Showing posts from 2006

Christmas Day

Found a couple of old friends in the basement.

I had thought that the bindings would have deteriorated like Jo-Ann's but they hadn't so I got to take them out for a spin today. Up to Grandma's then right along the ridge line where the moose have been hanging out and then back to the house. It was pretty apparent that I was shushing through their living room. Lots of beds. And Moose poop. Moose beleive in onsuite plumbing.

What fun. A pre-emptive strike at the Christmas Turkey Jo-Ann and I were planning for supper. Didn't work. I am sitting here in a stupor. Turkey overload.

Got some neat loot for Christmas. A Mike Holmes autographed book and Some Mike Holmes coveralls. I put them on and had to stop myself from ripping out all the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom.

Hope you are having fun too.

Window Trim

Finished a nice little project I've had on the burner since before the shop collapsed. I am really starting to like the Barn Wood. Not finished, just left like it came off the wall. Well these pieces came from a door on one that was hanging there on one hinge. I managed to save the hinges too. This is the window in the upstairs library area. I had taken the window framing off in order to seal around the edges with spray insulation as there was a heck of a draft on this West facing window. Now with it sealed and some stretch plastic over the glass it's warm as toast. I still have a few more windows to do. But will probably wait untill I erect scaffolding so I can paint all the fake wood paneling. Or ..?

We spent yesterday decorating the Hall for Tiny's Christmas eve.

It was always a tradition in my family to have Christmas on Christmas eve. Maybe because the kids could stay up late and not have to get up at 4:00 am to open presents. Tom likes to invite some of the old timers …

Up to my Ass....

....In Snow. Must remember for next year:

1) Pick out Christmas tree in July and tag it
2) Make sure it's not too far from road
3) Wear snow shoes ( if snow is up to Butt )
4) Don't invite a Dog that likes to bite shoes and runs around going " Ha Ha, look how much better four legs are than two", and: " Hay, let's go say hello to Mrs Moose. She went that a way"

Anyway, time for a cup of tea, change the pants, and go charge the batteries in the sawzall so I can trim the thing.

Weird thing about Christmas trees. Did you ever notice how much smaller they are when they are standing in the wild? And then they grow when trying to get them through the door. Check out the Missez Blog for pictures of the adventure.

Hope your Christmas is going well.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I have been doing a survey this year. When ever I get a chance I say it to people. Just my way of protesting the Happy Holidays politically correct idiocy. It's amazing how many peopl…

Ladies "Wrasslin"

Jo-Ann mentioned on her Blog that we were trying to humiliate the dog with the usual Christmas flashing reindeer lights. Here's how we did it. No dogs were hurt in the makeing of this embarrasement.

We bought a pack for her( Xena ) when she was just a puppy and we put that on her also. She didn't mind it too much and kept it on for an hour. When I went outside she came with me and discovered a strap was hanging down - and that was that.

Anyway doesn't she look like she's just ready to deliver Christmas presents. I beleive she was singing "Xena the red nose reindog" at the time...

On the Case

The Case skid steer that is. Tom came up and we replaced the battery, fuel pump, swore a lot, got the throttle working and spent the rest of the day play-er clearing the snow out of the yard. Good thing to. When I look out there this morning I can see that about a foot has come down and it has been drifting. You can hardly see what I cleared out yesterday. Hopefully the snow plow will be back up again today.

And then Christmas lights. I put a new GFCI circuit at the bottom of the house so that I can string them along the front fence line. Better than a bunch of extension cords from the deck outlets. I beleive they were wired in wrong anyway. If I use them I break the microwave circuit. Time to do some re wiring. The Microwave needs to be on its own circuit anyway. Certainly not a GFCI circuit. But it's broken now. Fortunatly we have a spare in the basement.

Sanctum Artimus

Yay! I got the shop powered up and heated yesterday. Just in time for another foot of snow to fall. Well when it comes off the roof it won't hurt anything this time. It sure was nice to get the fire going ( it uses electricity for its fans ) and watch the place dry out.

Today I will add a few more circuits and a GFCI circuit under the front porch to power up the fence line Christmas lights.

The plow guy just drove up and did our driveway so I shouldn't have to put the chains on. It has been touch and go the last couple of days with the temperature hoveing just above zero and the driveway covered with ice and water and slush snow on top of that.

My brother Tom phoned a couple of days ago and said he had an "old thing" he got from the dump for us. Here it is:

I don't think it is playable but it sure is neat. And I don't play the violin yet anyway.

There is some sun shining through today. With all the fresh snow on the mountains it sure looks awesome.

Mike Holmes would not approve

So I have the Blue Shed back weather tight. Tomorrow, God willing and the snow doesn't fall too deep, and I can find a 3/4 to 1" reducer I will have the panel back up (the right way - so I'm not embarassed if any of my Electrician friends drop by) and power back to the shop.

I found out what caused the service to get ripped right out of the wall. Yes it was the snow that pushed it but it was dry rot that was the problem. There's a reason Mike Holmes fixes so much problems caused when the vapour barrier gets put on wrong. This shed is a great example of the wrong way to do it. The vid below shows the details. Remember the vapour barrier goes on the warm side of the wall. Or the condensation will wreck havoc. Eventually.

Really looking forward to getting the shop back up and running. I have a few Christmas projects that need a "gettin" done.

Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward..

We've had snow drifting over the top part of the driveway so it was time to call the snow plow in. Just the small one, no need yet for the grader. The weather has really been warming up. Today, for example, it's hovering just a bit on the minus side of zero, with a freezing rain last night. Well the little warm up sure made the road slippery after the freeze up. I always now the roads bad when I see the plow guy trudging up the road. He's stuck. So I put on the chains and pull him out so he can do the rest of the road. I am trying to talk him into getting a set of chains but I guess there a pain for him to put on everytime he comes off the highway.

Here's a vid of the pull.

He had gone off the road into the ditch and got high sided. I had to pull him quite a way down the hill to free him up. Right after that he went up the hill and I went down to turn around. We met at the spot he was stuck in and I tried to drive around him. And of course, drove right in the d…

Ice Station Zebra?

Well no. Just returning from Grandma's. Got heat tape on the pipes, fixed some burnt up wiring in the crawlspace so now we have some heat via baseboard heaters there. Just turned them on low to keep the frost off the inside of the building. Tommorrow with any luck I will be able to go to Vanderhoof to pick up some electrical connectors so I can use some Tek cable to get my shop powered back up.

Well no time to daly. Have to drop by the Hall to load up the pellet furnace and then off to a meeting in Fraser Lake.

The Lights On But Nobodys Home

Well, I just thought it looked "Homier" with the light on. I am sure Grandma appreciates a little light on the subject.

I got the water flowing last night. It was under Grandma's house --just not where I thought. It was on the other side of the house. I manage to get it un thawed and we now have running water. Amazing how we take the simplest things for granted. Until we can flush the toilet..

I'll have to go and make some permanent repairs today. Well enough to get us through the winter. Next summer I need to bury the lines instead of leaving six foot chunks exposed. For now I will put some heat tape on the exposed parts, insulate them and put a heater in the crawlspace. I need to do some electrical work underneath also. I discovered a box that has some burnt up wiring in it. I am also going to put a 220 volt heater in the upstairs part of the house just to take the chill off. I am sure Grandma ( not to say the packrats ) will appreciate it.

Why I should cut wood in the summer

It's -25c the taps are wide open but no water comes out. Frozen solid. I think the problem is with a six foot stretch of pipe that is exposed under Grandma's house.

It's been on my "to fix" list for ever. I put some heat tape on it about five hours ago and tomorrow I will install a bigger electric heater. And hope. If that doesn't work it's drag a paint sprayer up there and try and shoot hot water down the lines. The water line is about a quarter mile long from our well under grandma's house and then down to the main house. So it could be anywhere but Grandma's is the place I would bet on.

My neighbor Audrey, says she has noticed that problems with plumbing here are always conducted when it is -20 or colder. Just something we do here. I think it's just because I won't listen to that nagging voice - or review the nagging to do list.
----And that after a career of doing maintenance work. Progress to be hoped for. Perfection never.

I finished the painting job so now have some time to play wi--er work in the yard. My brother Tom came up and dropped a bobcat off for us to use. He makes it look easy. When I use it it's a little more jerky operation but I am starting to get the hang of it. It can sure move a lot more snow in an hour than I can with the snowblower or shovel. It's down to -14c here and we certainly have the furnace going all the time. I am hopeing it snows some more to cover up all the dirt that I dug up while practicing with the Bobcat.

Here's a video of Tiny showing me how a pro uses the BobCat. Actually it really shouldn't be called a BobCat as that's a trade name for a similar machine. I guess calling it a Case Skid Steer while more accurate, isn't that helpful tho. He's moving the snow away from the blue shed so I can get at it to make some repairs.

In the vidio you can see the service stack being removed from the snow. We found out why the stack came down whe…

Powerless at the shop

The before:

The after:

Well at the blue shed. So much snow came off the roof that it pulled the service stack right off the building. Must be a reason the electrical code says you can't put service stacks where snow loads can slide into them. We had some very high winds here and that probably contributed to it. It pulled it right off the shed, split the wall and just about pulled the panel through the wall.

Heres a closeup of the damage.

Lots of work to fix that one up. I will have to straighten the service pole and take a teck cable run underground to the shop. Of course that will entail moving about 12 tons of snow. And rebulding the wall, and ..I don't have the time right now as I am in the middle of a painting job. Oh well. Tom brought his bobcat up and left it here so I can have something more powerful than a speeding bullet--well a snow blower anyway, to clear the snow from around the building. And just when I got the airtight heater all fixed up and working.

It sure is nice…

Snow what's new?

OK, we have a plan now. Managed to get the snow blower going. And had the local road maintenance company YBR show up with a chain equiped grader and dung us out all the way around the round abought. Sure makes getting in an out a lot easier. Didn't need chains to get to town yesterday. I managed to tunnel into the storage shed and the Blue workshop shed with a combination of snowblower and shovel. I got a fire going in the workshop's airless heater and it warmed it up quite nicely. I needed to get into the storage shed to load all my painting supplies as I have a couple of painting contracts to do.

Today were going down to the hall to get it ready for a new pellet furnace. And probably snowblowing the driveway around the house as it's snowing again.

A Way Out

All righty then. The fellow with the snowplow showed up today and we managed to get the driveway cleared. He really did have to work hard to get it done. Basically he had to ram his way through until he got stuck and then I would pull him out with the Toyota. It's clear enough now that I got to go to town and came back - without having to put the snow chains on. Such freedom. The weird thing was it snowed so much,so fast, that the ground under the snow wasn't frozen. So basically the driveway got plowed and sanded. I will still have to clear a bunch of broken and bent trees from the sides of the driveway.

Tomorrows project is to see if I can get the snow blower working so that I can clear some paths and get the yard passable. I notice it has started to snow now so we will see what the morning brings.

Power to the People

And phone too! Came on about 2:45 pm. I went to the can and unconciously flicked on the light and voila, illumination. Cool. Well actually it's warmed up to -5c. It's starting to get dark outside so I think I will wait till tomorrow to get the snowblower going. It has nothing to do with the fact that its under a 10 foot snowdrift.

I will put all the cooking stuff and lanterns back in the emergency box. But maybe leave the extension cords out for a while just in case.

Woo hoo, I have power to the blue shed. Time to install the workshop lights so I can build the storm windows..


Now the Missus thinks I was just out having fun. Well I am glad I did the ram snow plow method before the snow started to freeze up. I would have a lot of difficulty doing that now. But, yes it was fun. It is amazing what the Toyota will push with the off road chains on. The off road clutch is a big help too. Found that out when I pushed the snow down to Savory road and then attempted to come back up. Up hill. Redline in first gear all the way. Don't think I'll try that again.

Well I think I will shut down, go out and see if I can recondition some old gas I have and fire up the snow thrower. One kilometre of driveway will take a while. But what else do I have to do. Don't see the snow plows coming up here for quite a bit.

They are really concerned about all the moose hunters that are out in the back country around here. Getting those roads open will be the priority.

If I get the gas working were good for another couple of weeks. If not I go out and come back by sn…


Using a coal oil lamp to see the keyboard. Now isn't that hi tech. We had a huge snow dump over the last four days. No Hydro, No Telephone, and no plowed driveway.

No one around here can remember such a snow storm in October. By the time it was finished, presuming it's finished for now, there was close to four feet of snow on the ground. The fence line around the place only has the top strand showing. The highways were closed down for a couple of days and Savory road, our connector to Highway 16, was just plowed one lane wide. Don't know what would happen if two vehicles had to pass. I guess it's fortunate that not many people are up and about.

We have to wait for a snow plow and don't know how long that will be. It could be a week. I put the off road chains on our Toyota and made it the kilometre down our driveway to Savory Road. I was pushing snow all the way. Fortunatly it was down hill. I had to stop every 100 feet or so and cut trees off the road. T…

What? Me worry?...

Found this beauty in the Barn. I think they were all dead but just to make sure I treated them to a taste of chemicals that will ensure I will never get my organic gardening certificate. For like the next hundred years. The hornets have been out in droves this year. My daughter Treena found out the hard way that Hornets have a nasty disposition. That nest is no longer habitable.

Today I continued cleaning out the pole barn.

Getting my shit together, as it were, and putting it with the pig poop.

Another couple of hours Ok five or six and I should have it pretty spicky span, ready for a bunch of lumber and barnwood. And then onto the shop for wiring, lighting and making storm windows for the main house.

It was Jo-Ann's day off so I suckered her into helping me. She spent the day removing catches and hinges from a pile of old cabinet doors and storm windows. Some more valuable free stuff!

It Came From Beneath The Earth!!!

Actually it was growing in a clod of dirt on top of the Garden. Looks like I beheaded an alien with my new alien head chopper. ( a large skinning knife Jo-Ann brought me.)

It has been tentativly identified as a mangalore:

Weirdest turnip I have ever seen. Have a large crop of them still to dig up, also some parsnips, beets and brussels sprouts. Alas, the Yukon Gold potatoes are no more. Next year I will have enough to make it through till Spring.

Still dunging out one of the pole barns to make a lumber and barnwood storage area. the one was used for horses and had a couple of inches of horse manure mixed with straw over the hand hewn floor. I am packing that all out and mixing it with some well composted piggy poop. The garden will love that stuff. It will be snow soon and I don't want to leave several stacks of rough wood and barnwood out over the winter. One of my projects is to build a solar kiln to dry the wood down to 9 or 10 percent. Basically it's really just a green house…

Cracked under Pressure

I have decided to try out home canning. Ever since I canned a jar of crabapple jelly ( er..crabapple syrup) I decided to learn more about it. Low acid, High acid, my, my, there's a lot of ways to get botulisim. But I am going to try and avoid that. Hence the pressure canner. What a heavy duty, precision ground apparatus. I just love the idea behind canning. Making your own food and keeping it. I was wondering how much of our food just gets stored in the fridge a while and then thrown out. Just seems like a big waste of resources. And besides I get to decide what goes in the cans. Like a lot less salt. Next year: bigger garden, cold storage, and a place to store canning.

Somethings happening to me lately. I guess the idea has been lurking around my head for quite a while. About using resources more responsibly. This redneck is a born again Hippie. Jo-Ann actually caught me perusing a web space called tree hugger. I was looking for information on our wood furnace. Hone…

Frost on the Pumpkins

Well OK, we don't have any pumpkins this year. But we do have frost. Yesterday a huge black cloud moved in from the West. I was watching it, the wind rising, which is a sure sign of a storm and I decided to cut the weeks kindling supply under cover of the veranda. In the nick of time. First came a hailstorm which turned the ground white, then it snowed - which didn't stick. And then out came the sun, for a brilliant but cold,well 4C day.

I am in the process of getting in the winters wood. Fortunatly I have lots of wood on the property and my brother's log home business creates lot's of first class, debarked, pine.All of it Bug Killed Great for using in the house - no fuss no muss.

But it has to be split. I overdid it yesterday, my zeal increased by Mother's display, and by the end of the day my arms felt like rubber. I have a number of different tools for splitting, axes, splitting axes, and a sledgehammer and splitting wedge. the wedge is the one that gets …

Of Cabbages and Kings

Well I certainly feel like a king! This year was our first garden and we're eating out of it. I made a few mistakes - like not planting early enough and not getting enough straw for the spuds but stuff worked out so well that I am going big time next year. I want to be able to feed ourselves from our own place. It'll be mostly root vegtables and a porker and some beef.

Hope to get the hot box going this winter for some mid winter fresh treats.

Rocks in my Head

One of our retirement dreams was to go camping in our Boler and rock hound. We've been so busy with stuff we haven't had much time to do that. When some friends of ours, Ernie and Bev Olynik, dropped by and asked if we would like to go on a camping and rockhounding trip with them to a local area we jumped at the chance. I orginally thought that we were only going for a couple or three days. Well we were having so much fun and enjoying the scenery so much I couldn't drag Jo-Ann away and we spent a week out in the bush - till we ran out of propane.

Kinda need that now that it's starting to snow at the higher elevations.And were getting a little wary of all the Moose hunters that were out on the weekend. When the logging rigs are not using the roads.

Ernie has this great boat - kinda like a landing craft. I felt like we were storming the beaches of Normandy as we explored Cheslata lake. Five of us and Four dogs.

One of the days we spent checking out sites high above Cheslata…

Whack Job

I spent the last couple of days staining a log cabin on Francois lake. Million dollar view. Nicest ride to work I have ever had. Well with the possible exception of the day I retired from the City.

Our friends the Reids dropped by last night an left me a weed wacker. On steroids. This one could whack an acre an hour. Which is the kind of cutting power I need around here now that we don't have the cows munching the lawn around the house. All four acres of it. It was a thank you for helping them with their big 50th bash. Really over the top generous of them. And very much appreciated.

Here's a photo of my new best friend:

I was out cleaning out the Boler for a rock trip. A mouse had been in there and sampled every paper item to see if it had R40 insullation value. Winters comming. Man they can sure make a mess. I will have to put a live trap in there. They seem to be a sucker for it. It even captures multiples of them. I don't know what the mice do, you would t…

The Community Hall Job

We've been spending the last Four days painting the community hall. We've managed to get some money from Thompson Mining, a local, civic minded mine. That helped us fix the roof so that we could proceed with repairs as time and most importantly, money, allows.

We've painted the worst of the outside walls and will be finishing the inside, main hall ceiling today.

Our neighbors, the Read's and 400 guests will be using it this weekend to celebrate Audrey and Walters 50th wedding anniversary.

We're also looking forward to three friends or ours coming up this weekend to spend some time with us.

Here's a picture of the worst outside wall - of course the one you see when you drive into the hall yard. Will post some update after pictures when I get a moment.

Back Home

Had a bunch of company over the last week. A couple of sisters and husbands, my daughter Sara and her husband Kevin and my daughter Treena. We left the "kids" alone with Xena for a couple of hours while we went to town. They took her for a walk up to the pond where she demonstrated how good mud is for the complexion. Kevin decided to hose her off when they got back to the house. I don't know where that hose is going but Xena sure looks impressed!

What a blast we had. One of our adventures was a 60 kilometere bushwack on ATV's. What an adventure. We found a route to a local lake that I can get to from my back pastures.I even discovered that my Dog Xena likes to go for ATV rides.I finished painting the sides of the house with by brothers Tom's help and am now working on the safety system and pressure washing and acid etching the roof in preperation for painting. I am running out of "Safe" days to paint as it needs to be above 13 degrees for three d…

Why do jobs always take longer than we think?

So we ended up down at the Coast painting the trim on our rental place down there. Boy, railings are a bitch. Next time I am going to try a paint glove.

It's been a really bizare weekend. let's just say relatives and drugs don't make for great traveling companions. I sure appreciate all the sober, loving people in my life. Can't wait to get home we will have a bunch of visitors and a really great time - complete with mega barbeques.


Spent the last couple of days painting the top portion of the main house. Not making any money on this job. It's been very windy, with the occasional rain shower so I have to pick my times carefully. I am using an acrylic latex and have to make sure that the weather stays above 11 degrees for a couple of days. I know when I used the same type of paint and primer on the windows last year I didn't pay attention to that and now I have to scrape them off and start again. I will be using an oil based paint on them this time. The "shingles" are actually aluminum siding and the roof of course is metal with baked on finish. I guess someone had a big sale on siding about thirty years ago. I have to treat the roof with muriatic acid and pressure wash first to get rid of any rust and chalking. It will sure look a lot better. We've been having a debate on which colour to paint the lower gable roofs - same as the siding or green like the roof will be. Jo coloured in…