Saturday, December 22, 2012

I Love Small Towns...

Tonight, Nancy and I went down to Hayward. The city has decorated the fronts of many of the businesses in town, most of them on Main Street, and is heavily promoting the display. They've even set up a web site to list all the activities and "specials" at local businesses. Here's a link. I was impressed! We walked up and down Main Street and looked at the displays in the windows. There was even a small table in front of a couple of the shops with self-service hot chocolate. How small town is that?

I had a SnoWing just like this when I was a kid. It's heavy steel and was a real pain to drag back up the hill. It was frequently left behind in the garage in favor of the plastic mini-boggan.

They decorated the gazebo at Shues Pond (city park).

After checking out Main Street, we walked in to Angler's Bar & Grill for Pizza! I forgot the obligatory food picture, sorry. Even Angler's was in the Holiday spirit.

Earlier in the day I was busy cutting and splitting more firewood. I had a nice stash of 4' long logs in the garage. I cut up most of them. With the 2 pallets full outside, and this in the garage, I might have enough to get through this winter. I'd rather put in a little hard work and burn some wood, than pay for Propane!
The 4 following pictures are before-afters...


  1. Propane for heat, ouch! Almost anything is a more affordable option....

    Your woodpiles are impressive/

    1. Last year the price was $1.899 gal, this year it's $1.499 gal. Nancy's brother in Alabama pays over $3.00 a gal!!

      I just got the tank topped off and I used 240 gal in 71 days. That's a little under 3.5 gal/day. Propane fuels our furnace, stove, and boiler for domestic hot water and in-floor heat in the basement and garage. Last year, our first in this house, our use was way more!... I think the fireplace has cut our use down dramatically! The furnace never kicks in when the wood's burning.

      I wish I had other options. There's no natural gas service this far out, fuel oil is outrageously priced here, I don't think coal is an option... A geothermal heat pump system would be nice, but $$$$ for the installation. I've seen off peak electric thermal storage units. That might be an option, but this is a big home = more $$$..? I'd be happy putting a free standing wood stove in the basement, or a wood forced air furnace and keep the gas furnace as stand by/back up.

      I really don't want the hassle of an outdoor wood-fired boiler. Everyone I've talked to that has one says they have issues with them and some of people regret having spent the $$$ on one.

  2. Nice job getting all that wood cut and stacked. Nothing like wood heat on a cold day. Seeing it all does make me appreciate only having to heat a 912 sq ft house.

    Hayward sure has a lot of lights out. It looks like it was very pretty to walk around and see the cheer.

  3. Erik,
    Lovely lighting in downtown Hayward. As you know, we find it easy and efficient to drive right through and normally don't stop on our way north. We have walked the downtown and it looks like being there during the Holidays is almost worth the drive up. I admire and feel for the tenacity it takes for small towns to stay vibrant.

    I so enjoy small town life where faces and "hellos" are familiar. We live very rural though I'd move 'small town' before I'd ever return to the city.

    Have to say I was extremely disappointed to not see the Walleye lit up with 1,000,000 lights :)

  4. We just paid $1.48 for 334 gallons of liquid propane; stove, heat, dryer.

  5. Why are all you northern guys showing off your garages???? This is the only place I've ever lived where I didn't have a garage. And in this's just not humane. My next place HAS GOT to have a garage. Not a portico, tarp, lean-to or otherwise open to the elements thing. A real garage with four walls and a roof.

    Congrats on that lovely stack of firewood! I like a tidy man. : ^ )

  6. Aw. My face got messed up-

    : ^ )

  7. Erik:

    I don't really have a REAL garage either Martha. Just a crawl space to park a car where you have to duck so you don't hit your head.

    I only have a carport, roof yes, but walls NO. Open to the air and not warm out there.

    Erik, we used to have oil when we moved here. the first thing we did was to have gas lines installed and a new gas furnace. We also had an oil fired hot water heater which was replaced by gas. Oil was expensive and dirty and you had to get it tuned up every year to clean the jets.

    There are few options in the city to obtain firewood so we converted our fireplace with a gas insert

    Hayward looks like a nice little town

    Riding the Wet Coast

  8. Erik I love small towns too - everybody seems to get into the spirit. Merry Christmas to you and Nancy enjoy your winter in front of your cosy fire.