The Bed Nook

I’ve always been fascinated by snugness. Part of my delight in bad weather is the comfort I feel when I’m inside looking out at it (though I really don’t mind being out in it, if I’m prepared). One of the reasons I love heating with wood is that it’s so overwhelmingly cozy. You can’t grab …

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After the storm

Here’s the view out our living room window following the storm I bragged about the other day. (You can see how low the sun is in the winter at our latitude; this was shot at about noon.) It was a Saturday (I think) and my wife suggested I get the kids out of the house …

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48 inches in 24 hours

That’s how much snow we got yesterday. Yahoo! I understand New York City got a lot of snow last week, and bully for them; but when the winter gets nasty I’d rather be in the country. There is an indescribable snugness in being snowed in to your own forest cabin that I’m not sure I’d …

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Some time last year I was crunching a box of spendy store-bought granola and thought, “Waaaait a minute; I can make this stuff! I don’t have to waste all this money on corn syrup and BHT and methylchloroisothiazolinone*.” (Ever wonder how the stuff you buy in the store stays fresh in the months between the …

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How we’ll finance our retirement

I have to preface this post with two unrelated notices, the first one sad: The company for which I work has recently laid off a number of workers, including a regular reader of this blog. Hang in there, You-know-who-you-are! Say your prayers; you’ll be fine. (I have not been laid off yet.) And secondly, if …

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Our driveway is 354 feet long and has about a 40’ rise, and we can’t afford the going rate for a tractor to come clean it out after every snowfall. So last Saturday, after a heavy snowfall, we fed the kids a good breakfast and sent them out with snow shovels to clean the driveway. …

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Family Home Evening

Family Home Evening is a Mormon practice in which, once a week, all outside obligations are cancelled and the family spends Monday evening together. It’s a wonderful habit on our family, when I’m gone so much on other nights of the week. With seven kids ranging in age from teenagers to toddlers, it can get …

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Fuel costs

I came across this picture from last September or so when Emma was filling the wood shed and it reminded me of my informal goal to use only 4 cords of wood this year. If the winter demands it, we’ll use more; we have plenty, and I do not like being cold. But anything we …

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Making traditions

Well the old highway doesn’t look like this now; now it’s covered with snow and has berms on either side, and that’s how it will be until spring. But this shot was taken some weeks back when the fall weather was so beautiful that we decided that we needed to positively ride bikes in to …

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It’s been pretty important to us to teach our kids how to work. Not only will it make their lives better if they know how to dive in and get the work done, it’s also basically impossible to raise a large family if we’re trying to do all the work ourselves. Seven children go through …

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