This new love of my cat's life is the doormat we purchased to replace the filthy and disintegrating mat that I pitched when we cleaned out the mudroom. Unlike its vastly inferior predecessor, this mat is apparently a glorious place for a cat to recline. I found Tim rolling all over it not long after I installed it. He rolled this way and stretched that way. He's so happy he's even letting his udder hang out, though the rest of us are wondering if we should buy him a pair of pants to cover his bald spots.
The chickens, on the other hand, are too cold to have any attitude. Usually, we have one or two days per winter that are so cold that I don't let the birds out. This year, though, they've spent close to two weeks confined to their quarters.
See? Doors closed, chickens inside.
The older chickens waited out their imprisonment with reasonable stoicism (stiff upper beak, and all that), although they seem to have acquired a pet mouse, who might even be the same mouse we recently evicted from the mini-coop when we cleaned it out for the new birds. All the same, they get a little wiggy if they are confined for too long, so --regardless of the snow, which they usually don't like to get on their feet-- they plowed their way outside when it was finally warm enough (i.e., 15 or over) to let them out again.
The new chickens are another story. When we moved them from their early home in the garage, we tried to learn from our last experience moving chickens to a coop. That time, we opened the ramp immediately and the chickens eventually discovered the great outdoors and tried to convince us that they had no further use for indoor living. We put a stop to their camping expedition after one of the chickens disappeared (pretty much immediately, poor thing) and this year we followed a recommendation to confine the birds to their new quarters for a few days so they would understand it was home.
It turns out that these chickens are even stupider than the last bunch. We confined them for a few days and then held the grand opening. They looked outside and then went back in. We tempted them with some grain sprinkled on the ramp. Two of them made their way out, fell off the ramp, and were totally unable to figure out where they were, where they came from, how they could get back, or whether they should even try. I had to squeeze my way across the snow and into the little run and put them back in the coop by hand.
Since that time, they have steadfastly ignored the world outside. Even on the nicest days, they pretend it is not there. We have tried luring them out again, but all we get is a prolonged attempt to eat the grain off the ramp without actually stepping out the coop . . .
followed by a show of tail feathers as they return to the real world.
They are entirely citified and I think my only hope is to let the old chickens into the little run in case they can teach these bimbos a thing or two.
There has also been some knitting and some blocking, if you will pardon the lackluster photography.
First up: an Oscilloscope Shawl. I loved this when I first saw it published in Interweave Knits, but I tried to knit it with fingering weight yarn and, after getting mixed results anyway following the charts (my fault), I realized I wasn't going to have enough yarn to make more than a glorified handkerchief and set it aside. This time, the project flew by with no problems and now it just needs a little blocking before I can enjoy all that graphic straight line-iness.
Next, I finally blocked my Bridgewater.
And, I finished and blocked Triinu, which is very soft and alpaca-y.
And last, the reject-o-hat. The yarn was not springy and I should have sized the needles up, because this is the smallest hat ever. No one can get it to stay on his or her head. You put it on, pull it down to try and make it cover your ears, and seconds later, you feel it working its way upwards as it contracts to its original shape. Ah well. Some day I will meet a very small person in need of a blue hat.
And now, if you will excuse me, I must go. I was supposed to spend this morning working, but I didn't. And that's all I have to say about that.