Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Solstice from Indiana

We are in Indiana.

"Well, duh" you're thinking. "It says that right up there in the header ^."

Well, we're supposed to be in New York with our families for the holidays. But events have conspired and we're not. I'm not gonna lie. It sucks. It sucks a lot.

But we're trying to have some holiday spirit anyway. Today is the solstice and we celebrated with a Yule Log. The log must be cut by us on our property, so Bill picked out a great locust round.

We decorated it with a turkey feather for our birds, a (spouted) potato from our garden, and a bit of wool - all things we hope will be prosperous and abundant in the new year. We also included a cough drop for Bill and a bit of tape from my finger splint incident to keep us both healthy. Finally, on the very right is a bit of wrapping paper with a heart drawn on it - for happiness of everyone we love. We chose wrapping paper because the wrapped presents we won't be taking to NY this week are the most tangible reminder of our families right now.

Don't they look pretty??

The orange bobble ribbon is for my sister because she is funky and fun and her present should be too.

(sad face)

Ok - back to the Yule Log. We lit this year's log with the shard we kept from last year. Apparently keeping a bit of the Yule Log all year protects your house from lightening.

It totally worked for us.

Though, we did get hit by a tornado.

But it was a little tornado. It menaced our neighbors much worse than it did us.

So, anyway...that black coal in the center - that's last year's log chunk.

We saved a much bigger piece of this year's log - like half of it. Bill seemed to rather enjoy taking a flaming hunk of wood out of the stove, placing it on the ground outside and throwing water on it.


We also cracked open the Rumtopf. We put this up with fruit leftovers from throughout the summer and fall. There's not a lot of drinking going on here this week, but we each ate a (very potent) peach slice.

We hope you all had a lovely solstice.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Things that come in the mail.

This morning Bill ordered our 2012 chickens. A bunch of them are dorkings.

Dorkings are dual purpose birds that originated in Italy during the Roman Empire. How awesome is that?? (When they come, I plan to show them my Roman oil lamp and see if they know where it came from or who it belonged to.)

They look like this:

(Photo from Wikipedia)

They should not be confused with what my sister calls Dork Birds - little plovers that we'd watch on vacation at Long Beach Island.

(photo also from Wikipedia)

We've also got some laying hens coming - a few more australorps (they lay like champions), a Rhode Island Red, and some Araucanas (aka Easter Egg Chickens).

The extra layers are because we had to order a minimum of 20 (25?) birds (it's a hatchery rule, I swear!), and the dorkings are limited availability (and it's possible we have a slight addiction to poultry). Dorkings are listed as threatened by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, so I'm guessing even the breeder doesn't have a lot of them.

We also ordered three hens for one of Bill's coworkers. We tried to give her some of the Hobbits we hatched this spring. She did some reading, built and coop and picked up three mostly grown chickens. We thought they were all hens. But, every single one of them was a rooster. Every one. They all started to crow and she brought them back. They're in our freezer now.

So, expect photos of new baby chickens that will come in the mail in mid-March.

In the meantime, we had some other cool things come in the mail. I participated in a swap on Ravelry where we picked odd holidays and sent presents to a partner to help them celebrate. My holiday was Lost Sock Memorial Day (a day to move on and and realize you are never going to find the lost mates for those single socks that you keep in the back of your drawer) and my partner sent me an awesome package. Everything was wrapped and decorated with single socks. So cute.

We also had an enormous, mysterious package waiting for us one rainy night.

After much excavation...

...we discovered it is an awesome, Billy-sized rocking chair from Bill's parents.

(That's not my living room...)

It's currently next to our wood stove and is quickly becoming my favorite spot to knit socks.