Hj and I dug up the garden yesterday. The chives are coming up nicely, but the parsley winterkilled, so more will have to be put in.
The four supervisors kept their eyes on us to make sure we were doing a good job.
Planting will begin in a couple of days.
Arrived safe at THO. It was only minus 1 degree celsius in the house. I started the heater and emptied the car while Hj shovelled up near the doorway and the gate. I am grateful to my cousin Kenny who keeps me ploughed out. I have been able to drive right up to the house so far any time I have come and today was no exception. The snow banks are about half the size of the house… which isn’t saying too much… tee hee…
As soon as these few little tasks were accomplished, we tapped the maple trees. They are dripping now into the buckets. All feels right in the world!
Like everyone else in the world people who live in Tiny Houses wear things out. My husband’s jeans and my slippers are proof of this fact.
I decided that these could have their lives extended with just a little bit time and effort, so I got the tools I need to do the job.
To fix the slippers which have just a small hole – I used a darning technique that Grandma, Violet, taught me. Simply… turn what needs darning inside out, knot the thread to the edge of the hole then sew with small stitches close to edge all around it.
If I were darning a large hole I would not have done this, but in the case of this little one – on stretchy slippers, I just pulled the thread, stitched down the lump and tied a knot. This took me less than a minute.
Working inside of pockets is a bit difficult so I used an iron on patch and then hand stitched it to make it more secure. I thought the hole looked cooler than the patch being on the outside so I decided to leave this showing. After ironing it on I used small stitches all around the hole and then again all around the patch. This took me about seven and a half minutes
I know that this is not exactly tiny house related, but it does save me money and time. I don’t have to buy others right away and I used far less time repairing what I already have then I would have used going to the store to find new slippers and new jeans. As well, I reduced, reused and recycled which is a lot to do with with the tiny house, tiny footprint morality.
So… if you are a math-E person like my husband you are probably thinking that the time does not add up… you are right. The task took less than ten minutes, but still I had to get the tools and put them away and this took a little bit of time too.
My grandma liked to sing – and among the hundreds of little toe tapping songs she taught to us when we were children, there is one that sticks to my mind today… I don’t know if it is a real song – but this is how I remember it it.
“What will we do if the bed breaks down?
Sleep on the floor.
What will we do if the money runs out?
Work hard for more.
What will we do if the wood runs low?
Chop down some more.
Chop. Chop. Chop.
Chop. Chop. Chop.
Chop down some more.”
Today, I am also tapping my toes somewhat impatiently because my husband is returning from one of his business trips. I am anxious for him to return because we hoped to tap a few maple trees together this year and the sap is running. I don’t want to make a big operation of it, but I thought it would be nice to have 4 or five litres for our own use. Maybe a small bit of maple sugar candy too. It takes quite some sap to make a little bit of syrup; anywhere from 10-20 gallons to make a litre so there is a lot cooking down to do!
The land here has about 5 good solid acres of tappable maple trees and with the slope, it would also be quite a sensible spot for a sugar shack – gravity would do all the lugging or if there were lines the slope would do all the thinking for me. This means the workload would be a little less than it is for some sugar producers.
When I move here full time, maple syrup is an option for a small source of income. As you know, I don’t need to make much money to live well. As things exist right now – I estimate that would be able to live very comfortably on $500/month.
Sugar is a lot of work, good exercise though!
Tap, tap, tapping…
Sometimes when it is cold outside pulling on layers of clothes feels like a terrible nuisance. On days like this I stand at the window and look out.
Before long something aways tugs at my curiosity at THO and this curiosity wins out over the desire to stay toasty. So on goes the coat and boots and the camera also gets tucked into my pocket.
Looking back from the lane, the house looks cozy…
Below my feet, right where I stand I see that I have had a silent visitor.
Today, however, I did not get whisked down the rabbit hole. A pity, I think. Wouldn’t it be fun to be Alice?
Most of my readers will know that I installed a solar panel this summer and ran wires and lights too. When I did so a few of you cautioned that the 12 volt system would not meet my needs. So far, not much has changed, every time I turn on the switch there is a ray of clear, free light that pops on.
The only let down I had, is that I can’t charge my drill. This remains the only drawback of going with a small 12 volt system in my particular off grid situation.
The stand that I built for it seems to be working really well too. It keeps the panel off the ground and it is also heavy enough to stay on the ground even with the huge winter winds that we experience here on the escarpment.
Pretty reflection isn’t it?
I took a test this morning to see what the carbon footprint for Tiny House Ontario is.
Here are the results
|House||0.03 metric tons of CO2|
|Flights||0.00 metric tons of CO2|
|Car||0.00 metric tons of CO2|
|Motorbike||1.22 metric tons of CO2|
|Bus & Rail||0.00 metric tons of CO2|
|Secondary||1.76 metric tons of CO2|
Total = 3.01 metric tons of CO2
It went on to say:
It is a pretty good result, but I have to say that I am very surprised to learn that I am over consuming in the secondary section. Here are the answers that I gave:
I guess this means that next year I have to hope for a better growing year so that I can reap as much as I sow. I am not sure how else I can reduce really as my bike is essential for me to get around and I really don’t buy much besides food and things to complete THO. This gives me a lot to think about!
What are your results? Do you see any way that you can reduce this number?
Update: I just found that an acre of 15 year old forest will carry 1-2 cubic metres of carbon per acre. THO forest is at least 9.5 acres of forest which means that it likely carries at least 19 cubic meters… not sure still what the different measurements are, but this does make me feel a little better.
Yesterday morning I soaked a 2 pound bag of white navy beans in my big crockpot. It turns out that this is slightly too many so I had to remove a quarter of them into a different pot. The small pot I added some seasoning to, a few of my garden tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic and and onion and made a good heartily soup. I got four large meals and two small jars (only one is pictured here) from the first quarter. The other 3/4 of the beans were turned on last night and I salted and canned them earlier this afternoon. I got four full quarts plus a little. They will be used later for a recipe that calls for beans – or to make another soup, whatever. The bag of beans cost me $2.50 Canadian; a lot of food for very cheap and very little work. As a matter of fact boiling the jars to make them sterile was the toughest part.
The best part, is that I get the satisfaction of hearing the cans pop! Silly as this is, it even beats the cheap cost, and feeding myself slow food, with no preservatives and good taste and quality. Did you know that when you can beans yourself there is no slime in the jar at all? What is that slime in canned beans?
Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! :-D