Things are still mostly hunkered down for the winter here at Jugtown. We had a bit of a weather rollercoaster the last week with one day in the 70s and then four inches of snow the next day. The snow is mostly melted, but I’m not holding my breath for warmth anytime soon – the last frost date in these parts is almost the end of May!
So we’ve been drinking our hot chocolate and building fires and making plans. Big plans!
Here is E’s big list of big plans:
and I have a lot of plans floating around in my head that I have yet to actually put into a concrete list, or at least one coherent list (though a concrete list sounds kind of funny). I do have tons of little lists and ideas and snippets of things I want to look up. E and I are trying to have phone free Saturdays so I have to make a list of all the things I want to look up later instead of immediately grabbing my phone and googling everything. My most recent list consists of everything from how record players work (more on that later) to thermostat wiring and things that are automatic but not electric (a lot more on this later).
Since my big plan list is not ready yet, I did make a list of things I have either learned or accomplished.
Wiring up the new bedroom! Yes this happened and was tested and is successful and no one died! I’m really proud of this.
The furnace in the other greenhouse is working (I guess this is kind of a spoiler…)
The truck has new hubs and a new battery which is properly held in place by a new battery strap and not the piece of crap I picked up at WalMart (yes, I know – but it’s the only place around here we can get prescriptions filled!)
In general I’ve learned a lot about electricity and wiring.
I almost have a fully functioning plow on the front of the tractor/glorified lawn mower.
We got a new stove! (The reason for this is not something that should ever be discussed). I guess it’s not really an accomplishment, but it is exciting!
E and I have done a really good job of not drinking alcohol the past month or so. This is more of a self care/mental health thing, but it’s worth mentioning.
And of course – staying cozy.
edited to add:
I made a pretty excellent list of all our tools and appliances around here. I also downloaded and organized all the manuals for various things (heaters, thermostats, tractors, leaf mulchers) that I have looked up in the past and assume I will need in the future.
I successfully sharpened the chainsaw chain and made a cool kindling splitter
We’ve had some snow lately and it is ridiculously pretty around here so I went on a snowshoe tromp around the property.
I love how everything wears little snow hats after a good snowfall
There also may have been some sledding with friends because the local school has the best sledding hill and we are all really good at adulting (which was especially obvious as we walked back with our sleds under our arms, waving to the neighbors out shoveling their driveways and walks as our own sidewalk and driveway sat still covered in snow)
Look at those nuts! Black Walnuts to be precise! The previous owners of the farm told us that there were two black walnut trees in the woods near the river and that we shouldn’t tell anyone about them. I was puzzled about why we had to keep them hidden, especially since most people think of them as a nuisance rather then a trove of edible, high protein, tasty nuts. The wood is pretty fancy too I know, but I’m sure many homeowners would volunteer theirs up for lumber. So, I feel comfortable sharing their existence with you.
We had a black walnut tree back near our fort growing up but never thought to eat them, even though we did often try to pick out edible bits from the hickory nuts that grew on one side of the house. I remember my dad being mostly annoyed by them and thought that they might be poisonous. We would pick out the empty walnut halves and hold them to our faces and oink – “pignoses,” we called them.
But now that I know better, I decided to go out and collect the black walnuts that had ripened and fallen to the ground in the woods. I was not prepared:
I came back with a bigger bag and now have approximately five tons of black walnuts to be processed. The one above was a test – it was actually pretty tasty. They have a very strong walnuty flavor – more than the usual English walnuts that you get in the supermarket. The shells on these are harder to crack than English walnuts which is one reason people don’t often mess with the black walnut. My hatchet worked pretty well – so check back and make sure I have all my fingers once I’m done with these.