Ward House


Two Frog Home's Window Quilt

Yes it is May (time flies, eh?), the furnace is shut down, and most blankets have been stored away.  Kathie’s post over at Two Frog Home has reminded me that in a few months, the cold weather will return.  The Ward House is an older home that can, even with replacement windows, have drafty moments.  Window quilts are a great answer to helping with the drafts AND using up those worn out flannel pajama pants that I hate to throw away (great fabric to reuse)!

Draft dodgers for the door bases is another must > I do not have a link for this…just yet.  So if you have a great idea or a pattern, please share!


May 5, 2010 Posted by | economy, heating | , | Leave a comment

When fear becomes real

Not the boggy man and we all see what is happening in the economy; the fear I refer to is when your major helper, chain saw operator, wood splitter helper and all around handyman goes down in his back.  Phelan has written many times about the need to learn certain skills necessary for homesteading.  Right now I am wishing that I had asked him to teach me sooner!  When Ronnie is healed, he is teaching me how to use that chain saw. 

Ronnie has been sore in his lower back for several weeks; we attributed that to needing a new mattress.  Yesterday we went out in, as it turns out, below 0 windchill to bring in some much needed furnace wood.  Now we have enough wood to last this week – that is stretching it.  Back to my story.  Tree felling went without a hitch and Ronnie was helping me maneuver a chunk to the wood splitter when he felt the pull in his lower back.  We were done.  He was able to hobble to the truck and sit.  That was about it.  Thankfully I had left the wood splitter attached to the truck so I didn’t have to maneuver that by myself.  Once loaded up with the other goodies (saw, gas, etc), we headed home.

Saturday and Sunday Ronnie has spent either in bed or a chair, moving very slowly, taking ibuprofen and icing his back.  We’ve watched several old movies, like Clash of the Titans and Sinbad’s Golden Journey.  I’ve crochet 3 potholders and finished another mitten.  Quiet times.  Considering it has been so cold, I am glad to have enough wood for now and to be in out of the cold.

Saturday, prior to Ronnie’s back going out, we had invited my Mom to come up so we could exchange gifts; she was visiting my sister in Bogota over the holidays.  We had much fun and received some amazing gifts.  I’ll blog about that later, and include some pictures.

Do not put off to tomorrow learning a skill that you need.  When the teacher is no longer available, it is too late.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | family, heating, wood cook stove | 6 Comments

Small Town Grillin’

We live right on Route 220, which used to be the main road to go north; that is until the interstates were built. Light traffic still travels this route, mostly tourists or those that prefer a slower pace to northern places.

Our porch is wide with tall ceilings so Ronnie will often set the grill up on the porch – keeps him and the grill out of the wet weather. This is a charcoal grill to which Ronnie will add hickory chips for extra flavor. . . . and lots of smoke! Well, yesterday there was so much smoke coming from this grill that one of the volunteer fire fighters stopped to make sure the house was not on fire! Glad it was just wood chips smoking some steaks and not what he feared. Sometimes nosey small town people drive me nuts and other times, like yesterday, I am glad to have nosey neighbors!

In other news, our yearly tandem of wood arrived today. Looks like its choppin’ time again.

August 20, 2009 Posted by | Cooking, heating, traveling | Leave a comment

Recycling fashion

Ronnie and I rode the Yamaha into Marlington WV on Saturday and stopped at the farmers market. While there I found this amazing bag –> It is made with plastic grocery bags! I used mine Sunday to carry 16 ears of corn with room for more. This lady shows how to create dishcloths with this same plarn (how one converts plastic bags into ‘yarn’) as a crochet’d in scrubbie. This lady has some amazing creations. I have started my own bag using Walmart bags and will post when it is complete. For the record, I use cloth bags now when I shop. The Walmart bags I have are left over from the past – I save them for other uses.

We ordered our wood stove today and should have it within the next two weeks. During this period we are borrowing a backho (spelling?) from a friend to dig the concrete pad. Next is to have wood delivered and purchase a Stihl

This rest of this week is going to be a bit tricky as my office is moving from Warm Springs to Hot Springs – just a matter of an 8 minute drive; however, Clarkson & Wallace has been in the Warm Springs office for over 60 years and although my area is fairly clutter free, other parts of the office are not. Today we pack for tomorrow the movers arrive! I have posted two items from my new work office; both items strike a cord in me somewhere. I read this and then wonder how the powers that be do not recycle. Apparantly they want a guarantee that the items we put in the bin will actually be recycled and not placed in the landfill. Well, if I remember correctly, there is only one guarantee and that is death. Some things need to done because it is right, not because of any guarantees. I hope these pictures will open so you can read the inscription. Could not get rid of the glare. =(
Oh, and I have a new front door color! =)

August 20, 2008 Posted by | heating, Recycling | 1 Comment

Outside Wood Furnace Update & Other News

Approval for the equity line was a sweet feeling. My first loan, just me, no cosigners. It feels good to bask in that bit of sunshine. =) I close this Friday and will be able to purchase the wood stove after Wednesday (8/20). I have been speaking with a company in Danville about a Shaver wood furnace and as it turns out, my local furnace guy sells Hardy wood furnaces – I have heard nothing but good about Hardy’s. These furnaces are difficult at best to find on the web and were my first choice with Shaver a close second. The Shaver people are on vacation until the week after next (8/25) and the local furnace guy is on vacation til Tuesday (8/19). Looks like the fates have intervened to provide an efficient furnace, close to home that will allow me to ‘buy local’. =)

Oh, I need to amend an earlier post when I listed the price of the outside wood furnace as between $10-$15k. The Shaver woodstove will run about $6k with Ronnie providing the installation. We have already begun to clear out a huge forsythia that has taken over a fence line and into the side yard. It is a slow go since Ronnie and I have after day jobs.

The meeting with Sally happened today and I feel optimistic about the Preserve’s increasing awareness of recycling and being true stewards of the land (which is a phrase they use in marketing). My goals for this are to scope out places for recycling cans at our new office (we are moving to the main office), which we move into on 8/21 and 8/22. I will then follow up to make sure my new coworkers understand how to recycle. =) Will increase my eccentricity factor! I am excited about the possibilities. I cannot expect the County to make a change if my own company cannot get the hang of recycling. This will also help my endeavors within the comunity – helping other businesses set up recycling.

Odds and Ends: Started my first dishcloth last night, inspired by several ladies that I read, the first that comes to mind is down–to–earth.

Also, anyone know what is the name of this plant?

August 14, 2008 Posted by | heating, Recycling | 8 Comments

Doing not Thinking, Week 1

One of my goals is to have installed an alternate heat source so we will not heat with oil – this will still be as back up. In this weeks mail I received an advertising flyer from one of our local banks stating that they do green loans. This got me to thinking about perhaps an equity loan to include the cost of the stove So I spoke to First National (the bank with the flyer) and asked what my monthly payments would be for just 8k for the cost of the tailor stove – $120.59. It would still be an equity line of credit for 8k so I would be able to continue to borrow against that 8k. The trick is that the interest rate is prime +1; 6% for the moment.

The stove purchase has just kind of fallen into place: I have the loan, well on Monday, and could have the stove as early as this week! It is a Shaver stove and this company has extra stoves shipped with their regular orders. Wood furnace sales are at an all time high. Now my dilema is where to put it so loading will be convenient and we wont have to run an ungodly amount of pex tubing.

Here is a snap shot of my little homestead – where do I put it? Keep in mind, the chickens will need to roost somewhere as well. We will need to pour a concrete pad, of which I need to check to see what the dimensions need to be.

On a side note, how do I save seeds from part of this harvest for next year? and dry herbs – buy a dehydrator?

August 8, 2008 Posted by | heating | 8 Comments