Prep Monday—Cold and Rain

Argh, I’m so tired of this—already! I can deal with cold. Wind, not so much. Cloudy days one right after the other, not at all! Yes, I know it’s only November . . .

Super hard to get motivated to do much of anything.

This makes me think of the pioneers and the isolated farmers back in the day. What did they do all winter?

Well, they still had chores of course. Around here, we start up the fire first thing in the morning and heat water for coffee, then feed the animals. Not so different, really.

Of course, we have meals to cook and clean up, and housework and laundry don’t stop in the winter. The biggest difference now is that we have it a lot easier—electric ovens and propane stoves and a hot water heater. Now, when SHTF, we’ll be using other methods; think about it, when you go camping, how much time it takes to build a fire and cook and clean up afterwards.

We do have to make sure we have a good supply of firewood; most of that was done earlier in the fall, but since this is our first year heating with wood, we’re still in the trial-and-error stage as to quantity. Just like the pioneers, though, we generally let it burn down overnight and start with coals in the morning. It sure helps to have a nice, thick comforter on the bed!

Back in the old days, besides all this, winter was also a time to relax and do indoor activities like playing games, craft projects, making music, and so forth. I’m sure we all remember Pa Ingalls and his fiddle, amiright? Well, I don’t have a fiddle, but I do have a guitar, an organ, and a drum . . . and books. And leather working tools and one of these days I’ll get beyond the second stitch on those damn knitting needles that I’ve carted around for 20 years . . .

Of course, the old folks didn’t have TV and Internet, either. 😉

Winter is a good time to plan your garden, or work in the greenhouse, or start projects, and you don’t have to feel guilty about slowing down during this time. After all, when you’re homesteading or farming, you more than make up for that during the rest of the year!

Work Wednesday—Fence is Finally Finished!

I am so, so relieved that this is over! Imma have to smack my doc one of these days for telling me to “get more exercise.” Good grief. Each of those 4×4 posts weigh nearly 40 pounds, and the six-inchers are close to 90. Plus all those boards—ack. Not to mention the lifting and bending and, um, screwing.

My wonderful husband finished up the boards we had to trim a bit. Quite frankly, I was beat, and he said it would drive me nuts anyway. See, I try to help as much as I can, and I don’t mind the work at all, but I really, really hate standing around while he does something that I can’t help with. So, this way worked best.

We do still have to hang the gates; one we picked up at auction and it needs to be painted first.

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Then on to finish the greenhouse—we actually started last week, but the wind picked up a bit much for putting on the plastic, so we stopped for the time being. And since then, we’ve had both wind AND some rain.

So I’ve been working on some business stuff and cleaning tack—only the saddles so far—and playing at Suzi Homemaker. Not to mention adjusting to the time change; not me so much as those darn cats, who are always “starving” anyway . . .

And there’s my ongoing Battle of the Leaves.

See, we used to live in the Big City, where everyone rakes and burns and bags them, and I’m not a fan of any of that. It’s best for the ground/grass/earth/your back/your peace of mind to just mulch them up and leave them.

We went from one acre with 20+ trees to 35 acres with—never mind, I will NOT be counting! But I do try to keep them off the decks and as soon as a few more fall, I’ll be mowing all around the house. I picked up (at auction, of course!) a battery-operated blower. It’s awesome, no cord to drag around and fairly light, but those batteries do run down pretty quickly. It’s a rather handy gadget.

The wood furnace got inaugurated last night. We’d tried it once before, but the wood was a bit too wet to catch. It sure got going this time! When I stepped out of the shower, I noticed the faint haze of smoke—everywhere! My husband closed the damper most of the way and I opened a few windows and that pretty much took care of that.

But the heat that thing puts out is incredible . . . almost couldn’t fall asleep last night, it was 75 in here—a far cry from the usual 65 or so!

PS—Keep your fingers crossed, I found a horse trailer! Hopefully we’ll get to see it today!