Feb 3 – Well, another cold one this morning. I would have preferred to stay home, but I had to get to Kapuskasing for groceries. Just seeing that temperature on the display worried me whether my truck would start. A few sluggish cranks, and it was running.
At least the sun was out, so the drive to town was nice. It had been a few weeks since the last time I grocery shopped, and was surprised to see fully stocked produce and meat section. What I hadn’t counted on, was a lineup to the lone cashier. You’d think a large grocery store like Loblaws would have more staff, but I learned later than 5 cashiers called in with Covid. Not much you can do but just hope they’re all ok.
Feb 17 – Not much to write about this month as we’ve been hunkered down and keeping warm with -30 to -40C temperatures. Yesterday was a nice break as temperatures rose about eight 0C. Crazy weather!
Yesterday was my least favourite day: cleaning the compost toilet. It’s a task that needs to be taken care of every other month. While it only takes maybe a half hours it still isn’t something I look forward to. Filter 36L of lake water from the cistern into 4L jugs for drinking. I do this every month, and takes a few hours, but at least it’s free and clean water. Final task of the day was making dinner: turkey and broccoli stir fry on rice with pot stickers. Yum!
Feb 19 – John found something online that was interesting. A Canadian company that makes the woodstove fans also makes a neat non-electric light. What you see in the pic below is the light. It is powered by a simple non-scented tea candle. When you light the candle and close the door, it powers the lights. From one tea candle, we’ll get 4 hours of light. While it isn’t powerful enough to replace all our lights, it is a nice light for reading and ambiance when watching a movie.
Feb 20 – Received our off-grid washing machine. It’s not really off grid in that it doesn’t require power, it simply uses a lot less power. We tested it the other day and it worked wonderfully. The left side of the machine is the washer and the right side is the spinner. Add your clothes to the left, some water and bio-degradable soap. 10 minute cycle, then it drains down the tub. Then we transfer the clothes to the right side and set spin cycle for 2 minutes. Finally, I set up a drying rack. That simple. Uses far less power, shorter cycle and weighs less than 30 lbs.
This is a game changer for us as 90% of our clothes can be washed in it – up to 11 lb. load. This means we don’t have to drive to town and the laundromat.
Super excited about our decision to double our solar capacity. We had the solar install guys who did our first install back in 2018 put again to talk with us. In May, they’ll install a 24 foot high rack with 9 more panels. Best part about this setup, it will rotate with the sun. Now heading into winter, we’ll have more storage, more panels and more importantly- more power.
Feb 28 – after a mild day yesterday woke up to -30 and no internet. Oh well. Yesterday was more busy than expected as we got one of our trucks stuck in a snowbank driving up our driveway to main road. Took both of us an hour digging out, but eventually it was out.
Tomorrow I can start saying “next month I’ll be hiking.” Just over 5 weeks til I set foot on the Appalachian Trail.☺️
Lastly, saddened by what’s going on in Ukraine and Russia. I had a post that I’ve now deleted because it wouldn’t be appropriate at this time. My friend in St. Petersburg Russia sent me a wonderful care package of Russian goodies.
I really feel for her because she is a good person. Her mom and siblings live in Belarus and they have family in Ukraine. Kseniya has been a wonderful ambassador to Russia – helping people like me understand the food, customs and people. She said recently how tough it will be going forward and she wishes she could protest as this war doesn’t reflect most Russians. Now her chance to showcase Russia will be setback a long time. Protesting is not only illegal and threat of prison, but her social media will probably be taken down.
I hope it ends soon 😞