Cold Morning Musings

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love most about rustic farm living is that the indoor animals seem to get just as cold as I do, which means that I am always kept warm at night by a Pitbull that prefers to sleep on my chest, a Pomeranian whose favorite place is on top of my feet, and a half grown kitten that makes herself into a warm scarf around my neck at exactly 5:46 am every single morning. I wouldn’t notice what time the kitten wrapped herself around my neck if it weren’t for her sharp cat claws needling into my skin and the loud purr she emits as she makes herself comfy. I figured out awhile back that it’s not really a warm place to sleep that she’s after so much as it’s her soft, (but scratchy) was of letting me know that wood stove fire needs stoking and she needs feeding. And don’t get her none of that cold left over cat food out of the fridge either!


This is Luna, the scarf-kitten. Luna is 5 months old and her whole name is Luna June Moon because she was born in June. She’s a sweet cat that gets along great with all of the dogs. 
My personal heaters. We all like to sleep on the sofa in the living room by the wood stove on really cold nights. It’s so much warmer. The Pomeranian is Skippy, and the Pitbull is Tonya. 

I cherish these peaceful, if cold, mornings, as I remember that not so long ago, things were not so peaceful and I usually woke up to fear. Back then, I was just glad to wake up. Or sometimes, I wasn’t.

This morning, I woke up to a schedule taped to my desk that I wrote out last night. And I am actually sticking to it! Of course, it’s only 6:51 am, but I’ve already let the roosters out. I’ll let the hens and the baby chicks out a little later after the horses have been fed.

I checked the horses and they are still munching on last nights hay piles, so feeding them does not have to be done right away.

I think today might be a good day to do some burning of things. There are two big Chestnut trees about 20 feet from the front door that drop spiny balls of hell from September through November. Inside their spiny husks are a smooth round chestnut…usually with a worm hole and one or more worms making themselves at home inside. The nuts are not worth the time it takes to try to harvest them.

The spiny, outer covering of the chestnut. Barefoot in my yard is never an option, but these things don’t seem to bother the dogs feet at all. 
A typical chestnut. Inside the outer brown covering is an off-white colored nutmeat…and in this case, as you can see from the hole, there will be worms inside as well. 

Tonya, the Pitbull, eats as many of them as she can hold without puking, and I often scoop up piles of them for the pig, but most of them get burned. They sizzle in the hot fire and the resulting steam makes them pop and fly across the yard…like hot burning pellets from a gun.

Tonya likes to sit by the fire and wait for them. She will chase them across the yard and grab them in her mouth, still steaming, and eat them gingerly. She doesn’t seem to mind getting hit with them either if one flies her way. She loves rummaging through the cooling fire out the outside of the pile to grab cooked chestnuts. I have never seen a dog so mesmerized by fire. The Pyrenees cowers in fear when the chestnuts start popping and will jump the fence to get away from the sound. Yeah, I know, he would never make a good gun dog. But he sleeps on the front porch at night and barks with a deep and scary bark at any noise he hears. He’s my night watchman. I couldn’t sleep without that dog on my porch protecting me.

Malachai, the Great Pyrenees. He’s getting up there in age now…he will be 8 years old on Jan. 1st. He was shaved this summer, but his winter coat has gotten out of control already. He has a double coat and loves to be brushed…I’ve gotten a little behind on that as you can tell. But with his thick double coat he is well equipped to deal with outdoor winter weather

Well, the day has begun, and my morning writing time is over, It’s time to get started on chores. I wish you all a great Saturday! Stay warm!

I like to keep the door to wood stove open on really cold mornings so more of the heats goes into the room and not up the chimney. Makes the room feel nice and toasty. 


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