Friday 3 January 2014

Keeping warm, by Kira


It's almost 30 below right now; the high today will be -21.
Yesterday was the same.
So I thought I would mix our chickens and ducks up a warm treat,
to help with the cold.
In a large steamy pot on the wood stove,
I am cooking a mixture of stale odds and ends.
Raw milk, water, whole oats, quinoa, french lentils, spelt grits, red fife wheat meal, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, and garlic.
It actually smells really good.

It's been a few days of this cold weather.
And like many other families, it's been a challenge for us.

How do we cope?
Keep the wood stove hot!
Our home is really just an old cottage and not insulted very well so we need to give the fire special attention when the outdoor temperatures drop below -20c.

The blinds on the windows go down and windows without blinds are covered with blankets or sheets.
Our basement is not insulated so we put the heat line on.
And we put in a fan that draws hot air from upstairs down into the utility room to keep pipes and the water pump from freezing.
The wash machine is in the utility room.
The drain pipe usually freezes, so I get a short break from laundry.

Below -12 it's hard to get the kids out to play.
It's harsh on their young sensitive cheeks and fingers are quick to chill.
We keep busy inside for now with lots of crafts, play, reading, and movies.
Andrew makes sure the wood rack is full and I have been filling our bellies with warm hearty meals.

Tonight we are having fresh spelt flat breads and homemade pea soup,
inspired by my friend Samantha.

I hope everyone is staying warm.
The cold is supposed to break tomorrow and will give us some relief.


  1. Pretty picture of the chickens - lovely colors. Now that I have a little babe of my own, I have been wondering what families do that have little babes and live in much colder climates than we do. Yesterday was around zero, and I had my babe in her fleece bunting. The only thing exposed was her little red cheeks and I had a scarf wrapped around them as much as possible, just like your picture above. I've been wondering if they make balaclavas for babies, but didn't know if she would handle being that covered up.
    Your chicken treat sounds great - much better than the day old donuts that my crew got!

    1. Katie, my youngest (Meer) is two now, Fern is four, and Auren is six. When they were under a year I kept them close to me. I had a sling that I wore them in most of the time, especially during the winter months. When they weren't on me I would set them up close to the wood stove to keep warm. I think living in a colder climate you know what to expect from them weather and you prepare in advance for it.
      They do make baby balaclavas. Here is a link to one on etsy.

  2. It has been a little bit ridiculous this winter so far! I hope all is well on your homestead today....and that the cold snap has done just that.

  3. You're so sweet, Thanks for the link to my blog! I haven't gotten a chance to sit quietly and look at yours for some time, but it's always so lovely to do so! I hope your pea soup warmed all the bellies of your little ones (: Ours was really yummy! xo