Mighty rearranging

B is at it again, and we are working on changing the layout of our house. We are not used to being in the same house for so long, and we usually wait for a move to do a thorough cleaning and furniture reconfig. Since we have not moved, we have to work up the potential energy to do it anyway. The sun is out, it is a little cold outside, Christmas is coming, and the new rug arrived (I will wait for B to tell about that one). That was enough potential to get the ball rolling…

I have a roast event today, so the garage is all set up. The 40 lbs. of green coffee that have been sitting in the studio should get distributed today. I will also roast samples to see what they are like. I have already roasted some of the Daterra (from Brazil) and it is the base for my Christmas blend. The other two are both Ethiopian, Lekempti and Yirgacheffe. These are both varieties that I have not had before, but they both have good reviews. The Yirg is supposed to have a bit of apricot in it…

Anyway, that is the news from Round Lake.

It’s not that cold

…or that thick. I took a hand drill out to see how thick the ice on the lake is. I leaned a little too hard on the drill, and the ice turned out to be not nearly thick enough. Of course I did not want to know how thick it was near the shore, but at the end of the dock. It was around 20F, and I was wearing 4 layers, gloves, and my field boots. I went in up to my chest. The water was not too bad, although very bracing. Ethan was there to ask if it was cold. Once I was back inside and stripped down to my boxers, I felt pretty good. I can see why folks do those polar bear swims… The drill is still on the bottom of the lake. Maybe I will have to do some diving before it gets too thick. Or maybe I will wait till spring.

Brief update

Even though the Chicago branch of the family got all our snow, we forgive them. We have flurries here that are not adding up to much on the ground, but the temps are still quite chilling. We realized that our water heater stopped doing it’s thing. Turned out that the pump that usually keeps the water level in the basement below 1.5 inches was out for repair and it had risen high enough to snuff the pilot, maybe a half foot. The water level had since dropped so I went down a lit it again. Granpa said he would be over to put the pump back in later today. I doubt it be flooding again any time soon, looking at the forecast… all freezing stuff.

The flurries are very pretty. The lake froze a few evenings a week or so ago, but then we had 60+ degree days, and it all went back to normal. We are hoping for some nice calm weather with very cold temps so we get a nice smooth top on. Once that is in place, the snow just blows across and gathers on our side, and leaves a nice large surface for skating and cracking our heads.

We harvested the last few items from the garden a few weeks ago, but the cold weather items (lettuce, arugula, and the like) are still not dead. They aren’t growing much either, so one of these days we will go out and harvest them for a true baby lettuce salad. I am not sure it will make more than one serving. We also moved a few things indoors for winter, including our basil, cilantro, oregano and thyme. They are doing ok do far, but I wonder how they will handle the low humidity during the depths of winter…

Last weekend I headed down to P & A’s place with the kids and did some hiking, animal petting, and shelter building with P. During our hike we ran into both garlic mustard and wild garlic. We snacked on both, which turned out to be a pretty bad idea when it came time to talk to our spouses. I dug up a garlic mustard root and shaved it when I got home for some wild horseradish. It has all the flavor with less of that nose-burning-ness. It is all right, but I am still undecided on result to work ratio. It was a first year plant, so maybe the second year produces a larger root and stronger flavor.

The better to see you with...

Baaaaad humaaaaan

Choppity-chop-chop Can you smell... I mean ow, my nose!

We built a pretty awesome debris shelter that fit all of us inside. P said they will use it for a demonstration at camp.
Don't that look comfy now?

Lately we have been playing a lot of games. Well, not a lot of different games, just a lot of the same two games, Settlers of Cataan, and Bohnanza. We bought Settlers a little while back (after all the family was out here in Sept.), and P & A bought Bohnanza around the same time. B’s parents love playing as much as P & A and we do, so almost any time we get together we play a few. I have been kicking their butts lately.

It does not look like we will be in the Pacific NW for Christmas this year, but it will still be nice to have P & A here to celebrate with this year. Who knows where we will all be next year or the year after…

Work has been a drag. That is all about that.