Taking stock

Of course, I just have to start with my morning smiles!

I am so glad we were able to build the kibble house for the outside cats. It’s working out really well! We have about 5 days of warm weather coming up next week. The perfect time to add a sheet of rigid insulation under the floor boards, then add another board across the front, to keep the containers from being knocked out. Hopefully, the winds will have died down more by then. We don’t have anywhere near the high winds we had yesterday, but it’s still too windy to be trying to work with things that become sails! 😀

Speaking of winds, my morning rounds were a bit more extensive, as I checked to see what damage there might be. I found the back doors of the barn were actually starting to pull open. They are double doors, with one side “latched” at the lintel, while the other split door is held in place by the first one. If it weren’t for the bar holding the one side in place as much as it did, no doubt that both sides would have been flung open. As it is, they were pulled open far enough that the split door was barely held in place.

Even one of the garage doors were my mother’s car is parked were being blown open. We finally had to roll and old tire, still on its rim, in front of it to keep it from blowing open. Those doors are supposed to be held in place with spring latches at the time, but the piece one of them latches into has broken, and both sides of the door are sagging. Another thing on the list of things to fix!

The tarp I put over my late brother’s post pounder is being torn to shreds. I’ve tried tying it down more, but the recent winds have undone all of that, and more. I was at least able to cover the motor with a plastic bag until I can find another tarp large enough to cover the whole thing.

Oddly, I found a piece of aluminum blown onto a stack of wood by the old garden shed. It’s the same material the eaves-troughs on the house are made of, though it’s not a trough; more like an edge piece. I have no idea where it blew in from! Still, when the girls are on the roof to clean out the eaves-troughs on the second level, it’ll be a good time to check the roof for damage in places we can’t see from the ground.

We also lost another tree in the spruce grove. Not a spruce, this time.

One tree broke off about 8 or 9 feet up, and another next to it lost its top. Not too bad for losses, all things considered.

Cleaning up in the spruce grove was my goal for the past 2 summers, and it just didn’t happen. We really need to get in there and clean out all the dead wood. It’s quite the fire hazard, and the area is almost impassable. In checking out the latest breakages, I was pleased to see there’s quite a lot of red bark dogwood, as well as wild roses, in the area – two things that I want to encourage the growth of, as we clean out other things. In time, the plan is to transplant more spruces into the spruce grove. So many have died, it’s almost not a spruce grove any more! A lot of what we’ll be taking out of the grove are small poplars. These are pretty flexible and springy when they’re small, so we are planning to find ways to use them to make things like arbors, trellises, and other things, where I plan to use bent wood. The larger ones that will be cut down will be used as support posts. Among the things we want to make is an arbor with a gate to put on one side of the driveway gate. This is for when people come by, to make deliveries or whatever, while the gate is locked, so they don’t have to climb over the gate to get in, potentially damaging the hinges. I also want to make combination benches and climbing trellises to set up in different areas around the yard. It’ll be good to be able to actually use the small trees we’ll have to clear out to make useful and pretty things, rather than just adding them to the chipper piles.

I also made a run into town today. I was intending to do it yesterday, but just did not want to drive in those winds. Especially since I wanted to swing by the cemetery with some artificial flowers my mother gave me to put at the graves of our family. While there, I took the time to pick up and replace some of the stuff from other graves that got blown around, but some of them, I just couldn’t tell where the things had come from, so I just set them aside.

Among the things I had to get in town was more bird feed and suet, and I’ve also picked up deer feed. From the droppings I’m finding, they are coming around more often. We will start leaving out small amounts for them to get used to finding it here again, but at this time of year, it’s more like dessert. There is plenty of wild food available for them.

I just checked our long range forecast. When I last looked, tomorrow was supposed to be one more cooler day, then it would warm up over the next few. Now it’s saying the next two days will reach highs of 11C, then highs of 9C for the next couple of days after that! So we’ve got 4 days to do as much as possible outdoors before it starts dipping below freezing again. It’s looking to be a pretty mild November, but I still really want to get more mulch on the tulips the girls planted, in particular. The eaves-troughs are the only essential thing left that needs to be done; the rest is stuff that we’d like to get done, but if we don’t, it’s not a big deal. We shall see what we manage. Tomorrow, it’ll be on the girls for the most part, since the van has been re-booked for the garage for then.

I will be very happy to get that oil change done, and those winter tires on, before winter really hits!

The Re-Farmer

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