Visitors

Friday was a really intense day of running around at the last minute trying to see to all details before heading out to the cabin to begin what appears to be an endless task of cleaning up after the packrat. It finished with a thunderstorm and the need to run the generator after arguing with the water pump for several hours (the usual refusing to hold its prime problem).

However I did get the SD card out of the wildlife camera and had a look at what it saw over last Winter. There wasn’t much this year: several of the shots were triggered by snowfall which no doubt kept a lot of animals away. Here’s some that came anyway:

Oct 21 2021 – before I’d left for the year. I have no idea who this is.
A moose in the night. There were a lot of moose shots, mostly nocturnal. This was the best of them.
A bear in the evening. 10 days before I came out this time. Must still be around.
Kayaker, taken Saturday the 21st. No idea who it is and the Nikon was not being very co-operative so this is the best out of seven, only 3 of which were even images.

So our Jane is coming up to take the travel trailer away. This will not only free up space in the yard, but will allow me to get at a couple of projects such as running the power line in from the generator shed and eventually putting the brick patio down. Stuff sitting all around here waiting to be used up; last year got interrupted by a detached retina and then running out of time. I barely finished the wood harvest.

Meanwhile, back to cleaning up. One of the projects is redoing the bathroom which not only suffered a lot of water damage way back when I was reroofing the place (Brenda fell and broke her wrist one day – it poured a month’s worth of rain when I took her to the hospital) but also has packrat nests above it which were not improved by the contractor’s failure to repair the ceiling properly. But hey, what’s more work for me right? Well it’s more work for me, right?

Sunshine is erratic so I will probably be using the generator more. That’s expensive electricity!

There and back

Made the first cabin trip of the year, just to check things out. Actually got in this time: the glacier road was thawed and not too bad to drive on. Even so it didn’t help the aches and pains I already had from cutting up a neighbour’s tree for him and then splitting four barrows of wood for me. The jostling of going down that gravel highway at 60-80 clicks didn’t make anything any better. Fortunately some neighbours out there had already been in so I didn’t have to clear any trees off the road. Fergus was first in, and had to cut five. I could have gone in last weekend but herself was away at daughter’s wedding. Look, it’s too confusing even for me to understand so I suggest you don’t even try.

Same ol’ place.

The good news is no big damage to anything and the batteries were full up. The bad news is a packrat tried to move in and made a mess, including dragging tools off. They have a king of jackdaw behaviour about shiny things like screwdrivers. Now I get to see how well the new flooring, along with a lot of other stuff, cleans up from rat mess.

The lake is high.

Now I’ve got to come up with some kind of plan for tackling all the things that still need doing there, along with the clean-up. This includes removing that travel trailer, a process which I dread because it’s big and heavy and will end up clogging the driveway at home. Assuming I can get the van going to move it, and somehow get it up the hill at the cabin and through the tight trees and … yes I know I got it in there. Getting it out is another matter, believe me.

First loon of the year.

The other things working against me include ambient temperatures that run between 0 and 10 Celsius, and a forecast of pretty much cloudy with rain for the next two weeks. This is problematic when your electricity comes from solar panels because despite claims to the contrary they do not produce power in all weather. PVs need direct, bright sunlight to work. Anyone who says otherwise is either stupid or a liar. Possibly both. I can say this because not only have I designed numerous installations besides my own, but have fixed even more systems that were concocted by people who definitely did not know what they were doing.

So when the sun doesn’t shine the batteries have to be recharged via the generator, and gasoline is $1.95/L here now which makes for damn expensive electricity. Like about $1 per kilowatt hour. This also ups the cost of going to and from the cabin, as well as increasing the expense of self-harvested firewood for winter heating at the house. Or Summer heating at either/both places due to the lousy weather we’re having. And no I would not be surprised to see it suddenly flip into hot and dry with wildfires everywhere again. It has happened before (2017, the year of the worst fires).

I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. The bathroom needs a complete overhaul and the upstairs needs finishing and the exterior needs restaining (it weathers horribly on the windward side). Never mind all the other chores of daily life like lawn mowing. Oh yes; the wood trailer needs some serious repair.

You know, the best plan might be to take the year off and just enjoy life instead of trying to undertake all these big projects that ultimately I will not see the benefit of. It’s going to be one horrifically expensive year no matter what I do, that’s for sure.