Monday, November 14, 2011

8-13 November 2011 - Duck Lake, Solar Panels, Eggs, Bacon and Toast!

The weather has remained cloudy with snow flurries almost daily with temperatures between 25 and 35 for most of the week. Hopefully the snow will begin piling up soon.  Winter isn't much fun without snow to play in. 
Susan's wringing diapers outside.  She washes them in a bucket in the house then uses the wringer to get the water out.  The gloves protect her hands from the bleach and detergent, and, to lesser extent, from the cold.  It's about 30 degrees (F) outside.

I set the solar panels to their winter position this week.  I had to drill out the lower adjustment holes because when I added the bracing during the summer I covered them up.  We set the angle different to compensate for the lower angle of the sun.  We're far enough north that the sun just skims the horizon during most of the winter. 

The panels in the winter position.  They also shed snow better when they're more upright.

I'm mostly finished with the wood cutting so I moved the trailer back to it's winter home near the shack.  Of course the tire was flat so I had to pump it back up.  The rim is rusted and pitted and won't seal around the bead.  I used gasket sealer last time hoping it would seal the bead but it didn't work.  I may have to get a tube for it if I can't find another rim.  I used the manual pump instead of the  12 volt pump or firing up the generator and running the hoses to use the big compressor.  It just needed enough air to move the trailer.

We drove to Duck Lake to look around and check out the State Forest campground.  The lake is already beginning to freeze over. 

The open water is the main channel which has enough current to keep the ice off ... at least for now!

Breakfast time!  We do most of our cooking on the wood stove in the winter.  We seldom have a big breakfast like this but we had lots of work planned for that day so we splurged with bacon, eggs and toast.  The bacon splashes grease all over which gives the stove a mottled appearance.  The eggs don't need as much heat for cooking so we placed that skillet on a trivet.  The toast is inside the foil. Folding the foil over the top keeps the toast flat.   

The next day's breakfast was pancakes.  The stove needs to be very hot for pancakes.  We turn the kettle's lid upside down and put our plates on top of it.  It's full of boiling water and keeps the plates hot.  As the pancakes come off the skillet we store then on the plates and put the lid over the top to keep them hot and moist.  It's a good, low-tech solution.  If we have company I put two griddles on the top and then I can really make pancakes.

The hot water kettle also provides a good way to heat leftovers without a microwave.  We put the leftovers in a deep bowl and let it float on top of the boiling water (put the lid back on the kettle).  It takes longer than a microwave but the food is hot after awhile and it isn't dried out like a microwave tends to do.

Susan made up a large batch of chicken soup.  We had some for dinner and she canned the rest.  We like having canned food that's ready to eat in case we have unexpected company.

This is probably the last official wood cutting trip for the year.  I've got some small stuff to cut down on the place yet but nothing of significance.

We cut this last load on a neighbor's land.  They requested that we pile and burn the slash which we did.  Since it was a cold day it was nice having a roaring fire nearby to warm cold hands.  The base of this pile is about eight feet in diameter.

There were three trees down here.  One small, one medium and one large.  I pulled and burned the small stump so the two shown here are for the medium and large trees.  The large one was a fir tree that was still green.  It was a good thing we had a hot fire going or the slash wouldn't have burned so well.  The fire is off to the right outside the photo.

This is most of the seasoned wood ...

We stacked the green wood with the rest of the pile for next year's firewood.  There's almost three cords in this stack.

Susan is finishing up raking leaves.  She had several piles scattered about.  I wasn't thinking and let the chickens out then it was a race to get the piles loaded into a wheel barrow and dumped in the garden before the chickens re-scattered the leaves.

Scott having his first piano lesson?  Nah, he just likes to make noise and sit on grandma's lap.

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