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Jackie Clay

Our bitter cold is holding tight but the end is in sight

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Yeah, we’re darned sick of below zero temps, night and day with windchill temperatures of -5 to -60 degrees. (Did you know that your skin can freeze within 5 minutes when it’s that cold?) Will found that out the hard way … almost. We were tying our new countertop on top of the Subaru when it was -30 with a stiff wind. He couldn’t tie the ropes with gloves on and took them off. By the time we got the two ropes tied, his hands were REALLY cold. Painfully cold. And we were really glad that they were still pink instead of frostbite white! Close one.

Of course we’ve been getting chores done very quickly, making sure all animals have plenty of bedding and feed to make more calories to fight off the intense cold.

So once chores are done, we have a lot of inside time! I’ve been packaging seed orders; we’ve been planning on crops we plan on growing this year, both for trial, our use and to save seeds from; and working on projects in the house. I bought Will a chainsaw sharpener last year for Christmas and one of his projects was to build a stand for it. He’d picked up an old stand from a drill press at the dump a couple of years back and he added a slightly smaller pipe to fit down inside it and cut a circular plate of steel to fit on top of the pipe, welding it in place. Then he drilled two holes in the plate to match the holes in the chainsaw sharpener base. He added two bolts and he had a portable, handy chainsaw sharpener. So one cold morning, he brought in all ten of his chainsaw chains and sharpened them. Now he’s ready to hit the woods or do more log work on the front porch, barn, or house!


Will also finished the trim around the laundry room door and windows in the addition. A year ago we’d picked up a truckload of knotty pine paneling from the dump that someone tore out of their house. We didn’t know what we’d use it for but just that it could come in handy. It did. Will cut all the trim from that throwaway lumber and it looks great.


This winter, we’ve been accumulating boxes of laminate flooring for the entryway, living room, and dining room. We found a wood grain we liked, Brazilian Koa, at Menards and wanted to get enough in case they discontinued it. (Happens a lot!) Now we have enough to do the job so I’ve noticed Will figuring out the initial work needed. Could happen fairly soon, but first we’ve got to clean up the concrete and rock work behind the wood stove so we don’t make a mess on our new floor. Yes, we would have rather done the floors in real wood but just couldn’t afford it. The laminate will look pretty and has a 30-year warranty. — Jackie

14 Responses to “Our bitter cold is holding tight but the end is in sight”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I feel your pain about the weather. I live in Illinois so it’s not quite as bad but close enough. What amazes me is the school districts that have had kids going during these freezing temperatures! Can’t wait to see how the new floor looks!

  2. jackie Says:


    Here, they don’t close schools unless it’s -50 degrees! That’s pretty cold to have kids waiting outside for a bus!!

  3. rose kelley Says:

    I love the way you finished the corners of the trim, I would have never thought of doing it that way. Good luck with the warm up, I too, am tired of the cold and snow.

  4. Lisa in PA Says:

    The trim looks wonderful! Keep warm!

  5. Linda Bee Says:

    My seeds came Monday. I can still picture Will sitting at the table lovingly counting my seeds. BIG SMILE

  6. Sandie Says:

    A word of caution. You might want to wait until you can open up the house to put the new floor down. The fumes off of that kind of stuff caused me to lose my voice for two weeks. Plus extreme headaches. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  7. Beth in Ky Says:

    I have some of this flooring and love it! However make sure to watch for water spots as a nickel size spot gone unnoticed can make a swelled up area!! Mine has been down for 12 years and looks good, but it is so easy to come in with snowy boots and get water on it. I have maybe 2 swelled spots, will happen on the seams. You may have to teach the dog to wipe his paws when he comes in! Stay warm Jackie!

  8. Patsy from Illinois Says:

    I had to chuckle. On Duck Dynasty, Jase made the comment once that if you give a redneck some wood, nails and screws, he can make anything. Your Will reminds me of that.

  9. Anita, Colorado Says:

    You wil love the laminate flooring, I’ve had some of mine for almost 13 years and never had any problems with it swelling due to water. I have three dogs and they do not scratch it with their claws, it’s tough stuff!

  10. jackie Says:


    Our entryway, 8′ inside the door will be slate or large tile with rugs, hopefully to catch that snow/wet BEFORE it comes in. And we’ll also keep our two big braided rugs right after that for more drip catching. Hopefully the dogs’ paws will be dry before they hit the laminate. Now if I can just teach Will to wipe his paws…..

  11. jackie Says:


    Yep, Will must be a redneck. The things he comes up with continue to stun me.

  12. Laura Says:

    Love the trim and the chainsaw sharpener, how clever! You will love the laminate,mine’s survived 15 years, grandkids,dogs and husband. its in my kitchen and laundry area lots of heavy traffic and looks good as new. I’ve often wondered about your pets and their paws and ear tips how do you keep them from freezing/chap /frostbite in such harsh winter conditions?
    So glad Will got back into those gloves quickly !

  13. jackie Says:


    We don’t leave our pets out when its so cold. Like us, they go out and promptly do their “thing” and come back in. They’re smarter than we are; we are cold and still stay out to finish some chore. They run for the door and demand to be let back into the warm house. Hondo is such a wuss that when he’s been out in the cold, he comes running in through the front door and jumps up and down in front of me. I’m supposed to sit in my chair and take hiim up in my lap until his feet warm up. Now he’s getting so big, I’m trying to convince him that he can sit on the floor by me and let me hold his cold feet, one at a time. He sighs and lets me. Usually.

  14. Laura Says:

    thanks Jackie, paws aren’t as tough as one would think. I’ve seen lots of damage in my years as a Vet Tech. I have a couple of those wusses myself, boston terriers, Bugs “bounces” until I get his favorite towel and dry him off and Julie just looks at me as if to say “Well whats the hold up” I think the 4 legged people are smarter than us most Hondo sounds like a pretty smart guy to me!

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