Saturday, 18 March 2023

Spring is gearing up and so am I

I did a bunch of canning this week. Some chicken, beans, and also broth. I did have a bit of a scare when one of the broth jars popped it's top in the canner but I did some reading and it happens some times with broth and other high water things because the jars don't cool as fast as the canner causing pressure differences. I just have to make sure broth and juice batches cool extra slowly.

I've been talking with a local greenhouse installer to get some pricing. Hopefully we can have it ready to go by the end of this year.

Gluten Free Cheese Crackers

I made some banana bread and some crackers but I didn't realise how low I was on flour so the sandwich bread, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cheesy dinner rolls, and carrot cake will have to wait until I get my hands on some more flours.

Just as the snow finished melting Tuesday, a gale blew through and tore off some more panels. It was flapping like crazy in the 100km winds to the point that I litterally told neighbours not to come down here because I didn't want anyone getting hit when one tore loose.

Thankfully the next day was warm and calm. I took down as many panels as I could get by myself and took the doors off to further reduce the wind resistance. We're planning to repurpose the arches as pergola or garden trellis posts but for now it can just sit there.

I assembled the Eglu yesterday so we're one more step closer to chickens. All that's left really is buying things. Food, ground oystershells, and a bunch of chicken first aid stuff I definitely want to have on hand before they get here. Birds are ridiculous in not showing signs of trouble until it's urgent, so I want the basics of wound care and supplies for common problems like sour-crop and bumble-foot.

Feeling pretty busy lately and enjoying every minute. Looking forward to all that spring will bring.

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

The snow stayed

The snow surprisingly stuck around this time. There's been a bunch of days over freezing but not long enough or hot enough to melt it all before another batch of snow. A kind neighbour plowed our driveway the first two times but the snow just kept coming back.

My french lessons are going well and are highly entertaining thanks to DuoLingo.

I made myself a lil checklist to manage remembering all the lil maintanence tasks the machines need.

I've been fairly busy in the kitchen. I've been experimenting with bread refilling baked beans and such.

Puttering around the house is fine by me. I'm glad to have the time to prepare for spring.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

February has been going well.

Hugslut's birthday just went by and in addition to going out for sushi, she was surprised by a few gifts.

Flowers from mumCupcakes from a neighbour's teen

I've been working on my gluten free breads and I also made a new batch of chilli.

Rustic BreadChilli with Meat and BeansSandwich Bread

This morning dumped a bunch of snow on us, but it will likely melt in the +4C rain tomorrow.

Snowy surpriseBlowing winds make empty spots.

The other day I realized that when we moved we left behind the "for guests" supplies we used to always have on hand so I made up a new menstruation station. A few more basics like toothbrushes and such should mean we're set for small surprises.

Menstruation Station.

Friday, 10 February 2023

Cold Snap

Games night went well. One neighbour and her two kids came over for some boardgames Which was lots of fun. They and the other neighbours will likely be available next time around so we'll have more folks next month. Shortly after they left Thursday night, the wind really kicked up and we got some snow.

The cold snap only lasted 2 days just like the weather app predicted so we just bunkered down for Friday and Saturday to avoid the -40 windchill. Unfortunately the partially assembled, already damaged greenhouse did not fair well in the storm. The cold and wind literally snapped two panels.

After some serious consideration we've decided to cut our losses on this project. It was designed in such a way that it needed to me put together perfectly, all in one go, before being exposed to any stresses. Our partial construction and then subsequent destruction, and re-struction(?) was not enough to make it work. 

This was our first big financial fuckup on the homestead and it hurts, but this is not a salvageable project. Instead, when the nice weather comes we're going to bring it all the way down. Then in the fall, or maybe some time in 2024, we plan to have a different greenhouse professionally installed.

Our flower bulbs seem to be doing fine, but the cold snap was the first thing to affect the garlic. They should bounce back no problem from this condition. I'm just surprised it took this much to wilt them.

We finally got around to trying some wild goose and I've gotta tell you, not a fan. It's like a weird taste combination of duck and beef with a fishy aftertaste. Hugslut said it was okay enough that she'd eat if someone served it, but she wouldn't go looking for it. Also, even though I tried my best, somehow there was still shot in it. 

I think I'll stick to farmed birds for now.

The dry air has been giving us both a hard time so this weekend we're picking up a humidifier. Hope this fixes the headaches and terrible sleep.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Decor Decisions

Our ordered furniture was delivered and we did have to fix up one of the shelves with broken a peg hole, but overall we are very happy with it. The couch is very comfortable and we now have enough seating for the next big social event.

I'm starting to think my tiredness & headaches is due to low humidity. Going to need to get a humidifier. The weather has calmed down a bunch but we're expecting a very cold snap this weekend. Low of - 20°C but just for one or two nights. Highs and lows back up over 0 by Monday. 

We're going to have some folks over for a game night tomorrow, so I figured I’d get around to finishing the bathroom wall with some primer and paint. :-)

My Duolingo french lessons are going well. Not really anything to report on that front as it's not not quite been two weeks.

Monday, 23 January 2023

I wasn't complaining.

So the past few weeks I mentioned how it's been calm... The universe seems to have taken affront to that.

In the past week, a few things happened one after the other. I'm just thankful it wasn't all at once. 

Our well pump flat out died in the middle of me doing dishes Wednesday night. I got in touch with our regular plumber and he promised to come out and fix it in the morning. 

The new pump was installed quickly and easily Thursday morning, but the priming water didn't stay in the pipe... so the plumber had to go down into the well to hail out the pipe and replace the one way valve at the end of it. He said the one way valve going out might have been the thing that broke the old pump because without it, the pump has to work a lot more often.

The new pump is a lot quieter and works well. I'm definitely happy that we got this sorted out and don't have to worry about it for years.

Friday Morning came with rain and snow, coating the world in slush. We were expecting rain, but it's gotta snow sometimes right? 

Saturday was cold enough for the view to remain snowy. The neighbours were mostly happy to see the snow since it's been pretty mild this winter so far.

Sunday was nice and warm(10C) with lots of rain. The snow melted as the rain fell, and the front yard became a puddle again. Definitely gonna need to address that with some more organic matter in the soil and some thirstier plants. The puddles do drain within a few hours of the rain stopping so it's not that it's trapped water, it just infiltrates the tiniest bit slower than the rain falls during heavy rains.

SO, Sunday night, I was feeling alright with the snow washed away and the grocery trip completed... 
and then, 
at 5pm, 
the power went out.

Seems a transformer had exploded taking out the power for 1/2 the island. The power company estimated repair by 9pm. I had been just about to start dinner so we decided to go out and hope the power was back on when we got home. I kept an eye on the power company's site and they actually had it back up and running by 6pm but we were already 30 min from home so no point turning around without food in our bellies.

Generally, we've been good. Hugslut's still having fun with the Advent of Code puzzles and I've started taking French through DuoLingo. We've both been enjoying a new computer game called Slay the Spire, and are looking forward to our living room furniture getting delivered soon. I took a nap in the afternoon today because I'm feeling a bit run down. Might take it easy tomorrow too.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Puttering around the house

Made up the new canning label design for this year.  I figure if they're noticeably different each year I wont become that lady who dies with a bunch of 20 year old jars in the pantry. 

I finally got around to patching up the gaping hole in the bathroom wall. Hopefully that will prevent a lot of the heat loss into the basement. There’s some sanding and priming to do before painting but at least it’s solid.

I even changed the wipers on the car. They’d only been waiting about a month. Lol. 

Made some bread today and also took some cookies to the neighbours that have made an effort to keep in touch. I always make too much for the two of us and it makes me happy to share a smile.