Wednesday, November 24, 2010

cozy crazy

I was going to ask, rhetorically, if there was anything cozier than a threesome of cows and a foursome of chickens cuddled up in a barn full of hay while the snow piles up outside. And then I quickly realized that, yes, a chaise lounger by a hot fire, with a cup of tea, is actually cozier.

The hay in the barn was "stacked" by a couple of crippled men and me. Those 90# bales are piled cross-ways, diagonal, sloping, etc.  It's all pretty dangerous and the kids haven't been allowed to climb it... when I'm looking.  The hay outside, covered tight with tarps, is molding to the extent that it's covered in mushrooms.  I'm trying to clear it out quickly, but now it's covered in a foot or so of snow and is hard to get.  Where did I go wrong?

In the barn, things were cozy, until the wind kicked up, blew snow into every corner and covered the "dry" hay with a pretty dust we call: Frosted Mega-Wheats.  The 8 house finches that stayed are very unhappy with my schedule.  They are ready long before I to see the light of day.  And they fly at me when I open the doors in the morning.  The other people more than ready for my arrival are the 40 or so quail who have set up their compound in our wood pile and would like to get some drinking water from the chickens' heated trough and pick up the crumbs they left.  Yesterday, I saw two large white owls soaring over our property, so I ducked in to the barn to check on the chickens.  But instead, I freaked out the quail flock which frantically flew into the walls and hay bales until most of them finally bashed their way out the other door.  I don't want our chickens co-mingling so closely with these wild ones (no matter how adorable their plumes) due to bird flu and other avian ailments.  But I can't imagine what I'd be willing do about it right now.  The chickens are still laying, somewhat, but unless you get that egg a few minutes after it's laid, you can count on the frozen goop bursting the shell out.

This is the first time we've been hit by both snow and wind from the NE, so new parts of the house were tested.  You'll remember that last year my father-in-law re-installed the french doors on the east wall.   The foot tall snow drift in our green room reminded me that I was supposed to install the weather stripping, which I did mostly, but I wasn't sure I'd done it right.  So I left the bottom foot off, for some reason that made sense to me a year ago but cannot be explained now.  Anyway, I meant to ask Huck if I'd done it right before finishing it off and making un-re-do-able cuts.  And so on Monday, I remembered that finally.  Only too bad for us because the stripping was now frozen in an unhelpful position... nothing a little interior duct tape redecoration and some rolled up towels couldn't handle.   Other than that, we've stayed pretty cozy.

Between homeschooling, Coyote being sick and Coyote's snow days, moments to myself have been non-existent.  And I am now at that unfortunate place that makes it impossible to enjoy my children.  I know.  I know... some of you just think that a mom needing alone time is the biggest sin of all.  What are we to do, we who need large swaths of empty time: never have children?  It's a struggle for all of us who need clear space for the old cabezas and uncommitted time to mentally roam.  Having children does pose it's difficulties to each personality sort, and for me, this is the biggest.  At this desperate point, we're about to pile in the auto and head for the West Side.  Unfortunately, such trips involve not only being cooped up in a confined space hurtling at unlikely speeds over ice, but once we get there, it's socializing non-stop with people you love, and no empty rooms.  But if the weather and passes change my mind, then I'll be home in yet another snow storm WITH THE KIDS!  Huck will be home for the next five days and I hope he can relieve this dearth of space, because I'd really like to get back to the place where I want to play with, cross-country ski with, and even look at others.

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