One doesn't (i.e., I don't) want to rush into these things. I find it's best to make progress slowly, so I brought in the bin of ornaments for the Christmas tree yesterday, as well as multiple strands of twinky lights. That was enough for one day.
Put more wood on the fire. Adjust the vents. Wait for the blaze. Wait some more. Readjust the vents. The wood stove must have been watching and learning about going slowly because the house didn't warm up until about 9 o'clock last night, just about the time rain started falling. Son of a gun, the thermometer got all the way up to 62 degrees inside! The water troughs had been frozen over in the morning and there was still ice in the water in the afternoon. Even when it's not raining, I leave the gate open to the play yard for the girls when it's really cold. I figure that three walls around them gives them a place to huddle together out of the wind. It had been sunny when I started chores so I left the big door open to the chicken coop, but the sunshine didn't last long and I closed it again later on.
Bess Anne went out with me at dusk. I noticed her sniffing and scratching by the fence while I was tucking the hens inside and went to see what had caught her interest. Oh crum. Some wild thing had pulled the chicken wire out in a couple of places, trying to get inside. I went back in to do a quick beak count and was relieved to find all the little girls accounted for and then tried to repair the fence as much as possible in the fading light. Dang, if it's not one thing, it's another.
It will be an accomplishment if I get the lights put on the tree today. Baby steps.