It’s been enthusiastically wintery this week.  Having dumped a few feet of snow on us, the winter decided to really hammer its point home by dropping the temperatures to -20C plus wind chill.  In response to which, last night our pipes froze.

I must be clear – the pipes Raven replaced two years ago have NOT frozen, and in fact even the ground water under the house (the water table here is bizarrely high, especially since we aren’t that far from a cliff over a lake) is still water-not-ice.  Which means he has a very muddy crawl over to the far side of the house where the metal pipe that brings the water underground from the pump house is.  THAT pipe is frozen.  It is a) metal, b) necessarily  travels  up through the frost line, and c) is on the side of the house that hasn’t got heat yet. Anyway, now he’s got a heat coil on it and hopefully we will have water again before nightfall.

In the meantime, thank you to those who have asked, the heat is working fine.  I bank the furnace (load with wood, shut door, turn off fan) at night, and it can go about twelve hours that way and we lose three or four degrees, mostly in the last couple of hours.  Last night was the greatest drop by far, it was only 11C this morning (about 52F) – but that’s at lord-only-knows-what below, with wind – it was -20 when I got up this morning.  Most of the time we are between 65 – 70F, which is just dandy.  Totally worth the wait.

Also working fine is the toilet, about which we did a little festive dance last night, since the lack of water does not affect that convenience.

Anyway, it’s a sunny day, I’m in a cheerful mood, and so while I wait for there to be tap water, I am dyeing wool in snowmelt, knitting socks, and watching MommaHen.

Yes, the hen that went broody back in the fall and eventually had to be moved into the living room for her own safety/sanity, has finally hatched an egg.  (For a timeline, this is the same hen that was sitting on eggs when Pawlie the kitten showed up in the coop.  Yeah.  That long.)  I swapped out her eggs when it was past time for the first ones to hatch, but I did it when she wasn’t looking, so don’t tell on me.  Finally, after sitting on her eggs for forty days and nights, she hatched on tiny black chick.  We have named him Israel.

israel

I have put a little circle there, because he is, as mentioned, small and black and thus kind of hard to see.  Here’s a better one:

israel2

Isn’t he cute?  MommaHen says he is the best and smartest chick in the whole world, ever.  She’s very proud.  Also very protective, which is great except where she keeps attacking the dog.  Bryan is justifiably terrified of her, which really isn’t fair since he would never hurt a chick, and has never done anything that could be even remotely interpreted as threatening.  The cat is also deeply respectful of the hen, but that is just as well.

Dog attacks aside, she’s a great mom, and fun to watch.  She taught the chick to drink, and she’s worried that he isn’t eating enough so she’s always trying to get him to eat something, and she scouts the kitchen trying to find new things to bring back to him.  Except bacon, bacon isn’t good for chicks.  She won’t let him have any of that.  Everything else we’ve given her though, she runs straight over to the baby.  When he’s exploring by himself she watches him and she’s got the sweetest look on her face, like she’s so proud of him.  Sometimes in the evenings after she’s brought him to the nest  he wants to get up for a drink of water, and she lets him do it all by himself, just peeking her head out to watch and  make sure he doesn’t get lost.

MommaHens are awesome.

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