Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

December 19, 2010

Northcountry news.


What an event!! December 21st, the winter solstice, also has a full moon and a total lunar eclipse...

Here you can find all the details of the event, along with copious amounts of info on all types of eclipses and other interesting things....

I thought these successive images were really cool....

And guess who recently turned 5? About a month ago, actually.

I missed the party, but Peggy returned with all these good photos.

Aunt Carol, Hailee and Great Grandma Donna.

Hailee and great uncle Jim.

Hailee and uncle Adam.

Oh, and thanks for the make-up kit, Auntie Carol!!!

About a week ago we had the 'big snowstorm'. The 30-40 mile an hour winds provided these really nice snow wave all across the field. Also some major drifts right in front of the garage.

Even though our woodpiles are covered on top, those winds blew snow up into the pile. Not from the ends of the pieces, but right against the sides of them. I took these photos today after digging about two feet into the pile. Still all the wood is encased in snow, even in the very center of the pile.

This is just to the left of the view above. No air space in this wood pile, all air was replaced by wind driven snow. I've never seen snow get into a covered pile like this......

Hailee and Chris were up again this weekend. Never a dull moment....

We've got this pancake routine down pat. Hailee knows where all the ingredients are, she's expert at cracking the eggs, and helps with all phases of the project.

Today I did a little logging. O.K., call it firewooding. I located a couple of standing dead trees, one ironwood, one maple. I cut them and turned them into firewood for the lodge.

That trailer is the handiest thing we've gotten in a long time.

We're still working slowly on packing and moving (me more slowly than Peg), but I believe I will get in gear properly after the holidays. Tomorrow I start my winter vacation and will not return to work until January 3rd!!

Have a good holiday season!

December 16, 2010

Winter weather.


I'm trying to get into the winter mindset. It seems like we are there for sure now...... -25° on Tuesday, -20° on Wednesday, but only -15° this morning. It got into the 20's today and it felt pretty balmy outside!

These are some file photos, not fresh, but very much like the wintry weather we have been having.

We finalized the house deal two weeks ago today. Peggy has been busy moving things to the chalet, and we just got electricity in there a couple of days ago.

Here is a view of a snowy yard before the boiler came to live at the Ottertail. How soon one forgets what things looked like before a big change.... I have been digging wood out of the pile, it looks like it has been mortared into place. That ridiculous wind last weekend blew snow several feet into the pile, not from the ends of the pieces of wood, but from the side. I can't believe how far into the pile the snow was driven. No airspace in that pile, just wood and snow.....

Mid-winter lodge.

This tree provides great photos any season of the year.

One of those mornings when the hoarfrost clings to everything and the world is one big glistening panorama.

The turkeys don't seem to mind the weather. They must have feet with no nerve receptors in them!

This one is my favorite. Every twig and blade of grass had countless ice crystals covering all surfaces.

I need to get a better start at sorting, tossing, packing and moving. Peggy has set the pace and I seem to be lagging behind. I will have a couple of weeks off work this month, maybe I will turn into the mighty master mover. We'll see. We are still talking about how to use the space in the house, what will go where, etc. I'm glad we don't have to get this done by next weekend!

Only about a week until Christmas, everyone all set for it????


November 30, 2010

Closing soon!!


O.K., a quick tour of the outside buildings. This is the garage/elevated deck/ upstairs hide-away building. Another unique design....

This is the workshop, just to the north of the garage. The epicenter of iron working, this building was. Russ was not one to get into a rut on building design!!

And, of course, the Chalet at the turn of the driveway. Many years a gift and craft shop, a few years as a gunsmith shop. No telling what it will end up being in the future....!

Here is the little stone building that sits atop the entrance to the deep root cellar. Hard to describe it, best seen in person..... that's an invite.

Here is the view from in front of the house, looking down the driveway towards the Chalet. I think I will be able to get used to this view.

Things have been busy lately, dealing with realtors, insurance agents, etc. We close the deal on Thursday, Dec. 2nd, and then we can begin transferring "stuff" to the new location. I'm sure we will be spending many weekends hauling, placing, deciding, moving, placing, packing, unpacking, etc. February will be for resting up.


November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!


A little tour of the inside of our new home:

Here is about half of the kitchen area. I'll have to learn to avoid hitting those beams with my head! I think the charm outweighs the potential bumps.... by the way, these photos are from the realty website, they are .gif images so they do not expand like regular photos. I don't know how to edit them to brighten up the views, so you're stuck with what I have for now.

Here is the east half of the living room. A rock planter on the left, decorative rock veneer on the far side, large windows on the south. Love the beams and boards!!

The bathroom does not have a shower, so I'm checking online to find one of those suspended shower curtain affairs with the tall riser for the shower head. They are used on the old claw foot bathtubs and similar retro-looking applications.
By the way, I'm building this post in between cooking tasks. Peg and I were planning on not doing anything this weekend. It's been a stressful fall, and we have had Hailee at our house for the last three weekends. She's 5, we're not.......

Here's a view of the fireplace and the south and west side of the living room. Russell built the fireplace as an open fire platform with a suspended hood and chimney above that could be moved up and down depending on the draft needs of the fire. I'm guessing that may have been more trouble than it was worth, and the 4 glass sides were installed with the hood connecting directly to the top of the glass enclosure. At the upper left corner you can see part of the bridge that connects the two upstairs rooms, one at each end of the house.

Standing next to the fireplace and looking north, the quarter turn iron stairway is the focal point. Russell built this stairway and it is sturdy and good looking. Above to the right is the aforementioned bridge.

Back to the cooking.... I thought that as long as we would have to eat something today, why not have a roasted chicken? One would need mashed potatoes with that, I guess. Well, it turned out that I came home Tuesday evening with a 13# turkey, a butternut squash, some sweet potatoes and a banana cream pie from the famous "Bonnie's Diner" in Phillips.

From the north, the kitchen, stairs, fireplace and living room.

The squash is now cooked, shelled and in the fridge, waiting for the rest of the meal to finish. When I got home with the turkey, I put it directly into the fridge in hopes that it would start thawing and it would be ready to go today. It's now in cold water, making progress but I'm not sure how long it will take. How many times has this scenario played itself out?? No reason for it except my planning. Remember the five P's (prior planning prevents poor performance)!!!!

The cute little ice thingie above is most appropriate right now. We had rain, snow, big winds and more snow in the last few days. I guess winter is here......