Saturday, February 25: It was cold this morning when S-3 went down to milk, and others dug the ashes out of the furnace, lit the fire, and skimmed yesterday’s milk; but by three o’clock, when we were filling the wood rack in the basement, it was so warm we didn’t want coats.
The male two-thirds of the family cut trees on the south hill and bucked them down to the dry pond above the barn. Only two trees — tulip — but they think they will get all the two-by-eights they need for the barn rafters out of just those two. They also brought an oak, split, off the west hill, to cut for four-by-twelve floor beams. There was some brush-burning and clearing going on, too. Up at the house, S-5 was cooking down thirty gallons of sap, and making almost three gallons of ice cream — chocolate and coffee. S-6, the baby, has a temperature, and put a severe crimp in home progress.
The mild weather went far to raise late-February spirits around here, and they need raising. The snow is lying in rotten furrows all around the house, the top layer of dirt has thawed, and now everyone who comes in brings mud in with him. We have many projects in projection, you might say, but can’t get too forward on most of them. We are grateful for the sap season, and the repair of the sickle bar mower, to keep us busy on the days we can’t get out.