Friday, 27 January 2012

Ice Storm

This morning was a morning when all plans went out the window because of the weather....
We were hit with an ice storm last night and its so slippery outside that the dogs cant keep upright on their morning walk!
On mornings like these the ice can freeze the doors of your car shut and you have to pound them open or sometimes use a hair dryer on a long extension cord to melt them free.

This is what the vehicle window looked like after I cleaned it!

crampons were dawned to sand the driveway.

Sand and salt wasn't enough so I spread ash from the wood stove down too!
My boots are covered from throwing ash!

It took about two hours in total to sand our driveway which is longer than a football field. 
Part of that was spent prying the lid off the sand which was frozen shut and also breaking the ice off of the shed door which was frozen shut too.

Free at last!


Tuesday, 24 January 2012


Over a year ago I ordered a new Bear Takedown Recurve bow from Bear Archery in the United States.
I don't own many new things in part because I prefer old things that have been used ... have provenance and character and in part because I live a humble life that does not revolve around shopping.
It's a choice I have made that has provided me with a very full and rich life  outside of the traditional flow of consumerism.
Yes we all do need to buy things in the society we live in but when we purchase fewer things, I firmly believe, the things we do buy are more meaningful. 
This bow was going to be a special treat. 
A bow that I can grow old with.
Something that I had saved long and hard for. 
A decision well thought through...
An item of both  beauty and utility.

Over a year ago my bow order was backordered. 
I have been waiting patiently for it ever since....

Yesterday I received a phone call from a courier company who had my bow and wanted to come out and deliver it to me. 

How exciting!

Today, in a hard snow squall,  the driver climbed up the stairs to my house with my anxiously awaited package.

Wouldn't you know it though....Bear had shipped the wrong item!
I had to refuse the delivery without even opening the box. 

Here is a picture of my delivery.

Patience is a virtue...possess it if you can.


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Repurpose Challenge

One of my favorite web sites online is 

It's a place where people interested in making things gather and share ideas.
Ever wanted to turn your gas powered leaf blower into a vacuum cleaner, make cream cheese toast
or build your own flame thrower? 
This would be a good place to check out....
What I like most about this site is how people often "repurpose" materials to achieve their creative ends.
I love to build things with my hands. Make things that I need or want with materials on hand. And whenever possible use parts or materials from one object and repurpose them to create something new.
Years ago I remember building a 12volt regulated power supply for electronic projects and needing a case to put it in.  I installed it in a used metal can that once held Earl Grey perfect.
There always seems to be something needed around here and by building what you need not only can you save yourself some money but you can often build something better suited to your needs because you can customize it and of course there is the satisfying feeling of accomplishment that comes from the process too!
Currently my head has been preoccupied with trying to figure out how to build an oversized quilting frame for my wife that needs it for some art work she is creating. The materials list for the project includes EMT (electrical conduit), scrap wood from a futon and scraps of a hardwood chair that I just found the other day at the side of the road.
Here are some photos of my "found" broken chair parts....
I'm going to cut cogs from the seats to help tension the fabric in the quilt frame I am building....

What could you make from this pile of pieces?
Have you any "repurposing" tales to tell?
For any up for a challenge...try to find something that someone has discarded and make something new!


The quiet of the night

Its late....very late
Close to three in the morning and I've just got back to the house
after taking the dogs out to do their business. I think one of them ate something  out in the bush
that is causing her stomach a bit of grief. The temperature outside is a crisp -10 below zero and its snowing again.  Yesterday it was raining though and last weekend it was -27 and Im not even going to guess what the weather will bring in a few days. 
This winter the weather has been especially unsettled....

A newly purchased thermometer / weather station now sits on the china cabinet 
beside some old Thermos flasks, a railway signal mans flashlight and the clock.
The house is now quiet with two snoring dogs. I can hear the wind howling outside and the weather station is flashing a prediction of snow for the next 12 hours.
Fine weather to stay inside a read.
The dogs will be up again in three hours with the sun...
I think I will stoke up the fire before I try to get some sleep.