Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 3 on Babies Room

 Day three was long a grueling for SP. He had to sweat a lot of  pipes and in awkward positions.

Yes that is all in the floor. 

Also when working in the floor of one room, you rather quickly become the ceiling of another. 
Then there was a the very frightening  outlet in the middle of the room. It had to be moved but it alsp made no sense. 

See it's all tucked into the wall over to the left? It's the light switches for the overhead light and ceiling fan in our room.

We are getting closer to the rough construction work to be done. I  look forward to the room being finished.

Canning Storage

I'm rather impressed that this is so well stocked at what is typically the weakest time of the year to have thick stocks!

What looks like beer or O'Douls is actually Maple Syrup, just like the bottom shelved items.

Alternative Uses for Dryer Sheets

I don't know if this works, but it is worth a try for some of them!

Alternative Uses for Dryer Sheets

Making Baby's Room as big as it gets

Baby has been stuck in the smallest bedroom that isn't a bedroom for far too many of his ten years. After last springs house fire ruined our chances of getting the final construction finished, it is the push for this spring. SP worked very hard over vacation and got the bulk of the rough work done. When we originally made baby his room, from a nook in our room and the old laundry room, the walls went up with a lick and a promise that we might be back later to finish it. All the pipes and vents for the laundry were cut and capped and remained in place. This week, they were forced out of their comfort zone, out into the light of day, and put out of their misery. Thank you SP for all that you do.

In the beginning there was a snug little room with bamboo floors and gentle green walls.
Then the fun began.

This was the part I wanted to participate in but I was too busy cooking stock and canning in the kitchen, so I just ran up periodically to take pictures. 

The funny thing was finding that we had basically encapsulated an odd period of time, when we were battling a litter of flying squirrels in the attic. Those little rodents really liked to get in the dryer vent and thus into Baby's wall. When this particular wall was closed up, we left a loaded trap in it. SP tripped the trap after breaking down the wall.

Baby inspecting the progress.

Getting messy in there!

A quick glimpse at my good little elf SP. 

That's our new pocket door. I think we have added 1.5 feet to his room.

Looking chaotic

The good, the bad, and the down right ugly.

See ya Debris!

A closer look at the progress after Day one.

Day two SP attacked the tougher aspects of getting the wall taken apart.

Definitely progress!

Out the window, out of mind!

SP contemplating a huge problem.

Day three proved to be the worst and toughest... no need to glorify that until it is over and done with.

Cleaning up Sap Season

It's been great to watch the snow melt this past week, but nothing confirms the arrival of spring more than the greening of the grass and the take down of all the sap buckets.
There's the toboggans, ready to sled the boiler back.

It was a great syrup season - our best yet! I am looking forward to the thinning of the sugar bush this year and processing all the firewood it will create. It might look a bit bleak but in 10 year, we should have lines and a professional operation.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Final Sap Boil of 2017

Yesterday was a beautiful spring day as we boiled off the final ~60 gallons of sap. The weather should be up into the 70's for the next two days so it feels like quite a gift to still be boiling. Spring has solidly set in, leaving the red maples with large swollen buds. We know the sap will shut off if it already hasn't it's a season of remarkable change.

Boiling sap on such a wonderfully spring like day is a gift in comparison to the brutal single digits of the first boil of the season.
Nonetheless, the reminders are all around you of the firm grip winter had on us and the tremendous change that still needs to happen. A quick look around and you realize just how much of your driveway and road have been displaced by the snow plow and there is a great deal of raking and shoveling in our future.

We can count our blessings that we made it this far on the last of the sap wood and that we only needed a couple of chunks of the two dead pines we did drop yesterday.

I guess the most exciting part of yesterday was being left alone and in charge for a considerable amount of time while SP took Baby to a birthday party. Pickle came outside for a little bit and I asked her to snap a couple of pictures of me, since I am always the one behind the camera.

Luckily, SP came home in the knick of time because, of the 4 buckets of sap he left me with, I was down to the bottom of the 4th bucket. That was a little too close for comfort.

I had a moment of glee when I realized the snow had melted enough that we could see the top of the well cap. Even the chickens realized the retreat of the snow and resumed their dusting under the pine tree behind the house.

Sixty gallons to syrup came rather quickly, and this late season sap gave us some gorgeous colors left in the pan, with the spring afternoon sky reflected in the surface. 

As the afternoon progressed on, we were increasingly aware of the sounds of running water. We were surrounded by mini streams of snow melt. It was also time to go break out some water bars to save the road and driveway from being further washed away. Oh the joys of spring time!