Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's That Time Of Year Again

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, 52 kilometeres West of where I broke down.. With out my cell phone.  Thankfully I was wearing my heavy duty surplus Canadian Armed Forces winter parka.

We are getting ready to harvest six hogs and 19 Roosters.  Tomorrow we'll be helping our butcher friend slice and dice a couple of cows and a lamb.  All good practice.

Now to thaw out the Jeep, which is languishing at my Brother Tom's place with a tarp over it and propane blower heater telling it Spring is here..

This is Maya, a friends of ours dog, who proclaimed my lap a perfect place to snuggle in while we watched the fire vision..  

Hope you have a warm lap to snuggle up in!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Moving On..

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.

 Moved the Garden tool shed over besides the East side of the green house and installed a deck.  With the addition of a ramp it will make a handy addition to the Green House set up.  We can store all the pots and potting paraphenalia in the storage shed clearing the green house for more plants.  The tomatoe's we planted last year are still growing and blooming.  Fascinating to see how long they will go before giving up the ghost.  One of the plants had really small fruit and it may be time to dig it up and start fresh.  We also have an assortment of flowers and herbs and Musclin and Spinach on the go.  A real nice place to hang out when the winter chill is about.
Of course the foremen, er - forgurls took all the credit for keeping the pesky crows from interfering with the project and waited patiently by to give the new deck a try out.

Notice the Red Neck recycled wood boxes? And those things on my feet.  Yup, time to bring them out.  This was the first day this season I wore them and a winter coat.  All the winter apparerel are making their way out of storage and onto the clothes hangers near the door.  Well except for the long johns - that would be unseemly..

Ah, nothing like a nap infront of a cozy fire to round out a day! Hope your day ended in a snuggle!

Friday, November 04, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now!

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 to learn.  We had a freezer full of meat and so I came back for another day as apprentice.  Great experience.  And then got to do a Moose and deer my Niece had got, all by myself.  Slower than molasses.  It took me a full Six hours to cut and wrap.  But Ive still got all my fingers.  My Grand niece has a lot less room in her freezer, and our doggies love the ground trim and sawed to gnaw size bones.

In a couple of weeks we'l be processing six pigs.  I am looking forward to making our own bacon, hams and hopefully, if time permits Mennonite sausage.

I lit a fire in the green house today as it got down to 11℃  (52 ℉) inside, freezing out side.  I could hear the plants going "Ahhh".

Working on making permanent temporary window inserts to cut down on the heat loss.  I used very light gauge heat shrinked window plastic last year but it damages easily. This will be a more permanent, and probably more thermally efficient with heavy duty clear plastic and foam trim all around the perimeter.

But first I need to go find the septic tank.  Time to get it pumped before winter freeze up starts.  The snow is just edging down the side of the mountain across the valley which means it is days before it is here.

Hope your week is going well.