Monday, January 5, 2009

Journal Through Monday, 1/05/09

Thursday, 1/1/09:

► Weather Summary: High = 50ºF. Low = 24ºF. Mostly sunny. A gusty south wind made things a bit nippy in the early morning, but it laid later in the day.

► Several years ago we replaced New Year's Eve parties with a New Year's Day hike. In the beginning we hiked with several friends, but over the years the number of hikers has dwindled. This year for a variety of reasons no one else was available for hiking, so Jo and I went alone. We hiked the Hemmed In Hollow falls trail in the Ponca Wilderness Area of the Buffalo National River. There's really no need for me to go into a great deal of detail about our hike here since I intend to make a post or two (or three) over on Nature in the Ozarks. I'll just say that it was a fairly strenuous hike to make in one afternoon. Between the hike, driving to and from the trail head and a brief visit to Walmart for dog food our first first day of the new year was a busy one.

Friday, 1/2/09:

► Weather Summary: High = 50ºF. Low = 24ºF. Weather started out as partly cloudy then slowly degraded to totally overcast and damp with a moderately gusty south wind blowing.

► The "big event" of the day was cutting a little more firewood. I went up the road to where my neighbor thinned small trees along the road during the fall. The diameter of most of that wood is small, but that means it doesn't have to be split. Jo and the dogs joined me after I'd cut for a while and helped load the Nissan.

► I was really proud that I only felt a little sore from yesterday's strenuous hike. However, when I got up there slinging my chainsaw around, I discovered I got tired much quicker than normal. Even though my muscles weren't sore, I reckon they hadn't fully recovered and were still tired. I still managed to get close to a little truck load cut, loaded, home, unloaded and stacked. The log hoop on the porch is full again and the amount of wood in our racks is growing.

Saturday, 1/3/09:

► Weather Summary: High = 69ºF. Low = 52ºF. Definitely what you'd call unseasonably warm today. We didn't even need a fire in the wood stove. Morning overcast, but contrary to our original forecast, the sky became mostly clear during the PM. A moderately gusty south wind blew for most of the day, but laid late.

► PM Walk: No cows. We haven't seen them around for a for a couple of days. We haven't seen any tracks in the road which would indicate Jerry Joe moved the cows to another pasture. I guess they've moved themselves to another section of this pasture. Good riddance.

Sunday, 1/4/09:

► Weather Summary: High = 62ºF. Low = 29ºF. The high temperature for the day is deceptive since it occurred very early in the morning -- like around midnight. Most of the day was overcast with a blustery north wind blowing. The temperature for most of our daylight hours was in the thirties.

Monday, 1/5/09:

► Weather Summary: High = 31ºF. Low = 25ºF. Overcast and funky all day. A brief period of freezing rain during the early afternoon. Fortunately, that didn't last for long -- just long enough to ice up the front steps and cover the van's windows.

► Trip into town: It had been about a week and a half since either Jo or I made a regular trip into town, and we were running a little low on several staples -- including coffee -- so I made a trip this afternoon. Among other things the trip included: Paying both the water and electric bills, getting a couple of chainsaw chains sharpened, buying kerosene for Jo's heater in the studio and buying food for us, the birds and our rabbits.

► I drove the van into town because Jo also needed a couple of 8' flourescent tubes for her studio light fixture. There was no way I could get those safely home via the little pickup. While in town, I filled the van with $1.69/gallon gasoline -- up 20 cents a gallon since January 1st.

► I got my saw chains sharpened at a place called E-Z Discount. When we first moved up here, E-Z Discount was a little place that mainly stocked slightly damaged and discontinued building materials, chainsaws and accessories, a little general hardware and sold tires. About ten years ago, the store moved into a much larger building and became a much larger outlet for hardware, electrical, plumbing, etc. They also sold auto parts and expanded their tire facilities.

► I used to routinely purchase my tires from E-Z Discount, but for some reason unknown to me that part of their operation dwindled over the years. Perhaps the competition was too severe and their profit not large enough. I don't know, but I stated buying my tires elsewhere.

► I hadn't even been into the store in a year or more and was surprised to see that much of the space originally devoted to hardware was now devoted to surplus or damaged food and other merchandise. (The food isn't really "damaged" although a few of the cans are a little bent.) Besides getting my two saw chains sharpened, I ended up buying five pounds of coffee beans for $13.00. I know the price is good. I just hope the coffee is decent. I'll end up drinking it regardless.

► My final stop was at Harps' Grocery Store. They were out of bananas and potatoes. Having only one grocery store in town is such great fun.