Enter the Winter Blues…

Well the weather … is changing. We got a foot and a half of snow a couple of days ago and that just added to the work load around here. One might think “Hey, you have that nice, big, warm, dry shop, why not just hole up and work in there?’ and although that is likely what I am doing, I cannot ignore the outside requirements. First I have to clear the driveways and all the walking areas. Most of all my ‘commute to work path’.

Then I need to clear out around the mill. If I don’t do this now, it will be a frozen icy mess for the rest of the winter.

If you look at that photo above, you can see a collapsed lumber stack cover in the center of the background, just past the mill. I gambled and lost on that one. I’ll have to take it down and do a complete re-rig with a new tarp. The stack on the right needs to be cleaned off and reset just a bit. My 3rd rack was the one which took the biggest hit.

That doesn’t look too bad, but this is after 40 minutes of digging to get the tarp out from under the snow and re-draping it over the ridge. The snow had collected so much that all the ropes (but one) snapped and shot off into the woods like rubber band, then it peeled off the ridge. Today I will have to make new hold anchor points and re-string the tarp, then finish cleaning the snow off the wood. It won’t dry if there is no air flow.

Rack#2 was the only one that survived 90% intact. I just have a spreader to repair after I unload the tarp. Then clean the blown and drifted snow off the lumber.

All in all I didn’t come off too bad. About two days into cleanup now Lots of details, shoveling, blowing, and plowing around the shop, the woodpile, the mill all take time and it all has to be done now, before it melts and re-freezes. Since the storm ended the temps have been chilly. It got down to zero last night, so heating the shop is a challenge, in fact heating the house is a challenge also. I am bouncing back and forth feeding both stoves all day long and using more wood than usual. The shop is only around 62 right now and the house is a bit warmer.

SO keeping this place running takes a fair amount of work and sometimes I get no ‘real work’ done while I am taking care of all this other stuff. It’s a balmy 12 degrees out right now and on my ‘to do’ list for today is the aforementioned tarp repair work, slogging through the 2 foot drifts, trying to get the oil burner working in the shop for backup/quick start heat, working on the web page when I need warm-up breaks, bringing more wood in the house and shop, checking over the Mule for plowing damage and re-fueling it, and a few other things I will remember when I see them. Another day with no real work done. But that’s what happens when you are having fun, right?

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