Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It's New Year's Eve!!

Tonight, you will find us...

Hanging with friends:

Having a bite to eat:

Playing with toys:

Maybe taking a quick a nap when nobody's looking:

We'll possibly play some party games:

Of course, at midnight, we'll jump for joy:

And tonight, while we're sleeping, we'll dream about finding that perfect spot to lie in the sun:

A new year is about to begin! What are you doing tonight?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

No electricity = no fun

Hey, it's me, Danni. Did you notice I was gone? Yup, for two days. Things just keep getting better around here (sarcasm alert). Our electricity went out - twice - on Sunday. Both times were fairly short - just a few hours. On Monday, though, it went down at 9:00AM down and didn't come back...until late today. Believe it or not, I consider us lucky to have gotten it back as quickly as we did - many people, more rural than we, will be out for a lot longer.

We have a small generator, but even with this, it was getting really cold in the house. I think we are going to need a more manly-sized one to handle the winters out here in the country. I'm also thinking that I'm not going to really be able to say that Northwest Oregon doesn't have rough winters anymore after this one. Fortunately, we've got a propane cooktop and water heater, so again, we've been luckier than some.

Sadly, though, the big Christmas Eve overnighter that was scheduled for my house (9 family members) has been cancelled. Too much snow + too inconsistent electricity + more potential crazy weather means that Christmas Eve dinner is now tentatively scheduled to be at my mom's house in the city. Forecasters, however, are now predicting up to 8" of new snow tomorrow followed by freezing rain tomorrow night. Not good travelling weather, if you know what I mean. Everything is completely up in the air. Christmas packages have not arrived (UPS, FEDEX and even the U.S. postal service aren't delivering). With no power, the holiday food has not been prepared. My son's birthday (my winter solstice baby) - even his celebrations were delayed because of treacherous road conditions.

In other news...
1) Who knew my battery-operated itty-bitty booklight would come in so handy? This was me in the dark last night:

2) I'm very thankful for my beautiful chickens and the eggy presents they give me every day. Apparently, also due to this freakish winter weather, normal deliveries aren't being made and now there's an egg shortage at local grocery stores:

3) Roxy is still really cute:

Other than this, there is nothing new here to report. You already know that everything is covered in snow. This is my poor little car:


Saturday, December 20, 2008

The snow that wouldn't stop

I may have mentioned previously that it doesn't snow much in my part of Oregon. Oh sure, maybe once or twice every winter we'll have a bit of snow, say 4 or 5 inches, but usually, really cold weather comes rarely and passes quickly.

For the last week, however, northwest Oregon has been caught in a very unusual weather system. In the last 6 days, we've had temps fall into the low teens (and single digits) at night and not get higher than freezing during the day. Snow has fallen daily.

Finally, today, the weather "event" that the forecasters have been talking about all week hit. It started snowing at 10:00am this morning and didn't stop all day.

At noon, I couldn't open the chicken door any wider than a few inches. The snow acted as a door stop:

The chickens remain highly suspicious of the white stuff:

Nothing I could do would coax the chickens out in was just too scary:

The chicken run sure looks cleaner than it has in a long time!:

Boppity bravely ventured one rung down the ramp but no further. Even despite the urging from behind:

I've never seen snow so deep around here:

Fortunately we covered the wood pile before all this began:

I hiked up to the barn to check things out:

With no wind blowing, it was a beautiful day for a walk:

Jim valiantly shoveled the walks around the house, only to have them covered again with inches of snow within two hours:

We've been shaking our heads all day, amazed at the transformation around us. We've now got about a foot and a half of snow!

Supposedly a warming trend is on the way. The concern now is that the transition back to warmer weather will bring that dangerous stuff known as freezing rain.

Here's our forecast for the next few days:

I hope everyone is staying warm and cozy, where ever you may be!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lucky number 1,000

The 1,000th egg was laid on Critter Farm today!

Want to see it?
Allow me to point it out to you:

It's hard to believe that since July 3, 2008, one thousand of these beautiful things have been laid.

How do I know this?
Trust me, I keep track of these types of things:

Every egg and each weight has been duly noted on the pages of my Farmer's Almanac gardening calendar. And to think, I've actually been accused of not owning a calendar!

And while it's not the biggest egg, nor the heaviest (and it's certainly not the cleanest), it is the 1,0000th:

Hurray to the lovely egg-laying ladies...









and Wynonna:

Roopert, who thinks he had something to do with this but really didn't, asked me to include his picture here, too:

And on a final note...
Why, yes, I do put all my eggs in one basket. Is that a problem?:

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

4 days until winter

Just in case anyone was unclear about it, winter has not officially started yet. The first day of winter begins this Sunday, December 21, 2008 at about 7 am EST.

Around here, though, winter decided to arrive a bit early. Our high temperatures all this week have been below freezing. That's very cold for the Pacific Northwest at any time, let alone in the fall. We got a bit of snow on Sunday and almost 6" today. Fortunately, Oregonians tend to be resilient folk and everyone seems to be adapting just fine.

Everything is so beautiful with a clean, fresh snow. I have been wanting to take pictures all day. In fact, I may even go so far as to say that almost all things are more photogenic in the snow.

Here, see for yourself.

Yesterday, when I opened the chicken run door, Coral and Spongebob were still nervous about coming out into the snow:

It was very sunny and incredibly cold:

The size of the Douglas Fir trees dwarfs my little chicken coop:

Walking up to the barn, things I would have normally overlooked started to catch my eye. The snow is sparkling at me:

Here's Aidan, my son, walking to the barn:

I sat on these chairs a lot this last summer:

Can't you almost smell the crisp, fresh air?

Spongebob and Bippity were posing for me:

Sparrow had oatmeal in her beard. How embarrassing:

It got down to 9 degrees last night. Absolutely frigid for western Oregon. My poor rain chain and ceramic water bucket should have been taken in before the freeze:

Too late now:

The moles of Critter Farm are alive and well. I can't believe they can still tunnel like this when the ground is frozen:

The birds have been ravenous:

Roxy was dying to go for a walk:

Though, with Roxy, it's always more of a run:

Look at that complete extension. All four paws in the air:

Run, run:


The downside of all that glorious running is all those ridiculous little snowballs that get caught in your fur:

Everything just seems prettier with a backdrop of fresh snow: