From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winter Rears Its Hoary Head

And other news from our house



I haven't had enough of autumn's golden days, but winter is at hand. We had our first hard freeze last night, and early this morning, the windshields were frosted over for the first time. I need to remember the possibility of windshield-scraping when I think about my departure time for work!

Tomorrow, I'm going to get out the rakes and leaf blower and clear away the leaves around the house. Out here in the country, we don't worry about bagging them up. Mother Nature either blows them away or rots them.

Firewood

Dennis usually helps the leaves decompose a little faster by running them over with the lawn mower.This year, I guess I'll mow the leaves because Dennis is devoting all his spare time to cutting firewood. He has already hauled home enough wood to last us all winter, and he says he has a lot more waiting. He is cutting up branches from some oak and hickory trees a co-worker removed around her house.

Now someone else has offered three oak and hickory trees that fell in his pasture. We are thinking about buying a log splitter. Does anyone have comments about the brand we should get?

Books, computers, and sewing machines

In other news around the homestead, I've been working toward my goal of setting up my office and sewing center in the back bedroom, aka Keely's room. My two sewing machines have been back there for a while already.

After analysis (hauling my books back there and realizing that they greatly exceed available bookshelf space) I'm planning a large floor-to-ceiling bookshelf on each side of the south window. (Yes, Keely, when I get the shelves built, I will give you the long bookcase that has always been in your room.)

Last Saturday, I bought a used computer for my new office. It has a Pentium 2.8 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM, 2 hard drives with a little over 200 GB total, 128 MB video card, and Windows XP. The previous owner reformatted the hard drives and reinstalled XP the day before I picked up the computer.

I will upgrade to 2 GB RAM and get a new monitor, and a "roll-y chair" when my discretionary budget permits (sometime after Christmas.) All in all, I'm pleased with my latest slightly-outmoded computer. We are now a 3-computer house, but we'll probably get rid of the little Linux machine in the hallway, which is really outmoded.

Holidays

And so we go, full speed ahead, into winter and the holidays. The holiday shopping season has begun. My store has been doing fairly well despite the nation's economic problems, and I certainly hope that continues. I've been training a holiday-hire employee for the last week. She is in her early 20s, and she's the mother of two little children. This is her first job.

Isaac, who works part-time at a grocery store, is dreading the season. He remembers how busy they were last year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's hard to predict what this year will be like.

Keely says she is going to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year, and I'm glad to let her do it, to tell the truth. I'll contribute the pumpkin cheesecake and anything else she tells me to bring.

1 comment:

ptg said...

The only log splitter I know anything about has a wooden handle. My years in the woods also taught me the origin of the term 'flying wedge'.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.