Finally our subzero temperatures have moderated. In fact, today it’s 41 degrees and our snow is melting. It seems so strange to have mild weather after all that cold. (Yep, we know it’s going to be short-lived; more cold and snow is in the forecast.) Will took advantage of the warmth and put the big log on the sawmill from which David and Ashley’s last long beam was to be cut. Working until after dark, he not only got the beam cut but also three 2x10s for floor joists. Hooray!

Will got the last big support beam for David’s cabin cut last night.

Of course, it’s deer season and because the weekends are the only time David (sometimes) has time off, no building on the cabin has been done. So far, David’s only seen does and fawns. I have to chuckle; every day we have deer right here in our yard, including a couple of bucks. But he has been hunting down at brother Bill’s cabin. Bill got a nice eight-point buck but David’s come up empty so far. This weekend David’s hunting down in our new forty and hopes to break his losing streak.

It’s deer season and we have plenty of deer right around the house. (But we don’t shoot them here; maybe they know that?)

I came in from chores this morning to find a rear tractor tire in the dining room. That was somewhat of a surprise but when you homestead, you pretty much get used to a lot of unusual things; a calf in the bathtub, baby pigs in the laundry basket, or a flying squirrel in the living room. Will has to replace the inner tube of the tractor’s tire, which had the valve stem ripped off. (If it’s too long there, I may hang a flower basket from it for decor!)

I came in from chores to find a big tractor tire in the dining room.

I finally got the last of the tomatoes canned up. We did lose quite a few to rot at the end but, hey, we had 12 crates of them to start with so I’m not feeling bad. But I AM glad to be done with it. Now I start again on hamburger! To celebrate getting the tomatoes all canned, I sat down and finished editing my western novel, Spring of the Vultures, the fourth in the Jess Hazzard series. But I’m always kind of sad when a book is finished as I miss my characters. Time to start working on a new book? These novels are my “relaxation” and a time to step back from homesteading and BHM writing. I like to have one to poke around with from time to time, just for fun.

Here’s a jar of pizza sauce from my very last tomatoes.

— Jackie


  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!! I love “catching up” on what’s happening with you. Good to see progress on the new cabin! I will fill Janann in, too! Hopefully we can get out there next year!

  2. Glad to hear you’ve had a break in the freezing weather. Looking forward to watching the progress on David’s house. Thank you for the updates. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Will and your family, Jackie!

  3. Hopefully when David starts back on his cabin he will use closed cell spray foam to stray under the joists and main beams with a cover of plywood or concrete board best way to insulate for sure.

    • No, the spray foam’s expensive around here. He’ll use fiberglass with OSB under to keep out rodents, etc. We’d like to spray foam it but he can’t afford to.

  4. Miss Jackie, HERE! HERE! I concur with Deb Bradley about the new book. I was just contemplating going outside to see if Jess has been riding east through Pennsylvania. I have a warm barn for his little Morgan stallion and a spare bed if Jess needs to spend the night, and plenty of homestead good eats. Blessings, Rick

  5. Love to read you blog. Looking forward to following along with David and Ashley’s home..
    Will is a wonder in everything he does.

  6. Love those “special” days. My tomatoes did the same thing this year. I usually have tomatoes until Thanksgiving and have had them for Christmas. Not this year….only have 6 left. Thanks for getting the next book ready. Yay!

    • Yeah, we’ve all got our “favorites”. (Ashley would beat David if he shot her friend, the little black button buck and Will would if he shot his spike buck in the yard.) Me? I’ll hunt our woods for “strangers” but not our yard deer who we’ve come to know.

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