Sunday, February 28, 2016

Late winter miscellany

Can February 28 be called late winter?  Sounds good to me.  Better than mid-winter, right?  We've had some really warm weather alternating with cold here, so some areas are very icy, like right in front of the garage.  Sometimes it's pretty treacherous getting around to do chores.
On Saturday Rollie and Kevin headed to the woods to finish cutting down a bunch of standing dead tamarack trees that have been bugging them for a couple years.  They would sit in the birch stand during deer season and look out at all these trees just standing there.  This year, since the snow is not deep, they were able to get into the swamp and get them cut down.  The only problem they had was they had to stop and look both ways when they crossed the logging roads to make sure there were no deer coming.  Kevin almost got ran over while he was out cutting!  Here is a picture of what they were able to pull out in a day. 

This should keep the folks busy for a day or two.  Since this was standing dead, we will burn this right now and what is here should last us the rest of the winter.  Now the guys are cutting and splitting for stacking in the wood shed to dry for next year.  It’s a good feeling to have the wood shed stocked for next winter now.

I'm still making soap that we will have for sale at the Farmers' Market in Aitkin this summer.  The weekend's batch is a shampoo bar.  It was news to me that you can wash your hair with a bar of soap instead of  a product in a bottle.  As soon as I saw that on a soap-making website, I started washing my own hair with a bar of soap I made last spring.  Not even a special shampoo bar.  It works great!  I haven't used conditioner either since cutting my hair short.  Take that Proctor and Gamble!  Anyway, the shampoo bar I made this weekend has really nice ingredients like Shea butter, sweet almond oil, and more.  As soon as it is cured in six weeks I will give it a try and report back.  Next week I'll be making shaving soap.

Speaking of reporting back, remember the wheat from the last blog post?  Today I made some bread with the heritage wheat flour Turkey Red.  We enjoyed it as bread bowls with venison stew for supper.

A loaf of stone ground whole wheat bread and 3 big bread bowls
I'll end this post with a couple of pictures of Vinca's pregnant belly (kids are not due until April) and some mystery tracks.  We know what made the tracks because we saw the critter as they were made, but invite you to guess - leave a comment with what you think.  It seemed to be trying to get in the garage. I'll let you know what it was next post, ok?

The mystery tracks with a boot print included for scale

And this one is a little closer up

Until next time, please be careful on the ice, and be well.


  1. Those are raccoon tracks, aren't they?

  2. They are NOT raccoon tracks. Any other guesses?