Monday, August 31, 2009

Preparing For Winter

The weather this far north keeps reminding us winter is just around the corner. We've had lots of cold, rainy, windy days followed by 65 degree sunny weather that feels like a heat wave. The ferns are turning brown, apples are falling from the trees and we're wishing our wood stove were connected. My son picked up the pipe adapter we need when he brought his daughter home to Marquette on Sunday. We'll pick it up from him tomorrow and install it. It costs us about $30 round trip to drive to Marquette and it didn't seem worth it for a $22 part. NO one here carries them!!!

My older son was hear six hours yesterday laying cement board in the kitchen in prep for the ceramic tile. We have to finish yet more wiring and tape the cement board before he returns next Sunday - his only day off. This week we tear down the kitchen ceiling. Not looking forward to that but parts of it are damaged and it hides the wiring. Have decided to reposition the ceiling fan/light when the ceiling comes down. Once that's done we'll install a drywall ceiling.

Today we move the refrigerator to its new location and start removing the wall where it was in prep for working on the bathroom. If it were warmer out I'd set up an outdoor kitchen. In the meantime, I'm resorting to the crock pot!

Then there's plumbing, wiring, fixtures and another floor to tear up in the bathroom. The work never seems to end. Oh well, what else have we to do besides continuing to prep, haul firewood, process blueberries, winterize the tractor, garden tractor, truck and chainsaws and a zillion other tasks?

Our furnace has run nearly non-stop for a week and the propane is disappearing at an alarming rate. Makes me nervous, partly because Sweetie keeps saying things like, "Last year we used six cords of wood. We'll be fine." I tell him that wood was used in a different location where winters are milder and we were more sheltered from the wind. But he's in one of his stubborn "I know what I'm talking about" moods. Then my Dad called and expressed his concern. "It sure won't hurt to have more," he said and Sweetie seemed to develop a whole new perspective!

I've made what I call our winter shopping/prepping list and thought I'd share it with you. You can refer to it and see if it reminds you of any holes in your preps assuming you live in the frozen north!!!

Winter shopping/prepping:

Case of 10-40 oil, another can of WD40 oil, two jugs antifreeze, bag of ice melt and two furnace filters; two used snowmobile suits, knit face masks and new felt boot liners; six-month supply of cat litter (One bucket in truck for getting unstuck!); more bungie cords & new tow rope; sharpen all the axes and clean/oil all the shovels; switch out summer BOB's for winter ones, move paint/varnish/stain cans inside; caulk exterior of windows, doors, eaves and anything else that looks like it needs it; have friends save newspapers for us; buy new smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors!

This does not include food preps. I bought six more cans of coffee this week on sale and a six cases of diced tomatoes since our garden is a disappointment. Still need more bread flour and yeast but it will be bought in mid September.

The deer have been on the move a bit and their signs are everywhere on our land. We posted our property so a few of the neighbors are not too friendly just now but this is a long narrow strip of land and we're not willing to have bullets zip by our heads. That's the thing about moving into a neighborhood. If you change things or alter another person's customs - on your land - it is not well received. Oh well. When they're paying the taxes and maintaining the land - which was not the case with the previous owners - then they can tell us how things are going to be.

Well, time to get to work. Hope you all have a productive day. Treesong


Anonymous said...

We are making a trip to town today to buy about 3 months of the things we buy over that amount of time. I have food for that long and longer...but want to have all the other things, including over the counter meds and pet food to last that long as well. I am concerned with the H1N1 flu that the govt. may close things down and make it mandatory to stay home for a bit if it gets too bad. Hope others are thinking of this.

2 Tramps said...

Thanks for the list you wrote. This is my town day and you reminded me of several things I need to pick up. Especially a new splitting maul. Since Tramp 1 has his back issues, I will be trying to beat him to the firewood pile and I want some good implements to help me with that task! You can never have enough firewood! And I need to get our propane tank filled, too, so will call the local area provider to schedule it. And I need to get cat litter for the vehicles, too, and shop for new snow tires for our new to us used Ford Focus we purchased in July. It was a tough decision but Tramp 1's truck is now 20 years old and will serve as a back up vehicle as he commutes 50 miles a day to work. That Focus pulls in 35 - 40 miles per gallon - what a savings!!