I’m glad no one sees me in the morning trudging up to the chicken barn, my pink sweatpants tucked into my heavy black Muck boots, hair undone, sleep still crusting my eyes.
Well, if I’m being honest with myself, they probably do see me – one of the negatives of where we’re living right now is that we are surrounded by neighbors. Neighbors in the front, neighbors on the sides, neighbors in the back. I am encircled by people watching me do my morning chores in a less than ideal state of attire.
Yesterday I was inside washing dishes when I noticed a neighbor walking her dog along the property line, then stop and study me as I soaped up the breakfast plates. It was unnerving, and I ended up bolting for the laundry room, peeking around the door until she wandered on her way. Silly, I know, but there you have it. I’m really an intensely private person in real life (although I’ll tell you my whole life story here on the Internet!) and it just makes me skittish and ruffled to think of people looking at me while I go about my private business, even if that private business is as innocuous and mundane as pulling weeds or filling water buckets.
It also makes me impatient to move out to the farm, where will we have only three relatively close neighbors, none of whom will be able to see us as we work. Oh, it sounds like heaven!
In other news, it snowed two days ago, just lightly, just enough to make the morning magical, but by yesterday it was gone. Frost droplets now sparkle on the icy grass instead; a brilliant blue sky and rare sunshine making up for the loss.
The chickens’s water fountain has been frozen every morning, and the girls usually think it’s good fun to hack through it with kitchen utensils. I’ve taken to just bringing up a bucket of warm water (the barn does not have it’s own water faucet, which is a travesty) and refilling the fountain with that. Maybe one day I’ll invest in a heated waterer, but for now I’m too cheap.
We’re also keeping a fresh bowl of water by the back door, which is where the hens are spending most of their time lately, trying to gather what little warmth there is into their feathers. By afternoon I start wondering if I should let them in, they look so miserable huddled against the glass. Their weird, reptilian eyes look almost wistful as they watch us. But then they walk through their own feces, and walk back through it again and again, and I banish those thoughts. The chickens can stay outside, where farm animals belong.