Happy December 25th!

PN is grateful that TS is recovering so well post knee-surgery. TS is becoming an Fe-womyn with all of those various (borderline sadistic) physiotherapeutic exercises (Gus [from the clinic], if you’re reading this, I don’t know whether to thank you or curse you).

While I want to spend a week at the site (during our break), that will have to wait until TS’s knee heals more. Sure, I’m all gung-ho about trudging into the lot — solo. That’s a bit too risky. I cannot rely on my neighbours to bail me out if I do something stupid (they ARE called widowmakers for a reason, eh).

In the meantime, TS is making ~600-900 wolf biscuits for our wolfman & his pack (MS, we’re looking forward to our next visit; it’s possible we can meet you 1/2 way for a dawg-treat exchange).

Last item: when Evolve Builders visited our site earlier this month, they took additional images of our roughed in build-site. I’ve sprinkled those images in on our website. The annotations are my own and does NOT represent the views of our contractor, eh.

I’m hoping the frozen ground will allow our well driller opportunities to do exploratory testing. And our wastewater system installer to test the strata’s percolation performance. TBA = to be announced.
As our home gets built, PN will try to get additional images from this vantage point.
If you’d like a graffitti-free image, please contact PN.

Ah… so THAT’S why I received so many telephone calls from satellite ISP agents…

When TS & I move up to the peninsula, we expect to pay a lot for broadband internet service. Off-grid. Our property line is at least ~1000 m from the last utility pole. Link to CBC article.

Educate Yourself…

I am very aware that I earn a fantastic salary, posess excellent medical benefits, and a have a pension fund that can’t be beat.

I have the luxury of retiring in June. My CUPE colleagues — no.

My colleagues in CUPE (especially in caretaking, as a CYW, or performing EA duties) often do the same tasks as I do. Cleaning up labs? De-escalating students in crisis? Tutorials? Restorative justice? Classroom supervision? They’re in the thick of it — just like me.

CUPE education staff are also thrust into high-risk learning environments. The caretakers I know also have to clean up disgusting messes left by teenagers. Caretakers are on the stop-watch, and must complete their backbreaking labour during the odd hours of the day.

Ontario Federation of Labour. Educate yourself here (link).

CBC Ontario. When my peers do get some (measly) pay increase, it’ll be gobbled up by basic living expenses. Grocery bills. Educate yourself here (link).

October 2022 360-degree image

You are looking at my 2nd attempt at making a full-sphere image of our driveway at the build-site. My iDevice did its very best at knitting together images into an image bubble. Yes, PN is wearing red wooly socks in his Birkenstocks. TS is accepting of my fashion crimes.

PN & TS also cut away that risky blind-spot on the West side of the enterance (so that we can avoid the locals who bomb along that gravel road).

To my students & colleagues: don’t speed like a maniac down such roads. These speeders cannot stop in time. If they fish-tail and Tokyo-drift off the side of the road… there’s no way in hell they are getting their vehicle out. Trust me… several winters ago, I got my hoity-toity SNOWKAT (Toyota Tacoma) into the median. And it slowly slid off the embankment. Despite my 4WD, I had to get towed out by a neighbour who happened to drive by (and then THEY got stuck).

Oh, and if one were to injure oneself in a self-imposed MVA (motor vehicle accident), it will take the ambulance 1/2h to reach that victim… and another 1/2h to return to the nearest ICU (tiny hospital at Lions Head, somewhat bigger trauma centre at Wiarton, helicopter EVAC might be possible from that site [with the victim possibly footing the bill]).

Now, we have to deal with the blind-spot on the other side of the driveway!
Image of future BCB&B site.

4 weeks of harvesting, logging, and chipping…

…leads to a roughed-in build site! See the attached images, eh.

Revision: Ah. So THAT’S how one inserts images. Oy.

Hardwood is…

…well, hard. A grove of slow-growing oak, maple, and ironwood (yes, that’s a real Ontario tree [I’m using this tree atlas to identify my plants])… are challenging me. I thought I would be able to sharpen my saw’s chain every 3 days. Nope. The chain skates on the media! Daily sharpening. Daily!

I won’t be burning the straight, unblemished logs. They’re piled on a flat deck… single layer. I’ll be picking up a jig that I can attached to (a second?) saw so that I can try my hand at making lumber. To give away? To make tchotchkes? To turn on a lathe? Give TS and me your ideas, eh.

Additional information about trees? Visit this site: https://www.ontario.ca/page/tree-atlas

I had to be reminded…

…that green branches and fresh leaves play holy hell with small chippers & shredders. I blocked up the mechanism 3 times before I walked away from it in disgust (TS is more savvy than me about the unit… I end up jamming branches and stuff into the hopper… and look like Wile E. Coyote on top of one of his spinning-blade ACME contraptions [sorry TS… do as I say, not as I do]). After de-energizing the system and pulling the hopper apart 3 times… I gave up.

I try not to pile branches like this. I was getting tired.

We crawled back to MTC and are recovering from the grind. This is fun. Right? RIGHT?! Ow, sore.

I ended up fishtailing up and down the driveway, as a way to avoid chipping. Those logs will be processed in the Fall.

Tomorrow… we chip!

TS & I were able to get back into the zone while clearing the build-site. Yesterday, TS was able to rough-out the new ATV trail from the build-site to her soil-operation. Me? I just smashed and crashed my way hither-and-dither using our Polaris! I strung a trail-line from our starting point to the soil-operation.

This morning, I was far more confident with my chainsaw and was able to safely bring down more trees (without huffing & puffing & tripping-stumbling). My Stihl’s MS261’s chain didn’t skip off the bar (as I’m properly tensioning it). Safe, sane, and productive work with a high-performance saw? Nailed it.

TS, the super-ant (AKA ‘The Mad Lopper’), has piled up a stack of branches that will be processed tomorrow. She’s also filling in the rock fissures (exposed after removing the juniper) with punky logs. Now that we are spending more time in the future back yard/garden, we can chip and shred deadfall and material in situ. I’m just not butch enough to haul the bush buggy over rocks & crevices to the soil-operation (despite using an ATV to haul it).

Preparing to return…

…to the bush. I’m optimistic we learned a few lessons from our last session. We’ll have to DIY our own bush-buggy-platform for the wood chipper. King City Trailers gave us good advice, had SOME stock, but couldn’t sell us a ready-made option. Still, I’d recommend them to you.

Meh… we’re planning on pushing another ATV trail around the buildsite so that we can easily move green-matter to the soil operation. SR told TS that we can grab our wheelbarrow from the school shipping container.

We’re finishing up our 1st work-session…

…on the future build site, septic field, and (hopefully before the new year), a well. Let’s harvest the biomass before the bulldozers clear this area. Evolve Builders is our contractor, so we are able to reduce our overall woodlot impact.

Our foundations will be going in where the clearing is – about 15-20 paces from the wood chip pile.
TS has become very adept at preparing green & brown matter for chipping/shredding. When added to our soil operation, and using other permaculture techniques, we will have soil by the time YOU arrive!