So I was kind of surprised when it had warmed up to 5 above, Will asked if I wanted to go down and split a truckload of firewood. What the heck — I put on an extra jacket and warm hat and followed the truck down to the pile of beaver-cut logs Will had been cutting up for us to split. (In warmer weather, I might add!) But since we have had only an inch of new snow, I figured getting it split and stacked while relatively dry was a good idea. We could always quit if we started freezing, right? We did leave our guard dog, Hondo, at home, where he was happily lying next to the wood stove, staring into the flames. He loves watching the fire as much as we do.

It was a little cold splitting wood, but we got it done. It was -3 when we finished up.

Well, we split and split. Will carried the logs and I ran the hydraulic splitter. When one hand got cold, I’d switch sides of the splitter so I could put that hand in my coat pocket and use the other hand. Finally, just before dark, we finished up and Will went to start the truck to bring it home. Oh oh! The fuel pump wasn’t engaging, and the truck didn’t start. So he walked back up to the house after me.
We spent awhile by the stove, warming up. Will sat in his chair and Mittens joined him, snuggly sitting between the chair and his leg — cats are warm, so that was fine!

Mittens helped Will warm up.

This morning, the temperature was warmer, only 7 above for a start and Will went down to work on the truck after figuring some things that might have been wrong; bad fuel pump (ISH!), blown fuse, or bad connection on the wiring. But it started right up, and he drove it joyously up to the outside wood pile so he could stack the load. Hooray!

We were tickled when our new generator finally showed up!

On Saturday, our new generator arrived. Our old Honda seriously needs to go to the shop for a major overhaul and we wanted a generator with electric start (for my bad shoulder) which would also run on propane or gas. As propane stores nearly forever without degrading, and costs much less than gas, we’ve been wanting to hook up a generator to our 1,000-gallon propane tank. It was on back order for several weeks but finally we got the notice that it had been shipped. FedEx unloaded it right smack in the middle of our driveway, a mile and a half from the house! Lucky we went out to check the mail! Some porch pirate would be a happy camper with that! So Will did the “some assembly required” task and it’s now ready to go out to the generator shed to hook up to our gas tank, for now. I got synthetic oil for it as we know generators start much easier with synthetic oil than with regular oil. And when it drops to -35° F, we’ll sure forget what that oil cost! — Jackie


  1. I am thankful I don’t have to endure those cold winters, although I guess our hot summers here in OK are a trade off. I’ll be so thankful if we can get the covid behind us for good. I have a new grandson I’ve only seen in pictures and can’t wait to hold. Sure glad you found your generator! Sure enjoy reading about your journey. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  2. Merry Christmas to you and Will.yes it is a bummer with Covid this year and it looked like I will spend it alone my son’s live close by but after having open heart two years ago I can’t afford to get it I am growing lettuce and celery onion and basil right now as Arizona near Phoenix is not so good in the summer for growing things

    • We sure would love to have the traditional family get-together for Christmas but I’m thinking it will be VERY small this year. I love my kids too much to risk giving them COVID for Christmas…. Boo hoo

  3. You hit the jackpot with Will. That’s what I tell my husband. Lol. Merry Christmas Jackie, to you and your family ❤️ Happy Healthy New Year 🎉

    • Nothing like free wood to make you smile from the inside out and give you toasty toes too! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  4. I’d rather work in the cold than in the heat. I can usually put on enough clothes to stay warm but the opposite doesn’t work!

    • Yeah. I’m absolutely NO good in the heat. Beyond 80 degrees I sure drop off fast. Hey, you can always put more clothes on if it’s cold but when you take off too many if it’s hot, they’ll arrest you. And, besides, what if the UPS man shows up???

    • I agree with you. I cannot handle a lot of heat (funny since I was born and raised in the southern tip of Texas). Besides, you can add clothes but there is a limit to how much you can take off (in public)

      kathy in MS

  5. What kind of generator is that?

    Working with the wood, cleaning and chores help keeps our minds busy. Oh wow the sun just came out after many days of clouds! How glorious.

    Can’t wait to order seeds again!

      • The generator is a Powerhorse, sold by Northern Tool. It’s amazing at how much energy you get when the sun comes out! I know I do. I’m planning our spring garden right now.

  6. What a wonderful generator . You guys ought to really enjoy that . I know what you mean about the electric start . My shoulders keep me from being able to pull start things too . I hope you guys have a Merry Christmas .

    • I can only pull start a few of our tools; one chainsaw, one generator down at the barn for the well pump and our small tiller. Beyond that, not so hot. Have a great Christmas too!

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