Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's on Pine Mountain

Pine Mountain

Well it is that time of year again. The year 2007 is almost history and the year 2008 is about to begin. 2007 was a year when housing stopped rising in value and started dropping in value. It was a year when people who bought too much house for their income wish they hadn't. It was a year when major banks that thought they held bags of gold with all the mortgages they held found that they were holding bags of sand instead. The mess quickly left the borders of the United States and is now spreading around the globe.
Here on Pine Mountain it is a simpler place. It is a place where people can relax and forget about the worlds troubles. The last day of 2007 begins.

Barn Chores

It is just getting daylight as I go to the barn. The air is crisp and the snow crunches under your feet. The temperature is 15 degrees Farenheit or - 9 Celcius for those of you on that temperature scale. I milk our cow and feed the chickens and the horse. I bring the milk and eggs back to the house.


Breakfast is started. First is the coffee. For Christmas I received a sampler pack of coffees from around the world. It was from a company called Coffee Fool. They have 114 different kinds of coffee. The company believes that the best coffee is fresh coffee so they get their coffee to their customers by mail usually in 2 days of the time it was roasted. They have five distribution points in the United States. They are in Texas, Minnesota, Nevada, Washington, and Florida. You can find them on the Internet at I am going to see if I can try them all. If I try one a week it should take about 2 years to get through them all. This morning I am trying Hawaiian Kona. The minute it begins to brew the aromatic smell fills the kitchen and soon the whole house. It reminds me of the time I went to the islands. I think of sun and sand and warm ocean water. Time to come back to Pine Mountain. I finish making breakfast. We have scrambled eggs and toast, oatmeal and orange juice, and to wash it all down that warm Hawaiian Kona coffee. I enjoy this coffee it is definitely much better than what I am used to drinking around here. Well I have 113 other flavors of coffee to try. I never knew there was that many types of coffee. I am sure there are some I will like a lot and others not so much.


Breakfast is over and I have work to do. I go out to the barn and hook the hay wagon, that I have converted into a firewood wagon by putting plywood around it, behind my four wheel drive ford truck. I load the wagon full of firewood from the large pile that I cut last year and head down the mountain to the ski lodge that has ordered it. My wagon holds a whole cord of wood. I unload the wood at the lodge and they pay me $100 for it.

Barn work

I go back up the mountain to my place and spend the rest of the day cleaning out the horse and cow stalls and putting fresh straw down. A neighbor stops by with a broken tongue on his trailer that he pulls behind his snowmobile. I weld it back together for him and he pays me $20.
The short winter day is soon over. I head back to the house. I am hungry. All that I had for lunch was a hamburger at the lodge when I finished unloading the firewood. Soon dinner is ready.


There is mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey and stuffing, green beans and apple sauce. We have that great Hawaiian Kona coffee to wash it all down.
Evening is here. I sit in my easy chair by the fireplace and listen to the wood crackle as it burns. The relatives start calling and wishing us Happy New Year. Each is in a different time zone so we can follow the progression of the new year as the world slowly spins. Finally it is my turn. I have have small bottle of champagne and I offer a toast to the new year as the clock strikes midnight. I stay up a little longer reading a magazine then I head for bed. It is New Year's day already. Tomorrow when the sun comes up I will do the chores and start the new year. Happy New Year everyone.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas on Pine mountain

Pine Mountain

It is the holiday season. It is a special time of year. The first snow has fallen dressing the pine trees all in white. Our roof has 4 inches of new fallen snow. There is a fire roaring in the fireplace. Our indoor tree glitters with ornaments and twinkling lights.


In the kitchen breakfast is being prepared. There are scrambled eggs, toast, and orange juice. We have oatmeal and bacon, milk and eggnog. Everyone is eating and talking of the presents under the tree. First rule for Christmas is breakfast before presents.
Breakfast is over now and we are all gathered by the tree. Our niece Grace who is 10 this year is the designated person to pass out the presents. Everyone gets 3 or 4 presents. There are many exclamations of ooh and aah as each present is opened. The wrappings are gathered up and each person is examing their gifts. There are Christmas cards and letters from far away. My niece Alisa is spending the winter in Saint Petersburg and she writes of celebrating Christmas at home with her cat and a good book that she wants to read. My nephew Scott and his wife Danielle have news that a baby is due in April. My sister Carol writes that it is just her and her husband Edward this year. Their boys are both married and are starting families of their own. We pause to remember mom who passed away 5 years ago this Christmas.


Morning is over now and sister Laurel, her husband John and Grace their daughter decide to go out and ski. Several hours later they return with rosy cheeks and we have hot chocolate and snacks waiting. Grace wants to play here new interactive video adventure. It is a story of trying to find a crystal key in a magic kingdom.


Dinner is ready now. We have turkey and and mashed potatoes, cranberry salad and sweet potatoes. We have corn and apple sause. For drinks we have V8 vegetable juice and milk, Coffee and tea. John has just opened a bottle of wine for the adults. Everyone eats until they are full then we have desert. This year we have chocolate cake and pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie is topped with whipped cream.


Dinner is over now and we all nap by the fire. We give thanks that we have all this abundance and are are able to share the holiday with our family. To soon it is time for everyone to go home.
Christmas is now just a Christmas memory. New years will soon be here. Merry Christmas to all and to all good night.