Snippets: while waiting for the Big Storm to arrive

Lots of things are happening at our house this week, and I’ll share a few of them with you today, as I wait for the Big Snowstorm to arrive. I’m excited.  This will keep me out of trouble.

1.  Winter Storm “Q”: I don’t remember ever being more alarmed and excited and thrilled about a snowstorm as I am about this one.  Has it been a slow weather-news month, or what?  The weather men have been talking about this storm for days.  It just started snowing at mid-day today, and I was at Wal-Mart three days ago and people were already pushing carts around loaded with milk and eggs and bread.  Just in case. I didn’t stock up, Gentle Reader, oh no!  I am not an alarmist!  Anyway, I remain in a fully-stocked state–my pantry is a picture of preparedness, always!–because that is who I am and it is the way I roll.  I start stocking up in July, when I can my first batch of tomatoes.  Er, maybe that’s August.  I come from a long, long line women who wake up early each day dreaming of what they will make or preserve or can or dehydrate or pickle that day, for the freezer or the pantry.

Here my faithful companion and good ole hound, Ollie, lies down just where I want him to, next to the cracks in the soil. Good boy, Ollie!

Here my faithful companion and good ole hound, Ollie, lies down just where I want him to, next to the cracks in the soil. Good boy, Ollie!

I personally adore snow.  But the troubling aspect of this storm is that my sweet little daughter-in-law Rachel and her husband, my oldest son Matthew, are expecting their first baby any day now.  They are in St. Louis, and are receiving ice today instead of snow.  I very much do not want them to lose their electricity during this storm!  That is my prayer.  “God, you can take away my electricity and plunge me into darkness for three days and give me a taste of true deprivation, but please–please let the lights stay on in St. Louis!”

The air has been so dry around here in recent days that I can’t seem to drink enough, and everybody in our house is struggling with dry skin and flyaway hair, and morning sore throats.  As you can see in the photo above, the earth is cracking again, which is unusual during wintertime.  So snow is welcome at my house. What am I saying?  Snow is always welcome at my house.  (Yes, I’m . . . “one of those.”)

The chickens watch me warily, even though I just gave them quite a gift:  half a bale of fresh straw!

The chickens watch me warily, even though I just gave them quite a gift: half a bale of fresh straw! In the background also you see my goose, Lucy, and two guineas:  Hope and Peace, both optimistically named, by the way.

2. I took extra care this morning as I did my chores, giving the chickens fresh straw, in the hopes that during their confinement (chickens do not like snow) of the next few days, they’ll scratch and pick and peck at the straw, not at each other (chickens do like fresh straw).

Being fed indoors is a luxury for my chickens.

Being fed indoors is a luxury for my chickens.

I also moved a feeder inside, fully loaded, and plugged in the chickens’ electric water bucket.  I love these electric buckets!  They are a little pricey, but completely worth it. In fair weather, I present the chickens with their feed and water out in their yard, so they’ll have to get a little exercise to get it.  I heartily promote exercise at our place, even for the chickens.  I’m sure the are the better for it.

Ollie has his own electric bucket, too!

Ollie has his own electric bucket, too!

It started snowing as I was taking care of the dogs.  So pretty. Good thing I had my camera on me.

IMG_0223

3. Drought damage makes me so sad.
We have a ring of blue spruce trees around our house that must be over forty years old, and they appear to be dying.  The tree expert whom I called said it was because of last summer’s drought.  Another reason to welcome the snow.

Here's the view out our back windows.  Snowstorm "Q" is starting.

Here’s the view out our back windows. Snowstorm “Q” is starting.

Snow-day accoutrements!

Snow-day accoutrements!

4. Snow-day requirements for little Mack:  hot chocolate, toast with jelly, and something fun to read. And a chore list that “not too long today, please, Mom.”

I love the way my hens' eggs look on my countertop.

I love the way my hens’ eggs look on my countertop.

5. My hens are laying more eggs these days, with the days getting longer, even though it’s still winter.  How well they lay is tied to the length of the days, how cold it is, how hot is is, what kind of goodies I’m throwing to them every day. . . so many things.  But their eggs certainly are beautiful, aren’t they?

Little Mack surveys my work.

Little Mack surveys my work.

6. Here’s my snow-day project:  I need to paint eight of these crumbling brick wall flats for the melodrama.  I love doing it.  Splashing paint around is my idea of playtime.

This is Prunella. Patiently awaiting some hair, and enduring strange nose piercings.

This is Prunella. Patiently awaiting some hair, and enduring strange nose piercings.  And possibly some new false eyelashes.

7. And then there’s this.  We put on a Melodrama every spring, and this year’s show is only two weeks away now. And so our house is beginning to fill up with strange things:  a fake piano sits in the living room, waiting for paint.  The sun porch is full of black chairs and flats which are painted to look like peeling brick walls; Bryan’s shop is cluttered with pieces of a large staircase.  There are props sitting around everywhere–guns, holsters, chaps and spurs, hatchets, whisky bottles–and we’re receiving amusing items in the mail, including fake moustaches and wigs.  We’re doing a western this year and I can’t wait! Prunella sits in the living room, waiting for a wig that we ordered just for her.  She will be starring in one of my favorite scenes of the Melodrama, but I won’t say much more about that.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise.  But I’m giggling, just thinking about it.  You really ought to come, if you can manage it.  You know what they say–Giggling is the best medicine.  Or something like that.

This is one patient gal.

This is one patient gal.

That’s all the Snippets for now.  Thanks for hanging on ’til the end, Gentle Reader.  Have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend!

33 thoughts on “Snippets: while waiting for the Big Storm to arrive

  1. Leslie Jeansonne

    Best of luck with the new grandbaby. and of course the snowstorm. The snow is just beautiful. Your Walmart trip brings back memories of hurricane prep. Your hens are very productive. Do they lay Cadbury eggs? If they do, put me on the list for some extra large. LOL. Love your blog. So heartwarming.

  2. Debi

    This post is beautiful. I feel as if I’ve enjoyed a cup of tea in your neck of the woods. Hope spring comes soon–it’s already sprung here in Florida. 🙂
    Blessings,
    Debi

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Oh, Debi, that would be fun to actually have tea together and chat face to face! But Florida is a long ways away. Enjoy your springtime!

  3. Jess

    Lovely post! I want chicken and other animals to, but I live in an apartment so I guess my neighbour wouldn´t like if I had that. Here in Sweden we already have a lot of snow and I d0n´t want anymore now even if I love snow. I´m longing for the spring!!! Happy Friday.-)

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Jess,
      I’m really hungry for springtime, too, but I find that if I stay busy, I can be happy during winter, too. You live in Sweden? I’ve never been there, but my grandmother was from Sweden and she was awesome. I brag all the time about my little Swedish grandma. Happy Friday to you, too!

  4. Amethyst Mahoney

    Wow, you have a lot to take care of and do to prepare for a storm! We’ve had snow off and on since yesterday. It was supposed to be a blizzard with 18 inches! of snow, but they’re so well-prepared here that you can’t even tell. My husband’s office closed early yesterday, so we went out in the worst of it for fun. It wasn’t bad, almost no one else was on the road, and we have an Expedition with 4-wheel drive. 🙂

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Amethyst,
      That sounds like fun! I love having lots of snow to play in! Where do you live? When we lived in Memphis, TN, we used to go out every time it snowed (which wasn’t often) because everybody else would stay home, and we’d have the roads to ourselves! Best wishes!

  5. Edgar Danmer

    I grew up in Ukraine from the age of 3 to 9 on a farm. Your blog post brought back so many memories of waking up and fetching the eggs, being chased by the rooster and so much more. Congratulations with the Grand-baby!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Thanks so much, Edgar! You grew up in Ukraine–what brought you to the U.S. and where do you live now? Every now and then we have those sorts of aggressive roosters, but they usually end up in the soup pot. Best wishes to you!

  6. Chef William

    Interesting color to some of the eggs. I just shoveled the driveway, 5 inches of snow over night. You can have my share of snow. What do you do with all those props after the play. Do you have one of those barns filled with old props and other things that people like to explore? Little Mack looks like a happy camper. You are blessed.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Chef,
      As a matter of fact, we have a very large (and cluttered!) attic where we sock away the costumes and the props, and we’ve also got a big shed where the bigger set pieces go. Although it’s getting crowded too. Little Mack generally is a happy little boy, although I think he probably feels “overmothered” sometimes, between me and all of his older siblings. Thanks again for your comments!

  7. Suerae Stein

    I’m not sure how you manage to find time to write this blog! You have a wonderfully full life. I live in New Hampshire and the difference between our back yard views is astounding. Nothing but hills and mountains here. I wish your son and daughter-in-law the best with their new baby!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Suaerae:
      How I manage to write this blog? That’s easy: I get up a couple hours before the rest of the family (including the chickens!) otherwise I’d never have the time! I have never been to New Hampshire, but I hear that it is just gorgeous there. Thanks for your comments!

  8. Susie Brown

    Great story. I love snow too but it looks like you NEED it. How very sad for your spruce trees, I hope they recover. Hopefully because they are mature they may rebound. Also, it never ceases to amaze me how cool having chickens must be. The different color eggs are beautiful. Hope you get snowed in with that perfectly prepared pantry!!!! Stay warm.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Susie,
      I’ve always wanted to have chickens, so when we moved to the country several years ago, building a chicken coop and filling it full of chickens was one of the first things I did. I love having them, and the eggs are so delicious! Thanks so much for your sweet comments!

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Don’t worry, Audrey, you’ll probably get sick of seeing pictures of my new grandbaby eventually! Thanks for your comments.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Naw, Roy, we only got about 6″, so it didn’t slow me down one bit! In fact it gave me something else fun to do–take pictures of the snow!

  9. Cher

    I love reading your blog – it is heartwarming as you live so similarly to me, love the humour too (scuse my English) We are expecting snow AGAIN here in France – So of to stock a little with the fresh stuff tomorrow – will play as always in the kitchen and guess a lot more work on the flippin computer!
    I am gonna build a Snow Cat! Oh love the peircing haha
    🙂

  10. Helen

    Beautiful photograph of your eggs!
    I don’t get nearly as many as you do, but I often leave mine on the counter for a while just so I can see them. I have only 5 chickens that lay, but one that hatched in August should start laying soon. I can’t wait to see what color her eggs are.

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