town_935Happy 2017 to you all, and thanks for coming back to our little urban farm.

We don’t do much gift-giving around our home.  A partial reason is because we are frugal, but another reason is because we figure we have everything we need to be happy, so why clutter things up with more “stuff” that we really don’t need?

Having said that, Bev and I did get one gift each, and my new gift was a jig saw.

And this boy is excited!

It’s pretty funny, really, because growing up I couldn’t care less about power tools.  They intimidated me, to tell the truth, but I also had baseball to occupy my time, and everyone knows baseball is more important than cutting pieces of wood, right?

But now I love them!  I love my circular saw, and my power drill, and my reciprocating saw, and now I love my jig saw, and my head is swimming with ideas, what I want to make, how I want to use it to finish projects around the place . . . it’s the perfect toy for this aging boy!


Well, for one thing, it’s cold.  No, not cold by North Dakota standards, but for us pampered Northwesterners, it’s still cold.  I have no desire to be outside, but that doesn’t mean I have nothing to do.  I’m working, this week, on organizing the garage, making room for the quail incubation process, which will begin in another month.  I’m building shelves and I’m going to build a workbench so I have a place inside to play with my new jig saw.  A boy and his toys, right?  Anyway, I’m doing the indoor chores now so that when it warms up I can take my act outside where more work is waiting for me.

There’s always something to do, and it beats watching reruns of Alaska Bush People.winter-in-my-little-slice-of-heaven-017


No matter how much I try to avoid it, I do have to go outside.  Every morning at six I’m outside giving fresh, unfrozen water to our critters.  For whatever reason, they balk at drinking solid ice. Silly animals!

We’ve cut our quail flock down to a dozen, and we’ll use them in the spring for breeding.  Along with those dozen we’ll incubate about 100 new quail, and after six weeks or so we’ll introduce them to the existing dozen, and then we start collecting eggs.


For whatever reason, one of our new hens is suddenly laying eggs.  She’s the only one of our eight that’s laying, and I have no explanation for it other than the fact that chickens are unpredictable regarding laying habits.  If you have chickens I’m sure you’ve found that to be true.

When will the rest of them start laying? Your guess is as good as mine, but probably sometime in March.

I don’t know if I mentioned it, but we lost three chickens a couple weeks ago to raccoons.  It was our fault completely.  I wasn’t quick enough to get out there and lock up their coop.  The weather was cold, and when the weather is cold the raccoons get an early start on their nighttime hunting.  By the time I realized I had forgotten, we had three dead chickens.

Lesson learned. A painful lesson but a lesson learned.


Our local markets start up again in March and April, and we’re already getting ready for them.  I’ll be working the next couple months on making some new items to sell along with our quail eggs and the goat cheese made by our son-in-law.

And Bev is waiting for her interview for a job she applied for….director of the Tumwater Farmer’s Market…exciting times if she gets that job….so cross your fingers and wish good thoughts for her.


While we’re on that topic, there’s a great article by Mother Earth News about keeping water from freezing outside for your animals. I’m going to try it this week.  Check it out.


Stay warm, be safe, and have a fantastic week!



10 thoughts on “Killing Time in a Deep Freeze

  1. Always good to hear news from the Urban Farm. Sad to hear you lost a few chickens, a friend of mine had a similar experience when a fox came by and killed three of theirs.
    Wishing Bev all the best for her interview. I can’t think of anyone more qualified, especially with you behind her all the way.


  2. My sister in law goes out to the horse paddocks twice a day to change out their water (she has two horses WAY out of town – it’s a 20-minute drive!) – once in the mornings before she goes to work and after she returns from work. In the wintertime, she cuts way down on that and goes out once and has some special apparatus to keep the water from freezing. I have no idea. LOL Perhaps it’s the same as what Mother Earth News mentions.
    As for the quail – that’s pretty remarkable! And the jigsaw – John has one…or several. The guy is a mechanic and handy man. That boy loves his toys. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lil Sis, I’m just grateful we don’t have long winters here, so the annoyance only lasts two months. That I can handle. As for tools…soooooooo much fun!!!!!

    Hugs, Lil Sis, and thanks!


  4. Oh what a perfect gift, a jig saw – an addition to the rest of your power tools. No wonder that you changed former ” this old… ” into an aging boy. Happy undertaking.
    (I do understand excitement. Those “christmasy gifts!” I was given a latest addition of cordless FESTOOL CXL 10.8 drill ) . What a joy to be young continually.
    Blessed farming my friend.


  5. Michael my friend, if anyone can appreciate my new gift, it is you. We are builders, Michael, builders among men, crafting, improving, making useful implements from simple pieces of raw material….a noble undertaking, for sure.




    1. Yes Sir. We are perfecting what we do our best, knowing that learning and improving never stops, actually going on and on and on… We are of noble by accepting the call.


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