13 October 2013

Getting ready for the snow

Before we know it, the snow is gonna be here. The pressure to get the summer jobs finished is now at maximum.

I split a pile of wood today, and then stacked it all (we really really needed that done - and the splitter is borrowed from a neighbour so I had to do it in one go, and then send it back).

This is what I did:

I am very happy with the new wood shed. Much tidier than what we had before, and it was pretty easy to build - those are giant long fence posts (which I got by accident, I didn't think to specify length when I ordered them) with scrap wood for the ends and a piece of metal roofing on the top. We did have to stand on something to pound in the posts, but the resulting structure is tall enough that I can stand in it. There are pallets on the bottom, to keep the wood up off the ground, as well as one in front so you can stand on that to get a load to take inside. The kindling goes in rubbermaid buckets that are kept outside – there’s bits of wood and bark all over the ground after splitting, I will ask the Small People to pick that up when they are here next, it’s a good job for people who start off closer to the ground than I do.

The Boy was outside working, so after I came in for lunch, I went back and helped him get finished. We now have finished sheep feeders, and the steps to securing the winter pasture are about 75% done, maybe more. All that's left is to get a gate mounted, so that the barnyard can be locked off from the rest of the pastures, make a feeder for the cow (that's easier than the sheep feeders, just needs a couple of posts and some existing panels and pieces of wood attached in different places than they currently are), and clean up of the barn and barnyard (i.e. shoveling and raking, and moving stuff around).

Then we have hay to be delivered and that'll need to be moved from where it gets dropped off, and the water trough will need to be put into it’s winter box (there is a lid that covers half of the trough, keeping the evaporation down). If I get organized enough, I’d like to set up a recirculating heat reservoir, but I don’t know if that’s gonna happen in time. Hmm, I’m not actually sure we have a working trough heater, either – need to check on that too.

The plan, of course, was to have a lot of this done earlier in the summer, but plans have a way of just doing their own thing and so … well, here we are. Further ahead than in many other years, thankfully, but we still have a few more important jobs to finish up before the snow comes. I still remember one October when it snowed and I said “oh well, that’ll melt in a couple of days” … and it didn’t melt. That was the start of winter that year! So, I try to be ready by the end of September if possible, mid October at the latest … just in case Mother Nature decides to pull a fast one on me again.

We’re not quite there … but we’re close. Whew.

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