Category Archives: Work to be Done

The Collection Must Go

While contemplating spring cleaning, I have decided that I need to get rid of a lot of the collections I have including books, audio books and dolls.  Down-sizing will free up some space and cut down on my dusting which is always a good thing!!!

I have been a collector of beautiful dolls for over 25 years.  All of my dolls were expensive dolls with porcelain bodies and dressed in beautiful costumes.   Before we moved to this farm we had a huge farm-house in the county with about 20 acres. I dedicated one entire room to my collection of Georgetown, and other collectible dolls of all sizes and shapes.  I kept them in covered cases and displayed them on all four walls of the “doll room”.  Most of the dolls are 16″ – 24″ tall and some are 32″ – 36″ tall.

I’ve always been an avid reader of fiction and non-fiction and kept all of my hardcover books even after they’ve been read.  The audiobooks were mostly read when I was working and drove 45 minutes each way five days a week.  Listening to the books made the ride home more interesting! One room held most of my books and audio books in our old home.  In our present home the dolls are wrapped up and placed in sealed totes to keep them nice.  The books and audiobooks are all over the house and I’m not exaggerating.

This bookcase is in my dressing room off the guest room and is filled with gardening, homesteading, crafting and sewing books.

Third shelf in my sewing room.

Second bookcase in my sewing room.

This bookcase is in the guest room.

This shelf is in our guest room.  The bottom shelf is where all of my audiobooks are shelved along with a bookcase in the dressing room.

This shelf in one of three in my sewing room.

These shelves are in our upstairs foyer.

Now I MUST downsize and find a new home for these dolls.  Here’s a preview:


Surveying Cellar Food Stores_Preparing the Garden Site

The Cellar

The Cellar

I just took some empty jars to the cellar and took an accounting of what is left from summer 2016 canning.

Full shelves from canning season 2016!

They were completely full in October but now supplies are dwindling!

We have a huge pile of potatoes leftover and will probably sell them in the coming months.  I’ll can about 15-20 quarts but the rest will go in the garden for seed and we’ll eat some more until they start sprouting.  They’re bakers and peeling size and have been so good throughout the winter.

Hubby has plowed the garden and we’re hoping we’ll get some spring rain on it before we disk it up for planting.

We use the Kubota tractor for plowing.

Our garden site has very rich soil and always produces more than we can eat and preserve.

It also seems to get bigger each year!!!  This year we’ll plan the usual crops of green beans, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, brussel sprouts, melons, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, and in the fall some turnips and field greens.

Hope your planting season is grand and praying we have an abundant season this year.  In the coming weeks I’ll be cleaning off the various asparagus patches we have and watching the rhubarb show its sprouts already.  I had six grape vines started new last year and they all survived but one.  I bought this red grape to replace it.

It’s a red seedless grape and I love them. Hope they get as large as the one’s we buy in the grocery but know it will be a couple of years before that happens.

We also went to Food Lion yesterday and bought three dwarf apple trees for the orchard at the mansion.

Dwarf red delicious – once this starts bearing fruit we’ll take cuttings from it and graft to some new root-stock or some wild apple trees we find every year on the farm that we’ll transplant to the orchard.

Dwarf yellow delicious-dwarf trees don’t last as long as standard trees but they give you fruit quicker.

This is a dwarf McIntosh which is hubby’s favorite. We have one tree in our large orchard but it’s really old and we lose an old standard about every year.

This is the mansion orchard where the dwarf trees will be planted. The pond is close by and a mountain spring runs through it to make for easy watering.

Last years grape arbor is where the new red grape will be planted and is right beside our garden.

 

 

 

Season changes and colder weather

The porch is covered with dried firewood.

The porch is covered with dried firewood.

The yard is covered with leaves.

The yard is covered with leaves.

The perennials are black, wilted and almost gone.

The perennials are black, wilted and almost gone.

The trees are getting bare.

The trees are getting bare.

Autumn or Winter 10172015 (6)

                Fall colors on the farm before the first freeze.

Fall colors are red one minute.

Fall colors are red and golden one day.

Apple trees are bare with a few red apples left hanging.

Apple trees are leaf bare with a few red apples left hanging.

The flower beds are empty.

The flower beds are empty.

The trumpet vine covering the gazebo is no longer green.

The trumpet vine covering the gazebo is no longer green.

Little mountain is brown instead of red and golden.

Little mountain is brown instead of red and golden.

I love early fall but after the first freeze everything changes.  We’re actually shocked that the pasture and hayfields are still as green as they are and the yard.  Old man winter is touching us in many way but thankfully not as hard as last year when it started bitterly cold in late October and didn’t let up.

Bundle up and get out and walk in the woods while you still can!!

Winter stockpile

2014 final wood split and ready to store in shed.  Wonderful oak that has been dead for at least a year.

2014 final wood split and ready to store in shed. Wonderful oak that has been dead for at least a year.

We’re ready for a cold winter after this load is put in the woodhouse. I believe it’s a total of three pickup loads full. Hubby split it in three days while I was at work. Now we need to put it in the shed to keep it dry for winter use.

Wood General wood splitter has saved a lot of sore muscles and pain the back!

Wood General wood splitter has saved a lot of sore muscles and pain the back!

This will all go in the big stove in the living room. We’ve not brought in anything for the wood cookstove yet.
Heating oil tank on the backside of the woodshed.

Heating oil tank on the backside of the woodshed.

This fuel tank was used for heating oil when hubby’s aunt & uncle lived here. The back side of the tank was against the wood shed and years of rain off the roof, onto the tank and draining against the wall has rotted it badly and it was placed against a door to the back side of the shed.  This is what it looks like after years of rotting.

Rotting wood

Rotting wood

Woodshed needs repairs.

Woodshed needs repairs.  A hole and major damage is at the bottom of the door and a short board is holding it shut for the moment.

We’ll replace the door and use it to throw the wood in for stacking. It will be easier to back the truck up to that opening.  Always something to repair or replace but this door will make it easier to throw the wood in the building instead of the window.

The shed is already two-thirds full from wood we didn’t have to use last year.

Two-thirds full

Two-thirds full

We will surely be warm in the coming winter months!

UPDATE

Hubby repaired the rotten door today and did an amazing job.  He plans to paint the entire building with a old time mixture to preserve it the rest of OUR lives.  Here’s the results and it was the first door he ever made from scratch.  He’s so amazing!

 

Repaired with lumber cut from the farm.

Repaired with lumber cut from the farm.

First time he made a door from scratch.

First time he made a door from scratch.

 

TOTALLY AWESOME!

TOTALLY AWESOME!

Fencing never ends

Hubby and daughter spent another day working on fences and replacing gaps between pasture and hayfields.  It’s a never-ending job on a farm as big as ours.  We are constantly patrolling the fences to keep good neighbors and the cattle where they’re supposed to be.  The deer and wind downed trees are our biggest problems.  Wild cherry trees are a particular hazard now because if the cattle eat the wilted leaves of a down wild cherry it’s almost instant death to the cattle/calves.  Here’s some of the last board fence replaced and it looks so good.

Treated 7 foot posts and lumber sawed from the farm.  Very nice!

Treated 7 foot posts and lumber sawed from the farm. Very nice!

 

The pastures and hayfields are surrounded mainly by electric fencing.  The woods are surrounded by barbed wire, woven and rail fencing.  The fencing along the highway, which isn’t a lot is woven wire.  Gates are placed in all the major entries to fields, pasture and woodland.  And yes, none of it is inexpensive!!

The fences surround our hayfields, property lines, woodlands, house property, orchards, gardens and anywhere else you can think of.

Corner posts are cemented into the ground for extra sturdiness.

Corner posts are cemented into the ground for extra sturdiness.

 

Beautiful when replaced and probably the oldest that has been replaced.

Beautiful when replaced and probably the oldest that has been replaced.

More driveway fence to but only needs a couple of posts replace.

More driveway fence to but only needs a couple of posts replace.

Newest replacement.

Newest replacement.

Treated posts in the ground.

Treated posts in the ground.

We take the old fence to the recycling plant if it’s to rusty to use for tree protection.  The tree protection is when we wrap a 4-5 foot piece in a circle and put it around the fruit trees to keep the deer from horning the trees which kills them.  The old post are cut up and used for some mighty fine firewood.

Tree protection

Tree protection

Recycled wire

Recycled wire

Firewood

Firewood

More tree cages

More tree cages

Here’s some more of the fencing completed this spring.

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Since hay season is upon us the fencing that is never done will continue in the fall and before hunting season!! 😉

 

 

Heat

Winter 2014 warmth stockpile to be completed.

Winter 2014 warmth stockpile to be completed.

On Sunday morning we took off to the woods and started cutting for the 2014-15 heating season.  We found two oak trees that had been dead from the gypsy moth invasion three years ago and put more than a ton of weight on the farm truck.  Here’s a view of the visit with nature.

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IMG_0014We were there for about one and half hours and Hubby sawed the trees up and loaded the heavy pieces which were way to heavy for me and then I loaded the lighter stuff and enjoyed being in the woods.

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IMG_0004I enjoy anything that involves us being outdoors together and I love the smell of fresh cut firewood.  One of the trees was blown to the ground and heavier than the other because it soaked up the last rain.  The other tree was still standing but the bark had fallen off.  This will keep us nice and toasty next winter.  All we have to do now is split the big stuff and put it in the woodhouse.

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Mowing off the weight

I posted earlier this week that my daughter got me this little baby for Mother’s Day and that it was going to be my new weight-loss tool!  Well, it really works!!  I spent 40 minutes pushing it around the “very too tall” grass in our yard last night and by the time I was finished I was sweating up a storm.  This morning though, I was not sore!!  Miracle, huh??

Weedeater Lawn Mower from my daughter!

Weedeater Lawn Mower from my daughter!

New toy from my daughter.

New toy from my daughter.

The mower is very lightweight, easy to start and does a great job.  It does cut a bit close to the ground and I can’t raise it off the ground at all but maybe I won’t have to mow as often.  That won’t bode well with weight-loss but it sure does do a great job!  The lawn looks great!

I recommend this little baby for anyone that has a small yard and wants to keep the big machine away from the flower beds!!  Our yard around the house is small but the yard between the house and gazebo is huge.  I’ll use this little jewel around the gazebo, trees and small walkways.

 

 

Sunday quiet time

Usually on Sunday afternoon if I can’t be outside I like to retreat to our guest room and catch up on my ironing.  This winter I procrastinated and let it pile up and I had my laundry hamper filled way beyond capacity.  It would all have fit into three large laundry baskets but in my defense about half of the laundry were dress shirts that hubby never wears. I had pulled them from his closet to re-wash and freshen and never got around to ironing them along with the last of my summer clothes from last fall.

Overloaded laundry basket of ironing.

Overloaded laundry basket of ironing.

I love to watch movies while I iron, especially those movies that hubby has seen already and I haven’t or my chick flicks that he won’t watch.  Sunday afternoon I watched “Lincoln” with Daniel Day Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Fields.  It’s a wonderful historic movie!

"Lincoln" movie with Andrew Day Lewis, Sally Fields and Tommy Lee Jones.

“Lincoln” movie with Daniel Day Lewis, Sally Fields and Tommy Lee Jones.

The movie lasted two hours and I got over half of the ironing complete, put away and feel a great accomplishment in doing so.

Almost done!!!

Almost done!!!

Dress clothes pressed and hung ready for wearing to work.

Dress clothes pressed and hung ready for wearing to work.

Knit shirts and t-shirts pressed, folded and in the drawers.

Knit shirts and t-shirts pressed, folded and in the drawers.

 

I have two irons but the one I prefer to use when doing our clothes is a Black & Decker steam iron.  It’s heavy enough to really press out the wrinkles in half the time of the light weight irons and I have an ironing board that I got shortly after we were married 42 years ago.

My heavyweight iron that I prefer to use when doing our clothing.  It's a Black & Decker steam iron.  Heavy but makes the work go so much faster.

My heavyweight iron that I prefer to use when doing our clothing. It’s a Black & Decker steam iron. Heavy but makes the work go so much faster.

Ironing board I've had since we got married 42 years ago and it's seen lots of laundry!!

Ironing board I’ve had since we got married 42 years ago and it’s seen lots of laundry!!

 

Here’s my other iron that stays in the quilting room.  It’s light weight  and steams but I use it for pressing apart seams when quilting or sewing.

My Sunbeam iron that I use when pressing seams when quilting.

My Sunbeam iron that I use when pressing seams when quilting.

My next movie will either be “The Passion of the Christ”  or one of my “tear-jerker” romance movies.  Anyway, it should help me complete the rest of the ironing that I have procrastinated getting done.  Now I have enough clothes ironed to last me through the next six to eight weeks of work.

Spring To-Do List

I consider myself a pretty organized person.  I also consider myself a pretty hard worker.  AND, a lot of people that know me think that I’m a cleaning fanatic.  I don’t.  I clean a lot but if I don’t have a list to go by and check off, I only do a fair job.  I have lists for everything.  I have Christmas lists, shopping list, gardening list, spring cleaning lists, spring chores, fall chores, and the list goes on and on and on.  I thought I would share two of my lists today.  First is my spring cleaning list and I start preparing this list during the winter when I can’t do much outside and sitting in front of the TV at night, thinking about the things I should be doing!

SPRING CLEANING & OTHER CHORES

In each room:

Dust all decor, furniture(under & around), ceiling fans & lights, walls

Wipe down walls and baseboards, interior and exterior doors

Take down curtains and wash

Clean/shampoo furniture

Wash windows and ceils, inside and out

Clean all trashcans

Clean all fixtures, doorknobs, switch plates, ceiling lights, paintings (including behind)

Clean/replace blinds

Sweep/vacuum

Mop floors

 

In the kitchen:

Purge and organize kitchen

Clean kitchen cabinets and drawers & replace shelving paper

Clean small kitchen appliances

Clean stove top and oven

Clean refrigerator and freezer (new this year, shelving paper on refrigerator shelves and drawers)

Clean all decor on shelves and all wall decor (and behind)

Clean kitchen table and chairs (don’t forget the chair rungs)

Replace kitchen chair pads
In the bedrooms:

Wash bedding

Air the mattresses for several hours and spray w/Lysol

Clean bedroom closets & purge clothing & shoes

Clean Sassy’s bed and replace mattress in her bed

In the bathroom:

Clean bathroom cabinets

Wash shower curtains and liners

Purge medicine and toiletries

Clean the toilet tank, bowl and outside
Special chores to complete during the late spring or during the spring clean:

  • Paint mantel bolts.
  • Make new quilts for bedrooms.
  • Make new hassock covers.
  • Re-finish master bedroom floors .
  • Put down corner round in guest bedroom.
  • Build bookshelves in guest bedroom.
  • Rebuild closet in Master bedroom.
  • Clean out downstairs closet.
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    OUTDOOR CHOIRS  

    • Put water spigot at back of house.
    • Clean up old herb garden.
    • Clean up game feeders.
    • Clean up bus houses & repair.
    • Move lilies, peonies & roses.
    • Board up the back of the milk house.
    • Stack wood in milk house.
    • Fix roof on sugar house.
    • Clean cellar and apple house.
    • Clean up smoke house.
    • Clean out boat house.
    • Clean up  paddle boat.
    • Replace plug in paddle boat
    • Clean up all lawn furniture.
    • Make new pillows for lawn furniture using old denim jeans.
    • Transplant peonies from mansion & red house.
    • Clean up front porch and mop.
    • Refinish & paint exterior doors from porch.
    • Clean up small chick room in hen house.
    • Tar paper interior walls of chicken house.
    • Paint the chicken house roof.
    • Clean up and store the bird feeders
    • Make more birdhouses.
    • Prune all shrubs & roses in yard.
    • Clean up flower beds.
    • Transplant more garlic to large tire planter from haylot.
    • Set up another tire planter for more rhubarb.
    • Set up another tire planter for asparagus.
    • Move furniture out of tractor shed.
    • Cut out and spray all pawpaw sprouts in back yard.
    • Put dinner bells up (corner of front yard and at gazebo).
    • Paint front porch columns.
    • Stain front porch and waterproof.
    • Clean up yard.
    • Put up solar lights at Gazebo.
    • Replace wire over chicken house windows.
    • Put new bedding in chicken nest.
    • Hang chicken water tank from ceiling near food bin.
    • Put new supers on bee hives.
    • Change batteries in solar lights.
    • Clean off potting table in yard and fill with flowers.
    • Transplant white orchid iris, oriental iris and peonies.
    • Prune and tie up raspberries.
    • Clean off tree limbs in apple orchard.

As you can see I have plenty to keep me busy inside and out of the house.  I think I need some elves or get myself cloned about three or four times.  Oh well, if it gets done, wonderful, and if it doesn’t, it’ll be there another year.  As for my clean house,  if visitors come to see my house instead of me, they can pitch in and help!!  Guess I better get off this computer and get busy!! 😉

Cleaning up the orchards

Storm aftermath June 29th, 2012

Storm aftermath June 29th, 2012

June duratio takes down several apple trees.

June duratio takes down several apple trees.

 

In June of this past summer, we had lots of tree and fence damage from the “duratio” that hit our farm.  I’ve never seen such wind and we were very lucky that we had no more damage than we did.  We did loose several apple trees and hubby has been working hard since that wind storm to get things back in order.

Hubby started the clean up in the orchard today and got all but one of the downed trees cut up and hauled off.  It looks kind of bare now but hopefully we’ll fix that.  Here’s a picture of the cleaned up orchard as of this afternoon.

Fallen apple trees removed and sun shining on the remaining.

Fallen apple trees removed and sun shining on the remaining.

Lots of replacing to do for the orchard at the house.

Lots of replacing to do for the orchard at the house.

 

We won’t be able to replace those trees with the same type because they were trees grafted by the family years ago.  Luckily there are several of the same type in the orchard and I have 30+ apple stock in the cellar that are two years old and ready for grafting.  I need to get out soon and cut scion from the trees we have left and when spring truly breaks I’ll get that new stock in the ground, grafted and wrapped and shielded from all the wildlife that love tender buds.

I’m looking forward to another try at grafting myself.  Hubby is a real pro at it!  I’ve taken the classes but think maybe I try to hard.  We’ll see how they fair toward the end of summer and look for new sprouts on the grafts.  I LOVE FARMING!!!

Belle

Belle - the traveler

Belle – the traveler

This is our traveling hound.  Hubby has had for a little over a month and you’ll remember week before last that I was begging for any information from anyone that may have seen her.  Belle was gone for exactly seven days on the National Forest that sits between our farm and Johns Creek in Craig County.  The forestry office makes sure the roads going through the National Forest in some areas are closed during the winter months and any real wet seasons to try to keep down on road repairs.  The National Forest Road that Belle was traveling is fourteen miles long and our place is about half way through.  No one lives on these roads except at one end or the other.  The creek was up from snow melt and rain we had been receiving and too high for her to cross.  So she walked and walked and walked.  She came out on what I think is the west end onto a farm that was rented by friends of friends.  Their kids were out playing in the cow pasture and Belle went to them.  She was cold, tired, hungy and I think very happy to finally see some humans.  They took very good care of her until we could pick her up.

Belle is eleven years old, loves to hunt and believe it or not a week after we got her home, Hubby took her and Roxie hunting again but just a mile up the road from our house.  They hunted good but after the first treeing and the coon was out of the tree, Belle was off again.  Roxie followed but went on another track and we don’t know what happened to Belle.  Hubby came home without her AGAIN!!  Thankfully he found her the next morning at a neighbors house which connects to our farm.

Hubby said he knew things weren’t going to go good when he left the truck with the dogs that night because he immediately ran into other hunters and their dogs.  We don’t know if she went to the mountain again after another coon, went looking for the other hunters and their dogs, or if she was trying to find her way back to Botetourt county.  So tonight, he went hunting again but without Belle and only Roxie.  We think maybe we had better get her in better shape and make her more familiar with her new home.  She’s got a long ways to go to put weight back on and build up some stamina.  Here’s a couple more pictures of her and you can tell her ribs are showing and she doesn’t hold herself very good.

Belle

Belle

 

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Another thing I wanted to point out is how much her and Brandy look alike.  Belle has a much grayer face and isn’t quite as big as Brandy.  Here they are side by side:

Brandy

Brandy

Belle - the traveler

Belle – the traveler

She sure does get around good for her age and condition!!

Sugar house repairs

When we moved to the farm almost 12 years ago we  were way too busy taking care of  my husbands uncle who had Alzheimer.  What a horrible disease but that’s another post!!  My husband inherited our farm from his uncle which has been in the family 200+ years.  It once was the farm of at least five different links of the Caldwell family.  Some parcels were sold off and some of what we know was in a journal of one of my husbands great uncle, OFWC.  There are at this time two apple houses, two cellars, two smoke houses, numerous  grain bins, storage building, barns, barns and more barns and currently four houses.  We live in one, our daughter is building another, the other two are family homes or build somewhere in between.  We have bull barns, cattle barns, hay barns, equipment barns, bee house, and did I mention a “sugar house”??

A sugar house was built for just making wonderful maple syrup.  Our farm is loaded with all sorts of fruit and nut trees, pines, and more than anything else, sugar maple trees.  One on the property we are sure was about thirty years old when a family picture was made on the farm and that was in the mid 1800’s.  It’s starting to look pretty bad and in need of pruning or taking down but it sure pours the maple sap in the spring.  I digress again and on with the story of the sugar house.  This is what it looked like when we moved here 12 years ago and hadn’t been used since our kids were small and they’re 36 and 39 years old at the moment.

2004  and the sugar house fire pit is full of trash.

2001 and the sugar house fire pit is full of trash.

The brick and mortar are falling out.

The brick and mortar are falling out.

Some bricks have fallen out of the chimney.

Some bricks have fallen out of the chimney.

Brick and mortar around the pan spout hole are completely gone.

Brick and mortar around the pan spout hole are completely gone.

 

Time to take some measurements and start over.

Time to take some measurements and start over.

My son-in-law is a brick mason and loves restoring old building and the fixtures within.  Even though he’s my kin, I have to say he used to do awesome work.  Economy and no work has changed that way of life in our neck of the woods.

Anyway, hubby, Joel and my brother broke it down, cleaned it out and started over as you will see from the following photos.

Brother, Junior , helps with recontruction.

Brother, Junior , helps with recontruction.

 

Backhoe is perfect tool for hauling off old brick to fill up ruts or wash outs.

Backhoe is perfect tool for hauling off old brick to fill up ruts or wash outs.

Syrup pan in good working order, just needs a good cleaning.

Syrup pan in good working order, just needs a good cleaning.

 

Now, I wasn’t around to take pictures when Joel was rebuilding but I think these beauties will show you what a beautiful job he did and I’m so proud of the beautiful “sugar house”!!

Bandit Ann checks for varmints Now to clean out around the pit and put down small gravel Nice pit, clean pan and tools time to make syrup Need to fix the chimney flashing Side view Sugar House Tools ready_pan full_fire heating upWe’ve used it several times since the renovations and everyone enjoys the time together!  We usually have friends and neighbors into for the day or two that it takes to cook the sap off and everyone enjoys the french toast and waffles when the first batch comes out of the pans.

The main reason I did this post is the time is upon us to tap the trees again if Mother Nature will cooperate and everyone is well.  I’ve posted in the past on the process but plan to do that again sometime next week with some new photos of last years event.  Until then, THINK SWEET THOUGHTS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

New fencing in2013

A new year of fencing has begun.  Hubby pulled out the old fence over a month ago and then the weather got bad and then hunting season got in full swing.  This area of fencing is at the bull lot and had originally been made of chestnut railing.  Over fifty years ago it was used a lot and was a very useful tool for short spances of fencing.  Weather and bulls being bulls had worn it down and it’s just one more area completed.  The bulls seem to know that they won’t be pushing this fence around.    Boards were essential at both ends of this stretch due to the bracing of the heavy gate and at the other end was a short wet area where the mountain spring fed the pond.  We thought sitting the end post with quickrete would fix the problem but it was never dry enough to set up so good oak boards stretched across  a couple lenths worked fine and made for a sturdy fence. Four strands of  high tinsel electric wiring is between the boarded sections.

 

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This will be just a small section of the fencing to be done this year but it’s a good start.  Dad and daughter did a fine days work and enjoyed each others company while I was at work.

Saturday with Hubby

It’s been a good while since Hubby and I spent the day together in the woods.  The weather was nice enough (40* and sunny) for me to get out with my fingers crossed that the bronchial problems wouldn’t re-surface.  It was the last day of deer hunting season and hubby had killed two does and one buck with his muzzleloader in the last three days to complete his big game tag.  The front porch firewood supply was getting low (even though the wood house was fuller than it had been for three years) and it had been a long time since we had cut firewood together.

Porch wood stack getting low.

Porch wood stack getting low.

 

After breakfast was over, I washed up the dishes, fed the chickens and turned them out, and started the laundry while hubby fed the cattle.  Then we headed for the flatwoods with the chainsaw, gloves and a smile on my face.  We saw several deer run as we entered the woods and a squirrel took for the tree tops.

Within a hundred feet we found three dead locust and and a downed oak so we stopped the truck and I waited for hubby to bring them down and within a hour the truck was packed with wonderful fuel for the woodstoves.  We headed back to the house with the pickup full.

Truck full and some has to be split.

Truck full and some has to be split.

Notice the handmade wheelbarrow that hubby made last spring.  That thing is the best tool we own as far as I’m concerned.  It’s balanced just right and I can go anywhere with it.  Hubby decided to use the splitting maul to quarter the larger pieces and while he did that I unloaded the smaller sticks to the wheelbarrow and he pushed it to the porch for me and I unloaded it.  It was good quality time together and even though it’s calling for temps to be in the 40’s this coming week, we’ll still have to have a fire day and night.  We’re saving the wood in the woodhouse for hardtimes (snow to deep to get to the woods) and we’ve talked about doing this for the next few Saturdays together, weather permitting, and fill up the entire three sides of the front porch.  We like to do this because it blocks the winds from the front door and we will have those nasty winds.  Here’s the finished work about thirty minutes later.

One load fills up a pretty big gap!

One load fills up a pretty big gap!

From this point I returned indoors to work on laundry and other chores while hubby skinned and quarted the venison.  We had a very productive day.