On March 17th, we celebrated our first “Idaversary”. It’s been one year since we retired and moved to Idaho. We have now experienced all four seasons in our new home state. Today, while we were sitting eating lunch, Shawn said “I think we’ve acclimated.” We had spent the morning outside disposing of the 95′ tree that we dropped. We dragged limbs through the remaining snow to the burn pile and worked up quite a sweat. We sat at the table in t-shirts and shorts with all the windows open and the ceiling fan on high. It is 53 degrees outside and there is still considerable snow on the ground, so yes we’ve acclimated.

We’ve amassed 3 chainsaws: the one Shawn bought me for Valentine’s Day, the neighbor’s larger one, and a spare electric chainsaw from Harbor Freight. We used to acquire electronics; now it is chainsaws.

We’ve taken a couple classes from the University of Idaho’s extension program to learn about our “Backyard Forest” as they call it. We can identity most of our trees and we’ve learned what to look for when thinning our trees. One day we went snow shoeing through our forest and found many trees with undesirable traits such as crooked trunks, split tops, rounded canopies, and dead branches. Thinning should keep as busy for the rest of our days!

The first few trees we cut down usually took two days. The first day, Shawn would cut it down and start cutting off the big limbs, and the second day, we would continue cutting and burning. We divide the tree into three types of wood: the trunk is cut into long lengths for milling; the larger limbs are cut into 16-18″ lengths for firewood; and the remainder is burned.

The tree we were working on today was 95′ tall and 4′ across at the base. We’ve been working on it for 4 days now and still have quite a bit to do. Some of the branches are bigger than the other trees we’ve cut down.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve started a new fashion line for chickens. All the chic chicks are wearing custom hen aprons/chicken saddles. Seriously, who thought of this? And then published a pattern and instructions? Our poor abused chicken has been wearing her apron for a couple weeks now, and seems no worse for the wear. No complaints from the roosters either.

It’s been a good year. We’ve learned a lot and had some fun. Now we’re anxiously awaiting spring. Shawn has seedlings growing for the expanded garden; the chicks have been ordered; and I’m watching the snow melt while waiting for signs of the 200 bulbs I planted in the fall.