Rebecca might be ensconced on the rocking chair by the new wood stove for the duration of the cold weather. She went out briefly today, only to come in and warm herself right next to the stove, and then resume her claim on the rocking chair.The house is toasty (68 degrees in the keeping room…unheard of!), and the oil heat hasn’t kicked on since yesterday morning, when we fired up the stove for its first real burn. (We had a few little “break-in” fires the day before.) The stove was delivered on Monday and installed on Thursday—just in time, since winter weather started so early this year (once again this morning it was below freezing outside). The stove is beautiful; I do miss the open fires, but the lovely warmth more than makes up for it, as does knowing that we are burning renewable, locally-grown fuel cleanly and efficiently.Cherisse just came in from the cold too, after herding the Dominique out of the flower garden. Once again the chicken was looking through the fence watching the others make their way indoors, and emitting distress sounds since she couldn’t figure out how to get to them. Poor Mr. Rooster is in a very bad way. His “good” leg seems to have failed him, and so he struggles to move anywhere. He is still getting in and out of the coop, still getting food and water, but only with great effort. We don’t want him to suffer. In the Foster Home Journal I saw an ad for a vet with a picture of a chicken, so I am going to make some inquiries. (Cherisse says if we were real farmers we could just quickly wring his neck; alas that isn’t remotely possible.) Featherfoot, the rooster I keep thinking will have to go, may have the last laugh. Whenever I think he’s down for the count he makes a recovery—his bloody foot seems to have healed and his feathers are growing back.