What a storm!

Last Saturday we had headed into the city to have a lunch date and on the way back home, we got to our local town and voted in the early polls for the upcoming elections, it was so fast as we were the only ones there, walk in and walk back out 5 min later max..

On the radio is was saying.. beware of a fast moving line of thunderstorms, they were to get to our area around supper time or so they had been saying for a couple hours and then it changed.. the phones started to whoop the alert, the radio cut into the alert system and the storm had grown and it was suddenly hours early coming

We pulled into the farms driveway with about 10 min to sort things before the storm hit, we saw it race like a line just to the right, like a wall and I did not like the greening of the sky both of us were watching ot see what would happen and then the wind hit us like a wall.. then it was gone..

Blink, Blink.. so was the power..  This is in fact very common here on the farm to lose power after a storm and its normally back with 1 to 3 days.. its just a fact of life and its something we are very well prepared for..

So out came my radio/flashlight plus combo unit and it only took a short time listening to blink hard and go.. WOW OK…  its was a lot worse then we got and in a huge way! This line of storms spread a line of damage close to a 1000km long, bumping, hitting and moving/shifting coming along between both ontario and quebec with around a billion in damage.. and pushing in between the two with close to a million households without power..

It snapped power poles like they were tooth picks, current information at the time of writing was the around 400 polls needed replacement with hundreds more being just tied down for later work, as they said, we normally fix and replace 200 a year, and we are needing to replace and do double that in the next few days to weeks to get the power back on..

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When it came to the power issues, poles were not the big problem it was the fact that storm winds were so powerful hitting at its max 192 km a hour (that would be 119 miles per hour) crumpled the massive metal mega towers..

We have been asked so many times, “what was your damage, did you do ok?” and our answer always seemed to be greeted with a bit of wide eye look back as I reply.. “we got off very lucky, just a few thousand in damages”

That is the truth, compared to just up the road, just over 15 min in one direction and 20 min in another, they got hit with lines that have ripped down full barns, taken off whole roofs, walls, siding, sheds, whole fence lines taken out, hundred of thousands of trees in the path has been broken, or ripped out by the roots..

those trees landed on vehicles, all kinds of buildings including so many homes, whole back yards are gone, fencing gone, decks gone, sheds gone and so many greenhouses.. so many of our local greenhouses filled with all the spring plants ready to be sold, ready to be planted this past week and next week, gone, ripped, bent, and or broken..  Fruit Orchards have had massive damage, maple tree farms could have lost hundreds of mature producing trees..

For all you farmers, this will help you get a idea of just how powerful.. it shifted a 30 ton cement grain silo a full foot and took the whole top half off and dropped across a road..

Nine days into it and we are down to 9000 households without power in the city and just as many without in the local country side, plus more in other power company’s zones.. I am only keeping track of mine and the ottawa ones..

We brought out the back up power sources, the berkley, the ecozoom stove and the shuttle chefs, and we hit the canning pantry.. We started out with jars of my canned water as we got things set up, anytime I have a blank jar in a pressure canning load, I will can a quart jar of water (I will own up that its always a used lid but they always seal perfectly so i am not paying for a new lid on each one)

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We put our focus on the freezers and keeping them going, I had hopes for the fridge for the first day or two but we were only running the back ups long enough to cycle the freezers and unlike many peaple, we did 6 to 8 hours max which meant that the fridge was not kept cold enough and taking no changes after a week, it was a total clean out.. thankfully all the tupperware and jars was very washable, once we finally got power and water back..  the Olives were still good and those are freshly hardboiled eggs back in starting to cool off..

Cost wise I can imagine that it would be brutal to clean out your fridge if you didn’t have a full pantry and or the money redo it..

Every meal or snack went for six days was pretty much like this.. hot drinks once a day or so, lots of room temp flavoured water and other then fresh eggs, it was so what would we like from the canning pantry.. up and down the stairs for soups, stews, chili’s, fruits and so on..

The farm was fine.. the pasture critters had a mix of the pond or rain water collection to fill and top up the water troughs, the house flushing needs was meet by the food forest pond.. we had to check each bucket and carefully catch and put back any tadpoles or baby dragonfly larva before bringing in and using.. we could use pond water if needed for the Berkley but we have fresh rain water and I perferred to use it and did.

Many hundreds of thousands of households and millions of peaple were as well off.. and were and are still struggling and in some cases suffering..  Everyone in the general public is still in the, wow.. its over and we are getting our power back and things will settle..  it will take weeks to months to a year plus for most to grasp that this kind of damage for certain places, certain businesses and for families that it will not be over quickly or cleaning or at all..

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The rain did at least give a little gift.. Morels.. yumm.. these must be gotten when small because something local adores to eat them as much as we do and so if you think.. o, I will let that get bigger.. poof, it will be gone..

It was very interesting to see how our phones all went down.. cell tower need power and their back up system’s fail.. no power, no water, no internet, and no or very poor limited phone service.. we sometimes got 1 bar, enough to send a text to make phone call at just the right time.. which was still better then many others..

If hubby had to work, it would have been a bigger challenge but as it happens, it was a normal take the week off and plant the gardens..  We did not get the gardens planted, we got things fixed, repaired and we got many trees planted and some garden space prepared.. planted not so much..

Each new day is a clean sheet of paper to start to do list..  one item at a time..

Posted in Life moves on daily | 6 Comments

Got Bees? Count your Blessings indeed.

The Spring Haskcaps or Honey Berries depending on what you call them are in full bloom finally, they are solidly 3 to 4 weeks behind as is everything.. however we have gone from cool to summer heat..  so all the different haskcaps have or are in bloom over the past ten days. It will be interesting to see if this effects fruit timing as they are to go over a two to six week period but with the closer bloom times, will have closer fruiting timings?  

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Moving right along now the current are loaded indeed.. all the current bushes of different colors are massively covered..  In flower budding up stages are gooseberries, saskatoons, pincherries and the oldest of plums..  so its slowly but surely coming along now.. 

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One of the biggest stories in our national news is about the Bees and the winter die off..  Its not just been a local die off, its been a national across the country die off..  The Honey bees I was hoping to get this year are a no go.. the person I had booked with does not have enough and I am to far down the list.. 

This last of honeybees that are ready to go for the spring has direct impacts not just on honey and honey costs down the road in the fall, not just on bee costs, the cost of a queen and nuc has doubled locally if you can find them and want or are willing to pay that price.. 

Its going to effect a ton of locally produced foods leading to even higher food costs..  as if we needed another player in this rising inflation. 

Like Cranberry’s with your Turkey Dinners or Orange Cranberry Jam? Looks like it could be a rough year for the largest producer area’s in the world in terms of pollination.. 

Every summer, he rents some 1,000 hives, which he sets up around the bogs where the cranberries grow.

The region where Decubber is located is sometimes referred to as Canada’s cranberry capital, and is one of the largest producers of the fruit in the world”

But its not just Cranberries.. o no.. its not!

Sébastien Laberge is a third-generation beekeeper and honey producer who runs La Miellerie St-Stanislas with his family in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka, Que., about an hour southwest of Montreal.

Laberge lost 70 per cent of his bees over the winter. That has been devastating for his business because half of his revenues come from renting out his bees to blueberry, apple and vegetable farms for pollination.

“We get calls every day for either blueberry, cranberry. We just don’t have any bees right now to contract out,” he said.”

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One of the things we have talked about a lot over the past years is supporting native bees as well as small homesteaders supporting Mason Bees (both early and mid spring types) and Leaf Cutter Bee’s and lets me tell you, I am so happy to report that my yards, food forest and gardens are swarming with all kinds and sizes of natives. 

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No mow may is a very real thing these days, are you waiting to mow? Hard to believe that its only be around for four years now as its very common to hear peaple talking about it.. Now more then ever with the honey bee overwintering and losses, we must plan and support our native bees. 

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Just remember there are more then bees that are act as pollinators.. one of the worst is ants, they are not very good at it.. but they are on the list and expect that they do more then most folks think for certain plants at certain times.. thankfully there are lots more in the middle, not as good as bees, not as poorly at it as ants..  

Did your Honey Bees make the winter? How is your yard looking for natives this year? Are you looking and considering work arounds on certain things. 

Example:  If the price of cranberries gets to be to costly, I will replace them with High Bush Cranberries grown here on the farm or could be locally harvested in a forage way.. Many peaple have these bushes and consider them to be bird food so the odds are in your favor to finding them for harvests from folks that have no plans on using them for their own use. 

 

 

 

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Holding Space “Spring is here”

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Winter in our neck of the woods dragged on, while life move forward in some ways steady and in other ways a little shaky..  I think most of us do feel that way..

In the ways of steady we are very blessed, we are here on the farm with all that if provides to us. That connection is a vast and woven into our daily lives deeply as we come into our 19th year here this month..

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Hubby’s is still working full time from home and ideally will continue to do so for a good while yet with the possibility of going back in a hybred model at some point in the future.  With the cost of Gas hitting 2 dollars a liter locally right now and climbing, I am perfectly happy to not having to put out the costs of commuting and I feel hugely for those that are.

The Shaky is all around us and felt in many ways, cost of gas, cost of food, cost of propane, cost of power, cost of animal feed, cost of seeds, cost of fertilizer and the list goes on endlessly.  EVERYTHING cost more and at the very same time due to the overall pressures our dollars buying power is down.

Trying to get some things in now takes months or longer.. example its been over 5 plus months and counting since we ordered our Mavrick and we are still waiting for it.. I has priced a item for the farm last year and went, ok I will order it in the spring..  the price increased from a 1000 to 1800 in 8 months..  The worst of it is that I need it and had to still order it at that price, and to be fair my store, was like.. they wanted it to retail at 2 grand, we are giving you a discount of 200 as a loyal customer.. WOW..  do I think that it cost that company a extra grand..  I just do not know the true answer to that but I do have my doubts..

While Dear Hubbies health continues to be stable, my own has been shaky, its feels like its been just one thing after another and its been a very slow climb with a good number of one step forward and two steps backwards and more naps then you can count at times.  Its a work in process

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The new farm dogs both turned two! Got the Embark tests back on Uther and he is as expected mostly lab (dad pure, momma half) the surprise was that mom’s one part was half german shepard/border collie cross.. which explains a lot really..  Dezbot turned 7 this spring and Wee Paris is 15 this year..

We ended up adding THREE new teenage male cats to the farm, all brothers or half brothers to Smudge an our late Jimmy Kitten..smudgesmokeonthewater

Long Story Short.. the wonderful person we got Smudge from was selling their home and while was taking some of the cats with, could not take all..   The good news was they came fully vetted, vaccines and altering done and up to date on Revolution etc..  They are wonderful cats and Bells kitten has the sweetest, loving new kitty brothers..   The big white boy is called Squishie, then comes pipsqeek and last but not least is pitterpat puddytat lol

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Spring has arrived finally but it was very late in coming..  the signs were there and you only needed to look to see that it was a start everything late type of year..  There was NO planting in April here on the farm at all..  It was cold, it frozen, it was a sloppy wet mess and we had snow the last week of april..

We just started putting in pea’s, salad greens and so on first week of may.. Its going to be a interesting garden season for sure.. they are calling for NO rain in may.. I hope they are wrong!

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The haskcap are finally in bloom 2nd week of may, there is not a single fruit tree in bloom yet and the apple tree is still breaking bud.. the good news on that at least is that unless we get a very hard late frost, we should not have to worry to much about fruit damage that way.

Hubby asked me what I wanted to do for mothers day weekend and I said gardens..  this weekend, we got the last of the bones and bushes and more under plantings down in the Fruity Boogaloo Food Forest and finished out the other side..  with the new Crabapple tree, planted around by poppies, with two more rings of glad bulbs, and a line on the other side of the fence with phlox connecting the orange garden in and finishing that end line with the Cherry trees etc.  Spring is always such a barren time.. I will back fill in with annuals this year for the gaps..

I hope you had a good mothers day weekend..

Posted in Life moves on daily | 6 Comments

Head Down..

What can I say, its been a bit wild around here lately, making my eyes go wide, my stress level both go up and my head go down..

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Like everyone else it seems sickness entered our household in the new year.. Hubby never caught it, of course it was me.. and it hit me hard in my ears, sinus and throat.. after the pain got to the point that I had to call and get medical help, it was a rapid turn  around once I got my antibodics and a sinus spray. I still do not personally believe this was Covid, (my doctor thinks it was) but I had three negative rapid tests

However that was not the real issue.. no no.. I got my first case of shingles..  and let me tell you.. Shingles is INSANELY painful..   We thought somehow I got a chemical burn with blisters but then more patches came until it filled in a ring..

It came on my left side, in a band across my upper left leg and the only way to even try and explain it would be..

  1. It felt like having a second degree burn that would then react to air, movement (and try not moving your whole upper leg hah) and so on..
  2.  Randomly with no warning or plan or way to know how many times, it was like my body was hit with a hot line set on low..  (maybe a few where high set hot line)  It was like my whole leg would be hit over and over again with a cattle prod.. which would then jolt my whole body..

The pain could and would make me loose my breath, make me scream out while trying to rest, and would at times come on so strong that it would lock my body up and make me drop..  I have NEVER had anything like it..

I was able to get the antivirals, I was able to treat myself in a number of ways that were supportive, I also sent my husband to the city and got the strongest gummy’s allowed to be sold as so many peaple told me that regular pain meds would not work as its “nerve” pain but that the good old fashion THC would and it did..

I have used the no high 3% with the higher pain meds salve before but in this case I didn’t care, I needed rest, I wanted it to knock me out and I have never been so grateful for even those 45 min of sleep after days of being awake..

It still took close to a full 2 weeks to have all the blisters break and dry up (at which time I could have given folks chicken pox) I was ever so grateful that hubby had chicken pox as a child and could help me.. Hubby held down a full time job, did the farm work and nursed me.. BLESS that man.

I did find and have stock up on a Eastern Medical salve that helps numb nerve pain.. and slowly, every so slowly I have healed up..  It is worth note that when I joined the local shingle support group to try and learn if what was happening was within the norm, that it had exploded.. it would appear thousands of canadian’s that got sick over the holidays then within about 10 to 14 days after clearing the sickness, got their first bout of shingles and many MANY of us were far younger then normal

I am beyond grateful that my doctor is going to allow me to get the shingle vaccine after one year of being shingle free even if I do have to pay out of pocket, the goverment will only cover after the age of 60..  I ideally NEVER want to go thought that again..

While I was at home dealing with this.. all around me was staging, less then 15 min from my farm was one of the biggest staging area’s and three others within 20 min in regards to the trucker protest.. it would be fair to say that my local area was pro truckers, it was a common site to see the support trucks drive by on their way in each day, a good number of homes locally opened their spare bedrooms to the adopt a trucker, where they welcomed them in for meals/lodging, the local community groups led meal making, 1000’s of meals were prepped and delivered

It was like having two things happening at the same time, here in the country side, there was support, new friendships and a working respect among those active..  and at the same time, my friends in the city, well lets just say this.. if the military played noise at those height levels 24 hours a day, it would be considered mental torture, while there were so many that were welcomed with open arms, there were thousands, tens of thousands that could not sleep, that had to leave their homes, that felt threatened..

Both parts and sides hold their own truths.. yes I know peaple that drove down and had no issues, yes I know peaple that had threats made to them, yes I know peaple lost work on both sides, Yes I know peaple that went and peaple that fled the city.. yes I know those that went in support and I also know those that were at the counter protest blocking the trucks..

Their stories are their own and I WILL NOT speak for them but I can say this.. if anyone thinks this was black and white.. well.. you can..  go ahead.. but for me.. there was as many truths as there was peaple and each one is its own..

and on and on and on it went.. If you want more info on it.. pick a news site and there will be more stories then you would think possable..

I am going to stop here for the moment..  there is more..  and I will write more.. but for now.. this will do.. this will do..

Posted in Life moves on daily | 11 Comments

Shiver me’Timbers an a once a decade snow storm

Well, the little Chocolate and White ewe lamb  Shiver me’timber is doing very well indeed, she spent a full 24 hour plus out with her momma in her jug pen, and is drinking steady now, using her heated spot, or sleeping tucked beside momma sheep and has even been spotted doing wee hop bops on the camera that lets me peek on them whenever I want from the house..  man is that handy

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We were prepped for the big storm and it did come to our province and even by us, 45 min away they got large dumps of snow that shut down roads, trapped peaple in vehicles for upwards of 9 hours, stopped all the foolish peaple that were told to stay home in the morning and didn’t and then could not get back into their side roads or driveways and there for let their vehicles on bigger streets blocking even more traffic and the snow plows..

Our farm however did not get anywhere near what they said, we got 8 inches, no power loss and if anything the temps warmed up beautifully, going from a chilly -28 with wind chill of -35 to what felt like a warm -3..  now we did the winds.. hard heavy winds that for sure have made some good drifts at 60 to 80 km.  Thankfully the wind blew in from its most common direction and there for the shelter belts did their job as well as they can.

The wild birds were all fluffy and tucked him from the wind, the dove above was sitting on my pea/bean fencing with its friends, swaying in the wind, at first I was was confused until I realized that the whole line of willows was breaking the wind for the birds, so they had a good view but far less wind then they could have had..

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Now they say that its not fully over till weds, but the today tuesday has come in grey overcast and no snow yet.. Bells kitten among others was very happy to have sleeps on the warm sheepskin rugs, and I was grateful for the big winter feather quilts made by our friends out at the colony in alberta.  So warm and the quality can not be beat anywhere.

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The house was fuller then normal, most of the indoor/outdoor kittys were indoor yesterday and while they were dreaming of being outside, they didn’t want anything to do with it when the doors were open lol..  content to be warm and sit and watch the outside world from the windows out to the gardens

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The day was quiet for sure, hubby put in his work hours, earning the steady paycheck, I puttered on household and side gigs. The first grinds are done on a few different types of rocks and we are on to the second finer grinding of three kinds.. updates on them in the future..

Posted in Life moves on daily | 6 Comments

Bad Day to be Born

It did not matter that your momma was in the big barn

It did not matter that your momma picked the most draft free jug corner in the far end of the barn

It did not matter that Dear Hubby had hauled down extra chips of bedding for the “girls”

Nope.. it was still a bad day to be born little one..   Your momma did a great job cleaning you up, and you are dry for sure.. but its a deep, DEEP BITTER COLD and you still got chilled..

No matter how good your momma was, no matter that she is the sweetest momma, you still picked a BAD day to be born.. We moved you guys from the big barn to the croft, carried with care deep in the jacket to keep the wind off you.. into the jug you went with the extra in floor heating spot for you..

Still you are not strong like you should be and you chill far to easy.. a little extra lamb jacket added, extra care, your momma is loaded with milk, teats striped of wax plugs and you drank some but not as strong as you should..

So, what is a farmgal to do, milked your momma out, as expected given her breeding, her teat size and placement made milking a dream, took out 12 oz for the night feedings and she had more yet, and I will milk her again in the morning, got a good feeding into you wee lamb, into the house in the warming box you go..

Its going to be a long evening/night with little feedings regular  (I sent Dear Hubby off to bed for first/second rest)and soon I hope things will look better by the time I hope to get sleep on 3rd rest..

I hope that tomorrow will be a good day to be one day old because tomorrow night a big old storm is moving in, all the ewe’s have been moved up to the croft, as we are to get dump loads of snow coming in over the next three days.. so lets keep everyone close and plan for power outages..

I know I have said it before and I will say it again.. the pressure changes during storms seem to bring on the babies..

Posted in Life moves on daily | 7 Comments

Splintered

Just that log in the kindle cracker I feel like I am being split, splintered, that I am living a odd kind of double or even more life currently..  No do not worry I do not mean that I am having mental issues, well no more then anyone is during this time really.. I think we are all stressed and worried and our minds are chewing on things either in our hind minds or in the front actively.. 

No, what I mean is that one part of me is preparing for slow collapse, for local and global Climate change, for what I see is a real coming storm,  droughts, food issues, material issues, political issues and so on..  Its not going away and its not one thing, its hundreds or even thousands of little snow balls, all rolling down hill at different speeds and different point of gathering more snow as it goes..  or mud, or water, or lava or fire.. 

I am increasing storage, I am upgrading while I can, I am stocking up.. we are building in aging out into the farm in a big way, we are leaning down hard on some things, increasing other things that I believe will prove to be worthwise for us, for barter, for community locally. I am looking backwards in terms of proper root cellar and adding in hives, increasing security.. and so on.. and on.. an on…

BUT… 

I am also moving forward with day to day life.. Hubby is working away, we are looking and preparing retirement plans like we are going to get his pension (see above, will we?) I am working on my new little side gig (photography)

 

I have rented a space in a local store where I will be selling a assortment of things, yes I will be doing some ad’s for my photography but we got a lot of my Mother in laws leftover stock in regards to her rock/gem and fossil store and so I will be doing a bit of that, plus some natural products/teas and so on, with seasonal off the farm products popping up here and there as well. 

I am moving forward in regards to teaching homestead skills and food preservation, including canning, pressure canning, fermenting, drying, curing and more..  I am growing extra seed for a seed house for sale across canada, I am bringing in bulk plant orders to continue to work on building food sheds in the local community, I am updating my food handler programs, I am updating my first aid training, I am taking online courses in different subjects..  

All in all life is moving forward daily.. each day a bit more gets added, done, planned for, used.. old skills worked, new skills added, some that will only be useful in the now, others that would be O so useful in the possable future on both sides of that split.. 

Strangely with the bigger push down on Omicron, I am starting to understand why lipstick was such a big thing to my grandmothers.. why taking the time to curl their hair and have a sunday best or a company apron mattered..  I have had the urge to do my hair more, put on a bit of lipstick, put on one of my amber necklaces, but I have been wearing more moonstone as well.. use the good perfume.. I have even changed from the work cloths to a dress better for dinner..  and I have taken to making “sunday” meals..   

I think I get it now.. after being home both of us home for 22 months and counting, being on the farm and really not “going” back to normal for us.. I get why they needed to “break up” the time on the farm, the week, the season’s.. why gathering times were so special, why you dropped EVERYTHING to have tea when someone pulled in for visit and you pulled out the good dishes, boiled the water and just focused in on the moment..

I can remember my grandmother saying..  that can wait a hour, put the coffee pot on, bring out the fresh whatever if baking or saying, go pick fresh berries or go down to the cellar and bring up two jars of canned saskatoon fruit..  a few spoons of fruit with a drizzle of cream or not would be served.. 

I understand so much better now.. so whatever it is for you.. do it now..  use the good whatever, drink tea from the tea cup, put on the lipstick to feed the chickens, curl your hair just cuz.. 

How you doing on this.. you feeling that split?  Do you know what I mean by that? Seeing it in yourself, or your family or your work? 

 

Posted in Life moves on daily | 10 Comments

Broken..sigh..Tears over a machine..

Yesterday I made a wrong move taking my jacket off and caught the strap of my workhorse of a camera and up it fly into the air, somehow coming off me and coming down in my foyer at clearly the worst angle possable broken camera, broken tile..

First offical photo of my new camera dec 2018

At first I was just in a bit of shock and No, I checked a few things, but I could see clearly what I had broken and I felt a sinking spot in my gut..  not even black camera repair would be able to fix it, I had cracked not one but at least two parts that are not on the “fix” replace that list..

Man, I have loved my Micro setting!

I went to the table and started fiddling even though I already knew.. then I googled.. maybe by some magic, someone would tell them, they had taken it in and nope..

The detail it could get, look at those snow dusted fluffy kitty

Then I looked at my husband and had a bit of a cry.. not for the camera, its a box, a magic box really.. I mean I am very sad that I only got just over 3 years with it, taking on average about 10 thousand photos a year of which several thousand made the grade for keep.. while around 26,000 plus being deleted.. the joy of a digital.. you can take a 100 or more photos to get that “one”

I had to really think it though because while I always regret the loss of a good tool, this was a bit more, in the end I realized that it was a combo of a) the loss of a investment by a foolish move b) all the memories tied to the camera, the trips, the walks, the family time, the first photos of the boys, of bell and more

Then came this one.. (yes I surprised myself when I said it and then went duh) as I was talking to hubby, I said, its been one of my pandemic “outs” stressed listening to the radio or reading, in another lock down.. grab the camera, head out to take flower photos, take the boys for a romp, take the camera, get creative and set up a scene and take photos, bird watch to see if I can get something with our wild feathered friends..

I mean I knew that I was taking more photos but until that camera broke and I had to sit with it, I don’t think it had really sunk in just how much looking though the lens let me push all the cray-cray of the world out and focus in..

My new work mirrorless camera is awesome but it does not go outside much, and its limited on what it can do outside compared to my old faithful workhorse..

I have ordered in the upgraded version of the one I have lost..  I will have a week plus of mourning for my old guy till the new arrives and I guess If I need to use the mirrorless with great care till it arrives..

Posted in Life moves on daily | 8 Comments

Looking a little lean “sort of”

Its been 14 days since we picked up our last fresh food box, plus it’s now Jan which means alot of things that came in sept, oct fresh into storage has been used up.  The fridge is looking very “winter” lean..

The top shelf has our only “fresh coming in daily item” eggs but even they are slow this year, I should be getting 6 to 8 of them and I am getting 3 to 4 all chicken, the ducks are not laying yet.. but they will start up soon now that the days and daylight are getting longer.

Canned milk (or made up powdered milk depending on what I want it for) and behind that is a half used home canned white chicken breast, I only need half a pint jar for a standard 4 bowl of lunch soup.. on the flip side is some jam/jelly and homemade rubs

Second Shelf, 5 kinds of canned fruits, pears, plums, blueberries/saskatoon mix  and apple sauce and two juices, plus some left over meals bits and bobs..

Third shelf on the left is pickles, relishes and fermented honey garlic, homemade BBQ and Mustards on the right is last of the celery, some carrots and parsnips..

The greens are growing in a different area, the sprouts same.. still have lots of pumpkins, squash and some holding big zucchini’s, plus parnisps, onions, garlic and oranges fresh (but getting older)

Otherwise, everything is coming out of storage be it dried, fermented, canned or freezers or the inhouse greenhouse, we are not hurting in anyway but we are limited at the moment and it feels strange..  I am starting to understand just how FREAKIN spoiled I have been getting my fresh fruit and veggies boxes twice a month.. wow do they make things easier.

I will need to be very careful in terms watching carb counts on the meals.. and I can’t wait for fresh milk to be added into the mix, so we can add in a lot more dairy..  The one meal I just looked at it, sighed and made massive T-Bone steaks, used the drippings to make a sauce and poured it over and served up the plate as a meal lol..  it was good, and we were full but can’t do that to much lol

Posted in Life moves on daily | 4 Comments

New Freezer or Fridge Unit

 

A good Freezer is to a point a must have if at all possable, a small chest freezer in a apartment can be both freezer, covered with a pretty table cloth and a shelf/storage. Once you get to the point of wanting to buy bigger deals for cost savings, you need a bigger freezer, these ones can go in spare rooms, or basements or if selected right unheated garages

But at some point if you are homesteading, while you can do a lot of canning/drying and fermenting, you are going to need freezers if you want to be able to store and eat “fresh” meat.  

Back in the day when I was a young one, It was always a massive heavy duty in the shed or garage or by the side of the house/sheltered big chest freezers.. they were massive, you could put half a beef, a pig and a dozen chickens in there..  I never remember them using freezers for fruit or veggies or bread..  Fruit was canned or dried or eaten fresh, Veggies were canned,dried or root cellared or eaten fresh, bread, cookies, cakes and so made and eaten fresh with the odd extra being put away.. 

Christmas might be the only time you would find for a few weeks a selection of baking goods in the big freeze but they were off limits, no eating them, they were being bulk saved for the big spread, company before, during and New Years eve.

We needed a new Freezer but I wanted a upright for the working space in the main floor pantry, by moving out med sized chest freezer, I would have a lot more room for storage while having eqaul amount of freezer..

I was waiting for Boxing week sales, I wanted to try for discount and free delivery, I didn’t expect great deals but it was still some off in the end, so it was worth the wait.  However so many makes and models were out of stock and those you could order would take till april or longer to get to me. 

Then I found a new to me, store in ottawa and they had a very interesting model, its a upright that I can set with the dial on the front to be a full fridge or a full freezer..  it was within the same price range as a good freezer only.. Research was required and it appears they have good reports.. SOLD!

Introducing “steel” my two in one..  

In summer/early fall after a good use up of my winter supply, I will switch the last to a small chest and move “steel” to a full fridge, giving me the ability to hold more fruit, veggie and so on till I can process it.. then come later fall (butcher time) I will move it back to a full freezer.. it has a rapid freeze cycle to it for bulk buying or in my case butcher days.. I like it, I can spread out the fresh wrapped and hit the flash freeze and then move to other freezers. 

Hubby and I worked for a number of hours yesterday, sorting and shifting, old in front of new, but also pulling from the different freezers to make “Steel” my working freezer for the winter/spring.. 

By that I mean we have different sections, we pulled fruit, Veggie, Wild Game, Pork, lamb, Beef, Chicken, Duck, Goose, Rabbit and Cheese.. This will allow me to do the fullest shopping choices from our home grown, home butchered supply.. by sorting all the freezers, we have done full rotations and counts.. 

I strongly recommend that if you have a freezer or Freezers, that you give them a shake up.. sort them out, go though them, see what is tucked in there, if you had fresh coming in this fall, find last years and make sure they get used up.. 

It might seem like a lot when everything is in.. but if you are shopping from home and not the store all year long.. its amazing how fast your fills can be but also how steadily they empty.. 

Do any of you have one of the combo units where you can choose to make it a all fridge or a all freezer?

Posted in At the kitchen table | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments