On Sunday I woke up to find not only had it rained all night, but that the weather report said it was going to rain all day too. It's winter, what did I expect? Well, so far the winter has been very mild, a couple of storms, quite a lot of fog and a few frosty mornings followed by days that haven't defrosted the crisp whiteness, but nothing really wintery. On days when it's simply too soggy to spend much time outside, I find it is better to resign myself to a day indoors or to find things to do under cover.
Since Thursday evening we have had the joy of new chicks in the house and I moved five of them into the nursery pen in the chicken condo on Saturday afternoon. You can see how I prepared the nursery pen on my vlog The Chicken Nursery
Early on Sunday morning I assessed the three youngest chicks that were still in the incubator and came to the sad conclusion that one was struggling beyond hope. It was unable to put any weight on one leg and each time it tried to stand upright, it fell forward, banging it's beak. So I did the kindest thing that I could do and put it out of its misery.
Then I took the two chicks that remained in the incubator to the nursery pen to join the other chicks. So we have seven chicks and last night as Mr J and I watched them exploring their small secure cage, we saw that the little Appenzeller Sptixhauben chick possibly has splayed legs, we decided to wait another 24 hours and observe whether it really does have the problem of splayed legs or whether it was just trying to 'find its feet'.
Being the last Sunday of the month, a local fish and chip shop had its gluten free food session and as it's a while since we had some, Mr J and I chose to have a lunch that wasn't prepared in our own kitchen. So we sat in the van, balanced the packages of hot food on our knees and ate chips and onion rings while looking out at the not-so-scenic view of the back of a supermarket, all the while the rain poured down from the sky. There was a time when I would have wanted a beautiful view to look at while I ate, but nowadays I am happy just to be with Mr J and to enjoy the simple pleasure of someone else having prepared the food.
Following that we drove the few miles to my sister's home and spent a couple of hours catching up on all of each household's news, drinking tea, sharing laughter. I love my sister, not only because she is family, but because she's such a nice person. If she wasn't family, I'd choose to have her as a close friend. Her husband is equally great to spend time with. Both of them are grounded, humble, smart and caring, they are generous, adventurous and witty, all in all, they are good eggs!
When Mr J mentioned that we ought to head home to put the animals to bed, I realised that for the first time in over 12 months I had switched off from homesteading so completely that I had forgotten that we had a time constraint and needed to be back before dusk.
So despite having done some chores in the morning and evening, I felt as though I'd had a day off. This morning (Monday) I have woken feeling relaxed, happy and raring to go again, but before I start the morning chores, I think it's time for a cuppa!
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