Friday, September 19, 2014

jambaloney's latest "gonzo homesteading" project!

i think as you all know, i love and respect jambaloney's intelligence, strength, kindness, generosity - but one thing that i really admire is his ability to take a bunch of junk and somehow build something useful! he learned this from his step-dad Ted.

anyway, it's been a nice couple of days, but today it is pretty windy and cool.

so on to jambaloney's latest "gonzo homesteading" project - his step-dad will be proud!

what do you do with your truck cab that you don't use? and a pallet that you found in the garbage and dragged home?

you reinforce the pallet and start building a shed is what!

he finaggled some contraption to move the truck cab - by HIMSELF! that thing must weigh 300lbs!

then he finaggled a ramp and was able to move the truck cab up the ramp and onto the top of the shed!

i couldn't believe how easily he just moved that baby up there!

and there it is - up on top of the shed!

here is how it looks after more work on it today - he has wrapped the whole thing in plastic and will use braces to  hold the plastic down.

that's what he is out doing right now. he will start working on the door soon and hopes he can finish it all by this evening. before the door though, he will remove the 2 X 4's holding the cab on the shed and use the cab clamps to clamp the cab to the shed.

what's it for? good questions, guys and gals, i always appreciate good questions! once the entire shed is built and water-proof - he will build a ramp up to the shed. the shed is where we will store our atv from now on! we learned our lesson the hard way that leaving the atv out in all weather, even though wrapped tightly in a tarp - well - not good! we rely on that atv to do the plowing of our driveway in the winter - that atv is a tool - not a toy! and now it has a permanent home!

i am so proud of that man! so proud!

Monday, September 15, 2014

AWESOME fishing and water stuff...

jambaloney here!

first off - some fall weather pics!!!

the sun sets a certain way this time of year - and the front yard is quite nice!!!

well - you read about meeting our internet friends d and his family here.  d was around for another week and he took me fishing -  well - the guy knows his stuff - first we were to gabarus bay and got some mackerel - THEN to a secret spot for some surf fishing... i had a blast, d was a great guide - i know the river, but not the sea - i got schooled quickly and believe me, i took notes

okay - i LOVE this pic - d caught me in action...

and my biggest fish ever - striped bass around 32 inches long and 10 - 12 lbs!

i caught 3 all in all, but the others were too small  - d was returning home so he gave me his too - with the mackerel - there is a LOT of fish in in the freezer now!

thanks a million d!

not to dismiss the framboise river - aug 30, 2nd last day of trout season...

down by headwaters i found - FROST!!!

yup - frost - it is quite low-lying and windless there - here is a lesson - keep the homestead on the hill!!!

4 nice trout for pioneer p and sandy!!!

okay d and a few otheres asked k about our water - we use black berkey filters for our drinking water:

we have used them for years - now we did buy the filter towers as well - but i have seen many plans to build your own with food grade buckets - got these at the bakery in sydney! - i followed this one:

but i wanted more flow - so i made it for 4 filters:

notice in the above pic one hole is bigger - i drilled the bottom holes too small - but after fixing one i realized it didn't matter as there was enough of a lip to accommodate the nuts  the nuts are 1 1/2 inches wide..

after drilling pilot holes through the bottom of the top bucket and the lid for the bottom bucket - drill 1" holes in the bottom of the top bucket

attach these babies..

one in...

and all 4 - the filters come with instructions on how to do this...

back to the lid of the bottom bucket.. line up the holes...


and here is the final result  - fill the top and empty the bottom - with 4 filters we can do around 4-gal a day! i pour the water into 18.9 L water jugs which we then use in the water coller

i marked where the holes line up - it saves time - on the first one i made, i didn't and every time i would have to line up the holes..

also - i used our well water in the first one - with all teh minerals our filters slowly clogged up - these are new filters so i resurrected the rain barrel for drinking water - much less stress on the filters..

as for the well water - we filter out the sediment with an in-line filter- you can see the difference when it is time to change!!!

i like the watts whole house model

here is our rig in the basement:

1- 3/4 hp jet pump
2 - 20 litre tank
3 - shutoff valve
4 - unfiltered water to all garden spigots
5 - unfiltered tap for basement cleanup
6 - in-line filter
7 - water to washing machine
8 -  water to house

took a while to figure it all out - but we are happy with our current setup. the well is a ways form the house but in a good spot and never dry or frozen

bonus - BERRIES - nice mix!!

hope you all have a great week!!


Saturday, September 6, 2014

meeting internet friends and the best river day ever! UPDATED

have you ever met "in person" someone that you only met on the internet? my dearest friends Phelan and Sweet Sandy both got to meet SciFiChick and the friendship that they had already had over the internet was simply solidified by meeting in person. i heard all three of their stories and they all said the same thing - that each of them was exactly like they seemed on their blogs. and they ended up loving each other even more after they had met. i admit, i was jealous as oh heck but hey, i have to have a few flaws or else you will all think i'm perfect - bahahahahahah! (no wise cracks PP!)

anyway, we were contacted by an incredibly nice man who found us through our blog...he was interested in purchasing property here and wanted our opinion. we sent several emails back and forth and spoke to him on the phone. if he was everything that he seemed to be, and from everything that he told us about his family was true - then yer darn tootin's we want that family here in Framboise.

some good news - they got their excellent property and invited us over for a meal and to view the property. we pulled up in our truck, got out and started walking down the driveway and heard him say "welcome neighbours" out of one of the windows. we were nervous, excited and a bit more nervous. he came right out of the door and gave me a big, giant hug! then moved on to hug jambaloney. next out the door was an incredibly, beautiful young woman who came right into my arms. next up, her mother, with such a beautiful smile and so willing to hug a complete stranger. and last up was their oldest daughter - another incredibly beautiful young woman! each of them all went and hugged jambaloney too.

oh where to even begin? we were all smiling, laughing and talking and all at the same time! this family will be such a welcome addition to our community!!! they are incredibly nice christian people and we love that about them. i went on a tour of the house with the women - because their girl's are really young women - and they loved it when i had to spend time hugging their fridge - they have a full-sized fridge in their house!!! did you hear me??? i said "A FULL-SIZED FRIDGE"!!!!! of course i hugged it...several times over the night, actually.

prior to our meal, the father said such a beautiful Grace, thanking the Lord for meeting us and thanking the Lord for us to be able to spend time together and the wonderful food we were about to share. jambaloney and i say Grace, but not a lot of people here do. so of course i got teary because it was such a nice gathering of like-minded people and people who were truly interested in each other. they are going to love the beautiful people in our community and our community is going to love them.

the father requested that jamie slice the beautiful bbq'd pork and i filled my plate with delicious roasted potatoes, baby carrots and onions - it was so good! my fave ...well my fave is always potatoes - bahahah! -but my other fave was a proper made tea biscuit! the mother had made them from scratch and being that i am a bit of a tea biscuit snob - sorry, but i am - i loved that tea biscuit and wished i could have had room for another. but after all of that food - out comes the flakiest blueberry pie that you have ever tasted and the blueberries were fresh-picked off of their land!!!!! i was snacking on bits and pieces all night!

how on earth do you describe a conversation with an incredibly intelligent woman and two incredibly intelligent young women that lasted for 4 hours? no uneasiness, no hesitation - just non-stop-yakking and laughing to kill ourselves. jambaloney even said that while he and the father were in the other room talking that they sometimes had to stop due to all of the laughter coming from the kitchen.

you know how when someone is talking to you and they look you right in the eyes? and their eyes are sparkling? that's how all of their eyes looked when each of them spoke to us. they were all very interested in what we are doing here and asked many questions. we were both taken for a tour of their beautiful lands and their land is incredibly beautiful. they have many plans for what they would like to accomplish on, and in, their property and all of it is attainable!

we really enjoyed meeting them and jambaloney will be going mackerel fishing with the father on one of the days this week - woohoo baby! did you hear me? i said MACKEREL FISHING - wahooooey!

anyway - we had a really great time meeting them. we can't wait to see them again! we can't wait to introduce them to our community - our community will love them! the mother and girls are gone back home today but the father is here for another week. i hope to see him again before he leaves but jamie will definitely be seeing him to help with a few things and go fishing.

anyway, we came home and yakked our heads off about what a good time we had. we were still talking about them the next day while we did all of our chores in the morning because it was a river day! we got our chores done and then set off to the river. what a beautiful day!

just absolutely gorgeous!


 river lunch: fresh tomatoes, peas beans and green onions from the garden, kimchi, toasted buns with tuna and avocado with fresh sprouts and some local fruit - it was yummeh!

 the river was just beautiful!

one last pic before we went home:

 and a gorgeous sunset to end the day.

we have felt truly blessed since we arrived here that we have such incredibly good friends here. adding a few more to the mix makes it all that much better. much love to all of you!

UPDATED TO ADD : the father, D, just called. i had a wonderful talk with him about meeting and how we all feel so blessed to have met each other...jambaloney has just run out the door with his clothes barely on, some of his fishing gear packed and those 2 are off an a fishing adventure that is going to prove to be the foundation of a friendship that will last for the rest of their lives. i couldn't be more happy for either of them.

Monday, September 1, 2014

cats whacked on catnip....and canning some tomatoes!

it was a beautiful sunset the other night....

in fact, all the sunsets are beautiful here. but this time of year they seem especially beautiful.

here's some more lemon balm that i am drying for tea for over the winter.

we use it fresh for teas and lemonades, but i also dry it to have delicious teas for the winter.

here's some delcious mung bean sprouts. we try to have fresh sprouts on hand at all times. we use them in salads, soups and stews - but mostly we just eat them as a fresh handful right out of the fridge - bahahahah!

we are still experiencing gorgeous weather.

i harvested some catnip seeds for the winter. some seeds i re-planted for plants to give leaves to the cats. some i planted for dehydrating to make catnip tea for us over the winter. catnip tea is very relaxing and along with sage and lavender tea, one cup right before bedtime can calm you and put you to sleep.

however, i made the mistake of harvesting the catnip seeds, and not thinking, with the smell of catnip all over my hands, when i pet little Frankie Blue Eyes - he went berserk. so i had to give him a couple of leaves on a stalk.

yes all of our cats are allowed on the table! here is Frankie-Mankly chewing on his catnip. fresh is best for cats, but we dry some for the winter months for them. cats love catnip!

here is Frankie after his fresh catnip contemplating life's unending mysteries.

he then went off to pass out under truckdura, vandura or in the grass or wherever he goes when he is whacked on the catnip.

here are the other 2 cats after their fresh nip - lying together on the table (i told you we let the cats on the table!)

aren't they cute? little brothers laying on the table together. (and believe me when i say that i wash that table with hot soapy water 265,347,155 times a day!)

next up - is our tomatoe harvest so far.

i plant a few varieties of tomatoes, but all are indeterminate, heirloom and organic. indeterminate means that they don't flower or set fruit all at the same time. which i find is easier for us to handle. the tomatoes above are the ones that we haven't been eating for the last 3 weeks.

when i can my tomatoes, i don't remove the skins unless i have a real glut of them. i also mix all of my tomatoes to make a very plain sauce with just some salt added.

here they all are ready to make some sauce - yummeh baby!

always boil your jars and lids according to proper instruction.

fill your jars and can 'em. that's 6 pints of tomatoe sauce right there.

some people get fancy with their canned tomatoes and add all kinds of stuff. we like ours to be canned plain and then when we use a jar, we can add whatever we want. i also make my sauce chunky so that we can have a chunky sauce for when we want chunky, or we can puree a jar if we want less chunky - know what i mean?

shoot! how could i end a post without a food pic? i just couldn't.

that's MY version of a sloppy joe sandwich. mine includes mushrooms, kidney beans, hamburger and home-made tomatoe sauce. with 3 million pounds of garlic, a nice-sized pinch of turmeric, cayenne and cumin. that's love on a plate right there, baby!

we are wishing you all of the best!