It was 36 degrees when we woke up this morning. Thirty-six, I tell you! In mid-August! Not only is such a chilly temperature about one month early, but, particularly given the heat and dryness this summer, it just seems . . . weird! On the other hand, it FELT wonderful!!! :) We have friends who recently relocated to County Durham, England (via a year or so - I forget the exact timeline - and a LOT of work on their house in France . . . which, yes, they did keep). Anyway, point being, could we ever give up Swamp River Ridge (which we COULDN'T), County Durham would be calling: they only had a handful of days OVER 70 degrees this summer. Now THAT'S my kind of weather! ;) And, I must have "felt" the cool temps coming on because I built a fire in the cookstove Thursday night for the first time in a while!
Speaking of heating the house, until we have the fireplace built, we need to find an extra heat source for the "shoulder months" . . . those being when it's not quite cold enough to warrant firing the Central Boiler wood furnace 24/7 but when it IS awfully darn chilly in the house! The cookstove in the kitchen isn't enough because, even when I have it really corkin', the heat it produces tends to STAY in the kitchen and not migrate into the rest of the house. So, what we'll do is install a very neat OLD coal-burning stove that had been in Hastings-on-the-Lake when we bought the place (and burn wood in it since northern MN isn't exactly a mecca for anthracite coal!). We'll put that where the fireplace will be and poke a hole up through the new roof for the chimney. (Sounds so simple, doesn't it!? Ha!) Anyway, with the house at 59 degrees this morning, that's next on the list. (Along with finishing planting the landscape plants and shrubs we bought [before it's too cold for them to get a good foothold], getting the woodshed filled for the winter, staining the soffits and fascia on the house and garage, and, and, and . . . !)
Along with the maples j-u-s-t beginning to turn into their fall colors and the birches and poplars quite comfortably already turning yellow (aaack!), the bear baiters* are back at it. (* I generally add a few descriptive adjectives to that term when we see them alongside the road - terms not exactly fit for mixed company.) Bear opener is September 1st, and baiting opened yesterday. Now, I understand that bear hunting is VERY difficult without the aid of baiting (read "dumping a bunch of candy and/or donuts or whatever sweet slop you can find in the woods and then coming back in a couple of weeks and shooting the bear that's grown accustomed to visiting that site"). But, it just DOES NOT seem very sportsmanlike to kill an animal that way. Besides, who'd WANT to eat a bear that had just consumed 500# of gummi bears?! Anyway, just one of my annual rants . . . .
Seems like there have been other little tidbits of interest to share with you lately, but my mind is blank.
Tom has been working SO many hours lately getting this new gaming system in. Quite literally, I hardly see him. And, when I do, the poor boy is absolutely exhausted. We're both hoping that we can "hole up" in September and get some things DONE around here!
Today is my papa's #66, and so we made a town run this morning (dump, recycling, etc.) and stopped to pick up a mess of "the world's best donuts" (and they really are!) before stopping by my folks' house to wish Dad a happy day. He was spending his special day much as I would have: taking the time to get a few things done that had been nagging at him up in his office . . . and then the same in the garage. The ol' apple does NOT fall far from the tree . . . terrifying as it may be! ;) Mom has been up to her armpits - quite literally - in canning and preserving this last week-plus. One day it's broccoli, the next peas, then pickled beets . . . and green beans up the WAZOO! She has so many green beans that she offered for me to come pick her clean, but I'm just afraid I can't fit it in right now. Argh! Anyway, she has a garden this year that would rival Martha's! Over noon-time coffee and donuts we commented about how we usually don't get to celebrate Dad's birthday on time because he's in the final end-of-the-summer push before he gets back to school. BUT, given his retirement this year, we COULD have celebrated today . . . had it not been for poor TOM'S schedule! Maybe NEXT year we'll be able to make it happen on the right day. So, for a week or two, anyway, his birthday dinner will have to wait.