50 Words for Snow

After a few mild winters here in the Copper Country, the snow is back and it’s not kidding around this time. It started snowing in earnest a few days before Thanksgiving and barely let up for over a month. Fortunately, the tractor has a snow blower attachment, making it a lot easier to get to the house even with 3+ feet of snow on the ground. If only I had gotten around to removing the mower deck and putting the blower on before it got cold!

Just follow the white path home

Fortunately we made a bunch of lime putty and dried a mini-beach worth of sand before the snow started, so once the Fall outdoor chores (including cutting up still more logs!) were no longer possible, we picked up cordwooding again. We’re now completely into the second floor loft; this wall on the west side of the house is partly over the open area and partly in the loft:

Four-string wall panel tuned to 'E'

It was a bit tricky getting to the top, but with some scaffolding and homebrew planking, we were able to finish it up.

Call of the West, or Wall of Voodoo

Over on the east side, Clare finished up her head-of-the-stairs bottle feature. This was in progress in the post My Autumn’s Done Come

Some folk call it "Drinky Pete"

We’ve used up the lime putty and sand, just in time for the tongue-and-groove aspen for the ceiling to be delivered. Looks like I’d better fire up the snow blower to clear a path for it!

In Which We Acquire a Tractor

During the warmest March ever recorded in Michigan’ s Upper Peninsula, the snow melted unusually early. We used this opportunity to clean up several years worth of construction debris in preparation for the upcoming building season. Contractor bags and scrap lumber awaiting a trip to the transfer station are not very photogenic, so I will spare you the gory details.

For quite some time we have been scouring Craigslist and the local classifieds for a used tractor to help us keep up with all the chores and maintenance around the property, but nothing suitable ever came up. As luck would have it, one of my co-workers decided this spring to part with his compact tractor which was a bit over sized for his place in town, but is perfect for us novice tractor owners with acreage to tame.

The 1988 John Deere 855 came with a snow blower and a 60″ mowing deck. It can reach a blazing top speed of 11 mph. It’s not difficult to drive and handles surprisingly well. In fact, it’s a lot of fun! We should have a much easier time with many of our construction tasks now that we will not have to struggle with tall grasses and weeds all around the house.