We are actually a bit late on this. After 10 days in the fermentation bucket, when we should have started sanitizing things and transferring the must to the carboy, we were instead dealing with hot water tank problems.
I was able to get about an hour of clean up in the old wood pile area. I made sure to check the temperature before I headed out, and it was only 22C. Thank God it wasn’t any hotter, because even that felt way too hot.
Y’know, I’ve always wanted to travel, and go vacation on some tropical island. I still want to do that, but I am realizing that I’d just die in the heat! 😀
Today has been a very unproductive day. I felt exhausted all day, to the point of falling asleep at the computer. I even tried to nap, but that was a failure. Mostly because I’m a suck, and I didn’t have the heart to move the sleeping pile of cats on my bed. 😀
It was my turn to do the cat litter tonight, and I headed out a bit early to do the sun room litter pans. It seemed cooler, so I stayed out and worked on the old wood pile area. I didn’t get very far. Again, I was feeling exhausted, and was dripping with sweat. This is not usual for me.
Then, just before starting this post, I checked the temperature.
27C – feels like 30C.
Which means it was even hotter while I was out there, even though it was about 7pm at the time.
That might have something to do with how I was feeling!
This is what I managed to do, in the short time I was out.
This is what the must looked like this morning, before I did the first stir of the day.
I love me some CO2 action!
At the time of this writing, we’ve done the second stir of the day. The instructions we are using as a guide said to stir it twice a day in the first 48 hours, so this was the last one. We now leave it, loosely covered and untouched, for the remainder of 10 days. After that, we siphon it off into the carboy, leaving behind any sediment, set up the airlock, then tuck it away into the basement for a minimum of 4 weeks. After this second fermentation, it should be ready to bottle.
We will, of course, have to taste it first, and see if we’ve got mead. 🙂
Today was a statutory holiday, and the pharmacy my daughter works at is closed for those, so my daughter had the day off. We still made a quick trip into town, as there was a festival going on. It was the market we wanted to check out, after I mentioned some of the vendors I saw. Unfortunately, half the market wasn’t set up today, so it was a bit of a wasted trip.
Except we got churros. Which makes up for that. These are a once a year thing, so it’s a really special treat. 😀
Another treat we had was when we got home and found the little furry bean, lying in a sun spot.
Is this little guy gorgeous, or what?
While things are starting to cool down, it still wasn’t until evening that I headed out into the yard to water a few things. I was pleasantly surprised to see Guildenstern coming into the yard with her baby.
After watching them for a bit, Junk Pile Kitten ran into the lilac bushes, so I settled myself on the steps at the door on that side and watched.
I was not disappointed.
What a beauty! Just look at those eyes!
He came pretty close to me, playing with a couple of the sun room kittens that came by. Including his brother, Keith. 🙂
I was able to get a bit of pruning done in the yard. Some of it was getting rid of low hanging branches that were starting to hang too low. Some of it was in the lilac near where I’ve planted the haskap berry bushes. Some of the branches were hanging low enough to be all stabby at me when I try to mow around the bed, but most of what I cut away was dead branches, twisted among and around the live ones. That opened the bush up quite a bit.
The kittens immediately took advantage of that.
There was 4 of them in there, at one point! 😀
As I was hauling the branches off to the wood pile, my husband went around to get some photos of the sun going down through the trees. We could see a cat off by the pump shack. After putting the wheelbarrow away, I decided to see which cat was out there, because Beep Beep has been pretty vicious about chasing Rosencrantz off in that direction.
It was, indeed, Rosencrantz, but I had another pleasant surprise, too.
She and her baby are using the pump shack again! It looks like the little guy can squeeze himself through that hole in the bottom of the door.
The hole was not that big before.
He is such a dark grey little kitty!
The other kittens came around, and he did play with one of them that came over, a little bit, but for the most part they stayed away from each other.
I’m really glad they have stayed nice and close. I hope Pump Shack Baby will make friends with the sun room kittens and start coming to the house for food.
I may not have gotten a lot of work done outside, but seeing the two other kittens is enough to make up for that. 😀
Today, my daughter and I got some progress done on the old garden area that we mulched with straw this spring.
We didn’t put anything under it, so things did start growing through it.
This is taken from one corner, next to the gooseberry bush and raspberries.
It looks a lot worse than it is. Partly because some of the weeds are so big, they take up more space on the surface than what they take up through the mulch. Partly because the mulch itself had seeds in it, and we’ve got oats growing in there, now.
We wanted to cover it, but first, we needed to kill this stuff.
Yes, we used herbicide on it. No, I’m not the least bit bothered by that.
Before we started, we tried to set up a hose to wash up later – and to spray any kittens who might come too close.
I’ve had some problems with the hoses. We’re down to two again, despite my repairs to them. There is, however, a garden tap. Basically, it’s a tap at the garden with a pipe running to the house, then a section of hose that can be screwed on to the water tap at the rear of the house. We’d never needed to test it out last year, so this was a good time to do it!
Yeah. That’s water spraying out of the ground, next to one of the wood piles.
I tried turning on the garden tap itself. Some water did start to come out, which turned really brown, then stopped altogether.
So I tried hooking up a pair of shorter hoses to the house tap, instead. One of them was spraying like crazy at the tap. When I switched to the other hose, it was fine.
So… we were down to one hose. *sigh*
While my daughter sprayed the garden, I worked on taking the pieces of wire that sewed the two sheets of black tarp together, out.
There was quite a lot of it. Some of the pieces were quite long and were done in a running stitch. On one section, there were two pieces used to created a double running stitch!
Getting it out was a challenge.
The kittens were very interested in the tarps!
After I got the wire out – and got scissors to cut away the fraying pieces that were catching on everything, I was able to spread them both out.
When the spraying was done, we left this area for a while, and I went back to working on cleaning around the old wood pile. After hauling another wheel barrow load to the pile near the burn barrel, I took a side trip into the barn, where I’d seen some tarps. The two black tarps are big, but not big enough!
While moving things to be able to access on of the tarps. I took a closer look at the old hoses that were in the way, and decided to try one of them out.
Much to my shock, it works just fine! No leaks or cracks, even though it’s really stiff from being in the barn for who knows how long.
So, we are back to two hoses. 😀
Later, my daughter and I spread the two black tarps over as much of the mulched area we could cover, while still making sure there is overlap. Then we checked out the two rolled up tarps I’d found in the barn.
One turned out to be an insulated tarp. We weren’t going to use that, even if it weren’t too small. We’ll save it for something else.
It turned out to be really huge!
Plus, it has grommets, so we can use tent pegs to pin it down.
We started to do that, but the ground is so hard, we actually bent some of the pegs.
Then, we had a visitor. A mom and her daughters came to look at the kittens to potentially adopt one. They stayed and played with the kittens, and took some pictures, for quite a while. I learned they got our phone number from the vet in town.
I had gone to the vet this morning, with updated pictures of the kittens, and little write-ups about each one, printed out. This family had actually phoned this clinic, asking about kittens, since they are also a shelter, and were given our number.
They will think about which one they will take and get back to us in about a week.
At least I hope so. I’d hate to get ghosted again. 😦
By the time they left, all the aches and pains were kicking in, and I had definitely overdone it on my broken toe, so I didn’t go back to get pictures of the tarps on the garden area, nor get back to working on the wood pile area.
It’ll be at least a day before I get back to it, since we’ll be doing our monthly shop in the city tomorrow. I’ll also be picking up a 5 kilo bucket of liquid honey I ordered yesterday, before we head out. My daughter is wanting to try her hand at making mead. 🙂
Until then, it’s time to shower off the bus spray and herbicide, pain killer up and go to bed early!
I didn’t get as much done cleaning up in the old wood pile as I’d hoped, but a little is better than none!
This is most of the area I focused on today. I got more old pallets out, and a bit more rotten wood. For the most part, it’s too rotten to even pick up, but I’m hoping to at least get out the pieces with nails. I also cleared out some saplings that were in the wood pile my sister and her husband had made in the big garden, the summer before we moved out.
Most of the pile in the foreground is what I’d move there last year. I had intended to find uses for it, but I have access to better types of wood than I knew of back then, so I will be adding it to the chipping pile. I’ve got cherry wood set aside, and I have more than enough to work on, so any more cherry I take down is going to the chipping pile, too. There is still some apple wood I’d set aside by the old dog house. I’ll see what condition it’s in as I move it, before I make any decisions about it.
The pile of debris is growing, and I’m at a loss as to what to do with it. With the possibility of nails being in there, I can’t compost it, but there is so much soil in there, I just don’t think it’ll burn well.
I think, after I clean up more around the outhouse, I’ll spread it in the back. There is an access to the pit under the outhouse there, so it can be emptied as needed, so it should be kept open and clear. It’s not an area that will get traffic, to the risks of people finding nails is lower, and we certainly won’t be gardening or anything back there.
That’s one possibility, anyhow.
I did find a few things while moving pallets out.
A bent piece of sheet metal, two electrical insulators, and a perfectly intact tea cup – not even a chip on it! – buried under the pallet fence.
In between working on this, we got some progress on the garden area we mulched, and had some company, but I will write about that in my next post. 🙂