Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Winter Time Preparations

Peaceful Forest Homestead

Halloween is always the day I try to make sure our house is set for winter. Our house still has the old, wavy type windows, which are not energy efficient. Until we can replace them, I staple plastic sheeting to the window frames to keep out the cold as much as possible. It is a job I think that is worth the trouble. In our living room, our big wood stove will keep us very warm, but at night when we bank it back it gets cold. I hear wind blowing at night in the winter often. So best to prepare for those cold nights. Nobody likes to be cold!

Our load of logs!

Saturday, I posted about the load of logs we got for our firewood supply. That is a feeling of security for us! My husband is glad he will not have to cut any more trees down on our property. We had the load dropped not too far from the front door that opens into our living room. Now he can cut and split the wood close by, and not have to transport it too far to the house. Carrying it to the house in the cold days of winter is no fun. It is best to locate a spot near the door that is closest to the room the wood stove is in.

Providing heat, hot water and cooking!

We were right in the middle of our winter preparations when Hurricane Sandy hit. We just kept right on with what we were doing. Being prepared, whether for winter coming, or a hurricane, we just keep going. I read at Natural News about people living without power for an extended period of time. He listed all the things most people have never had to live without. Some of those things, I live without daily, and some I have now, but could easily live without if I had to. Things like heat, we provide ourselves by using wood stoves for cooking and heating anyway.

Not much sun this time of the year!

Our solar system does not provide much electric if there is no sunshine. To charge our batteries, we have to use the generator and that takes gasoline. In the near future, we are planning on adding some more solar panels to the array on the barn roof. The other addition is to finish hooking up our wind turbine. The wind turbine will charge the batteries during the winter when we get a good amount of wind. Using both, sun and wind will definitely increase our power!

Our meter helps keep track of how much power we use!

As the executor of my father's will, I am working on selling my father's property and settling up any hospital bills he may have left. When that is done, I will concentrate my time on making some changes on our house. I am trying to make it as energy efficient and organized as I possibly can. Making everything as easy as I can, for both, my husband and I.

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Did Not Affect Us

This morning at Peaceful Forest Homestead!

I was a bit scared yesterday, as we were in the direct path of the hurricane, Sandy. He was supposed to hit Binghamton, NY, around 8:00PM. Binghamton is about 30 miles south of us. It is scary when you see the photos on the internet of all the damage it did and read all the reports of what to expect. Sometimes it is easier to get through something like that without knowing so many facts! Besides there wasn't much more we could do about it than what we did.

No trees came down on our new shed!

My husband secured our new metal shed so hopefully, it wouldn't blow away. It is full of the furniture we got from my father's house and I am kind of sentimental about it. We bought the shed to store the furniture until my son gets his new place and then he will take the furniture. My husband also has some things in there that he doesn't want to lose. So we really did not want any damage to the shed or the contents.

Big trees directly across the road from our house!

The other worry I had was about trees falling on our house, truck, the shed or one of our horses. Not much we can do about that happening. We didn't have any trees fall or any trouble at all. The people in areas closer to the coast line had a much worse story to tell. In Queens, 50 homes that had flooded burned! 50 homes! That is a lot of people without their homes and belongings. I pray for them and everyone who was affected by this hurricane.

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Our Firewood Supply Arrives At Peaceful Forest

Our Load Arrives! 

Yesterday our load of logs arrived for our firewood supply. This is the first year that we have purchase our firewood. We decided that we have cut enough wood from our own property for now. Living in the forest, surrounded by trees, makes it easy to just cut a tree for firewood. But we do not want to clear our forest anymore than we have.

Unloading logs!

My husband had talked to the logger a few days ago. Yesterday, he called and said he had our load on his truck. Oh boy! We were all excited to hear that! When he drove up with those logs we all hurried out to see the load. I was not disappointed!

Our firewood pile!

"That is all our logs?" I asked my husband. "Yes," he answered. I could not believe that was only one load. It looked like more than one load. I think we got a lot of logs for our money. It was fascinating to watch the logs be unloaded. We sat outside watching the logs being unloaded. I am very happy with our choice of loggers too, as he is right in our area. He gave us a good amount of wood for our money.

My son, enjoying his firewood work yesterday!

Now all my husband has to do is cut the wood and split it. He does not mind doing that. In fact, he kind of likes it. The wood pile is not far from our front door so hauling it will be much easier. We can bring it in through the front door which is not far from our hearth and wood stove. Come on winter! We are ready!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Favorite Shopping Spot On Wordless Wednesday

PD's In Otego, New York

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Latest Happenings At Peaceful Forest Homestead

My Parents's Home

I have been so busy these last few months, since my father had a stroke in July, and passed away in August. It has been an extremely hard time for me. If it wasn't for my husband helping me every step of the way, I don't know what I would have done. My father had appointed me as his Health Care Proxy, his Power of Attorney and the Executor of his estate (small though, it is). It never crossed my mind when he gave his papers to me over two years ago, that this would be such a difficult job. I worked hard not to let him down. He trusted me to do this for him. I felt honored and I respected his wishes through out the whole thing.

Happy Times for the Dran Family!

I won't go into all the details now. It has been a hard time. I have never had the opportunity to grieve for my father. Too busy for that luxury. Too much trouble from a family member who fought me every step of the way. It makes me sad to think of what my father may have gone through with this person. And I did not know. Cannot dwell on it now.He is gone and I am putting all that behind me! On to my life! I have gotten closer to my brother through this. For that I am glad. Maybe that is the silver lining in this ordeal.

The bean plants I couldn't keep up with this year!

Because of all these responsibilities I have had, I lost my garden harvest this year. I am sick over it! Instead of crying over it, I will now work on planning for my next garden. I have an opportunity to get a load of seeds from my brother, who is working for a local seed company. I am also planning on getting some home canned meats, soups, stews, chili, cheese, butter and other stuff processed as soon as I can. I can't wait to do that because that is my favorite thing to do anyway.

He's a cutie, don't ya think?

After I have sold my parents' property, it will be time to move on and work on our own home. We acquired another cat, "Spots." He seems to like living outside under the ramp to our house. He freaked out when he accidentally came inside. He did not like that at all! It will be nice and warm under the ramp when winter comes, since the snow will insulate it. We will keep a path for him to get in and out. He likes the upstairs of the barn too. Though my son, Jeff, said he found him sleeping on the beam of the lean-to where the horses hang out, next to the barn. He is a loving good boy!

Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012  Kathleen G. Lupole