Back to work

I didn’t do much in the way of projects last year. This was partly a COVID thing but not entirely. The things that caused this are beginning to rectify themselves. While certainly not totally resolved they have righted enough for me to get back to work.

And there is lots of work.

First up is another flagstone patio. I find these are getting easier to do as I get more experience with them but still not my favourite job. Better than stone walls, but only slightly. Rock days are hard days, and I go home stiff and sore and my back complaining each time.

You may recognize the stone wall. We did that one last year as part of a pond build.

Running concurrently with this one is the long delayed (at my request) bathroom reno. I got started on that one yesterday. New heated floor and tiled shower replacing the old tub that was there. Like in any case when you open up walls or ceiling or floors you take care of any other issues you find at the same time. For this project that means dealing with ants and bad insulation and replacing a couple of interior stub walls.

Tear out started

Finally there is the new greenhouse. We’ve been collecting the materials for this and now have all the pieces we need. Spring has sprung so there is a bit of pressure to get this one going. Not sure how I am going to to squeeze it in. I don’t want to put it off so we may have to do some split days ahead.

Quiet Days

As we approach the shortest day I get less and less done in a day. Probably pretty common especially for us without office or indoor jobs. Heck without jobs at all.

With all that has been going on I have been turning down all opportunities to work on indoor jobs. Outside by myself is the current rule. I get enough sketchy exposure time getting groceries, thank you.

I did manage a quick turn around the yard the other day. The garlic is up about 3 inches. Cool. We are just now coming into frost days, and no snow so far. Not sure if that makes any difference. I’m new to growing garlic.

Spent a crap load of money on the vehicles in October and November. I was hoping that would be it for a while but I know it is not. The BMW will need brakes all around in the spring and the Chevy has a suspicious belt/pulley sound starting. May be a new alternator or water pump in my future.

With not much work to be done you might think I was in the shop. Nope. Haven’t been in there in weeks. I am not feeling it right now. I have a few projects I would like to make but frankly each day I could go over there I simply can get up the gumption to go. Now with Christmas getting close I find I would rather sit in front of the fire or try to find new recipes. Recipes are a thing now. We made major changes to our diet this spring and most of our old favourites are now verboten. Especially baking recipes. I am trying a lot of vegan baking recipes. So far the opinion is that vegan baking sucks ass.

Shorter days

We have really noticed the days getting shorter. Soon the rains will start, marking the beginning of another puzzle season.

We have decided to try our hand at winter gardening. Nothing too ambitious. This fall it will be just some garlic. Garlic is a very popular crop around here and there are a couple of farms growing it commercially. In fact the garlic grown here is considered by many to be quite superior.

Since the summer garden is still in the ground I decided to build a new bed for this. Closer to the house and lower to the ground. COVID has driven prices up on many materials, wood and soil bing two significantly impacted items.

To make space the haskap experiment is coming to an end. They plants were not thriving or fruiting. Kelly was ready to pull the pin last summer. I convinced her to give them one more summer. That summer is now over – out they come and in goes the new winter bed.

Catching up

The last two weeks have been the nicest (aka hottest) days we have had all year. It’s like summer is a month behind schedule. Better late than never.

We have been using the time to catch up on some of our outdoor projects. Specifically I have been prepping and restaining our deck and Muriel’s decks. That’s about 7 days of work. Bleh.

The hot weather is also causing a lot of watering need. Lots of new planting this summer that require frequent watering as their roots are still establishing. I have about given up on the native mock oranges though. This is their third year and they just refuse to establish and grow.

On the ‘not chores’ side I finally insulated and IR coated the forge! Big yay there. I need to weld a bit of pipe to act as a burner mount and it’s ready to light. Can’t wait.

Probably need to go back to work for a few days soon. Both vehicles need some work. Bills bills bills.

Patience rewarded

Four years ago we planted our first fruit tree. It was a little twig of a dolgo crab apple. Since then we have planted three pear, a plum, seven Saskatoon, four apple, two blue berry, four haskaps, two peach, three cherry, a huckleberry, and a nectarine.

All of these have been small. The apples were just whips. The berries are maybe six inches tall. Some of these have fruited including the pears, the blueberries , and one of the cherry. Not enough to harvest yet. The robins got the cherries and the raccoons got the pears. We did manage to eat the blueberries, all four of them.

We had not had a crab apple tree in thirteen years when we moved here and really missed making jelly. We were able to get some periodically from people we knew but once we moved we needed a new source.

It has been a long wait. First year no apples. Second year five, third year perhaps twenty. This year finally enough to harvest. It is the first real fruit harvest from any of the plants.

There are four pears waiting to be picked too. Maybe I can beat the raccoons this year.