Wednesday, October 3, 2012

There is talk about expanding our livestock flock next year. Adding a few thousand honey bees might just do that!


A week or two ago three guys put a $3000 floor in the new shop here on the “farm.” Earlier two of the same crew put a $2300 roof on the same building. I know, I wrote the checks.

I mention the money part, because I REALLY am not used to writing checks that size. In fact when the final check was written (it was to be for $3300, I automatically wrote it for $33!).

Then last week, I rented a trencher and my son-in-law used it to dig around 400 feet of trenches. New power lines from the box at the house to the new shop and then back to the old shop. There is a water line to the tiny house, and even more wonderful a line to bring in 20 amps of power to my tiny house.

Twenty does not seem like much when you first think of it, but it is a lot for a tiny house. I will feel blessed. That same trench holds another pipe that holds cables for TV and for Internet.

Boy am I spoiled!

Since our old TV was tanked in the flood, I am going to buy a new one. Don’t have to be tempted by the thought of a big screen, there is not room, but there is 18 vertical inches available. I think that I can work a 26 inch LED into that spot. That will truly be by far the largest TV we have ever owned. 

And, the internet. Just thinking of not having it and I go blank. It is both a great source of company and inspiration as well as a fabulous time waster, but that is what I have now, so maybe that part is OK too!

This is that wonderful time of year when the garden produces an abundance of great food. The harvest exceeds our ability to consume, so we can, we freeze, and we compost.

Before long it will be dry beans and canned tomato and corn with home made bread, which does not sound too bad either!

winter is a comin

For the last year I have had one major preoccupation. That is getting ready for this winter.

Last winter was pretty mild here and we were not comfortable. I have seen it 30 below zero in this valley and I have seen 24 to 30 inches of snow on the flat. Once that snow stuck around for over a month.

So I have reason for my preoccupation.

I have drawn, and calculated. I have done research and I have talked with people I think know more than I do (both hard to do and easy to do!). I have dug and I have built and I have insulated and weather stripped and gone through a case and a half of caulking and a half dozen bottles of magic expandable foam goo.

And, in the cool of the night I wonder. But in a few weeks we will put it all to the test.

Winter is coming on, and I think we are about ready. There are still a few tees that have not been crossed and a few I’s without dots, but it is coming together.

When my family came to this valley almost a century and a half ago, they didn’t make it all the way from Iowa in one year, they “wintered” in Salt Lake City. Their horses had gone lame and it was too late in the season to go on.

I have no idea what they did that winter in SLC, but it can be pretty nasty cold there too. Somehow they pulled it off, and did the hard way. It was not a matter of reprogramming the thermostat. 

When they got here in mid summer, one of their early concern was where they would spend the next winter. Somehow they pulled it off, though 1 in 10 who began the western run from Iowa and Kansas, did not make it.

So right now my emotions are all over the place. I am thankful for progress for the tiny house that has risen on the other end of the barn, but I still have a few apprehensions about my winter calculations: Are we ( and mostly my beloved Miriam) going to be passably comfortable?

I think we will, but we won’t actually know for a bit yet.