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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

My Wednesday

I'm so in love with the new look of the blog & the header that it's not even funny!  Maybe this will help me blog more!  Truth be told, blogging more was one of my New Year's resolutions.  I enjoy doing it, and I love the idea that I'm doing the modern equivalent of journaling.  Kinda.  And, being able to blog wherever, whenever I want (now) really makes a difference, too.  For example, these last couple of nights I've taken the laptop to bed with me, and right now I'm snuggled underneath my heating pad (it's part of the family) in complete darkness (save the glow of this screen) with the window open just inches behind my head (listening to the breeze through the pines).  Granted, I'd rather have a happy hubby in bed next to me, but, for now, I'm taking advantage of being able to do this.  If life hands you lemons . . . get out the tequila, right?  ;)

Whew, hot flash.  Heating pad . . . OFF!

So, today.  It was a GORGEOUS one!

As I wrote this AM, I'd heard the loggers working, so I made a batch of Jam Dandy Muffins with strawberry jam.  Then, as soon as they were out of the oven & cool enough to pack in a tin (the muffins, not the loggers), I threw the dogs into the truck and away we went.  

Here's a picture of the road they (the loggers, not the muffins) cut thru the trees to their current logging site.  When I got back there (the road's about 1/2 a mile long), one of the guys (they're identical twins, so I had no idea which one I was talking to) was loading / unloading in the staging area while the other could be heard cutting in the woods.

As he climbed down from the rig and pulled off his ear protection, I said, "I brought treats!"  He smiled and said, "It's a good day for treats!"  (I'm sure ANY day would be a good day for treats for them!)  

Anyway, I asked about the chances of getting a load of birch from them this winter yet.  And, whether it was coincidental or not (i.e. if "the word's out" about Tom and me), he said, "Yah, we were just talkin' about that - like, a week ago!  We been lookin', and we got some birch over there at that other cut.  How much?"  I said I wanted 8-10 cords (that's about a year's worth), and we talked price.  It seemed a little higher than last year, but I haven't looked that up yet to compare (last year's price).  Still, it was a decent price for 8' lengths delivered right into the yard.  And, I'd much rather give the money to them, who are working right here, than to someone who would haul it in from farther away.  Plus, they're good guys.

When I was leaving, brother #1 asked if I'd "plowed in".  I was surprised that he would ask:  usually, loggers don't care much about the shape of their logging roads as long as they can navigate them.  I collected myself and said, "Uhhh, no, but I will on the way out" . . . just thinking I'd help them out.  He continued on to say that they'd just gotten a pickup this past weekend but that it didn't have a plow on it yet, and he'd "opened up one side of the road with the cat but that was it".

It wasn't until I was halfway back out to the road when I realized, "He was talking about the ROAD road, you dummy, not the logging road!"  Duhhhh.  So, instead of heading directly home once I got out of the woods, I took a right and continued plowing.  I only had to plow about 2 miles because it's there (midway in on the road) that the other loggers are working, and they've kept those first 2 miles of the 4-mile long wintertime driveway as wide as an airport runway!  (Beautiful!)  

When I drove out last week and saw the impact their (big!) operation had made, I was surrrrprised!  I'll have to take a peek at the plat map to see how many acres this job was, but it's HUGE (relatively speaking, of course)!  Here's a shot taken out the passenger window while I was out plowing today.  It sure has made that part of the drive look COMPLETELY different!

When I came to the river on my way back home, I stopped & got out to take a couple of pictures.  I haven't posted any images of the river in quite some time (stay tuned tomorrow).  What was funny was that at that point in the road, there wasn't much snow and I figured I was just doing what I call "clean-up plowing" . . . and I wouldn't have much snow in front of the blade.  HA!  Look what I saw when I turned back to the truck!  (The blade's 9' wide and about 30 - 36" high.)  And, yep, I still gotta get that headlight fixed.

Finally, I thought I'd show you the little you can see of Swamp River Ridge at this time of year (in the summertime, it's completely hidden).  This is just as you come down a little hill to cross the bridge over the river.

Finally, here's an aerial shot I took in September of 2005 while we were building.  It's basically the same layout as the above picture (although taken from a more southerly direction).  From left to right:  the house (pad), the solar panels, and the garage.

Oh, and last but not least, my new work gloves.
I got them for Christmas.
I dunno:  do you think I'm working hard enough?


  1. that's a lot of snow to be in front of your truck! Love the aerial shots, you really do have a lot of woods there, are you able to get enough sun to have a garden, or does Mama Pea keep you supplied from hers? Love that you are blogging more, and when I get up there, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will bring the tequila for your lemons! Your work gloves are definitely showing more than a month's worth of work wear...

  2. I love the new look, too! It is great! As for those gloves....makes me so happy you aren't working bare-handed!

  3. Very much like the new look... I won a blog header design and am anxiously awaiting it. I don't know much else about the designing part, so I've only changed my header once. Looks like you have a grip on that big snow! And I am partial to a pair of broke in work gloves. I always wonder when you see a new pair, how long someone's had them and not done any work!

  4. Erin, that's especially a lot of snow in front of the truck since I felt I was just "clean-up" plowing!

    And, there's plenty of sun for the garden, but I WILL admit to using the fruits of Mama Pea's labors thus far in my life. I HOPE to change that, one of these years.

    Claire, bare-handed? Please. I might chip a nail.

    And, Karen Sue: there are awards for blog headers??? Who knew?!

  5. Hi, I found your blog through Jordan's.

    My SIL's mom lives in Middle River, MN, so I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures way up there! Love the aerial shot and all those deciduous trees. Reminds me of growing up in Ohio.


  6. Hey, Linda, WELCOME! I'm pickled tink (tickled pink) when a new reader comes along! I, too, am having SO much fun following Jordan's adventures. I'm actually envious of her! Isn't that funny: even tho we (in theory always SHOULD) love what we have, we also envy what the next girl has! :)

    Middle River, MN, huh? I'm gonna Google it. Hang on . . . . WOW! That's REALLY northern MN! And, the middle of NOWHERE! Ha! I've been to Thief River Falls just south of there and Baudette to the NE. I'll bet there's not much there, huh? :) North Central / North Western Minnesota is MUCH different than North Eastern (where I am). Definitely more prairie land-ish over there vs. the rocky North Shore here.

    Anyway, welcome!


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!