Playtime was Last Weekend, Work is this Weekend

As I write this, we are expecting our first freeze of the season, which means my beautiful summer annuals will be no more and it is time to get serious about getting ready for the cold.

I took the dogs out yesterday morning and could already smell the familiar scent of the woodburning stove my aunt got going at her house down the road.

We haven’t had to do that just yet. We typically use a small electric oil space heater until the temps refuse to come back up. The stove just really is too much for Our Little House when it isn’t staying below 40 degrees.

Although the Halloween decorations were put up a couple of weeks ago, the outside temperatures remained high, as late as Monday I was still wearing my cotton peddle pushers I love and a favorite t-shirt, I knew they would be seeing the inside of a dark storage box fairly quickly.

Besides rotating the clothes, boxing up the summer cottons and pulling out the heavy winter pullovers and sweatshirts, we have plenty of other things to do now that our fall fun from last weekend is behind us.

Here’s a list of what we’ll be doing this weekend to prep for the upcoming season:

  • Closing the vents on the basement
  • Cleaning out the stove pipe
  • Splitting our seasoned wood into smaller chunks for our small wood burner
  • Organizing the kitchen with our new cookware and making a note of what we need for winter staples such as stews, soups and casseroles.

What are you doing to get ready for the upcoming season? 

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30 Responses

  1. Charlie says:

    You have a basement?! So you really have 960 sq ft of living space? That’s as much as my son and his 3 kids have but on one level. I wondered how you got along with the just basic 24×24. And a couple of out buildings I believe. Sorry to get off topic but I’m interested in small house living.

    • Kerri says:

      No worries, Charlie. We have a 20×24 house with an unfinished, dug out basement that is only good for storing paint, lumber, etc. The office has a 3/4 basement for storing my work files and it is reinforced for a storm shelter, so we do not use the basement as living spaces at all. We do have two outbuildings. One is a garage for the cars and my husband’s home auto work and the other is for storage.

  2. Well, right now our oil burner broke so we’re up a creek. It’ll cost thousands to get a new one. So, right now, no heat or hot water. uggg

  3. Hmmmm. It’s still almost 90 in Austin … and preparations for the cold just aren’t a priority yet.

    • kerri says:

      It was hard for us this weekend too, Ruth. It was in the 80s and will be at least through Wednesday.

  4. Sheryl says:

    I have yet to drag out my winter clothing out Call it denial…but I need to do it soon before I freeze!

    • kerri says:

      Yes, the temps have risen again here, so it is hard to pull out the wool when it is still light cotton weather. But I so appreciate having those heavier things when the weather does turn!

  5. Merr says:

    Stay warm! Living in so Cal we don’t get the drastic seasonal changes. Still, I enjoy reading about your preparation and journey through the seasons!

    • kerri says:

      It is still warm right now, Merr. That will change, they say, by the end of the week. The thing about this time of the year is that we really don’t know from day to day.

  6. Becky says:

    I spent most of the week… in the garden getting it ready for winter.. we had a nice week of no rain… so it was outside and busy cutting back raspberries and replantng the new runners for strawberries.. We are still getting tomatoes so I didn’t have the heart to pull up the bushes yet.. but the rest of the garden it done and ready for spring.. except for the garlic..which I will do on Sunday.. We know that winter is coming when… we have pulled out flannel sheets and added an extra blanket on to the beds.. We are still mild in the NW so we are still enjoying fall weather,,

    • Kerri says:

      Sounds like you are really on top of things, Becky. I have a good friend in Tacoma and I know how special those nice days in the NW are to you all!

  7. Wow, it’s already time to think about winter isn’t it? I read that this year in the midwest at least, the winter is supposed to be long, cold and snowy. Time to get ready.

  8. Well, we had our first snow here Oct 8, which is actually kind of late for us, but then temps warmed back up. We have had fires in the main fireplace at night, but it has been a lovely fall (and that’s saying something … because I hate fall).

    We spent every Saturday night for a good part of the summer stockpiling wood for winter.

    We’re going to use that plastic liner on some of the windows that we haven’t replaced yet.

    I did swap out my summer and winter clothes in the closet last week.

    And, we’ve had the flannel sheets, wool blanket, and down comforter on the bed for about 6 weeks now.

    • Kerri says:

      Yikes, Roxanne. Your area of the country is beautiful, but when i read of your long winters, I’m glad we didn’t choose the Rockies! We typically don’t get our flannel sheets out until late December.

  9. Olivia says:

    Same here – furnace cleaned – check. Wood split and stacked – check. Stove, stovepipes and chimney cleaned – check. Clothes rotated – check. Flowerboxes cleaned out – check. Garden cleaned up – not. Winter tires on car – not.

    We have already had a couple of hard frosts – and even snow and ice pellets one day – but, other than that, it has been relatively mild, although I have been running the stove a lot due to a lot of dampness and rain.

    Kerri – why are you closing the basement vents? Do you have air conditioning? We close ours in the summer and open them in the winter for the furnace. We don’t have AC. Doesn’t really get hot enough here.

    • Kerri says:

      Seems like you just got into summer there, Olivia! 🙂
      We don’t have a central heating/cooling unit. We have to open them in the summer to relieve some of the humidity, we’re in such a humid climate here. In the winter, they need to be closed to keep what heat we have down there and keep the pipes from freezing.

  10. We have some of the same things on our list, as yours- need to clean stovepipe and cut wood (those are actually on David’s list.) Last week I spent many hours going through every article of clothing we own. I’m proud to say that my closets are organized and winter clothing hanging in our bedroom closet. Summer items are in another closet but still easy to get to during this transition from fall to winter. I have two large trash bags of things to donate to the local community center, despite having gone through all of our stuff just a year ago when we moved. I was surprised that we still had that many things we don’t use or need anymore. Makes me more resolved than ever to keep from purchasing anything that doesn’t truly add to our quality of life!

    • Kerri says:

      We’ve developed a policy to not buy something as soon as we see it, Kathy. We give ourselves at least a week to think about it. You would be even more surprised to find out how many things you actually forget about in that week!

      • That’s a great strategy, Kerri! Impulse buying usually means acquiring one more thing I don’t really need. It also helps to live far enough from shopping centers and malls that driving there is time consuming and expensive in terms of gas. That alone has kept me from having even more bags of unwanted stuff to get rid of!

        • Kerri says:

          Tell me about it. If we do decide we really do want something, it is usually way longer than a week. We live so far from stores and malls.

  11. Oh.. we’re in the same boat with the freeze! Yikes, for our little Sycamore.. Busy weekend, here, too. Though, we do not yet have firm plans. If husband is off at least one day, we’ll be up at the farm, completing electrical and cleaning up from the drywall. We can then get a few things moved in.. as my dad is not coming down until Thanksgiving to texture the walls. 🙂 On the holiday front: I took down Christmas decorations (we had a little celebration for husband, before he deploys). I now have Fall back up in the house.. love this time of year!

    • Kerri says:

      Our freeze didn’t come, I don’t think and I think now it will warm back up so maybe we’re safe for a few more days anyway! Good luck with your chores this weekend. We never know if Dale will have one or two days off either, until Friday night. So cool you put up the Christmas decor and had a celebration with the husband. Wish him a safe deployment from all of us, too!

  12. V Schoenwald says:

    Last week, for about 5 days, we spent looking for a water leak, and in a trailer home, that is a disaster. Found the leak, on top of the water heater, a split shut-off valve.
    This week is a whole combination of cleaning, throwing out, gathering, sorting, and putting away. The furnace was vacuumed out and cleaned, with new filters. Next is to go underneath the trailer, which is scary anyway and not a favorite of mine, to re-wrap the main water pipe from extreme below zero temps, and to check for more leaks. Last, is to put the wrap around my north facing porch and wrap the carport with poly to keep the snow out from around the patio and keep the wind off the front door, whew!

  13. mat says:

    Last week was gorgeous–we took our first vacation since our son was born–and it was mid-high 70s all week. We came back to a nice day, but ever since last Sunday, it’s been getting chilly. Low 40s at night and mid-60s at the day’s peak. We decided to turn on the heat last night to make sure everything was working properly (it was–I didn’t even have to bleed radiators). I don’t mind turning on the heat a little here and there–and it’s a lot less expensive to keep the house at 68 when it’s 50 outside than it is to keep the house at 65 when it’s 25 outside.
    Otherwise, warm blankets are on the beds, clothing is rotated, and the fall cleaning is mostly done. Or…as done as it can be with a child in the house.

  14. Alexandra says:

    Oh, no! A freeze already? I know weather systems cross the USA, so that means we will probably be getting it, too. I am also reluctant to say goodbye to summer. I still have to put my entire garden to bed!