Already Friday again, and my, how the weeks fly by! Your correspondent pooped out on you the last two nights, out of things to say and very tired. Sorry about that!
I am off work today, and though it dawned very cold, it's in the upper thirties right now, and I went out to do water and feed with no coat on, just a sweatshirt. Stepson Brandon is down for the day, but going back to Iowa tonight, and hopefully will be down for our family party next Saturday. I got all the presents wrapped this morning but two, which will need big bags. It's a good feeling of accomplishment.
I also got the Christmas baskets made, though we have a few things to put in them still. The scented body butters and Christmas scent goats milk hand soap from Sprout'n'Wings Farm are in these baskets.
Each year I get baskets from our thrift store (don't tell the recipients!) and line them and fill them with goodies. This year, I tucked the body butters and handcreams, some luscious honey, some nice chocolates (two different kinds), some peanut brittle, and some little hand towels. I still have some things to put in them, and I personalized them a little... the young marrieds got wine bottle stoppers in decorative designs, and my father in law, some nice golf balls. They'll also get a jar of tomato preserves made from our tomatoes.
I made a batch of cookies, but Brandon and Keith have taken them to munch on as they drive back to Iowa, so I'll start baking again shortly. I'm starting the general cleaning for the party, and hope to get everything done this weekend. Chris and Nathan come late this afternoon, and Chris will not only help Keith sheath the roof of the new henhouse tomorrow, but will clean the deck off, carry things to and from the Dierksen buildings, and lift things for me in here to finish getting the house ready.
At the bird feeders this morning was quite the group of birds:
Two big black crows visited.
And if you biggify this, you'll see there are about 8 female and male Blue Jays in it, and there were an equal number of cardinals, which had flown off. The hanging nyger seed feeder is just to the left, and I have been having to refill it by half every other day, which is totally unprecendented. There are a big number of purple and goldfinches eating there, and the suet holder has woodpeckers frequently.
Unfortunately, the starlings have already invaded the chicken house... I hope this doesn't mean that we are going to have woeful weather at Christmas, like the last two years.
I had an audience while I wrapped:
They didn't exactly have an eye on me, but they had their ears on me.
And here's our big boy Rocky, only 9 months old, you can just see the wound on his comb from his fight with the hawk. What a great rooster he's turning out to be!