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Friends often ask me if I get bored or lonely out here. It does happen, like last weekend when I was putting up Christmas decorations and had no one to share the results. For the most part, though, I am busy. A busy brain doesn’t get sad.

Despite being remote, I work a full 40 hours each week at my tech job. When I’m not tied to my desk with meetings or project planning, I’m scooping poop, feeding meals, and clearing snow.

At some point, I take the dogs running—usually in the early morning before work, but sometimes during my break in the afternoon. Then there’s the endless household chores: vacuuming, mopping, laundry, bringing firewood inside to feed the stove. Plus the work I invent for myself, like hanging Christmas lights, despite being the only one to really see them.

This was the first weekend in a while that my folks weren’t here to help with renovations (the floor is done!), so I was looking at two full days without any plans. Luckily, there’s always plenty to do, and plans materialized.

I had breakfast with some new friends on Saturday morning—cheers to Bumble BFF for helping liberal homesteaders find one another in a vastly conservative area. Next I got the dog truck’s lug nuts tightened, post-tire change, so we should be all set for winter.

Cable internet is now available in my area, so I spent a good hour working out the logistics of ending my satellite service and switching to cable in January. For roughly the same price, I’ll be getting 100 mbps (instead of 25 mbps) along with TV and phone. While I don’t need anything besides internet, Spectrum will only buy out my old contract (around $340) if I choose a package. I know my dad appreciate being able to watch sports next time he visits.

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Sunday was all about wood. There’s still a lot of branches on our trails, so I took the gear sled out again during our run and made solid progress clearing things up. Sadly, as we were making our way out of the woods, the sled clipped a tree and flipped, flinging all the wood behind us. I had the dogs do a few extra laps to collect more, as I didn’t want to come back empty handed (sledded?). I’ll try to gather up the lost wood on another run.

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During our last big snow, a few pine branches came down in the backyard and on the driveway. I had been meaning to move them off into the brush, but they were too big. Thankfully, Christmas came early for me in the form of a new Husqvarna chainsaw from Will in California. I have used a chainsaw exactly once in my entire life, but this new tool is leagues beyond that one in efficiency and usability.

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The chainsaw made quick work of the downed tree limbs. I sawed the main limbs into logs and loaded them on the gear sled (this time I was pulling it, no dogs involved). The rest of the branches were tossed into an area that will go to meadow in the spring. I unloaded the cut logs near the dog yard where they’ll sit until we’re out of snow season. Pine isn’t safe for wood stoves, but I’ll be able to burn these in a future fire pit.

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The remainder of the weekend was spent filling the fridge with groceries, hanging icicle lights on the front porch, and sunbathing in the dog yard. Even though it was below freezing, the sun made it feel much warmer. In a place that’s so often cloudy and a time when the sun gives out at 4:30 PM, a sunny Sunday needs to be soaked up.

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