Winterizing: the old dog houses

Today, I finally was able to get working on the old dog houses, getting them ready for winter! 🙂

The first thing on the list was to take off the tarp I’d put over them temporarily, and take down the rope I’d used to hold it up.

Since I was there anyway, I decided to do something about the fallen tree beside them. It’s too big to add to the chipping pile, so I just cut it into three and pulled the top of it out of the trees it had fallen on.

In the process, I noticed something.

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I have the best friends!

My husband had some packages to pick up in today’s mail, so I made a quick trip in to pick them up.

I was expecting 2, maybe 3, boxes.

There was 5! LOL The clerk helped me carry them to my van. 😀

When I got home, I was surprised to find my name on one of them.

A dear friend had sent me a surprise!

No more trying to keep the cats’ water from freezing with a light bulb! 😀

Of course, I had to set it up right away.

The cats were quick to show their appreciation.

It took Doom Guy a minute to realize there was water in the new bowl. The warm water I had put out this morning was already starting to freeze!

My husband had actually ordered one, too – in fact, it might be in one of the other boxes I picked up! So we’ll have two. 🙂

I have the best friends!

The Re-Farmer

I got you covered!

Something very disorienting happened today.

There was a knock at the door.

Which is one of those things that is so unexpected, it takes a moment for my brain to clue in and say, “oh… there’s a person at the door.” 😀

Turns out, it was the guy delivering the straw bale we had ordered. He had to leave the tractor in the driveway, hop the locked gate, and come knocking.

There’s a reason I asked for a call first! 😀 The guy delivering the bale was not the guy I bought it from, so he probably didn’t have my number. Not that he could have called us from his tractor, anyhow. 😉

I was really happy to see him, that’s for sure! It’s been snowing off and on, and the temperatures are dropping, so I really wanted to get that septic tank covered!

This time, I asked him to drop it off in the old garden area. You can see that the bale has been sitting for a year! After unwrapping it, I started trying to pull the straw down near that dark area, and found it half frozen and very wet.

Which is great, because the wet straw that’s already starting to decompose went straight onto the garden area, and some of the compost, right away. I even found a worm in it. LOL

This is where our septic tank is. Our system is very different from what is usual; instead of a gravity based system, ours has a smaller tank and pumps. There are pipes leading from the basement to the left of the tank in this photo. The tank has two chambers. Everything goes into the first chamber, then when it fills with liquid, there is an overflow chamber. When that fills, the liquid is pumped to a field out by the barn. The pipe for the outflow runs under the old kitchen, which is behind the septic lid in the photo.

All of these pipes are buried deep and, theoretically, we could go without covering any of this at all, but it’s not something we want to take a chance with. An extreme winter could freeze the ground far enough that the pipes would freeze, and if that happened, it could get really nasty in our basement! It would also cost many thousands of dollars to get it fixed. So spending $25 on a bale and covering it is really cheap insurance! 😉

Here is now it looks now! I added extra along the old kitchen foundation, just for a bit of extra insulation.

I’m leaving the tools with the bale for now, as we’ll be using it to insulate the old dog houses, probably in a couple of days.

While working on this, I had several very curious kitties checking things out. I expect the bale will also serve throughout the winter to keep little paws warm, and for burrowed nests, as well. 🙂 They were already quite keen on getting into it.

When I was done, I got a selfie with Susan.

She was not co-operative. LOL

Another thing off the list of things to get done before winter! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

Winterizing progress: covering the car

It turned out to be a rather pleasant day today, if quite windy. I wanted to cover my late father’s old car while it was still nice out, though.

We’d found a huge old tarp in the barn that we used to cover the mulched area of the big garden for the summer. It was more than big enough to cover my dad’s car, so when we took it off the garden, we just set it aside in the yard until we could get that done. When the winds picked up and threatened to blow it away, I shoved it through the back door of the garage, which leads to where my mom’s car is parked.

It’s so big, it filled up the space! I ended up having to fight through it when I needed to get through to the doorway to where our van is parked. 😀

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Winterizing: wood for the fire pit

I had some daylight left, so I decided to see how far I could get on another thing on my to-do list before winter.

Some clean up of the pile of larger wood, by the fire pit.

We may not have been able to use the fire pit over the summer, due to fire bans and unsafe conditions, but we should be able to use it in the winter. 🙂

Among the dead trees I cut down, leaving tall stumps until I can come back with a chain saw, there are three spruce stumps that form a triangle.

I decided to take advantage of that.

My reciprocating saw got quite a workout today! I was able to cut to fire pit size, and move the enter pile of larger wood, and even get some larger pieces in the “kindling” pile!

The disturbed area by the tree with the tire around its base is where the pile was.

The tall stumps worked well to keep the stacked wood in place. We can also use them when we put a tarp over the wood. We can even nail it in place, so the wind won’t blow it away.

Yeah, we plan to get cheap tarps. Actually, there is at least one I saw in the barn that we can dig out and see if it is still usable.

Another job I can mark off the to-do list! 🙂

The Re-Farmer