Thursday, September 19, 2019

Shoveling Manure - Keeping it Real.

So it's September, time to muck out the humanure hacienda!  This year it wasn't quite as overflowing as usual, so it hasn't been too bad (I haven't quite finished yet).

Of course, I'm only taking out one side of the enclosure - so it has had a year to decompose.  I can assure you that there's nothing scary there.  I can identify some eggshells, and the occasional bone, but all the turds have long since returned to dust.

The sawdust breaks down so slowly, that I've realized that it will be more like decades before this stuff could actually be useful as compost.  As such, I've spread it in a few different locations, but this year again, I found a lovely spot at the top of the ravine where I have been throwing brush.  I spread the sawdust on this area, and dream of a few hundred years from now when it could actually form a dam across the ravine, and bring back a lovely river!

Nice fresh trailer, ready to go!

Makes for a good chance to listen to a podcast.

Can you believe the pile was originally up over the top edge?  It really shrinks!

Trailer just about full!

And now dropping it on brush in the ravine.  Ashes to ashes...

It's going to be awhile before it reaches the bottom of the ravine, let alone crosses it!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Late Quonset Intelligentsia

As you know, last year we tried purchasing a quonset shelter for Donna to park her car in during the winter months.  It worked really well in the sense of making the morning start to her workday much easier - no more sweeping off loads of snow and scraping windows.

As you also know, I didn't give any forethought to sizing it, so she could only pull in the front end of the car, and it was a bit of a gymnastics routine to slide into the driver's seat each morning to back out.

This year, I had been watching carefully for the sales to occur on a larger sized shelter.  When I saw a 12x20 on at half price, I decided to strike.

First off, we decided that last year's shelter should be relocated to the other side of our first "parking" area - and the new one should go where the old one was.  The new one, being twice as deep, would have stuck out uncomfortably into the actual driveway otherwise  As such, it fits in neat as button where it is.

After moving the original shelter, I pegged it down with some railway spikes, although the front corners I only managed a short bolt into the gravel, as the bedrock is only a couple inches below the surface there.

The new shelter went in just great.  I opted to leave off the front door altogether, as we'd never rolled down the original one, and the snow rarely blows in from the east.  Leaving off the door panel and "trim" around it made the entrance feel much larger and easier to navigate as well.

I pegged it down with railway spikes as well.  They aren't ideal, as they aren't threaded or anything, but they did work all last year.

So anyway, all was well with the homestead for a couple of weeks.  Then, the end of this past week we received weather warnings about the 50mm of rain to come.  And it did come.  During the night I even heard our chairs blow over and off the deck!

Well, taking my after supper walk with Kenny on Friday evening, I noted that the old quonset looked a little odd.  On further examination, I could see that there was a bicycle holding up the one side of it.  That wasn't in my original plans.

Something isn't quite right here.
Kenny helped as I extracted everything from inside.  At first I thought perhaps I had forgotten to peg it down, but no - there were nails dangling from the sides and corners; they had simply pulled out.

Fortunately it was the small one, and a bit of grunting and switching from side to side and corner to corner managed to reposition it satisfactorily.

I repegged the back corners and sides, but at the front, I found a serendipitous pair of half sized cinder blocks that worked just great!  It will have to be a real gale to move it around this time!

The blocks were an inspired choice!
I had to rethread the strap to tie it all together.
I also did the opposite side for symmetry.
Of course, now I have a slight worry about the one we're parking the car in...  Once the snow falls on the sides though, I'm sure it won't be going anywhere!

Reloaded, all is well with the world.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Gyoza Overflow!

I really, REALLY wanted to steam all the Japanese dumplings I bought, but the basket for our little rice steamer just couldn't contain them all.

Mmmm, Gyoza!

Where there's a will (and a silicon bowl) there's a way!

Mmmm, tasty dumplings incoming!  Where's the soy sauce?