Friday, November 6, 2009

You Won't See My Neck Until Spring

I'm comfy this early morning in my turtleneck, sweatshirt and stretchy pants. The house is still a mite on the chilly side because we're not enough into the winter season to bank the wood stove for a serious overnight fire.

The sun is just starting to peek through the east tree line into the front yard. Sun?!? Great balls of fire, are we going to actually see some sun today? One can only hope! How welcome that would be.

As you can see, all of our trees have lost their leaves except for the apple trees which seem to hang on to them as long as they possibly can. Bare November. No snow cover right now. We've had a few light coverings that quickly melted. The grass is still mostly green which is nice for the poultry still eager to get out every morning to do their thing.

Here are Mr. and Mrs. Shetland Goose taking a morning drink of fresh water. You can see the shards of ice behind them that formed on the water pan overnight with our 28° temp.

The Virginia Creeper that is so beautiful all summer and fall is now naked and shivering this early morning. Looks uncared for and disheveled, doesn't it? (Kinda like my hair right at the moment.)

We're back to having cooked grains/cereals for breakfast a few mornings a week . . . it just seems right now. This morning it's kamut. I take mine with a little brown sugar, a sliced banana and milk. Roy prefers butter and soy sauce. Each to his own. C'est la Vie. Whatever turns your crank or floats your boat.

Now I'm gonna go add another little piece of wood to the fire and be grateful that it's turtleneck season again. Yup, time to snuggle in and dream about that illusive long, slow winter we'd like to experience.


  1. rovSun-YEA!! We have some too!
    I've got laundry out on the line, even though it got down to 22 last night-that ol' warm sun and a stiff breeze will get em dry!
    Love your geese, by the way. Don and I have been wanting to get ducks and chickens again. We heard geese were "mean"? Your thoughts??
    Of course everyone has to tell us their "horrible" experience with geese........

  2. Hi, Sue - Our most recent breeds of geese have been American Buff and Shetland and we haven't had any "mean" ones at all. One of the American Buff ganders got a little protective last time his mate was sitting on eggs and grabbed Roy's pant leg (and a little of Roy). Roy gave him a light boot and told him, "No!" That was the end of that.

    I think different breeds have different levels of "aggressiveness" though. That might be something to consider when choosing your geese.

  3. love the geese pics! I second Melissa... I would love to see your bees, we are going to have an "observation hive" next spring kind of for the kids, but I will obviously benefit too for my garden! Ohhhhh, gotta go, my husband just fired up the chainsaw?????!!!! not sure what needs "chain-sawing" out there.... I feel a blog post coming on!

  4. Erin - Teacher husband once kept an observation hive in the classroom for the kids . . . they loved it. I know your boys will, too.

  5. Quick question -- do you heat your house entirely by woodstove? I love for a wood cookstove in my house but my brother-in-law tells me it will actually increase my heating bill. What's up with that?

    Thanks for the scenery pics! We look much the same down here.

  6. Hi, Jo - Do we heat entirely with wood? Yes . . . and no. :o) We have a small LP gas furnace in the basement, which is really only under one room . . . there's just a crawl space under the rest of the house. In bitterly cold weather (or if we're gone), we fire up the LP furnace to supplement our wood heat. It warms the floors which seems to be a real help. But we do about 90% of our heating with wood.

    I don't understand your brother's-in-law reasoning when he says a wood cook stove will raise your heating bill. That just doesn't make sense. I bounced this off my husband and he said he could think of no reason why it would and would be curious to know why your BIL thinks that.

    I don't have a wood cook stove right now (my tiny kitchen is too small) but I had a combination gas/wood cook stove for many years and I LOVED it for so many reasons! It kept that whole end of the house toasty warm all winter and I hope someday to have one again.

  7. My BIL claims that it draws in the moderately warm heat from inside the house (already warmed by the furnace) and pulls it outside through its chimney. So it's pulling warm air out of the house, and cold air comes in through windows, doors, etc. to even out the air pressure. Which makes your furnace work harder to warm that air.

    I asked him how, then, did pioneers not freeze to death with wood stoves? And he said that if your home air is cold to begin with (not warmed by a furnace), then it's not drawing out warm air, it's drawing out cold.

    I don't really understand his reasoning. It seems logical in one sense, but he doesn't seem to be adding in the heat given off by the wood stove helping to warm the house, making the furnace not have to work so hard.

    It's kind of academic for me, anyway. I want a wood cookstove, so I'm a-gonna get one ... someday. Thanks! :)

  8. Hi, Jo - Long ago my husband's parents had a huge open fireplace in their livingroom and when they were using it (had the damper open) it was very inefficient because (of its size) it did suck air from the rest of the house up and out of the chimney. You could actually feel the "breeze" going toward the fireplace.

    But with a wood cook stove I don't see how you could ever get that much suction to actually draw any appreciable amount of warm air up and out the chimney from the rest of the house.

    Like you say, you're gonna get a wood cook stove (and I know you won't be sorry!) anyway. Go for it.

  9. Hey Mama Pea, tell me about your morning grain mixes....? I'm always looking for a good hearty stick-with-me breakfast.

  10. Hi, Jody - Gosh, you've given me a topic for another blog post! I'll do a post (with recipes --- super-simple and economical) listing the different grain cereals we eat for breakfast.

    I promise to do it soon.