the happiest of holidays…

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We are all so thrilled to have spent our first Holiday season here in paradise. We have had such a wonderful time enjoying good food, friends, and fun in the snow, and even a little chicken slaughter thrown in for good measure.

The house was decked in festive felt crafts (since we left all of our decorations back home in storage) We adorned our umbrella tree with popcorn and felted hearts, little birdies and love. On Christmas eve day we found our very first GREEN egg! It was such a sweet christmas present from the girls. That night we hosted some wonderful friends and feasted and enjoyed a bon fire and holiday cheer. The next day we woke to a stunning pink sunrise and spend the day mulling about and roasting a juicy turkey. That afternoon we went to our dear friends house for another holiday feast. On boxing day we made some room in the coop and slaughtered the last 4 roosters that were starting to make trouble for the ladies; the Beatles are all in the freezer now except John and Yoko, along with scrappy (doomed to a freezer fate from the start). The ladies have all been so peaceful and happy since the last slimming of the flock. They are left with our most masculin of cock’s Sid Vicious, and his side kick Miss Elvis (yes he is a rooster but I feel he is perhaps a rooster in transition and he doesn’t bother the girls too much, mostly he roosts with them and  maybe is living out his life as just one of the girls. The Red Baron (our last man on campus) is simply our amazing little pet chicken. Everyone adores him and he has such a gift of flight that he comes and goes as he pleases, he is so small he doesn’t even bother with the girls, so I think we are all pretty happy with chicken situation these days, and we are talking of adding another 6-8 hens in the spring to the flock.

The actual killing and breaking down of the birds went pretty good. It was just Dyl and I (although Mia caught all the boys and said fair well to each of them) We didn’t have the grandparents around to help so while the chopping and feathering was pretty straight forward the gutting was another matter, that was my job and lesson from Dyl’s Grandma… I must admit though it took me the better part of the first bird to get my bearings and do the task solo… after a beer and a few deep breaths I dug deep and managed to do a really decent job of the rest of the birds. We have talked about firing up the turkey fryer when we get back and having a rooster ho-down to celebrate our first flock of livestock.

Today we enjoyed the sunny warm day and hit the rail trail (which is groomed for cross country skiing) and had a really lovely  time skiing. Finding time between lunges and breaths to take in all of the beauty of this valley.

Back on the firewood hunt, but after gearing up the truck with winter tires (in preparation for the little trip home) we finally are making it up the hill with little problem, and will haul some more wood up to the house tomorrow. This depending solely on wood fire heat is a constant challenge, we knew what we were up for (in theory) but the reality of always tending the fire, splitting wood, hauling wood and even just cleaning up after the wood is nothing like we imagined. What a wholly  different life from the constant and even heat source coming from a far off room in the city house with little more than a thermostat and monthly bill to remind you where your heat comes from… and that is just the start of it.

Well enough about all of that, We have so much to do to kick off the new year we can’t wait to visit family and then get right back at it, and move forward with all our spring building prep.

Hope you all had a happy holiday time.

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