Wednesday, July 27, 2011

20-26 July, 2011 Cement, chainsaws, books and batteries ...

We're beginning to think we live in Washington state rather than Montana.  We've had more cloudy, drizzly days than I've ever seen in NW Montana.  It's been good for writing but bad for getting things done outside.

That being said, we did get the cement mixed and poured into the forms for the kid's cabin.  We decided to use cement pads because it was cheaper and also in case we wanted to move it later.  This was Victor's first time mixing concrete so after I did the first half he did the rest. 

We needed to go into Eureka to get some propane and other items so while there I checked some beaver sign near a public park.  They've been a little active but I don't know if they'll still be around this fall or not.  Once the river goes down they're going to lose a lot of water and they don't have a lot to begin with.

Susan and a neighbor went to a presentation by a woman who's traversed the US by horseback.  Her routes are shown on the map.  She had a lot to talk about!  The most difficult part of the journeys? ...  Mosquitoes and flies!  There's more on Susan's blog at

A moose looking things over on Dry Lake (outside of Fortine).

Part of the "foundation" for the cabin will be 8"X8"X16' timbers resting across the cement pads.  This is the tree that be used to make them.  It would have been better if it  had been cut last year and left to season but we didn't know we'd need it then so we may have to do some levelling and shimming later.

I cut the small patch of alfalfa in the garden earlier in the week.  Now I'm cutting the "wheat" in the old corral.  We planted wheat there a few years ago and it's been re-seeding itself since then.  Each year there was less wheat and more grass so I'm cutting it down to dry for hay or mulch and we'll till the ground up to start over next year.

We took a trip into Kalispell in our "Mexican Taxi."  There were six of us in the Cherokee so it was a little crowded.  Some of the kids wanted to go and offered to pay for the gas so we agreed.  We had several stops to make but ended up with another set of kids at Five Guys Burgers and Fries for supper.  By the time we added their family we needed to scoot three tables together to have enough room.

Of course we stopped at Borders to peruse their closeout sale.  I ended up with these two books and the others bought some of their own.  Overall it wasn't that great because Borders didn't have a lot of books we like to buy anyway.  I noticed that they had a very nice double-book featuring Barak and Michelle Obama marked down to $9.99 with ten percent more off that.  I checked the original price and it was $59.99.  I guess that at $9.99 minus 10% it was still overpriced.  All of the books I wanted were 20% percent off the regular price.  Not great but not bad either.

Last stop before going home was to fill gasoline cans. We bought nearly 40 gallons plus what was put in the Cherokee.  Gasoline has gone up 11 cents in the last week so we thought we'd stock up some.  Half will go in the pickup for wood cutting and the rest will go to generators and chainsaws.  We purchased new batteries for the solar panels at Costco along with some other stuff.  Batteries and gasoline came to over $700.00.  Now that we're out of money maybe we can stay home!

The goat gets tethered out every day but yesterday was not one of his good days.  He began with his horns stuck in the fence around his pen.  He was stuck pretty good and I had a difficult time getting him out.  I almost had to cut the wire.  He was making the most pitiful bleats I've ever heard from him.  Good thing there weren't any predators around.  He'd have been on their menu.  After he'd been tethered outside awhile I went to check on him and he'd tied his leg to the tree.  I'm not sure how he managed that but he was glad to see me.  He must have learned something by then because the rest of the day was uneventful. 

Victor has been busy peeling logs.  These are the three 16 footers we'll be cutting into timbers.  Just for your information, if you've never handled a green log before ... these things are very heavy!

It looks like it will be a good year for wild (Oregon) grapes.  The plants had lots of blossoms and are loaded with grapes.  They're larger than normal too.  I can already taste the grape juice and jelly Susan will make from these.  I'm trying to talk her into some grape syrup for pancakes.  I'll keep you updated on that one!

When it was time to shut the chickens in for the night I was missing one.  A quick search found it settled in on the hood of the Cherokee.  A picked her up and desite her indignant squaking, deposited her in the chicken house.

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