When the temperature outside is 4 degrees, when your Great Pyrenees' fur is blowing in the wind like a hair model, when you can see the cows' breath and you leave the mail in the mailbox because you don't want to run outside in the cold to get it, there's only one thing to do:
1) Celebrate National Milk Day! (We recommend raising a glass of milk, chocolate milk, chocolate milk with Rumchata [you get the idea] in celebration.)
2) Leaf through the Murray McMurray hatchery magazine for hours, planning which chickens you're going to order in the spring.
My sisters and I knew spring was in the air when our parents would get out the magazine and let us pour through it, looking at one bird's black plumage and another's feathery crests.
And while it would be fun to choose them based strictly on the color of the feathers or their funny names--Cuckoo Marans, Speckled Sussex, Wyandottes--we're opting for a standard meat breed: the jumbo Cornish X Rock.
I raised chickens as a young girl, and while Chris doesn't have experience with them yet, he's basically the animal whisperer.
So I'm confident that between him, me, Blackjack, Wally, some chicken wire and sturdy barn, we can do this.
Um, I think I might need more chocolate milk.