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Showing posts from 2011

I've Been Fired!

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From the yard plowing job.  I get motion sickness at the drop of a hat, 'er snow blade.  I am alright on the road plowing stuff but zippity doing around the yard, back and forth - well I get barfy thinking about it.  We've had a little dump of snow and with a big wind behind it, snow drifts are appearing all around the yard.

Jo-Ann, tired of my whining decided she was going to do it.  Let's just say she did a better job than the last guy who did it!


Our cats really do know how to make the best of the Winter season.

Hope your making the best of yours.

Between Celebrations

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I don't know what it is about vehicle repair.  Around here we only try and do it when its cold out, preferable with a gale force wind blowing snow at the parts to be replaced, banged, or sworn at.  Not necessarily in that order.


Who would make a thermostat housing out of plastic?  Some one who works for a company that believes consumers only consume, and therfore need to make parts so they will have a very limited lifespan..
 On the Garden front, we remembered that we had left some cabbages growing in the tire garden and lifted the lid on them to find, much to our surprise:  They are still soft and pliable but looked like they had been frozen and then thawed in the winter sun.  Non the less, the piggies appreciated the bit of greenery.  One tire was overgrown with Chick Weed, and they chowed down on that with grunts of delight!
 The Green house has calmed down.  One of these days I am going to rip out the tomato plants and put in some Brassicas and mixed greens.  Still an inviting…

It's That Time Of Year Again

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I was supposed to be at the Coast today.  The Jeep continues to require new parts.  This time a distributer assembly which is making for hard starts and rough running.  Parts just came in today so here's hoping the mechanic can get it going.  If he does, and the weather looks like it will improve,  I might make the 1000 kilometer trip tomorrow.  The highways people are telling us to stay off the roads today, if possible.  Probably good advice.

The weather has been problematical:  several snow falls requiring plowing in the last couple of days,  freezing rain yesterday evening and this morning now turning to snow.  Cold days can make for some nice pics.

Of all the ways the weather can manifest,  the freezing rain crap is the worse.  Invariably it puts a film of water over the compact snow and ice.  We're talking curling rink.  Snow I can always plow,  and to see this stuff turn to the white stuff is a relief.

We have been spending days (weeks) cutting meat.

 Got a hamburger ( …

Harvest

I dispatched six pigs last Saturday and we turned them into chops, hams, bacon and sausage meat on Sunday.  I found Saturday to be very draining emotionally.  As well as a good deal of work.  Here no one scrapes the hide so we ended up skinning them.

I thought I was emotionally prepared for it.  I suppose I was in that I managed to dispatch all six.  We left two, from different, herds to breed.  Hope that works out.  I just don't like paying 85 bucks for weaner pigs.  I was as careful as I could be not to become emotionally attached to them.  No names.  Except for Lard Ass - the pig that sat to eat.  And Ms. Piggy the sow we kept.
The nice thing about being grown up is that we can eat all the ice-cream we want.  The downside is that responsibility comes with that freedom.
We do have an option, taking the pigs in a trailer for a 100 kilometer ride to a processing facility.  That's what most of our neighbors do.  They charge 40 dollars to dispatch them.  I just think it was qui…

It's That Time Of Year Again

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Not that we were totally unprepared, but it sure got cold fast. Fortunately the winter garb was never far away.  It dropped from -5C (23F )to -21C (-5.8F) overnight a couple of nights ago and has stayed frozen since.  Which has given me a few opportunities to beef up the cold weather protection.  Job one this morning is to thaw out the Jeep which froze up on the side of highway 16 last night.  Poor or non existant anti-freeze, and as it turns out a crappy thermostat.  Anti-freeze fog in the distributer cap makes for no start.


The snow came pretty much on schedule and it was time to do the first plow.  By the time I had done some commercial accounts and my neighbors and my driveway and yard Four hours had passed and the ginger anti-motion pills had worn off!



Got out these "Thrum" mitts my Wife's Aunty knitted for me.  They're wonderful and I was glad to have them with me when the Jeep froze up and I waited a couple of hours for the tow truck to arrive from Burns Lake,…

Moving On..

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Always a great idea to take to the butcher shop: Lunch and something else you just might need!

The fires are burning pretty steady now that the temperatures are hovering around freezing and below. Handy to have it just outside the basement door where we bring it in to split with an electric/hydraulic wood splitter.  Before you can say " Lickity Split" It's in split, piled and distributed to the three fires.

Jo-Ann was trying for a new worlds record, and assured me this wasn't even close to her personal best.

So far we are just burning wood in the house and green house.  In a week or so, after I do some chimney re-routing, I will be starting a night fire in the animal shed.

I don't think the animals really need a lot of heat.  Just enough to stay dry.  But I sure find it handy when I am doing barn chores!

Still have some more projects to do but most of them can be done indoors because the snow is creeping down the mountains and we even had a skim of it last night…

I Can See Clearly Now!

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I've spent the last seven days either cutting up meat or wiring houses.  Odd combination.
Fortunately I was able to do one job at a time.  Now It feels wonderful to have a "day off" and catch up on some keyboarding and projects around the place.

Cutting up my own meat has been  on my list for quite a while.  To have a cow cut and wrapped around here costs over three hundred bucks so it's quite a savings to be able to do my own.  I am fortunate in having a complete private butcher shop available an hours drive away.  So I can hang and process there in an efficient, comfortable setting.

Before I took a two day course in beef cutting I took a course in knife sharpening - another handy skill that I have had a woe full need for.  After the beef course I took another one on wild game.  As it was hunting season there were only three students.  I presume the others were busy hunting.  With only three students and one instructor it was pretty hands on - the best way for me …

Clean Sweep

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Almost.  Still have to move a camper and truck out of a snow lane.  But close.  I have been re-wiring a house for brother Tom so a bit off schedule.  Not that I am ever "on schedule".  But it progresses.  This was the view from the green house a couple of days ago:
Yes, that white stuff is the cold white stuff!  Past experience and a couple of light snow falls, coupled with predictions of a long cold snowy, el Nino, driven winter has added some impetus to the chores.  All the tools are put away.  Hoses coiled and stored in a heated basement - just in case of winter emergencies.  Fuel stocked up.  Chains checked and ready for mounting on the skid steer.  The gardens cleared and tilled.  Missing planting some Garlic.
I went to a local Art Knapps, a plant store, a week ago to buy some garlic and a few cold hardy seeds and walked into this:   A whole two months before Christmas.  I just about freaked!  This was a plant store!  Full of artificial Christmas trees and Xmas doodads. …

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down..

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There was no trumpeting, just a low rumble.  About a cord of wood or more came spilling out of the space under the veranda.  We were counting on a row of wood placed two years ago to keep a pile of wooden roller bearings in place.  Bad counting.  First one side came down.

We moved the errant wood out of the way and added a large pallet to act as a wall.  Moved the wood back.  Everything hunky dory.  Then the second bay came down.

Enough.  Trying to do things the short cut way just leads to more work.  Next year we are building an extension to house the winters 16 cords of wood.  This year, with a hard frost on the morning ground, and snow possible at any time,  we will just make do with a bearing wall we can pile the wood up against and then every four feet or so use a cross brace piller to give the pile some strength.

The lesson for me is to be aware of the voice that says: "hmmm - that doesn't look right.."  To stick with the basics.  I know,  you would think that pil…

How Much Wood...

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It turns out the answer to that is 17 1/2 cords. Probably enough to see four fires through the winter.  Some of them don't take much wood.

 Loading it and delivering it to the house is fast.



It's the stacking that takes time.
All the wood isn't going to fit under cover so some will just get stacked and covered with a tarp.

 Next years Project list includes extending a shed roof under the veranda so it's all under cover.
 A few brisk days with overnight temps approaching freezing  have added some impetus to the effort.  We have had snow on the mountains across the valley by this time.  It is not far away.

 There is a certain sense of ease and comfort in knowing this winter's wood project is coming to an end.  Just in time because the electric furnace has been running, on and off, for quite some weeks now to take the morning chill off or warm up the evenings watch infront of the idiot box.

Here's the result of trying to stack too much wood into the trailer and n…

At Logger Heads

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The sunshine holds, barring several hours lost for trips to Burns Lake for chain saw parts, the Winter Wood project continues. After a new bar and a couple of back up chains we were back up at the pond.


Using the skidsteer to drag the logs out to a flat spot for limbing and then "chomping" the logs, moving them to a cutting area where they are held up at an easy cutting height has certainly increased the productivity of the process.

One problem we didn't realize we would have is the cows, and their insatiable curiosity. We have to be extremely cautious when falling.  Some of the younger calves follow the logs as they are skidded out.  Jo-Ann is not only in charge of the skidding operation but shooing the cows away.

Another couple of days or so and Winter warmth is ours.