learning things!

This is a post that is unrelated to projects that directly impact the farm, because it's really cold out, for one, but mostly because other things have gotten in the way, including a frigid house/broken furnace! Happily, the furnace is not broken at all; I alone caused it to fail repeatedly when firing up, leading to some dough paid to the technician, and all ending with Ted saving the day. For all of you who are unaware of this (which is probably just me and some toddlers), here is some wisdom: there should be some fresh air flowing into the basement. We have an unused chimney that's totally open to the basement and was letting cold air in, so I stuffed the basement opening full of rags to seal it, which worked! Because there is no other fresh air intake, and all the doors are closed, it seems we were not getting enough fresh air for proper propane combustion to happen. I try not to use people's names in my posts, but since Ted diagnosed and provided the solution to this problem in about 3 minutes over the phone, after technicians came to our house THREE TIMES, he has practically earned god status and deserves recognition (at least among the 3.5 people who read this).

The furnace issues have been frustrating, but I'm feeling great about how much  we are learning, and feel like we should have somehow been learning about houses while renting all these years!

Okay, too much text. Here's a nice picture:

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I drove into the city of Menomonie yesterday, and just loved every bit of it. Ending up in our location happened entirely by chance; we're thrilled that we connected with the previous owner, because we're excited about the farm, and I at least thoroughly enjoy Menomonie and the surrounding country. On the way back, I stopped at a tiny access point to the Red Cedar State Trail (the photo above), which runs along the Red Cedar River for a number of miles, passing close to our farm and going as far north as Lake Menomin, which generally marks Menomonie center.

I took several black and white photos of glorious trees (along the riverbank), as usual:

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N. and I have also begun to venture into the farm fields surrounding our property, at least the ones with cover crop or hay production, rather than corn stubble. The land undulates shockingly, based on what I am used to, and there are so many unique views, both across our little valley and further out, mostly to the south and east.

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The photo above, taken from the hilly field behind our property, shows our position on the right compared to the 2 neighbors who are a couple minutes' walk up the hill. Just below and between their 2 houses, in this photo, is the uppermost corner of our vegetable/perennial/straw field.

We've received insider information suggesting that one of these families keeps to itself, while the other is made up of friendly individuals, and late last week we went to the workplace of one of them to introduce ourselves. This sounds vaguely like stalking activity, but said workplace is an incredibly charming coffee shop quite close to our farm, on a very quiet Main St type of setting! WE WILL BE BACK. We are happy to know a neighbor who is so friendly and warm.

In this same town is a pottery studio and self-serve shop. When N.'s family was visiting recently we were lucky to stop in during their lovely open house, where we each wanted to take home all of the things: I chose a ceramic teapot that at least once a day is filled with hot water, nettles, tulsi, mint leaves, and other delights.

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This is all rounded out by the people essentially all around here who are friendly and who tend to listen well. Part of my trip into town yesterday was a search for a new thermostat and a new well filter. I ended up having to buy both online because I was looking for fairly specific qualities in both, but I talked with a lot of sometimes helpful and always friendly people during the search!

Thanks for reading!

-ppppppppp