We knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean we like it. We spent two days doing “extra” chores, getting ready for sub-zero temps with highs in the negative numbers. Will hauled out several extra big round bales for the cattle and horses. I spread another square bale of hay in the goats’ inside pen and closed up a few cracks in the chicken coop.

Will and I also brought in several wheelbarrow loads of firewood and stacked it in the wood boxes and on the back porch. Luckily, last week David brought a truckload of discard wood that was dry from logs they’d cut at the log home mill and they were also piled on the enclosed back porch. We sure needed all of it!

We filled all the stock tanks, as generators are very hard to start in sub-zero weather. We also filled our big 300-gallon house water storage tanks.

That night, temperatures steadily fell. We spent the day making sure both the living room stove and kitchen range were burning merrily all day. Living in a log home, when you heat up all those logs, it acts as a heat sink and those warm logs radiate warmth for a long while. But we still had to take turns staying up to keep everything toasty. First I stayed up till one o’clock, then went to bed. Will got up at three and stayed up for several hours. At dawn it was -23 with a slight wind. The weather radio said the windchill was -42. But the house was toasty and all the animals and poultry fared well, so we were grateful.

David was renting a house in town with his friend. But when the rent was due to go up by $175, David’s friend bailed and David knew he couldn’t make the full rent — he was barely making ends meet as it was. He and his girlfriend, Ashley, want to buy a chunk of land to build a cabin on, but renting never left enough money to save up for a down payment. After much thought and discussion, we all decided it made sense for them to move back home with us as we have two bedrooms standing vacant and they could pay off some debts (such as student loans, etc.), then start saving money for a down payment. It just made sense to all of us. So now we’re all in the transition stage, with things being moved in and out, getting ready for the big move after Christmas.

We’re also finishing getting all of our seed varieties packaged and labeled as hopefully our new catalog will be hitting the press in a few weeks. We’re real excited about that.

Last night I made some venison stew and a batch of half-time spoon rolls and that sure tasted good. Later David and Ashley came over with some more boxes and cleaned out David’s old upstairs bedroom, getting ready to do some fixing up and then moving in. Afterward, we all worked on our owl puzzle, which we all agreed was the hardest puzzle any of us had ever done. Luckily, Ashley is a puzzle whiz so it’s finally getting together. Then it’s getting glued up as it will never go back in the box. We all agree that putting it together once was enough!


Today, the weather is more moderate with a high in the high teens … ABOVE zero! It feels like summer. What a relief. — Jackie


  1. Jackie, With minus temps here in Michigan too, seeing those even colder temps in your state, our family has talked about you and Will, wondering how you were doing dealing with the cold. Glad to hear you were able to prepare and are staying warm! Great to hear that David and Ashley will be moving in. I’m sure it will benefit all of you. Thank you for the update. A very Merry Christmas wish to you and all of your family, with hopes that 2017 brings each of you many joys and good health!

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