Winter Race

I woke up very early on Tuesday morning–about 3-ish–and couldn’t go back to sleep. I wasn’t able to get a nap because it was an extremely busy day with many errands to run. I fed, watered, and let the chickens and ducks out, went to vote, drove into the Emerald City and made a brief stop at Joann Fabrics for some yarn before going to an appointment, drove home and went with JJ to his dentist. On the way home, he stopped to vote and we made a brief visit to the grocery store where I bought a deli chicken and coleslaw for supper because after all the running around I didn’t feel like cooking. EJ voted on his way home from work.

Because of the early morning and busy day, I didn’t plan to stay up to watch the election results. Besides, I pretty much thought I knew who would win. However, I started watching the election results on the Internet (we don’t have our TV hooked up) and then I got drawn in. It was like watching a cliff-hanging movie. A friend and I “watched” the election together via FB chat, commenting back and forth as we watched the results trickle in. We ended up staying up until about 3:30 a.m., which means I was awake for 24 hours. Ugh. I felt as if I spent the rest of the week trying to catch up on all the sleep I had lost.

I won’t say a lot about the elections except that I deplore the violence that the Hillary supporters have engaged in. I can understand feeling disappointed, sad, upset, concerned, and a bunch of other emotions when people’s candidate loses an election. However, rioting, assaulting and insulting people because “their” candidate won is deplorable. The USA has been great because we have a free society, we have the right to speak our minds and vote for who we want, and we have a peaceful transfer of power. In a free election, sometimes “our” candidate will win an election, sometimes “our” candidate will lose. That’s the way it is. We don’t always get what we want. If “we” are concerned about the world view of the “other side,” we can work to change it through lawful and peaceful ways and protests. The smashing, burning, assaulting, and insults is nothing more than a tantrum and no matter who wins an election, both sides ought to speak against the violence. Our country is great because there is a peaceful transition of government.

Enough said.

In our beautiful, peaceful Enchanted Forest, we are in a race to get projects completed before winter slams us with cold and snow.

The condensation clouds the view through our windows
The condensation clouds the view through our windows

We have some windows that lost their seals, which means that condensation has gotten between the double panes. We decided that we’d rather pay for new efficient windows than higher heating costs so we are having Lowes replace the three worst windows. Although we first contacted Lowes in September, their crews have been so busy installing windows that we were down on the list. We’ve been contacted that the windows are now ready so I’m hoping they can get installed this week.

Problem solving
Problem solving

Although my solution/setup of having the chicken and duck coops in the garage is quite clever, it was only meant to be temporary. Our dilemma is that we have to have the garage door open during the day so the ducks and chickens can go outside. That’s fine during the summer but in the winter keeping the garage door open 1. puts EJ’s equipment at risk of weather damage, 2. would make it too cold for EJ to work in his garage, and 3. does not enable the poultry to escape from cold and snow. Also, I don’t know if we could get the garage door open if the snow gets deep, which means the chickens and ducks would be stuck inside all winter, and that would make it unpleasant for EJ to work in his garage. So what to do?

This is our shed, only without the windows.
This is our shed, only without the windows.

We are paying for our windows with our new Lowes credit card. When I saw how little our minimum monthly payment would be, I realized that we could very easily afford to buy a shed for a coop. EJ agreed. So we ordered a 10 x 12 shed. Since we need to get it set up before winter, we are having Lowes build it for us. They have scheduled the installation of the shed for Monday, November 28.

Once the crew builds the shed, we have to quickly get it painted and then get it set up: We need to set up fencing both inside and outside the shed to keep the ducks and chickens separate, we need to cut little doors for the ducks and chickens so they can go in and out without leaving the big doors open. We’d like to make the fencing around the outside pen more predator-proof. In addition, we hope to replace some of the t-posts with wooden posts because EJ wants to use the t-posts along the driveway for the snow fence. The dilemma is that so many tasks depend on completing other tasks. It’s like a brain game:

  1. We have to remove the fencing so the installers can get in to put up the shed.
  2. We can’t remove the fencing until just before the installers arrive because the chickens and ducks still need to be contained when they go outside.
  3. We can’t put up the snow fence along the driveway until we can remove replace the t-posts in the chicken/duck pen with wooden posts.
  4. We can’t replace the t-posts with posts until after the installers are finished and we reconfigure the outside fencing.
  5. We can’t put up the snow fence until after the window and shed installers have come and gone because we want the large trucks to be able to get up and down the driveway without them damaging our snow fence. Putting up the snow fence makes the driveway feel very narrow.

Meanwhile, winter is coming and everything has to be done before the weather turns bad and the ground freezes. The weather has been very nice for November–in fact, today I barely needed a sweatshirt– but I feel as if we are racing winter and I’m not sure which of us will win.

Yesterday we were busy with a lot of tasks. Ever since we moved last year, our bed has felt very uncomfortable. We wake frequently during the night and in the mornings with sore backs. No doubt something was damaged in the move, but we don’t know if the problem is the bed or the mattress so we have been tweaking things and trying less expensive measures first. We bought new box springs last year (we had to leave our old one behind because we couldn’t get it down the stairs of the old house). That helped a little, but not enough. So we bought a memory foam mattress topper, which helped a little, but not enough. So yesterday EJ built a platform to set inside the bed frame. We slept much better, not waking so often in the night, and with less sore bodies this morning. EJ says he thinks we will probably end up needing to buy a new mattress but he would prefer to delay it as long as possible…so we can afford to buy more books. He is my kind of man!

While EJ was working on the bed platform, I did laundry, cleaned, cooked, washed dishes, and dragged boxes of books out of the pantry to sort through. I put some books in the library to keep. Some went into a box labeled “garage” because EJ wants them in his garage. Others went into boxes labeled “donate.” And the books I think I can maybe sell at Amazon went into the “sell” box.  I finished sorting the boxes this afternoon. I found it very odd that even though I put a few boxes of “keep” books in the library, and have at least four boxes of “donate” books in the entrance hallway, and even though I completely emptied a few boxes, I still seem to have just as many boxes of books (to be sold) in the pantry as I did before I started sorting.  I suspect it’s one of those wibbly wobbly, timey-wimey, space-time continuum sort of things?

After our work was all done yesterday and the chickens and ducks had been put to bed for the night, we went outside to enjoy the super-moon.

I had always lived in a town until we moved to our Enchanted Forest. Because of the street lights, I had never realized that a full moon can light up the landscape so brightly that I don’t need a flashlight to see my way at night. I now really look forward to full moons. But the super-moon was so huge and so bright last night that I could very clearly see my shadow and the shadows of the trees in the forest. It was very amazing and beautiful. I tried to take a photo of it, but my camera does not have fancy lenses or filters and I don’t have technical expertise so the best I could do was this photo–and although I think it is somewhat interesting, it did not capture the hugeness of the moon at all:

The moon was so much bigger and brighter than this photo.
The moon was so much bigger and brighter than this photo.

I was, however, able to capture the colorful glow of the sunset. We have had some amazing sunrises and sunsets lately. I love the effect of the trees silhouetted against the glow of the sunrise/sunset.

The trees silhouetted against the glow of the sunset
The trees silhouetted against the glow of the sunset

I’ve been trying to walk down and up our driveway several times each day for exercise. Sometimes I try to run up the driveway, but the driveway is so steep that I cannot run for very long before I am huffing and puffing and in danger of collapse. The other morning I was walking down the driveway when I heard a rushing sound like the approach of a powerful wind-except all the trees near me were completely still. Then I looked behind me and I could follow the approach of the wind as the trees began to sway, closer and closer and closer until the wind passed by me and continued on it’s way. It was amazing. I love our Enchanted Forest.

JJ has struggled to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He has been interested in law enforcement so last week he talked to the director of the law enforcement program at his college. The director was impressed with him and JJ decided to major in law enforcement. He signed up for 14 credits for next term and now he has three weeks to figure out how to come up with almost $4,000 to pay for his classes. We have helped him with college a little, but we can’t help much. Mostly we help him with his medical bills. He continues to have periodic x-rays and blood draws to make sure that his cancer doesn’t return, and those procedures cost money, especially with our medical insurance going up. So he has to pay for his classes himself. He is working, of course, but doesn’t make enough. He has explored grants, scholarships, and financial aid with little success. So he is now looking into loans, the possibility of increasing limit on his credit card, etc. I’m praying he makes it. If he can take his desired courses, he can enter police academy next fall.


2 Comments on “Winter Race

  1. Oh and our journey’s continue, life for all of you is busy but so much good comes out of your planning and efforts and it is a delight to hear. You do know that your feathered friends are so blessed to have all of your love and dedication to their well being. Their gonna enjoy their new home.
    We pray JJ will be successful in the field of law enforcement he will do much good especially with his background. Say hi to the guys and our love to all.
    PS Our moon was so beautiful hanging low over the harvested corn fields last night as we drove home, time for reflection.


    • Hi, Linda!

      Autumn is especially busy as we try to prepare for winter. We won’t get everything done, but we try to get more prepared every year–and, in fact, every season.

      EJ said mentioned the possibility of up to 8 inches of snow this weekend. I want the snow to hold off until the beginning of December, at least, because I fear the window and shed crew won’t make it up our driveway if there is too much snow!

      I do think the chickens and ducks will love their new home. 🙂

      I loved the beauty of the supermoon. I’m glad you could enjoy it too.

      Love from all of us to you and Bob ❤


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