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.