For those of you who don’t know what the heck that is, here’s the dope: A log with burls has all these lumps and bumps running down the whole tree trunk, usually caused by a stress such as injury, virus, or fungus. Our spruce log has very large bumps! David found it out on the State land timber cut and the forester for the logging company stopped by and asked if we were going to get it. Apparently Paul had seen it too — the loggers had set it aside as it wasn’t marketable, but very cool. So Will and Alisha drove the truck out and picked it up. We’re going to take the bark off and use it in a prominent place in our house. We haven’t decided where yet, but wow, it’s sure neat looking!

Isn’t this spruce burl log cool?

Now, you who’ve known me for years know I’m not a “the sky is falling” kind of person. But we are paying attention to the recent Coronavirus, now showing up in our country. I’m not saying the plague is upon us. But I feel it’s going to get kind of nasty for a while. Maybe a long while if the economy tanks. After all, we’ve been depending on China’s trade for decades and that may put a crimp in not only their economy, but ours as well. Maybe so, maybe not. But just in case, we’re taking the hint and rounding out supplies we might need if we were called upon to just stay home for an extended period … or if the “recession” the politicians are saying is around the corner deepens into a depression. Don’t prepare out of fear, but just common sense. It doesn’t hurt a thing and may help a lot. Just saying…

But spring is coming and that sure lifts our spirits. I started some of my hot peppers extra early so we are sure to get lots of seeds to share around. And my very first, Thai Baby Dragon hot peppers are just up. They are such cute plants, being short, stocky, and hugely productive with upward facing tiny hot red peppers. They are so pretty they mix well in flower beds or containers.

These are our very first 2020 seedlings, Thai Baby Dragon hot peppers.
This is what the Thai Baby Dragon hot peppers look like. Aren’t they cute? And tasty!

Will finished spreading rotted manure on the Sand garden so it’s all set for tilling in, come thaw. We’ve saved up and are buying many welded stock panels to fence a couple of new spots and also re-enforce the cows’ winter lot. And Will is buying lots of steel T-posts to add to the Wolf Forty’s fence and also some woven stock fence. So when this snow finally goes … which it’s doing pretty well now, we’ll be all set to go. Yea, spring! — Jackie


  1. My grandpa use to take the burl’s and create tables out of them. I have a beautiful side table in my living room of one of his burls. The rings and patterns from the burls make it unique! Even more cherished as he is no longer with us.

  2. Jackie, when I saw that log I immediately thought of what beautiful wooden bowls that would make lol. I know how you feel about being leery of this virus. I live in Clackamas County in Oregon. We had a school exposed to the virus by one of its workers in Lake Oswego. They closed the school for decontamination so we will see what happens. I have a stocked pantry too, I, like most of you think it’s just the smart thing to do. You just never know. Its interesting in that now the government is telling people to stock up for a minimum of 2 weeks and prepare for quarantines just in case.

    • Yeah, I remember when it first hit the US; the government was saying “Oh we’ve got this totally under control!”. Uh hum….. I thought of wooden bowls too but I just can’t cut up that gorgeous log. We’ll use the whole thing as an upright post somewhere where folks can see it.

  3. When I was at the dentist this a.m. I overheard a lady complaining she’d been unable to buy face masks. I got the feeling she was wanting the dentist office to give her some. Instead she got told the masks were not that effective in preventing the spread of the disease. The lady asking is a retired nurse so should have known that. I’ve not done any special prepping as I’m always prepped!! I did restock items I was low on and replaced some outdated OTC meds, but otherwise I’m good to go. Or I guess I should say, I’m good to self-quarantine should the necessity arise.

    • Good for you, LeeAnn! We’re in the same boat. I rounded out a few corners but we’re pretty much set to go, should the need arise….and I’m thinking it will. This thing is spreading fast and I’m not buying the “Oh it’s not as bad as the flu.” thing a bit.

  4. The log is beautiful. Glad that you’re getting things done and ready for the spring. We, too, are prepared to shelter here at home if needed, although being the community fire chief means that we will no doubt respond to many sick persons, so we’re preparing as best as possible for what may happen.

    • Hey, we can only do as good as we can. With anything. Hang in there and we’ll weather it out.

  5. No sign of our snow going away, we have had another six inches in the last two days and it is supposed to go 20 below for three or four days this week. We have kept pretty well stocked up for years. We love about 200 miles from any major shopping and Alaska is interdependent on shipping from the major West coast ports so lots of things could cause shortages. Nice but I log. I think we will start celery and peppers the end of next week.

    • I’m sure not figuring we’ve seen the last of winter. March usually brings its share of blizzards. Yep, we’ve also kept well stocked up but I have rounded out a few corners. Just in case….

  6. We have been living on my DDIL’s property in high desert of AZ, where she use to grow a huge garden and had 3 green houses going. She had us move in when she married my son. His family has been coming every other week-end when he has his boys with him and working on the place to get it back to being productive. This weekend we had rented a tractor to move dirt to put in a water tank instead of relying on a well pump to keep on pumping too much. They also repaired the root cellar and moved dirt that is going around it. The place had had automatic watering system and we are hoping it will not cost too much to get it going again. We are also planning on putting in a rabbit hutch (we have raised them before). I will get more chicks this year also. We got a calf too and will get piglets too. Dear Hubby and me did go into town and get a few more supplies to make it for awhile without going into town.
    I also canned more pinto beans yesterday using your canning book. I love it.

    • How exciting! Sounds like you’re going great guns. Congratulations! Isn’t canning up dry beans, especially those that are getting a little old (hard!), handy though? I just love doing that.

  7. Jackie and all,
    My daughter In law is from China, her family is still there, They speak on Skype a lot- the news coming out of China is NO WHERE the actual amounts of people affected! Much,much more! People dying in the waiting rooms,aisles, in the hospitals. DIL’s good friend told her that her mom Got sick and they called their version of 911. The EMT’s came and told her yes, she prob had the virus, BUT she would have to wait for care and would prob DIE while waiting for help,there, surrounded by strangers- or she could stay home and die at home with family. Which she DID!
    I just try to keep these actual facts in mind when other countries(specially China) tell us their specifics!

  8. I to am making sure we will have what we need to stay home. My worry is my two daughters in college. They get run down and are always busy. Makes you want to bring everyone home and keep them safe. Have to ignore the mom panic and keep telling myself that this to shall pass. Happy planting, we also have been loving the nice weather.

    • I hear you Amy. I’m sure my kids think I’m nuts and I do worry about them and their families. But all we can do is pray and keep on doing what we do. And enjoying knowing spring is coming.

  9. We had a friend who made bowls from burls. They were beautiful and unique.

    I inventoried our freezer/pantry/fridge and we can easily last two months without going any where. Since hubby has stage 4 cancer, I am super protective of his immune system.

    That pepper plant is beautiful! We had an ornamental pepper plant years ago that looked similar. But I’d rather have an edible one!

    • These are not only edible but very tasty! But HOT. I hear you about the immune system. I’ve stocked up on echinacea, Vitamin C and Turmeric, my to-go-to buddies. Just in case….

  10. Hi Jackie, with six deaths here in WA from the Corona Virus, people around here are emptying the stores. I didn’t have to get involved in that, I am already well stocked. I did get a few things. I am ready to just stay home, glad I live in the country. This may or may not be very serious. Not panicking, just being prepared.
    I just started some seeds. Really looking forward to getting the garden planted.

    • Yep, one of Will’s best friends lives in Spokane so we keep updated on the Corona Virus. I think it’s a real good idea if folks plant a bigger garden than they usually do, if possible. Just in case….

  11. I totally agree with you Jackie. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Not out of fear but just common sense as we would for any emergency. My grown children refuse to get in any emergency supplies because they say they don’t want to buy into the fear, so I’m prepared for them as well. I’m being like mama bear! Better to be safe than sorry is my motto!
    Beautiful burl log! I’ll be interested to see what you do with it- it’ll be a real piece of art.
    I went to a Seedy Sunday event on the weekend in my town and was amazed at the turnout. People are taking up veggie gardening with a vengeance in these parts! It’s so great to see the enthusiasm. It’s all good for the earth, and for the health and we’ll- being of the gardeners. It gives me hope. Spring is just around the corner and I can hardly wait!

    • Uh huh, me too. My kids probably think I’m nuts but oh well. There’s enough, if they change their minds. I’m tickled more folks are getting serious about gardening. It sure pumps us up, just thinking about spring and what we’d like to plant.

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