It is all my fault. For months, I have been begging and pleading and wishing for it. More Snow. I firmly believe that if we are going to be stuck with cold temperatures and gray skies, we should at least have some snow to play in. Last week I got my wish. Not only did it snow, but we got a snow day out of it. And then, just when I thought I was going to spend the day on some over due work and just nag my kids to go out and play, some friends drove out to keep us company, play in the snow with us, and get stuck in our driveway. It was the perfect snow day.
The great thing about late winter snow storms is that the temperature usually isn't quite so frigid, which makes playing outside that much more enjoyable. On Saturday morning, we let the kids fend for themselves and El Husbando and I took the dog snow-shoeing. The dog took a pass on the actual snow shoes and for a little while, we weren't even sure we could get him to leave the property because he is so firmly trained to his Invisible Fence boundaries. In the end, we tricked him by crossing the IF line in an unusual spot and when we came home, don't you think he insisted in taking the long way back to the house so that he could cross at that same spot again? Dogs.
On the way down to the walking trail, we passed these little beauties: cats(tails) in hats.
El Husbando with the fraidy-dog:
Fraidy-dog getting all low on the trail:
He loves the snow and, invisible fence issues aside, he thought this was just about the best day ever. He spent the rest of it sleeping, which made it a pretty good one in my book too. There's really not a lot of good stuff that happens when a large dog gets cabin fever.
One way we have passed the winter days is tossing different foods into the coop and seeing what the chickens will eat. So far, the answer has been everything. Spinach, wilty salad, and cracked corn were not surprising; we expected them to gobble it all up and they obliged. But, I threw (literally: it has to clear a 6 foot fence) a bunch (head? stalk group?) of celery in the other day and now there is no sign of it. We have also learned that you can hang a head of cabbage and they will peck at it with a viciousness that is terrifying. The first cabbage that I put in was steadfastly ignored for a few days until they decided that it had come in peace. (In this sense, the are much bolder than my children, who still believe that cabbage is deadly). Then they hacked away at it until nothing but the core was left. The second cabbage didn't even last 24 hours. The only disappointment is that the birds can peck at the cabbage and tear off the leaves without making the head sway too much, even though it is suspended from a wire loop on a rope. I was really hoping to watch some chicken volleyball.
The other surprise favorite was spaghetti. My advice on this issue is never to let a seven year old toss spaghetti into your chicken run. Regardless of my thorough and clear instructions as to spaghetti placement (between the nets, please), an awful lot of it ended up stranded (hahaha) on top of the netting instead of in the coop. The girls didn't seem to care. They gobbled up the noodles that fell to the ground, and the stuff that didn't fall immediately has since vanished. All problems relating to leftover spaghetti have now been solved, but I can't help wondering if they were disappointed that we hadn't thrown them real worms.
As if snow days and spaghetti eating chickens were not enough to take the edge off of winter, we celebrated Purim last week. The highlight for the boys was the annual Purim Carnival. The girls and I gave it a miss this year, but we couldn't keep Matty away. As soon as he saw the bouncy house, the throngs of small, screaming children, and the mountains of worthless plastic prizes, he became a man on a mission. He dragged El Husbando in and was rewarded with fabulous gifts, including a yellow lei and an unidentifiable purple plastic animal with rubber spikes. Nate was the proud winner of the funny glasses, but he was very happy to share them. Certain elder children, however, were much too cool to be photographed wearing them.
And last, I really and truly did finish my knitting olympics project, the Slanting Gretel Tee. I even finished it during the real Olympics, which entitled me to cyber-medals and pdf certificates of knitting excellence. Unfortunately, my knitting skills far outstrip my compter skills, and I have not yet been able to copy my gold medal image to post on my blog. Bummer. But, really the prize is that I get to wear this:
The goofy bit of extra fabric in the front has settled down a little bit, and it turns out that this whole short sleeve layered sweater thing is very comfy. I have worn the sweater twice in the week since I finished it (a thrilling tale in itself; I was weaving in ends between games in a 6th grade basketball tournament) and since the bugger is machine washable, it won't just languish on the handwash pile waiting for me to clean it up again. Hurray for me!