Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Plowing Along

I like snowplowing. I don't know if it's a guy thing - the equipment part, or the almost meditative quality of the task. It's more productive than meditating via T.V. My skidsteer is still undergoing some maintenance so I've been using Brother Tom's modern cat.  All in all by the time I get the machine back to Tom's it's a four hour job.  I probably have to do it at least ten or twelve times a winter.

Tom's machine has more power than my old girl and I can actually plow our driveway, a kilometer of it, while going uphill. Plowing the place makes it easier to get around. Getting the paths clear to the various outbuildings makes getting to the animals and plants a whole lot easier. And of course without plowing it is pretty hard to get to town. I can sometimes get out without plowing when the snow is over two feet high, but unable to get back up. I don't have chains for the truck I am using now, and while studded winter tires will get me pretty far, without the off road chains I have for the Toyota, I wouldn't make it up the driveway.

We've thought about the alternatives. Not plowing. Just let the snow build up. Leave a vehicle down by the road in an as yet unbuilt garage, and use that to get to town and back. But snow shoeing up hill for a kilometer with grocery laden packs seems like a lot of work. Another idea was to use a skidoo and trailer. But we'd have to buy one and maintain it. It's all possible. Just sometimes hard to wrap my head around. It would be great exercise. It would save about 200 bucks in fuel costs. The real problem happens when the snow melts. The mud would be awful and the run off from the melt water would probably destroy the road. In the spring when the sun is bright we've seen it wash out the bend in the road in a couple of hours.

The thing with plowing is I have to do it regularly. My skidsteer just wouldn't be able to push four foot drifts out of the way.

Still maybe I could do a few practice weeks. Without plowing. Just to see. Ah the thought of it just exhausts me.
Hope your having a relaxing time...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Full Of Hot Air

I love popcorn.  I have a bunch of boxes of #10 cans filled with popcorn.  I have a hot air popcorn machine but it is a real pain picking up the kernels that end up flying everywhere.  Ah, when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Here's a method I picked up from Wendy at her Surviving the Suburbs Blog:

Now she used a wood stove which I can do out in the green house or Barn but I tried it on our electric range and it worked perfectly.  All popped, no oil, no mess and the sieve didn't even get hot.

If you're in the mood for some hot air popcorn with no fuss or muss give it a try!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Deck The Halls

We're starting to go into a bit of a cold snap.  Yesterday when I was bidding the Barn animals good morning I was admiring the frost painting on Boose's window.

Now don't worry she's plenty warm.  That's a folded up electric blanket that she sleeps on. It keeps her butt warm and toasty.  It's good to have her in the Barn.  Haven't seen a spec of mouse crap around since she declared it her territory.  Despite lot's of feed scattered around the place.

We got a couple of more loads of wood yesterday while the sun was shining. And our nose hairs weren't frozen. This was a bug killed pine that was very branchy.  When I cut it down it lay eight feet off the ground on the branches and that took some cutting to bring it safely down to the ground.  We had to cut the tree into half so that Jo-Ann could skid them out to the path side to facilitate cutting them up.  The stump is always the heaviest part of the tree and I was dragging parts of my anatomy as well as the stump up a hundred feet of slope and down the road to the truck.

I cut trees like an amateur.  I cut the tree a comfortable three feet off the ground and then cut off the stump that remains.  Real loggers that are falling for lumber would never waste the stump and will cut it as close to the ground as they can.  Us firewood guys have it easier.  And the best part is we get to hold hands with our Sweetie Pies in the truck- with the heater going full blast- to keep their little fingers from getting frost bitten.

One of the loads was about all the truck would carry.   We're just about loaded for Winter.  But as I've mentioned before, last year the only month we didn't have a fire burning was July.  And that was probably because I was to lazy to light one! You can see the blue rings on the rounds that were cause by the Pine Beetle.  Or more correctly the blue stain fungi that the pine beetle carries.

We're still eating tomatoes from the Green house and watching a crop of lettuce, chinese cabbage and various herbs grow.  We're trying a bit of Stevia to see if we can have a bit of natural sweetener.  And this summer we may even venture into the bee keeping side of sweetness.  Several local farmers do a brisk apiary business.  I just need enough to keep me sweet all year.  That can't be such a daunting task can it?

It's that time of year again.  I know it's a silly , power wasteful tradition, but I like it and it brings out the six year old in this sixty year old.  I love brightening up the dark of winter with Christmas lights.

I had a bunch of strings of 7 watt Christmas Lights that I bought at a friends place a few years ago and was storing in the barn.  We dragged them into the light repair area ( the kitchen) Jo-Ann untangled them and I chased down shorts and broken and burnt out lamps.  A warm kitchen and several cups of tea make the chore a lot more civilized.  And far toastier..

Hope your keeping toasty.  Maybe try some raisin toast dipped in farm fresh beaten eggs..but that's another post.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Stinky Mail

That's the kind we occasionally get.  Thankfully.  The local post office phoned us and wanted to know if we were expecting a package - that smelled.  Jo-Ann's Auntie Roberta had turned us on to Oka Cheese last year so our hopes were up.  We assuaged their fears that it was a dead animal and assured them we would be in to take the odiferous package away.  There was no hiding the smell when we picked up the package. Delightful.  Home for tea, some delicious Auntie Roberta, world famous, hand made crunchy biscotti.

With a ration of Oka.  It's got to last.  At least until it's gone.  It is just nothing we can get in a local store.  I found one at the Coast but it was a pale remembrance of the real thing.  How can something smell so odiferous and yet taste so good.  It's a cheese thing I suppose.  The only other example I can think of is Durian Fruit - smells like baby poop, tastes like honey.  Don't leave it in your fridge.

Finally got a moment to fill the 45 gallon drums in the green house.  Our well is very cold and the water going in was only a few degrees above zero.  After a couple of fires now the water has risen to 10C, interesting to see how high it gets.  And how well it moderates the temperature in the green house.  It does have quite the heat sink.  Will be interesting to see how it works when we get some sun on it.

My irrigation plan for next summer includes heating a 1000 gallons of water in large plastic tanks  painted black to absorbe sunlight and pumping the heated water through the irrigation system.

I stole a reindeer today.  It just wasn't doing the Christmas thing with any enthusiasm.  Now to spend some time with the circuit checker seeing if I can brighten it up.  And of course I will return it!

Hope you get a chance to relax over the Season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dog Tired

I took the day off.  Sort of.  No falling trees - just the usual chores.  Sometimes it just catches up with me.  The doggies have been pulling a disappearing act the last little while and while they do return it sure takes them a while after I stand on the porch and call them.  I decided today to follow their tracks as we had about an inch of fresh snow last night and it would make tracking them pretty easy.  I grabbed my camel back, with its little supply of emergency goodies, decided I didn't need the snow shoes, and started tracking.  Should have taken the shoes.

Just as I started down the driveway following their tracks Xena showed up and was  happy to show me where she had been and where Cleo still was. It was like they were very excited to show me where they had been playing.

 -With the rabbits down in the Christmas Tree field and just over our West fence line.  So we ended up going for a bit of a slog up our West fence line trail and back across the snow covered pasture to the house.  It was quite a slog and there were three tongues hanging out by the time we made it back.  Every body settled down for a bit of a nap.  One of us had a cup of tea..

Tomorrow I will try it again with a set of snow shoes on.  The start of route one.  The Doggie Trail.

The local mountains looked like studies in charcoal .  It was a very sunny day.  Well appreciated after a week of overcast bleakness.

We didn't have to light a fire in the green house for the last couple of days.  At one point today it got over 40C and I had to open the doors.  One of these days I will have to get the automatic ventilator system set up.  Soon.  It's interesting that the winter temperatures, when the sun is shining is way warmer than any of the summer temperature. A function of the roof overhang.  In the summer the sun doesn't shine directly in the windows for most of the day..  In the winter it shines directly in for the entire day.  Interesting problem, keeping a green house cooler in the winter.

Hope your keeping warm and toasty and looking forward to Christmas.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Where's the Beef!

That would be a pickup truck full of meat trimmings.  It's all destined for Doggie Food.  As a matter of fact right now we have a large pot of stew simmering away on the stove.  With the additions of some green beans and carrots it's starting to smell pretty good.  No salt or spices - just good old grass fed blue beef - with a few chunks of moose meat thrown in just because they love it.  And you can't beat the price.

After   a lot of research into various dog food brands and the pet food industry in general, we discovered that it is healthier and cheaper for us to buy a cow and grind it up for dog food than it is to buy dog food.  A way cheaper.  And healthier.  And that is weird.  Do some research on what is found in Animal food - it will make you shudder.  I guess, technically, chicken feet and feathers are "Chicken Parts", slather some lard on it and dogs will eat it.  Why?  They have too.  A lot of it is just junk food.  And if you think that " they must have done the research to figure out a balanced diet for our loved pets", well, that's just advertising.  Spend a few minutes doing some online research and you might change your mind.  Dogs are wolves.  Albeit domesticated,  but still wolves. Wolves eat meat.  They don't eat rice and legumes.   

In Canada the pet food industry isn't even regulated - unless they are shipping product out of Canada.  What ever your country I'll bet you a couple of juicy steaks your packaged pet food is overpriced and not nearly as nutritious as the T.V. advertisements would have us believe.  

Here's Xena trying to figure out what that lovely smell is coming from the garage.  We had parked the truck load of trimmings in the heated garage so we could package it.

 "What no rice with this lovely flank steak? Oh, well I guess it will have to do.."
One of our non-working freezers serves us well ( in the winter time) as large chunks and marrow bone storage.  Closely guarded by the puppies.  We package the rest in recycled baggies for daily portions and keep it in the working Doggie Freezer.  Ditto with the stew after I thicken it up with some flour to make a nice gravy, we'll cool it down and portion it out for daily meals.  I am using some of our stash of freeze dried veggies in it.  Just to make sure all the vitamins and minerals are covered.  But mostly I suspect, like the dog food industry, so it looks good to me.

On a 'nother note.  I love Gizmos.  I love apples - especially the ones that come from trees without stopping in cold storage for months.  Like the kind you can pick up in the Okanagan that are also way cheaper than the wooden globes sold in the local stores.  What could be better than this Gizmo:

An apple peeler, slicer and correr.  Um what delicious fun! Takes a little practice but I get to eat the mistakes.  With a little sugar and cinnamon - devine! The pigs are crazy about the peels.

Hope you have a little sweetness in your life today!
" Can I hide this under your pillow so Cleo doesn't get it?"

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bundle up

We've come out of  two week stretch of -20.  Today it's sun and just below freezing.  A good day for unthawing the skid steer.  I have some drive problems with it and want to get it into the heated garage to work on it.  When I tried to move it the left hand side was frozen solid.  Time to bundle it up, stick on a magnet block heater, plug in a circulating block heater, battery charger and ceramic heater.

Today it's very warm.  If I can't move it I will have to resort to an old cold weather trick.  Placing a stove pipe under the oil pan and using  a tiger torch to help thaw it out.  A tiger torch for those who don't know is basically a propane blow torch.  If that doesn't work it will sit until spring - which will make plowing out the driveway dependent on Brother Tom's skid-steer availability.

We've been enjoying tomatoes and cucumbers from the green house.

 What a delicious thrill!  On a  sad note one of the cuc's has become infested with some kinda mite so it's getting outa there today. Time to get some christmas lettuce and spinach going.. But first let's get the drifts out of the driveway.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Green House Winter

 The green house makes a nice hang out in the winter storms.  Looks down right cozy at times.  We're harvesting cucumbers and tomatoes now.  Complete with herbs, like Savory and Basil.

Winter brings some wonderful sunrises.

Hope your having a fun, warm week.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stupid Is As Stupid Does...

It's winter.  It takes some adjusting.  Time to get the long johns out, find all the missing mittens, snow boots and scarfs.  Get the equipment up to winter requirements.  Oh wait, isn't that last part supposed to happen before winter really sets in.

Last night I did something so stupid I can't believe I did it.  Denial being my first form of defense.  Our Trusty 4X4 Toyota is down for an engine replacement.  We had to pick up some freezer stock from a butcher yesterday.  Of course it was -20C and over a foot of snow.  He warned us that he wasn't plowed out yet so we had better bring a 4 wheel drive.  Our 16 year old Ford Aero Star van is AWD and has great studded snow tires - but it only has a summer thermostat.  Useless in this cold.  Of course the first thing was to charge the batteries, and then we were off to Pick up the meat - the sun was out so it wasn't too bad.  But we were running late so we turned around and headed to Burns Lake where Jo had a three hour genealogy event to attend.  Coming back the sun was down and temperatures dropped.  We were both wearing full winter gear including snow boots but it was cold.  When we got home we were pleasantly surprised to find our kilometer long driveway and yard was snow plowed.  Brother Tom had dropped by with his skid steer while we were away.

Back to the Stupid part.  I had  meeting in town about 17 kilometers away but thought I would take the car as it has a better heater.  I assumed.  Didn't seem to be working all that well tho.  So I put a catalytic heater in the car.  Just in case.  Scraping and squinting I managed to travel down our driveway and onto highway 16  and made it 7 kilometers to my brothers house where I parked it.  The windshield was iced over.  The heater fan was not blowing.  I put the catalytic heater on and went in the house to thaw out over a coffee.  When I came out 45 minutes later the window was largely cleared.  I congratulated myself but thought better about continuing on to town.  Despite offers of a vehicle with working heater I thought I would just go on home and fix the heater in the morning.  About two kilometers down the highway, wind chill- even at 60 Kmh I was traveling- being what it was, the windshield iced right over.  Even the catalytic heater, which has a fan on it, couldn't keep up.  I was one of those stupid guys I always disparage driving down the highway trying to see out of a four inch sort of clear spot on the windshield. Fortunatly the rear window defroster was working admirably.  In hind site I probably should have backed up!   Limping along, pulling over when ever a vehicle came up behind me I managed to get home.  My self talk on the way up our driveway wasn't particularly helpful.  Colorful - but not encouraging.

Today I am finishing the garage dung out so I can get some heat in the vehicles.  And try and get our skid steer drive line working.  We are going to need it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Winter of Our Discontent

It was -17℃ this morning.  We're in a white out snow storm and it's starting to build.  Of course I don't have the skid-steer running or plow attached.  I've put that off a day or so too long.  Ah Winter!

I am busy right now painting a friends house in the valley and refinishing the kitchen cabinets, so that they can move in.  Brother Tom is drywalling and mudding part of the place so I have to paint around that which tends to slow the process up a bit. Hopefully I will finish that up in a couple of three days and get back to doing some work around here.  Like get the skid-steer in the garage.

Time to update the blog pics.  There's nothing green around here anymore.

 I do enjoy the winter as much as I like to complain about it.  Even this snowstorm is peaceful, quiet. It gives me some time for reflection.  Remind me of that come February when I've had enough will you.  My secret weapon for this winter is having the green house.  Nice to look out past the cukes and tomatoes and watch the snow fall. I am having lunch right now and munching on a  green house tire garden cuke.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


I got home yesterday from a quick visit down to the Coast to hold my new granddaughter.  One of the jobs on the before it snows list was  ☑ Change to Winter Tires.  Seems like there's always one job at least I didn't get done.

As we were doubtful about the reliability of any of our vehicles my Sister in Law lent me her newer snow studded tire equipped front wheel drive car for the trip.  I had swapped her mine while I was away.  The one with out the snow tires..

Today I dropped her car off and picked up mine.  Having to travel through six inches of snow on Savory road to get it to her should have got me thinking... but no.  Nary a thought as we swapped vehicles.

With Jo-Ann in the car being very quiet we managed to negotiate the place where the sun doesn't shine on Savory road up our driveway - until the right angled bend.  After a few attempts including trying to back up I had to admit defeat and we ended up walking up the hill.  Fortunately a lovely sunny day.

After some clean up with the skid-steer I got the car home easy peasy.  Now after a quick cup of tea, job one becomes get the snow tires on at least one vehicle.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Back to the Trenches

Brother Tom came up this morning and dug a trench to take a large electrical cable to the greenhouse.  This means that I can have 240 volt power in the green house. Right now it's running on a 110 volt extension cord, not the most electrically efficient method.  A small baseboard heater on a thermostat will prevent any freezing disasters.  I have a conduit run to the green house from the main house but the armored and waterproof Teck cable was too big to pull down the 50 meters of  1 1/2"  poly.  Instead we direct buried the cable and will reserve the conduit for some Cat V cable to take data and internet out to the green house.  What would a green house be without WWW and control signals?

Doesn't matter how much earth moving machinery is used, you still need someone wielding a shovel.

I kinda look like one of the Sand People on Tatooine 
The after picture.  Thanks to the excavator, skid-steer and pre-positioned back fill sand, the job only took an hour and a half.  I know it's going to take the electrician longer than that to connect both ends of the cable..
Just admiring our handiwork
That walkway to the green house looks rough but its six inches of crushed gravel on a geotextile bed.  No mud on the walk!

Now to freeze proof the waterline at the Animal Shed ( the shed formerly known as the Blue Shed) Call the electrician in to connect the cable ( and we know how slow he can be - almost as bad as the painter), Insulate the windows in the house and green house and get another three cords of wood and we're in great shape for winter.  Won't happen today.  Progress not perfection.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Painting by Frost

Our first  discussion this morning was concerning when to  light the "Big Kahuna",  our large wood furnace waiting in the basement.  Soon we will need to feed it large rounds of pine, but this morning we'll see if the upstairs heater can banish the chill.  Outside our world is  a  white painting .

 The morning fog retreated up the Eastern Cliffs revealing  a thick frost, turning  the tall grass in our yard to white feathers.  The Poplars are resplendent in their new garb, a fashionable white and grey.  Everyone is wearing it this season.  Cleo returned, somewhat quickly, from her morning walk with a tiara of snow crystals on her head   and a firm vociferous conviction that now, right this minute, it was  time to come in the house and check in with the cats.  And perhaps the state of her bed  from which she can lounge and watch the warming flames  in  the living room heater.

Some how in yesterdays pre- snow cleanup I seem to have strained my back.  Jo-Ann managed to torture a leg muscle getting out of the skid steer.  We look quite the pathetic pair, hobbling and moaning around the  still warming house this morning.

I still have at least another day before all the snow lanes around the yard will be clear of the summers building materials and  accumulated sundry items. A pile of metal ducting, sure to be of use somewhere, Pallets that need to be stored, the "some day I will need this" Piles.

 Last night it got to -11C so I imagine the piggies might enjoy a bit of a warming fire.

I am in an expectant mood lately.  Snow will soon be here and Daughter Sara's due date has passed.
We're still on the hunt for a freezer for the falls meat.

Porridge will provide a start for today.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What a Joint

Closer inspection reveals that our 1994 Ford Aerostar AWD van was suffering from a Constant Velocity joint failure.  It is our second vehicle and has taken the place of our Toyota pick up while we save some money to get it fixed.  So spent yesterday with brother Tom and a friend replacing the joint assembly.

We were outside in 5c weather and I was glad for my heavy insulated work coat, gloves,vest and thermal pants.  And very grateful for friends that are better mechanics than me.  And had the right assortment of tork, allen, impact drivers, jack stands and sundry other general hand tools it took to make the repairs.  It was quite a job and provided plenty of opportunity to wonder about the designers of vehicles.  Why they would use so many different fasteners in such ridiculously difficult places to get to.

I am starting to believe the reason for that was indeed the automotive designers revenge on mechanics after coming home to find an auto-mechanic in a compromising position with his wife.

They heavy rains have revealed that I may have been a bit optimistic in thinking I was going to have a mud free driveway.

It's a lazy dazy day with the fire singing in the living room heater and a steady rain drum beating on our metal roof. We're having a late breakfast of pancakes made from flour we hand ground from raw hard red winter wheat.

They have a nutty, fulsome flavor with a stick to the ribs earthiness.  The doggies think the pancakes with just a bit of butter and strawberry jam is just about the next best thing to cow tongue.  On a scale of 1 to 10 that's about a 20!

We've been wanting to try grinding our own grains after watching a demonstration by a neighbor.  While cleaning out a part of a storage shed I discovered a box that had a hand grinder in it.  Score!  A heavy duty, nickel plated machine that will last for quite a while.  It was made in Median  Columbia and has attachements for meat and we also think for making oats flakes.  The newspaper it was packed in was from 1973.  It had an advertisement for a hand held four function LCD calculator for $99!

Raw Hard Red Winter Wheat on the left, Whole grain, no preservative flour on the right!

 We bought a bag of Oats and will try that experiment later.  Hope you had a restful weekend.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blog Change

So somebody in China has figured out how to get past word verification to dump a whole pile of crap on my blog.  So you don't have to read this junk mail I have implemented the review before posting option.  Hope that cuts down on the crap.  I am not sure of how it was done.  Maybe a simple cut and paste.  Hard to believe somewhere on this planet there is someone who is making money by pasting spam to Blog posts.

Where will it end.    Sometimes I just hate the WWW.  

Spent the last couple of days making two trips to Prince George to pick up a free freezer in order to store  dog food ( variety cow. ) On the try yesterday our Van crapped out - possible CV Joint- and we had to limp home sans freezer.  Today the truck we borrowed lost its turn and brake lights- fortunately simply a blown fuse.  This has been a tough year on us vehicle wise that's for sure.  And as it turned out the "free" freezer was a small one not the 21 cubic feet one we were counting on.  Ah well the free freezer  only cost us about a hundred bucks in gas..

Maybe the Amish with their one horse powered buggies have something..

Perhaps the pets would enjoy smoked meat..

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Canned Dog

They piggies are slurping up goodies like cheese, mashed potatoes, apples and Cream that come in number 10 cans.  The dogs favorite is the Cheese.  Cleo demonstrates the proper method of getting that last tender morsel from the can.
Oh, Man! This is Goooood!

While checking in with the piggies and chicks this morning I noticed that the window Boose, the cat looks out of was broken in and her cat box and flowers had been overturned.  she was sitting on a chair looking most disgruntled and couldn't wait to get back to her luxury, electrically heated, catnap pad.

Come on Dad!  The draft ruffles my coat!

This was a very old window that was broken.  I just fixed it up with some caulk and a piece of plastic.  I couldn't help but admire how the window was built.  The craftsmanship of the putty holding the glass in place.  The little diamond metal points that secured the glass while the putty set up.   I don't know how old this window was but something tells me it could have predated me.  I tried to fix up a puttied window last year and had a hard time finding the putty.  I wonder if the new high tech, triple glazed, high e, argon filled window I put in the kitchen will hold up for sixty years.  I doubt it.  It seems we don't buy anything today.  We just rent it.  Or make payments on it.  What, in todays, world of toss away consumerism,  is made to last? Oh yah, payments..

Got the side landing and skirt insulation installed in the Green house.

 Even managed to spread a few loads of nice crushed gravel so walking to the Green house isn't an exercise of wearing ten pound mud laden boots during the wet times.

 Like now and in the spring.

We're  waiting for the cucumber harvest to start in the green house.  So far they seem to be doing well: this one looks about supper..

Hope you don't get in any pickles that can't be solved with a fork this week..

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Trimming Down

Well, up and sideways.  We got the barnwood trim done on the front windows of the Green Haus.  Looks nice and makes it more weather and water proof.

 If I get a couple of warm days I may even be able to do some caulking.  I also managed to gravel the path to the G'haus and a camper parking pad.  Complete with geo-textile that a  friend dropped off. The next action is to finish insulating the skirting around the Front and sides ( the backs done) and then move inside for window covers and thermal shades.  O.K.  Those would be second hand quilts from Value Village in Prince George - but they all match - and the price was right.  Just need to invent some kind of pulley system to get them out of the way to let the Sun in.

A friend let us use his dumping trailer so we spent three days dumping our pit gravel on the soft spots on our driveway.  After thirty five loads and a day of grading with Tom's skid steer we have an all weather, mud free drive.  A big cornerstone and job off the 2 do list.

Our Piggies are growing like gangbusters. Slurping up Pig rations and reconstituted freeze dried food.  Their favorite  so far is cheese with mashed potatoes and some salad oil on the garden greens.
You want a piece of me?? That would be Sweet Cream all over the face...

They have developed a rash which was causing them to itch which the Vet says is "Greasy Pig".  The solution is to give them a couple of shots.  One to deworm and parasites and a series of five of penicillin.  We're learning Pig Jujitsu the hard way.  A twisted little finger, skid-marks on an elbow, Jo-Ann's right pointer finger had a nail ripped off.  My pride is a little damaged but not as bad as the piggies.  We tried a new technique today by using a piece of plywood to work them into a corner, and it was more effective than charging around the pen after a couple of porkers with their pig sirens going full blast.  We're having a cup of tea now to wash down the ibiprofin.  The pigs are enjoying some stove top soup and spuds with Garden greens. The sun is shining, it's a beautiful Life.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Take a Side

Or siding.  Blessesd with three days of warm sunny weather and the arrival of a willing friend we managed to complete the outside framing, add insulation and siding.

 Of course we had to have a few coffee breaks to discuss job progress.

The siding and two by fours and insulation was salvaged from a house that we tore down this summer.  Diverted from a landfill or burn pile.

The insulation is now up to R50 and the way the wall is framed there are thermal breaks between the insulation inside and outside.  It has made a huge difference in temperature.  With the HPS lights burning it was -2 outside and 18c inside.  And that's with out having the 45 gallon drums all full.

Now we are trimming the windows and doors with one by Barnwood.  Mostly 6 1/2 inches but some of it 13 inch planks.  It will probably have to wait until a warm spring day before it gets stained.

To celebrate we took a day off and went on an Agate hunting trip.  The Volcanic strata around here is a boon to rockhounds.  Replete with agates and even opal.  The vistas are pretty easy on the eyes thats for sure.

The Dogs loved the "Big Pond".  Xena even went swimming after sticks.  Cleo roared around like  hippo snapping at waves. Lot's of exercise for them.  We weren't the only ones sleeping like babies that night.

Something about being in the outdoors just goes to my head.

Heres an Agate in situ.  Tough to get out but worth the effort.

Some of them have a beautiful blue iridescence to them.

Winds up, weathers warm, time to slop the hogs( Well sweet corn them..) and complete the trim on the green house.  Hope your having a week that warms your heart.