The last couple of days have been down right frosty. Currently the temperature is -12°F and falling. I don't know what the wind chill is but the dog is pacing to and fro listening to the wind gusts howl through the trees. Last night we got down to -20°F. I was worried about the chickens. I cooked them a pot of hot rice and took it to them with some fresh warm water this morning. They were all all right and obviously waiting for me. They really liked the warm food. I have a cute thermometer that an attorney I used to work for gave me hanging on the wall in the coop and I was glad to note that the temperature was just below zero -- about 10°F warmer than outside the coop. Days like these make me glad I chose to raise Dominiques. This breed of chickens is cold hardy and has rose combs that are less likely to suffer frost damage. Let's hope the good luck holds as it is supposed to get down around -40°F tonight and remain below 0°F for the next few days.
I placed my spring seed order the other day and look forward to getting out and planting. I also ordered three cider apple trees (Nursery's choice) and three heirloom variety (Smokehouse) apple trees from St. Lawrence Nursery. I still have to get seed potatoes, cover crop seed and dried distiller grains (see, here, too) (what I use for fertilizer and weed inhibitor in addition to my neighbor's mink poop).
Well, after being laughed at -- "Does anybody actually still do ham radio?" -- and teased about the YAK (as in "yakety-yak") in my Amateur Radio call sign, I applied for a different call sign -- and got it the other day. I am now officially W9SCF, and I'm proud to be a ham! I have to admit that I was EXTREMELY pissed off at the denigration I received. Well, you can't choose your relatives, can you? For some people, nothing has value unless it is something that enriches them. I have been studying diligently for the General license and working on learning Morse Code. I joined the ARRL and received the 10th edition of The ARRL Operating Manual For Radio Amateurs and have been reading it avidly. I also bought the new Repeater Directory and Basic Antennas. Homebrew electronics definitely resonates with the creative me! I am still trying to decide what radio to buy, and the decision is all the more difficult now that I have discovered the increasing role of computers in Amateur Radio. Which way to go? I think I'll do some more research before I decide on a radio.
Well, time to study. Take care!