Jack Frost’s Underlings

It’s the time of the year when those of us that live in one countrified way or another start doing the tough stuff. But I really shouldn’t put it that way, because most of us kind of like it. At any rate, extra chores.

I was looking at my friend Mar’s photos recently. Like us, Mar and company have switched to Winter Mode. Neighbors too. It’s not unusual to heat completely with wood out here. Folks have been splitting and stacking for the past few months. Our RV has a furnace connected to a bulk propane tank, just like a house; but when we want to use the tinycabin, we turn to the woodstove. My piano is out there, sometimes we want the solitude, sometimes it’s just plain cozy.

We bring in much less wood than a lot of other folks. I suspect we’ll only use about a face cord in a season, and that’s about what fits under the counter in the cabin. (A face cord is about 4ft x 8ft x 16 in.) A lot of folks buy wood, a lot of folks cut it themselves. I’ve never bought wood. Even with my piddly little electric chain saw, there’s plenty to be had around here with dead trees and scrap. I’m determined to use the cabin more this year. And I’m also determined to score a nice comfy chair for the corner by the stove.

A less-cozy winter chore is water. Water for the chickens (and some neighbors have a lot more than just chickens) has to be carried each day. No more garden hoses. For us humans, we pump it each day. When the house was torn down, the old (ruined) pump and water lines went with it. We haven’t put in a new pump and lines yet, so each day we carry a small pump out to the well, take the cap off, and fill the RV water tank with a hose. (That’s the well buried in the show last year in the photo.) We’re so used to it, it’s no big deal. Modern version of filling the cistern each day.

I think pretty much everybody has the Winter automobile nonsense, unless they have a garage. Usually it’s just scraping windows, but every so often there’s a bizarre adventure of one type or other. Frozen locks, &tc. We discovered this neat stuff you spray on your windows that makes snow and frost not stick at all. A kind of fluid you put in your window washer reservoir. Love that.

And of course, there’s snow shoveling. I have to admit here, I get a little weird about it. I’m a little over particular, and besides the driveway, I shovel a large chunk of the side yard. (We have a short dog.) I say it’s for the dog, but the truth is, I like snow shoveling. I considered trying to be less meticulous, but I figure we can call it a hobby.

In the quit-smoking-and-go-mad department, all goes well. I like the anti-anxiety meds, and I feel great. Not perfect yet, but it takes about a month says Doc G. My Doc and I were talking about how I seem to respond opposite-of-usual to just about everything. My blood pressure went down. I was supposed to get a cough for a while, but my cough disappeared. And I lost my appetite to a large degree and already lost seven pounds. See? It was meant to be.

You have a great day too!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Jack Frost’s Underlings

  1. Hey, so glad to hear you are feeling much better and you are having such positive side effects from the meds and not smoking!! 😀 Even in your post you sound like “your old self”. 🙂

    I was wondering – is your piano a “real” piano, or an electronic one? I was just wondering because it would seem to me that there must be a lot of temperature fluxuations in the cabin and for a wood piano, that would send it out of tune really quickly. Even in my own house I was advised to keep the piano on an interior wall to cut down on the temperature difference for the piano’s sake… Or maybe you know how to tune your own piano?

    I like snow shoveling too. I think it might be related to an inherent need to “tidy up”? 🙂 I remember one time my mother-in-law was riding in the car with us and she looked out into the woods as we were driving by and she said, “I’d love to get in there and clean up all those leaves and sticks.” LOL

  2. It’s a digital piano – the sort of thing that looks like a piece of furniture, almost like a “real” piano, but it’s electronic. I was not into them for a long time, but the state of the art Yamahas are pretty amazing. A lot of times, people don’t realize it’s digital unless they look close at the buttons. Pretty cool. Now, if I could just find that cozy chair for out there. I got a tip that there’s one at the secondhand shop that might fit the bill!

  3. Darn it – I had such a huge vision of a grand piano in that little shed.

    I know what you are doing with this post – psyching yourself up for Winter!!

  4. themac

    I’m so proud of you!! Quitting does suck, and it feels horrible but it’s one of those “mind over matter” types of things – or at least it was for me. I can’t believe you only go through a face cord of wood. We do through that in a week, however we are heating a bit more square footage than you. 🙂

    Do tell about this anti-freezing car stuff!!

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