Posted by: David | February 3, 2011

But Ground Hog Day Was Yesterday

Yeah, and I was busy rearranging snow, as my friend Linda, in upstate New York, recently observed.  Throwing it off the roof, then throwing it further with the noisy gasoline-powered contraption. We’ve got a solid meter of snowpack on the ground now. But spring is coming. Seeds are being ordered, days are getting longer, tax forms are being filed, etcetera.

You can’t see it here, but Oliver was shivering, even with his fancy jacket. It was wicked cold a few weeks back.

The temperature went down to the lowest it’s been here in quite a few years: -13°F! This winter has gotten down to business. Awfully glad we purchased the lovely Napoleon woodstove (made in Canada, my dear Canadian friends) last March. It’s a very nice woodstove, economical, easy to operate, holds coals forever, lets you see the flames through its glass door, and as a certifiably efficient biomass fuel device, allows me to recover 30% of its cost in a tax rebate.

Also doubles as a fine barbecue pit. These chicken legs were burnt to a delicious crisp in less than 20 minutes.

I think we may be using firewood at a faster rate, since this stove has a much bigger firebox than our old one. If the efficiency is for real, we should see that we’ve used less propane by the end of the winter. I’m also expecting there to be less creosote when the chimney gets cleaned next summer or fall.

In other news, there was a lovely baby shower at our daughter’s  and her husband’s home last weekend. The granddaughter-to-be has a fine wardrobe waiting for her, including a Halloween outfit. Just another 6 weeks to go. Hang in there mom-to-be!

Some of the 80 cupcakes made by the baby shower’s producer and director.


  1. Boo to -13 degrees F (Poor Oliver!…and no wonder kitty sleeps in crazy places like dryers, fireplaces, and stovetops); but yay to tax credits*, thoughts of spring, cute babies, and the cupcakes cute babies inspire.

    *I replaced my 30-year old furnace last spring. I’ve already seen on a monthly basis the effects of going from 60% efficient to a 95% efficent furnace. Yay to lower utility bills.

    Boo indeed. While it hasn’t been that cold since, we’ve had plenty of snow. And yay indeed. I finished filing my taxes with H&R Block’s ‘basic’ online system. Tried the other one too, but Block’s is better. And my taxes are super simple. Was able to recover $300 of the $1000 we spent on the new wood stove (biomass fuel stove in the parlance of Form 5695).

  2. If I were sitting in the snow with my naked bum I’d shiver as well! (Try not to picture that one. It’s the stuff of nightmares!)

    We’ve been using our fireplace insert we got last year. It’s really been turning out the heat! We also got a tax break on it. We have “free” firewood as well, living in a woods and all. I say “free” ’cause Husband and Art Major have to chop it up but other than labour, it’s free.

    The cupcakes look nice and tasty. Wish I had some.

    Thanks S. Le but my mind completely works in pictures. So bring on the nightmares. Speaking of which, my very own copy of Withnail and I arrived in the mail today. About $16 including shipping from Amazon. Now I can inflict it upon my Anglophilic friends. Feeling unusual … I have to thank you again for introducing this to me. Phrases from the film have been creeping into my speech. This is ridiculous!

    We love our new stove. Hope it holds up over the years. It seems well made, but only time will tell, and I don’t trust the glass door. I intend to purchase either a spare glass, or a whole spare door.

    We get some ‘free’ firewood, but most of the woodpile is the 2 cords of 16″ split mixed hardwood we buy from a good farm operation in the next town. It’s over $200 per cord, but the convenience is worth it. I just have to stack it.

    I was allowed to eat the early batch of practice cupcakes, which were burnt and unfrosted. I could have had a ‘good’ one at the shower, but was more attracted to the savory fare.

    • Excuse me, could we have an eel? You’ve got eels down your leg.

      Nothing down there of interest to you.

  3. what a cute dog you have

    Thanks nursemyra. He gets that a lot. Jack Russell Terrorist.

  4. -13ºF is -25º C. That is real winter. I often went to school on skis and then had to ride a bike, and once I lent my gloves to a girl who didn’t have hers.

    Where I am now (Spain) it would never get that cold, and so people and dogs start shivering at higher temperatures and feel just as cold.

    In Switzerland? Nice of you to loan your gloves. Hope you got them back.

    I lived in Florida as a kid. We shivered when the temperature went down to 50°F. It’s relative.

  5. I’m totally ‘nomming’ at the sight of those cupcakes!

    I like that expression. “Nomming”. It reminds me of what Homer Simpson does when he imagines doughnuts.

  6. My, Oliver looks spiffy!

    I’ll leave your winter to you hardy New Englanders. Although we got down to -21 for a couple of nights, and had a record “low high” of -1 one day, we’ve had much, much less snow. Only a few inches on the ground at the moment. I’ll take cold over snow any day.

    Spiffy indeed. That’s the word. Hmmm. Snow or cold? Guess we got both. At least the cold doesn’t have to be shoveled off of the roof.

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