The girls are at the awkward, tenderly ugly stage between baby and grown up. Most mornings when I come in to see them right after I wake up, they look like they have a bad case of bedhead. They have become skittish and easily spooked, and they fuss with each other all the time. They especially fuss at me when I’m doing their housekeeping. We are having a cold snap so we can’t let them have the run of the whole roost yet, even though the Chicken Palace is in the garage. Today, I’m getting one more biddy, who will be fostered by my friend Pat for a couple of weeks. She’ll be an Americana–a breed that lays very light blue eggs. Yesterday, the Mallowman spent most of the day in deep thought, refusing to go out into the cold, designing the hen yard for the girls. With Maria doing extraordinarily well back in South Florida, the days are busy in a Green Acres sort of way.