The week of the pears and other Northwood tales

Filling the wood room

Just a short little post with pictures of our daily life here in the woods. 

Our tree in the living room--not yet decorated.

It’s taken us days to get the tree halfway decorated.  Last night we finally hung the star and lights and garland.  Both of our strings of colored light contained renegade lights which wouldn’t turn on, so we threw them away.  Don’t want to burn down the house attempting to utilize an old string of lights, you know.

We're slowly getting the tree decorated

 Barry announced–after hanging our white lights on the tree–“It looks like a tree in the mall!”

We’ve never strung white lights on the tree before.  A new Christmastime experience!  (What color of lights do you string on your Christmas trees?)

Wine glass stem--and stars

Barry dons snowmobile helmet to plow. Because the wind is so fierce & freezing.

We sure didn’t get lots of snow from the snowstorm last week.  Not like folks in Minnesota and Wisconsin and lower Michigan.  Although different parts of the Upper Peninsula did experience a wild storm.  We maybe have eight to ten inches on the ground.  I’m not sure. 

I was trying to estimate last night when emptying the bucket of woodstove ashes.  In the middle of the winter you sink above your knees.  Last night the official snow line was below the boot tops.

Yet another view of our "Little House in the Big Woods"

We have to get the wood room filled.  Sigh.  Kiah promises to help fill the  wood room when she’s home next week, but we’re in need of logs to burn NOW.  Barry insisted I do the easy job.  He handed the logs into the wood room and I dropped them mostly effortlessly onto the pile.  No hassle.  No stress. 

Winter chores must get done, no matter how one feels.

Pears to share

Besides that, it’s been the Week of the Pears.  One of our neighbors appeared last month selling fruit for the L’Anse Booster Club or Band or some similar organization. 

“No, I’m sorry,” I said, “my mother-in-law always sends us oranges and grapefruits.  Guess we can’t get help you out.”

She smiled sweetly.  You know, the kind of sweetly that melts your heart and makes you want to order something.

“How about pears?” she asked.

“Pears!” I said.  “That will be wonderful.  A box of pears, please.”

The pears came last week.

They taste wonderful.  They are at that incredible perfectly ripe stage.  However, how can the Drues eat 24 pears?  Impossible!

Thus, I have been giving away pears left and right.  Book club potluck?  How about some pears?  Schoolkids?  How do you like pears?  Dear friends, a pear or three?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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45 Responses to The week of the pears and other Northwood tales

  1. Sue says:

    Love your tree and lights!
    I use white lights on my tree and have since living in Germany in the 80’s. They didn’t use colored lights there.
    The pears look wonderful…..I’ll take 3 please! 🙂

  2. White lights for the first time here in Appleton. I know what you mean about the school fund raisers. A young gal in church a few weeks ago approached me about grapefruit for the Band Trip. So I ordered a box of grapefruit. Then I asked her where the band was going, Chicago,New York,Washington D.C.?? She told me Hawaii. So then I ordered a cheese and salami box. sigh…

    • Kathy says:

      You too, Jane? Maybe it’s the year of the “white lights”? Laughing at how you ordered grapefruit AND the cheese/salami box. We want those kids to go to Hawaii, right?

  3. jeffstroud says:

    Hey, getting the tree up is good! Getting the wood in is better, we could use some here too. Sharing pairs is sweet, thank you! You could make pair tart, or pear jam, etc.
    This year our tree has only white lights, trimmed down decorations as well. Hmm?

    • Kathy says:

      This all felt good to get done, Jeff. Although the tree still needs its ornaments…can’t decide whether to do that this weekend or wait until after Kiah gets here and then instruct her while lying on the couch. Mmmm, those pear ideas sound delicious!

  4. sonali says:

    Oh I lurvv your living room! classic wooden architecture. Can I have some pears please? 🙂

  5. I am a color person so our tree has a new set of LED lights in a rainbow of colors this year. You only got 10 inches? Heck I got that last night plus another 6 inches this morning. BTW, Syracuse has officially gotten 66 inches of snow this season and winter hasn’t started yet. We average 121 inches a year so we are already half way and it’s only December 16. We don’t usually get the wind you have to deal with. Barry is a smart man.

    • Kathy says:

      Scott, Barry and I had a long conversation about how we would have to buy the LED lights for next year. Do they seem much different than the old colored lights? WOW–you guys have a lot of snow! You will be buried for Christmas. “All I want for Christmas is to see outside–” As for Barry, he couldn’t believe I published that picture of him with the snowmobile helmet. But it sure helped cut the wind!

  6. emaclean says:

    Love your mittens Kathy (in the top photo)! Selbu, right? You Little House in the Big Woods is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!


    • Kathy says:

      Erin, my mom knitted these mittens years ago. They have been so long-lasting and warm and wonderful. I don’t know the pattern. I just decided to use this pair for wood-hauling because all the other mittens/gloves in the world don’t work as well. Thank you for liking our Little House.

  7. Carol says:

    How nice to see a decorated tree. Lights are good too – so I’ll be content. For this year. Without a decorated tree. But with a Lily kitty to amuse and harass us.

  8. Karma says:

    10 inches is plenty of snow, Kathy! That’s enough to get school closed for the day around here.
    I love the “slice of life” style of this post!
    How about a pear crumble or something like that? If in doubt, bake!

    • Kathy says:

      I suppose you are right, Karen. Ten inches is nothin’ to sneeze about. Glad you liked this post…I wrote so many like this in last year’s blog. I would bake a pear crumble…except I dare not eat even a Tablespoon of Oil or Fat before the surgery Monday. Sigh…

  9. flandrumhill says:

    Kathy, does your blog have a new format? (Maybe you’ve already mentioned this elsewhere). It’s very clean.

    We string blue lights on the tree and outdoors as well. Always have (even in our dreams!) Always will.

    Those pears look like they are the Anjou variety. Very tasty. Add them to an apple pie or crumble or better yet… dip slices in chocolate fondue.

    • Kathy says:

      Amy-Lynn, I did change the blog format a month or two ago. I am still not completely used to it! Blue lights? How interesting! I wish it were possible for me to eat the pears dipped in chocolate fondue. Maybe after the operation…

  10. Susan D says:

    Ohhhh, everything looks so cozy and wonderful around your digs. Why does the “every day” bring so much joy? Love simplicity. It sometimes takes a lot of work to achieve it, especially when you have to fill wood rooms and plow, and such…

    Pears are an enchanting part of Christmas … so luscious. Thank you for sharing yours. Thank you for sharing you … I love the picture of you, especially…

  11. truels says:

    I love your house, it looks so nice and beautiful, and wood is a great material for houses – we have almost only houses built of bricks or concrete.

    • Kathy says:

      Much of our house was built with wood from this local area. It is cozy–especially when the wood stove is burning in the basement. Is your house brick or concrete, or both?

  12. bearyweather says:

    I am hungry for a pear.
    Check out these recipes ( … some of those desserts look great.
    A pear smoothy … that sounds wonderful. You could always make jam….

    • Kathy says:

      Yum! Those look like a lot of good pear recipes! Pear jam…perfect idea. I think it’s time to have another pear right now. Although the keyboard may get sticky!

  13. Marianne says:

    Beautiful cozy home. Pears look yummy!

  14. Mom and Dad says:

    I like your tree & I would like a bite of that pear! Dad

  15. Dawn says:

    We have blue lights out in back, red lights out in front…white lights on tree inside…so far.

    I’ll take 3 pears please.

  16. Elisa's Spot says:

    MMMMMMMm baked pears and yams!

  17. Robin says:

    I really enjoyed the scenes from your daily life in the woods. Your home looks so warm and welcoming. The pears look delicious.

    We got over a foot of snow with the last system. It’s almost knee level for me now (with that foot on top of what we got the week before). I’m thinking about investing in snowshoes now that I’m committed to getting outside every day.

    Our tree isn’t up yet. I must (MUST) do that today or tomorrow as my sons and their families will be here on Sunday. (I’m very excited!!) Our lights are multi-colored but I can’t for the life of me remember what colors.

    • Kathy says:

      You should get some snowshoes, Ms. Robin. I would loan you mine if we were closer. We could walk in the snow together. So did you get your tree up today? I am still so happy about reading your guest blog and learning more about you. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  18. Colleen says:

    Hi Kathy, I really do love your house/home. All of that beautiful wood and the beams….it seems very peaceful.

    We (I) go overboard with tiny white lights, as many as can possibly be strung and tucked away on our tree before Rick threatens to call the electrical inspector. I would be happy with just the lights but we have a lot of family history and memories in the ornaments that have travelled with us over the years….sort of like a family scrapbook on a tree.

    I’m so glad to hear that you’ll be having a quiet and restful weekend. And would love to share a pear with you 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      The house thanks you, Colleen! It is very peaceful. Very simple indeed.

      Would love to see all your tiny white lights.

      I have been very quiet and restful. Well, got a little nervous during meditation tonight–but keep breathing deeply. That pear sharing sounds wonderful.

  19. holessence says:

    Kathy – I was traveling yesterday so I didn’t see this post. Needless to say, I’m in LOVE with your home!!!

    • Kathy says:

      Well, Ms. Laurie, you are certainly one person who is almost close enough to visit it some day! I think you would like our little house very much. It’s quiet and simple. Enjoy your time in southern California!

  20. jeff vanderhorst says:

    Hello Kathy , really enjoy your blog. We have a place on the Huron bay but only get up there infrequently, at least for now. Your post lets us enjoy all that the area has to offer if only vicariously. Here’s a recipe you may like, very simple but very tasty, Roasted Pears with caramel sauce. 4T butter 1cup brown sugar 4 pears cut in half lengthwise. 1/2cup sour cream, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. melt butter in pan in oven at 400 degrees , sprinkle in brown sugar. place pears in pan cut side down, bake until tender about 30 minutes. remove from pan , turn the pears over and baste with syrup from pan . return to oven and bake another 10 minutes or so . let cool a little bit. add a spoon ful of sour cream , drizzle with syrup from pan and top with the nuts. enjoy. goog luck with your procedure next week and have a merry christmas. jeff vanderhorst. p.s. . check is in the mail

    • Kathy says:

      Jeff, it is so good to meet you! (I just had to go to the tax program and look up your name. Will be waiting to see your check in the mail!) I love your pear recipe. Oh, my mouth is watering. The minute I can eat butter again–after surgery–I want to try this. Hope you can get up to the Huron Bay more regularly soon. If you ever want me to go take pictures of something–let me know. I will try to track it down. 🙂

  21. Gerry says:

    The Cowboy adores sugar pears. He and Miss Sadie stayed with friends while I went on vacation. Friends who have fruit trees. He found the pears buried under the snow. He has not forgotten those pears. Whenever we are on top of that particular hill, he heads directly for the pear tree, filled with hope.

    It seems that you are all ready for a lovely holiday. Merry happiness and a ho ho ho!

    • Kathy says:

      The Cowboy adores PEARS? I have heard everything now. I love your stories. I love that he is filled with hope as he heads to the pear tree. Merry Christmas to you and your fur-fellows, every one!

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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