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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Winter’s Just Around the Corner

Well, it’s not here quite yet, but winter’s making its forthcoming presence known. Yesterday was our first snow and first flurries, all rolled into one. Usually we have flurries or the odd flake here and there weeks before the first snow, but Mother Nature got it all over with yesterday. The high didn’t even top 32 degrees, and we got about ½” of snow.

In preparation for it – and as most of the county was doing Tuesday night, we figure – we stacked wood in the new woodshed night before last and then hooked the plow onto the plow truck. And, in true Northwoods fashion, the plow motor is kaput. Inoperable. We’ve done all we know to try to get it working, and so now we wait until our mechanic can get to it (not until the 24th – gulp!). Of course, the lack of ability to plow made my dear husband just a wee bit on the tense side, listening to the weather forecast. Fortunately, we’ve not had snow this early in the year that ever stayed (at least, not in my lifetime), so I’m fairly confident that we’ll be okay. (Knock on wood and cross your fingers, eyes, toes, and legs!)

Of course, the reason the winter-like weather is beginning so early is Murphy’s Law: the stone work on the house is set to begin on Monday! 13 pallets of rock are being delivered today from just north of the Twin Cities. I’m apprehensive about the effect of the weather on the project, but I’m beyond excited to see our ancient "English-farmhouse-that-an-old-Guinness-drinking
farmer-built-stone-by-stone take shape"! (At least, that's the look I'm going for!) Then we’ll REALLY be buttoned up for the winter winds to blow!

Speaking of houses and winter weather . . . since we’ve had the house heated more each day with the dropping temperatures, the timbers are drying out like you wouldn’t believe! CRACK! BAM! TTTSSSSSHHHHHZZZZZT. The house is alive! And, of course, it happens most at night (again, Murphy’s Law). You’ll be sound asleep when you hear the sharp percussion of a small caliber rifle – CRACK! Or, you’ll get one of the house-shaking BAMS! when a timber splits. It’s really quite amazing listening (and sometimes actually watching) it all happen!

Regarding house progress, there ain’t much. Each day we both have great plans about what we’re going to get done, but then – WHOOSH – and, in the snap of a finger, the day is over. Our latest focus is working on trying to locate our new (to us) plow truck. Lots of Internet research and telephoning. Lining up the folks to do the tile work and mosaic in the two house bathrooms has also kept me busy. So, not much has been done that you would see with the naked eye – just more behind-the-scenes stuff. But, we just have to keep telling ourselves that it’s ALL (no matter how small) progress.

And, a quick postscript to those of you who try to call . . . thank you for being so patient regarding the phone system. We still don’t have a phone in the house, so I know it’s pretty much impossible to ever get us live. (Lots of playing phone tag on voicemails.) But, we are working on it – just please bear with us!

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