Morning Meanderings… Snapshots of My Minnesota Life


Good morning!  Happy Saturday.  I am in the middle… no, that’s not right… I am in the first third of a MASSIVE painting project.  I decided I was going to paint our downstairs addition yesterday so off I went to buy paint and all the fixings.  This is a HUGE undertaking.  We finished off the basement in 2004 and the area I am painting is all of that… the wall at the top of the stairs, the stairwell wall area, a couple smaller areas and then an open family area.  Basically about 5 gallons of paint worth.  😯  It sounded like a great idea yesterday to surprise Al with this but after not getting started until 5:30 pm last night and working on it until 10:30 pm and knowing I have about 5 or 6 more hours of paining ahead of me… yeah….lets just say I better LOVE this color a LONG time.  😛  Pics of this next weekend.

Today however, I thought it would be fun to show you some pictures (for Saturday Snapshot)of what my Minnesota life is like.  Not all of you live in areas that have winters like we do, or if you, you may not heat your home the way we do.

We heat our house with hot water heat.  Yes, that was a new term to me about 8 years ago too.  

The stove sits outside between our business (DeChantal Excavating) and our home. It burns wood that heats pipes that are filled with water – so essentially hears out home and business with a hot water heat that is a clean heat.

In cold temps it can be a real pain, but this winter has been fairly mild so usually it is filled once in the morning, once mid afternoon, and once at night. You control the heat in house with a temperature dial.


Here is our business, far behind the house. Initially the stove was going to be just to hear that, but when installed we discovered it was only a couple hundred dollars more to run the pipes to the house as well.

For me the wood pile can be a real pain. I search out pieces I can lift and since I can not pick up the great big ones that fill it fast, it takes me about 10 – 15 trips to fill the stove.



This is the back up pile in the event that what we have cut up does not make it through the winter. We purchase the wood locally.

One fun bonus – about 7 wild cats live in the excess woodpile. No idea where they came from but sometimes in the afternoon I will see them when I fill the stove and they will watch me. Occasionally I leave them scraps but they are all rather healthy looking so they are finding food somewhere. I was hoping to get some pictures of them but they were not out this morning.

So there is a little about my life beyond the books.  😀  For more Saturday Snapshots, stop by Alyce’s At Home With Books.

23 thoughts on “Morning Meanderings… Snapshots of My Minnesota Life

  1. Oh, I don’t envy you all that you have to go through for heat! I used to moan and whine because my house in the foothills was heated by one wood burning stove and it took forever, since it was a two-story house.

    The guesthouse next door was cozy, though; smaller and it didn’t take as long to heat with the stove in that space. I often thought of living in the guesthouse! But I sold the property and moved to the city, dreaming of central heating and air conditioning!

    Thanks for sharing…and here’s MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

  2. You are a tough pioneer woman!!! I bet the heat feels good but that’s a lot of work. We met someone from Minnesota the other day – he said it snows 6 months of the year and is cold for 5 and a half more, but those 2 weeks of summer are glorious! lol It made me think of you.

    1. How “Little House On The Prairie” of me 😀 I do love spring through fall in Minnesota but not a fan of the winter. I can say that our seasons really pop- spring is gorgeous, Summer is hot, and fall is pretty.

  3. We used to heat our house with a wood-burning stove and electric back-up system. Now we have a stove that burns propane gas and I don’t miss hauling that firewood at all. We just got too old to carry the wood to the shed, stack it, and then haul it in batches to the patio to bring in for the stove. I had to vacuum every day too. Now I set the temp on the remote and the stove heats the family room beautifully. I would imagine there are plenty of mice and moles in your massive woodpiles for the cats to eat. They can snuggle together in there to keep warm too. Dave and I want very badly to move far enough south to escape harsh winters. Maybe next year.

  4. great post, Sheila!
    I now have a much clearer pic of what that type of heating involves 🙂
    have seen the little ‘houses’ here on the Canadian prairies as well, but never knew all that’s involved in operating.. I actually only use my country home in the summer b/c winter is too cold to heat it! so for winter I move to the city where heat’s included in the rent and no worries of freezing plumbing =))

  5. I love, love, love this post and the photos! My gosh, that burner is huge. Hope you love the end result when you finish your painting project. I’ll watch for the pics!

  6. I’m curious… is there a backup system if you’re not there to feed wood into the stove? I’m thinking no week long vacations away in the winter or the pipes will freeze. (And yes, I’m quite spoiled with gas heat that always seems to be there when I flip the switch.)

    1. There is, it can convert to gas heat but we have never used it. You are right it can be a pain when we want to do anything in the winter… usually one of us is always around or we have to get a neighbor or someone to fill it for us.

  7. That seems to be a lot of work to heat your house. I would probably freeze before I did all of that! I cant wait to see your pics of what you painted.

  8. I love it!! We considered putting one of those in too but the initial cost was too much at the time. We have so many dead ash trees on our property so this spring/summer we will be cutting and stacking for probably enough to heat the next two winters. Once done we’re going to go to a wood pellet stove!! I love the fact that we haven’t had a propane truck in our drive since 2011….we use propane for the stove and dryer only. Really helps us save money and what a great warmth those burners provide!! So much better than furnace heat any day!!

  9. That sounds like a lot of work, but a neat way to heat the buildings!

    We’ve been painting the inside of our house today too. I didn’t spend as much time painting as I’d hoped, but instead was at the dentist for several hours. The painting is quite an undertaking, and I’m grateful we had lots of relatives over to help.

  10. Why am I not surprised this is how you heat your house 🙂 Good luck with the painting project, Sheila. I look forward to seeing the pics! Have a great week.

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