The weather did not cooperate for me so my Winter Solstice bonfire celebration was a bit of a bust. We did enjoy a fire inside for a while, but we weren't successful in keeping it going from dusk to dawn. I hope the light returns to the earth despite my negligence.
In addition to the fireplace in the living room we have installed a wood burning stove int the dining room. Between the two of them we have been able to heat most of the house quite well. This should help a lot this year. Last winter we used just over 800 gal. of fuel oil for heat. That's a lot of oil and a lot of expense. We didn't even manage to keep the house comfortable most of the time. So far this year we have used about 10 gal. and some electric space heaters. It was pretty frigid in the house before we reintroduced fire. I got the tile work done on the fireplace, but haven't finished the trim work. The holidays got in the way.
The grass has lasted longer than I thought it would. I still have about a week of good grazing left. I'm glad of that. I did buy some hay at the end of the summer, and that should get us through. Hay is over $6.00 a bale now if you can find it. I don't know how people can afford to feed it.
The chickens have disappointed me. We were doing some holiday baking and ran out of eggs (I had sold the two dozen we had in the ref. the night before.) so I did as I always do and went out to collect eggs. There are always one or two eggs hiding out there somewhere. Well there were none. We haven't had an egg since the 22nd. We had to buy eggs at the store to finish our baking. I know I could get them to lay if I put a light in the coop, but I haven't done that yet. To do it I would either have to bring them in close to the barn so I can reach with an extension cord or I would have to rig up some kind of solar panel/battery system. I didn't do that this year because they layed so well last winter. If they don't start back soon I will have to do something.
Today is gray and dreary, rain is coming. It's a good day for inside projects and planning.