Minnesota.

So we did something only minorly-crazy for xmas. We had made plans last Summer to see R’s family in Minnesota for xmas (he hadn’t been home for xmas in like 9 years!), and we took the whole family with us! Yes, the dog, the ducks, the chickens, and all!

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Max is packed.

Now why, on Earth, would you EVER bring all your creatures with you on such a trip (we’ve been asked by almost everyone we know)?! Well, because as crazy as it sounds, it was less stressful for us to bring them rather than leave them at home. We’re talking about Colorado in the middle of December, and we live quite aways up an unplowed dirt road. First, we would need someone to trust with our birds to care for them for 2 weeks, over the holidays nonetheless, while we were gone, and second, what if it snows 2 feet?! What if our reliable pet-sitter can’t make it up the hill to the house? Too many factors to think about, so we decided to bring them.

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Such a baby.

To be honest, the girls handled the trip better than Loki did. We had the three chickens in one crate, and the five ducks in another, with Loki riding in the backseat. The truck was packed. Especially since we were feeling generous and got lots of gifts for our families for xmas this year! The trip was 5 hours the first day (from our place to my parents’ house in Denver), then 13 or so hours from Denver to Minnesota.

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Settled in under the heat lamp.

We were able to stay in MN for 9 days or so, which was awesome. We spent lots of time with R’s family and friends, and got to play around with the little nephews; Oliver & Charlie (who we started calling Chaos & Mayhem by the end of the week, they are 2 and 3 years old, after all).

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That’s Charlie!

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R’s parent’s dog, Roscoe! He’s silly.

R’s dad was awesome enough to put together a dog run for the birds in his garage, complete with straw, dog house, heated water bowl, and heat lamp. The girls stayed happy and busy in there for the week, and only by the last couple of days you could tell the cold was getting to them. The last day we were there it was -15 outside, and a balmy 5 degrees in the garage. All 8 of them huddled under the heat lamp as best they could. But they made it through, they even kept laying eggs all week, and were happy when we piled them back in their crates and headed back to warmer climates.

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Where the chickens decided to roost at night.

We got to do some fun stuff like visit a frozen lake, which I’ve never really experienced before. There were already a handful of ice fishing shacks out there on the lake, and we wanted to go ice fishing while we were there, but didn’t get the chance to this time around. It was beautiful out there on the ice. Xmas morning it was  a lovely -20 wind chill outside!

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Frozen lake time.

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Playing frisbee on the ice.

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Happy xmas morning at 20 below!

We had such a great time visiting MN in the Winter. And the little bit of time away from work was nice too. The great thing about our little cabin is we had really nothing to worry about while we were gone. There’s no pipes to freeze or anything like that. It was cold in the house when we finally got back home, but after a few logs burnt up in the woodstove, the place was back to warm and cozy!

What’s a little ironic is one of the reasons we brought the birds with us was in case of harsh weather while we were gone. Which totally didn’t happen. In fact, it’s been an extremely mild and dry Winter here in CO. We didn’t really get our first real snow until last week. And finally, tonight and for the next few days we’re expecting real Winter and snowy weather! Better late than never, that’s for sure.

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Beautiful sunset.

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