Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

January 31, 2011

Plowing and heaters...


About a week ago I loaded the ATV on the trailer and headed for Ottertail South to plow the yard and drive. When I arrived I saw that Art Raleigh had delivered some pulp wood. Now I did not know exactly what I would do with the wood, but figured I would need it somehow. When we acquired the new place, I thought perhaps I would rig up an outdoor boiler and some sort or heat exchangers in the house. Then I got a call..... My niece and nephew, Paul and Jenny, are part of Dale Anderson Masonry, in Allenton, Wi., and very interested in masonry heaters. Paul suggested that we consider putting in one of these......

Here is a brief collection of a few masonry heaters. I chose these particular photos to show how diverse the designs can be. This is the Masonry Heater Association's website, an association devoted to the art of masonry heater construction.

I have spent hours looking at and reading about these heaters, and I'm nearly sold on the idea. Here you will find an extensive collection of heaters of all styles.

These things heat by radiating stored energy from a wood fire. Twice a day you burn an unrestricted fire, the gases travel through a labyrinth of passages and nearly all the fire's heat is captured in the masonry mass. This stored energy is then radiated slowly to the surrounding area, heating things instead of heating air.

This type of heater works best in an open floor plan house, making this a feasible choice for the a-frame.

As an added bonus, these things are beautiful to look at!! Anyway, Paul is looking for places to build these heaters, and would like to do more along these lines. We may take him up on the project.......

So those were some of the thoughts cruising through my head as I plowed and shoveled. Making plans, considering options. I'm sure that when we get moved and settled in this spring, we will be making some decisions about what projects to start first.... we have a list started!

Plowing is done, ATV loaded and ready to head back to Ottertail North.

The ATV does a pretty nice job on the driveway! And the sunset was pretty nice as well.

That's it for now.

I gotta go, Carlo


January 27, 2011

Plowing and TV's


I guess it takes a bunch of tools and supplies to mount a snowplow on an ATV! I think it took longer to clean up the bench than to install the plow....

After getting the mount and the plow parts bolted in place, I had to then run cables, mount a contacter, mount a switch on the handle bars and get it all connected to the ATV's battery. This required removing the seat and the cover over the gas tank right in front of the seat.

I mounted the contacter in the little storage compartment under the seat. I never use that space anyway. As you can see, there is quite a birds nest of wires in the storage area. All the cables were really long and had ring terminals crimped to them. So the absence of any new terminals and the cold air around me, I decided to just cram it all in for now. I'll fix it in the spring.....

Here are a few shots of the end product.

As I was testing it in the yard at night, Peg snuck out and took a couple of photos. You have to use your imagination in the first one.

It was only about 5° that night but I had fun anyway....

If anyone wants this TV, now would be the time to speak up. It's the old rear projection set from the Ogema house. I found a label on the back that said it was made in 1992.... a 42" screen and it must weigh about 250#. It is too big to move to our new place, and the picture has really degraded over the years.

So, instead we now have a 37" Vizio flatscreen. It only weighs 35#, takes up very little space and will fit in nicely in the a-frame.

This year the tree was only in the house about a week and a half. Here it is, all undressed and ready to hit the snowbank out back.

That's about it for now.

I gotta go, Carlo


January 24, 2011

Changes.... O.K.?

Greetings. I did a little facelift on the blog. I'm hoping it behaves properly, I had a little trouble getting it to look right on my monitor. Please let me know if things look goofy or good on your end. The right column should have all the things you were used to seeing, starting even with the top of the current post....

Let me know, Carlo

January 21, 2011

Family Christmas, part 2....


Rose and Bryn missed the Christmas eve event at Donna's house, so Donna gave out their stockings at this event.

When asked if she had been good this year, Bryn replied, "I was good for 11 months...... and extra good for the other month."

Donna got a few gifts of her own.

Rose did the honors of passing out the gifts, with the attentive help of Hailee.

Chris wore the official "Reindeer Antlers".

Hailee presented me with a gift that she wrapped herself....... :-)

Peggy got a new Packer t-shirt, just what she was hoping for.

Bryn seems to approve of Peggy's new lounging pants.

Late afternoon and Donna is getting ready to head back to Phillips and Rosie is prepping for the big game, Packers vs. Falcons.

Looks like Peg is getting fired up for the game as well!!

All happy campers!

Chris was a little tired looking about this time.....

...and this about sums up how everyone felt by mid-evening.

We're in winter for sure now. This morning it was -30° when I left for work at 6:00. Didn't warm up much during the day, maybe a few degrees above zero. Not supposed to get too cold tonight and warming next week. We'll see.......

By the way, I checked on my blog feed and found that there are 17 subscriptions! Please comment when you visit.... if you want.

I gotta go, Carlo


January 20, 2011

It's cold in Ottertail country.


Yes, it's cold at the homestead. When I left work at 5:00 today, the temperature was already down to zero. When I got home, I spent a little time getting some firewood dug out of the pile, about two days worth, cleaned up in the garage from a recent project, etc. I was out for about an hour and when I got done, the temp. was down to -9°........ supposed to get in the -20's tonight.

January 15th, family Christmas!! Rosie, Bryn and Hailee put the final touches on the tree.

Most importantly, the candied yams are in process. The main course as far as I am concerned.

Peggy's specialty, apple pie made from those wonderful yellow transparent apples that came from the tree out in the yard.

Chris getting potatoes ready for the mashed potatoe dish. The other main course...... Hailee is, umm, washing her hands in the potatoe pan???

A break from the food prep. I spent most of the morning plowing the driveway, shoveling, etc. This year I really did nothing it the line of cooking..... just directing ;-)

One pie done, spuds ready to boil, chicken in the roaster.

Getting ready for the day.

Hailee and Rosie.

Hailee and Bryn.

Dining room all set for action. The house is filled with the good smells of a dinner almost ready.

The sideboard and the old Ogema photo have returned to the homestead.

There's that pie Peggy was working on earlier.

I think everyone is set to eat! I think I'll do a second post showing the rest of the day, so that's all for now.

For those of you who like to gaze at Jenny's artworks, she has a nice new site!
Here is Jen's website....

I gotta go, Carlo