip. 250$ for my flight. 250 for the hotel before my relatives arrived. Mom paid for the week of condos out of money gramma left, but this is the last year that will happen. Those who stay more than a chip in for the rest of the condo time.

My chickens went to my friend's farm. I call it the "egg-bnb" because there was still snow and ice on my hill when I left so no one was going to climb that hill to feed/water them. It got down below 0degsF while i was gone. They can live through that if they have water delivered many times a day. Better at the egg-bnb. I go get them this weekend. she didn't want payment but I got her a couple of small souvenirs and she knows I will help her out the next time she butchers chickens. Mine stayed in an old dog kennel that is used as chicken prison for runaway hens.

I also got to see lots of art for cheap in Santa Fe, go to a farmers market and an art market where I know some of the vendors. spent money on some jewelry but not a huge amount.

Now I am home, eating from the pantry and trying to get my salt/sugar/carbs down to remotely healthy levels! I'm puffy from the over eating. But it was worth it.
 
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