Saturday, October 22, 2005

Preparations for Winter

I decided to set my studio up downstairs in the room behind the kitchen. This was my original plan, but I changed my mind after I moved in because the space seemed too small and I thought I needed more room for kitchen things. It has been so difficult for me to get excited about the studio upstairs, though, that it was a relief to get a new idea. Now everything is in place and ready for me to get to work. I even cleaned all three of my palettes; oil, watercolor, and acrylic. I placed my chair beside the window so that I can watch birds at the feeder. Moving the things from upstairs was not so hard, and now I can make that bedroom into a proper guest room. I feel that everything is in its proper place now.

This morning before I tackled the studio, I winterized the chicken house. I had bought some heavy plastic at the hardware store on the way back from Harrington yesterday. Armed with my stapler, scissors, and a dish of food and oyster shells, I headed out to do the job. I let the chickens out for some fresh air while I worked. For once, it was easier than I had dared hope. AnnieII pecked me only until I came across with the food, and Demeter was easily herded back into the pen after a daring escape over the fence. She took off like an eagle, soaring over the wire as if she could go south for the winter. The flight came to an ubrupt end, though, just a foot on the other side, and she was more than happy to come back through the gate to get her lunch. Both girls are looking fat and healthy, with no signs of earlier trauma.

I stapled plastic over the windows of the chicken house both inside and out. That was so easy and without incident that I decided to go ahead and deal with the problem of keeping the water from freezing when the time comes, and providing heat for Demeter and Annie when it turns colder. Luck was with me and I found a small hole in the rear of the house that I had plugged up when I first put Demeter in there. I re-opened the hole and pushed a long extension cord into the house from the outside. I pulled enough cord inside to plug into the water heating platform and then covered the hole up again. I'll use an extension cord to hook up the light bulb that will warm up the nesting box. Then I untangled and pulled the heavy orange cord all the way to the back door to the cellar, where I will plug it in later on. I felt pleased that I had uncharacteristically done this job early enough to avoid panicking when the first snow is forecast. I surveyed my preparations with satisfaction.

I am a person prepared. I am a person who believes in the future.

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