Thursday, December 29, 2011

I've Been Fired!

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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Between Celebrations

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 place to sit and dream about the garden on a cold winters day.  A wonderful way to start the day!
 The puppies keep various Bothersome Bears, Wily Wolves, Conniving Coyotes, Deranged Deer, Mad Moose and of course the worst scourges: Batty birds and jet contrails,  from invading the place.  And they seem to have a lot of fun doing it.  They are doing such a good job we haven't seen a Bear since late Fall!

Hope your having a great time over the Christmas season. Peace to you and yours.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's That Time Of Year Again


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.

Easy to take apart, harder to get together..
 Got a hamburger ( dog food ) cow and a small Blue Beef one all comfortably ensconced in our freezer. The dog food cow was a gift from an organic Rancher in Vanderhoof, Whispering Winds Ranch  It had a bad foot, since healed, but was treated with antibiotics a year ago so he wouldn't sell it to his customers.  He sells all his beef, about 250 head a year via the internet and integrity is his byword.  I really admire that.









 Of course with the Jeep down we had to improvise transport to the shop.  Fortunately it was a calf:

We also discovered that half a cow in the trunk of a Ford Focus makes for dicey steering!

Working on a couple of computers for friends.  I am installing Linux Mint 12 on them.  I am trying to set up "Granny" Machines.  Simple trouble free set ups for people that don't want to fiddle with their sets, worry about virus's and can't afford to pay the Micro$oft tax.  I repair a lot of computers for people - well actually I spend 99% of my repair  time removing virus's and spyware from windows boxes.

The green house isn't doing well these days.  The problem I am having is regulating the temperature in the green house.  I know it sounds funny, especially nearing winter deep, but I heat it with wood and when the sun does come out, the temperature can soar.  I have an automatic fan installed but if it gets hot enough  (35c / 95 F)  to come on, it causes the fire to back draft, filling the place with smoke.  An installation of another fan in parallel at the other end of the green house should take care of that problem.  The other problem is the futility of trying to grow cold weather crops, spinach and Brassicas and tomatoes in the same building.  Vastly different heating requirements.  So, regretfully, that's the last of the tomatoes for a while.  Probably March or so.  By then it will be time to start the plantings for the outside mini green houses - the tire garden.

We are starting to get seed catalogues in the mail.  Jo-Ann refers to them as "Gardner Porn"!  And they do encourage some gardening fantasies!  Mmm, I can just about taste those new spuds.

Anyway I know my lucks improving: Here's proof, a piece of crispbread,  resplendent in butter and jam that fell from the counter and landed thusly - jammed side up.  How cool is that.

Hope your bread falls buttered side up!

Friday, December 02, 2011

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 quicker and less stressful for them to pass on to the great pig sty in familiar surroundings.  Eating apples.

It was quick for them - a lot slower for me.

But I don't really want to meet the person who enjoys that part of the process.. 

And have you heard of Australian Bacon.  1/2 inch strips slow cooked over the barbecue..