There's nothing less exciting than reading a blog entry about the weather, I know, but these cold days are making it hard to focus on anything else. This morning I worked in the field for a few hours and I actually felt pain in my front teeth from breathing such cold air through my mouth while I gasped my way up a steep snowy hillside. That's cold! We have been continuing with our work on the house despite the cold. In the photo above you can see just how cold the unheated and non-insulated house is. Brandon is not a smoker - that's steam from his breath!
Underneath our snow, which is rare in these parts, is a thick layer of ice. I tried in vain to capture photos of the way the ice glistens in the sun and makes the trees look like they are coated in diamonds. Brandon said he understands, for the first time, why people put those shiny strips of foil on their christmas trees. Right now, every ice coated branch reflects light just like tinsel. It's very lovely, but dangerous to drive on icy roads while looking up into the branches to admire the shimmering twigs.
Working on the house in the cold isn't a problem. The tool in the picture above is an instant warming devise. With this tool a person, even me, can tear significant portions of a house down and reduce it to nothing but a pile of rubble. Heavy rubble that must be hauled to the dumpster. It doesn't take long before layers of clothing must be shed and I start wishing for a breeze to blow away some of the steam coming from my face mask.
I've nearly completed the drywall removal in the entire upstairs. I like to use a hammer to punch holes in the drywall, sometimes in friendly patterns, and then with my handy crow bar rip it apart and pull out all the nails. We can keep warm and active for about five hours before we start to wind down and the cold begins to seep in. We pack up when the sun starts to go down, which is getting later every day, but by the time we get home all I can think about is the hot tub. Oh man, if I were to advise anyone working on house renovation about the most important tool to have, I would have to recommend a hot tub. All the chill and aches and pains get soaked away in a matter of minutes. End the day with a hot meal and some quality time in front of the TV covered with an electric blanket, and all is right in the world.
On Sunday, after we packed up our tools, we took a long walk in the snow and explored the perimeter of the property.
Our tiny stream actually had flowing water. In the summer this little channel is barely discernible, but right now, with a snowy outline it looks like a stream.
We saw deer tracks, and so many rabbit tracks, like the one in the photo. We found bird nests and squirrel nests, and even visited with our neighbor when he came over after we waved to him while he secured his chicken coop for the night. There's lots of life out there in the cold.
I took this photo of the farm house and our little barns in the distance, while we stood on the back corner of our property. The blue color is not something the camera did, the sky and the snow were truly blue right after the sun went down. It was beautiful, and for once the wind wasn't blowing and it was still and quiet. It was cold.