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.

Summer Day

We finally have some summer weather. After a cool and wet June and start of July the sun has come out at last. Highs in the mid 20’s. Beautiful days.

Taking advantage of this we decided to take a drive around the island with the top down. Nice to get use of a convertible roof. There are only so many days you can. After a drive and a walk we thought we would stop at the greenhouse on the way home.

Of course we did…

That can’t be good

We were planning a day out last week and while I waited for my wife to get ready I decided to sweep off the deck. The fir bud covers have been raining down from the trees for a few days now and the deck is absolutely covered in them.

It was probably a good thing I did, because I noticed some sawdust. Now I know I haven’t been doing any work, so who was?

That can’t be good…

Dang. Sure enough several small round holes in a deck post. I guess it is now my turn to do some carpentry.

Tearing off all the cedar cladding I find what I am now expecting. Something has decided to use my house as their’s. Not sure what it was, as there were no visible critters still there. Ants or beetles most likely.

Unfortunately they did manage to chew up about 20% of the base of the post. I figured the best solution was to replace the entire thing.

It’s complete now. Used pressure treated 2×6’s instead of the spruce that was there. Also added some water proofing membrane to the beam and the first foot of the post, then 18” of tin flashing, then building papered the rest of the post, Overkill probably but it shouldn’t get wet.

I suppose this it the trade off to living here. It has nicer winters than the prairies but back there no one ever tried to eat my house!

Another day in paradise

Physical distancing remains the order of the day. We’ve been spending a little time in the yard. Planted the parts of the garden I could. Seeds only, too soon for tomatoes plants. Cleaned the gutters. Washed the truck. Cleaned up the shed a bit.

The priority project at home was a ramp for the dog. She is 15 years old this week and is starting to have a lot of problems with stairs. Some days she has a hard time just standing up. The next day she’s good for a two mile walk. Regardless, it’s getting worse and she fell down the stairs the other day and was on the limp, so something needed to be done.

A little longer than originally planned. I had to pull off a set of steps to build this. The local courier delivery guy uses these steps a lot since they are closer to the road. I figured I had better build them assuming a person would use them, not just the dog. So…wider and shallower.

Next up, irrigation.