Monday, October 30, 2017

Ploughing with the Outlander Again

On Friday, I managed to get both the car and the truck through about 10 cm of snow on the driveway and to the highway.  This was a good thing.

In the morning, I went to the city to do a few paid jobs for my aunt and uncle.  I took the car.

When I returned home, I touched base with KC Auto to see if they had managed to fix my ATV (or "quad" as they seem to be called here in Thunder Bay).

I received a text back that it was finished, and I promptly headed down to retrieve it.

The past two years I have been trying to safen up by using the winch to raise and lower the quad onto and off of the truck.
Still have to get it over the wheel wells though.
As soon as I had it off the truck, I hooked up the plough with some very helpful help from Donna, and proceeded to begin ploughing the driveway in anticipation of B! from Ranta Contracting coming Saturday morning to look over our ill-fitting doors.

It was the first ploughing of the season, so of course, I wanted to push the snow back as far as possible.  And of course, just as B follows A, driving off the edge of the driveway follows my intention to push the banks back further than ever before.
Always trying to push one inch further.
Luckily there are still loads of trees around to attach a bark-friendly strap to help out a fellow in need.
Strapped to protect the tree a bit.

And then a little back and forth with the comealong and we're set!
And thus, I was back to it, and really only did get stuck once - a new record for the first run of the year!


Friday, October 27, 2017

The End of The Dorks.

Kenny has been really into running and timing himself this summer.  He isn't interested much in doing it in the context of competing against other children, but he sure pushes himself!  He gets really upset if every run isn't a bit better than the previous one, even though I point out that shortcomings in my ability to press the button on the stopwatch in a timely fashion are probably much bigger influences than anything.

Lately he has also been complaining that the stones in the driveway are more noticeable and interfering with his ability to keep a good pace.

With the first snow of the season, he agreed that not only was it time to retire his Dorks not just for the season, but permanently.  I can see why he is more aware of the stones than previously!

I suppose on a ten year old who wears these things into October each year, it's understandable that they are a "consumable".

Thursday, October 26, 2017

First Snow of the Season

As Donna was leaving for work and I was waving her off from the porch, she remarked, "It's snowing!" - I of course poo-poo'ed the notion.  I was sure it was just cold rain.

And then the sun slowly rose and I realized that it WAS snowing!  It snowed lightly all morning and into the early afternoon.

After returning from a computer call down the road at a new client, Kenny and I took the time to keep up Mama's tradition of noting the first snowfall in an appropriate surface (usually the windshield of our Echo).

I snapped the following photo, but by the end of the afternoon, the table had melted in the sun, although some snow was still to be found out in the trees.
Keeping the tradition alive!
I was able to get away with only the nighttime fire when the temperature dropped to 18 inside the cabin and it was time to make supper.  It went up to 24 by the time I went to bed, but Donna reported that it was back to 15 when she woke up the next morning.

Kenny kept singing "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" due to these scenes outside.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Moon Illusion

The other morning as I was walking from the sawmill back towards the cabin, I couldn't believe how large the moon looked just above the roofline.  I snapped what would surely be an awesome picture, only to find this...

Doesn't the moon look huge?!
So what's the deal?  It was huge in my eye, but tiny in the camera?!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Humanure Hacienda Maintenance

It's really, really surprising the difference in volume of the compost pile during the winter as compared to the summer.  Last March already I was hefting the buckets well over my head to be able to get them piled on top of the existing material.  I didn't switch to the other side, and just continued piling, but then the spring arrived, the pile began to shrink, and then accelerated, and now we've spent the entire summer STILL piling on the same side of the hacienda and yet the pile is currently about three quarters of the way full.

Pragmatically though, I know that all good things must come to an end, so the other nice day, I mucked out the opposite side of the structure to ensure space this coming winter.

Backing in the ATV gets easier each time.

Making a good dent in the old pile.

You can see that the pile that was overflowing in March is still quite manageable in October.
Donna was accepting of me putting the old compost down at the start of the ravine, where things have gotten very mucky this year due to much increased traffic in that spot as I now use it as a turnaround for the ATV and trailer.

We also discussed the hacienda a bit, and I think we agree the upcoming plan for it would include putting a roof over the top of both sides to keep some of the snow out.  This would hopefully keep the pile from increasing in volume quite as quickly in winter - I believe that we are actually preserving quite a bit of snow by covering it in layers of sawdust until the summer sun can finally penetrate deep into things.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

First World Woodstove Problems

On a whim last week we purchased a 14" pre-made pizza at the store to bake next time we ran the stove at the supper hour.

I popped it onto our cast iron flat frying pan, and was chagrined to see that our oven is probably only about 13" wide.

I ended up creating two extra bread sticks to make things work out.  Oh well, I had some caesar salad dressing that I used as a dip and it was great!

Fits like a glove now!

Extra treats for Daddy, who DIDN'T need them!
I also got to eat most of the pizza, as there were a few hot banana peppers on it, and when Kenny hit one, he aborted his whole meal.

Live and learn - not only do I have to remember to avoid oversize foods in the oven, I also have to tell myself not to eat three quarters of a pizza (and some pumpkin pie later in the evening) if I want to have a restful sleep with fewer bellyaches.