Wednesday, December 24, 2014

a very merry Christmas to all of you!

it is the centennial of the Christmas Truce. you can learn more about the Christmas Truce here.

this is how the capital of Canada is celebrating the Christmas Truce.

i think that we all can learn something from the Christmas Truce - don't you?

we will be meeting up with all of our Framboise and Fourchu families over Christmas. we will be well taken care of, loved and appreciated. we hope the same for all of you!

a very Merry Christmas to all of our readers and other blog and internet friends. we wish the very best for all of you in the upcoming year. we are expecting the upcoming year to be fantastic - there are so many projects that we have accomplished, attacked, demolished and are ready for - we have so many new friends, re-established contact with old friends, and then just enjoyed relationships with existing friends (who fight over trout. and i am not referring to either Sweet Sandy or Pioneer Preppy here! i mean it! i am not!)

a very and truly Merry Christmas for all of you.

much love from your friends,
jambaloney and kymber

Saturday, December 13, 2014

plastic insulation

jambaloney here!

so i have been busy fixing a recent "septic surprise" - gross, but nearly complete...

but this is a post about something you can do to help ward off cold drafts... last year out front i did this. it was a great improvement on the draft @ the front of the lower 1/2 of the manor.  the siding and flashing are so bad and drafty that even the insulation in the basement doesn't stand a chance - sections of the kitchen floor can get real cold...

so i decided to ramp it up this year - my goal was to provide a draft barrier right up to the bottom of the storm door window. - first thing's first - a 13 foot piece of free creosote 4x4...

(one day we'll have a front step again!). place the creosote on a bed of sand and make sure it is level..

next up - build some frames outta 2x2s (purchased) and cut appropriate lengths of Poly-Fastener - i bought a 300 foot roll. I wrote about this stuff before - it is awesome - made by Curry Industries and sold by Northern Greenhouse you will see why I love it so much!

i measure and cut many lengths - you install the channel without the fastener so i numbered all the matching pieces accordingly...

here are the frames seated in place - i had to make a shallower section to accommodate the door...

next up - water cloches to trap heat on sunny days....we had some old water bottles - perfect!!! instead of painting them black for more absorption i simply wrapped each in a garbage bag...

here they all are...

the rest of cloches were old vinager and juice bottles.. not quite full as they will freeze and expand sometimes...

pretty much covers where the sun DOES shine ;-)

closeup of the garbage bags and the drill - next step

i tucked the bottom edge of each frame under a lip of the siding - pushed in tight and screwed the frame into the wall - then i anchored the bottom into the creosote 4x4s...

here are the frames securely in place..

now i add the poly ..

and the other side  - overlapping in the middle

and here it all is - tight and taped on the edges - the right and left sides were anchored using strapping and tape...

here is a better view of the whole thing and rocks @ the bottom..

and then a layer of sand to secure the gap at the bottom - i shoveled teh dirt at the base in such a way that the rain will runoff out..

on the right hand side - it wraps around kinda funny -- i secured the bottom with dirt around the right - our mascot has seen better days ;-)

here is a side view of the whole thing.. we have only had a couple of cold days so far, but the difference was really noticeable - when the high freezing west winds blow at the front - we will REALLY notice a difference - so will the power bill!!! anyone with a similar problem in an old or rough structure could try this - sometimes it is better to try and insulate on the OUTSIDE rather than fight a losing battle from the inside. Now when i put the insulation back in place under the kitchen floor - it will do a much better job!

this was back in november - we were getting nice frost!!

i love the effect in the mornings!

and of course - don't forget your laundry the night before!!! ;-))

cheers - and hope you are all keeping warm!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

the majestic morrison's beach!

my poor jambaloney got a bit of a septic surprise the other day but being that he is so resourceful, he managed to fix the problem, dug another 75ft trench and is filling some of it in with rocks and sand from the beach. what could have been a very costly thing to fix was free! that guy works so hard! anyway, he went down to the majestic morrison's beach the other day and brought me back another plate full of mussels - yummeh!

here are some pics of the beach:

it's quite something eh?

the cape breton sky is 97 different shades of blue and grey and you can see all of the different shades when down at the beach!

of course the water is freezing at this time of year!

but it's just so pretty to be able to look out on the majesty with the wind whipping through your hair and not another soul to be seen.

it sure reminds you how truly tiny you are in the grand scheme of things!  i love that beach - it is so clean and refreshing!

jam will have a post up in a few detailing the septic surprise and what he did to correct it. of course, our buddy W was a big help providing guidance and advice. that W has really been there for us almost from the minute we put this blog up. he's a treasure, he is. thanks W!!!

i hope that you all are enjoying your week!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

catching up, reminiscing, an anniversary and being thankful!

holy moly - where did november go????

we both had our birthdays this month (he turned 49 and i turned 44), we had a potluck supper for our vfd which was awesome, we missed the spaghetti dinner in fourchu but our friend B made sure to get our suppers and freeze them for us (he's awesome like that!), we had our dear brother G and sister C over for a roast supper - my sister C made a beautiful Christmas arrangement for our dining room table AND they got us these super herb planter bags, 2 of them, so they will go on the porch this spring and i'll be able to just step outside the kitchen to get my fresh herbs for cooking, and we went out with our besties B and C (from fourchu) to the city for some chinese food that had us all stuffed, all leaving with leftovers and just enjoying spending time together. that on top of finishing the porch, finding a place for all of our pepper plants inside of the house (they are still producing - woohoo!), getting the greenhouse ready for spring and a whole pile of other stuff. it's been such a busy month!

the great polar vortex which did some real damage in some areas only gave us a couple of days of strong winds, lots of rain and one snowfall which melted the next day.

today i realized it was our 4th anniversary of the day that we left the city to come to the Manor??? what can i say except that we feel that we have been here forever...and yet it feels like we just got here yesterday! this is the 1980 "vandura" that we drove in to get here 4 years ago.

you can read this fun post which has many pics of the "vandura". you can also read this post about our last day in ottawa and how, although we had everything packed and ready to go, our moving truck got stuck in the meridian on our very busy street, during morning rush hour and what should have been a 4-hour moving job ended up involving police and many more hours!!! it was an adventure i tell you! it seems everything that has happened since we decided to ditch it all and move here has been an adventure! and one that we are still living to the fullest and enjoying!

here's some delicious home-made bone-broth soup with shrimp, a gazillion spices and green onions that we are still growing and enjoying from the greenhouse!

want a super delicious snack??? soak some dried chickpeas overnight, drain them, pat them dry with a towel, dump a few glugs of olive oil on them and then season to taste (you can use plain salt and pepper, fresh garlic, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, smoked paprika - use your imagination and let your taste buds lead the way!). roast them at 450 for about 15 mins or longer if you like them crunchier.

so what do you do to celebrate the fact that today is your 4 year anniversary? you have eggs florentine for breakfast.

pretty schnazzy! but what if you are celebrating your 4 year anniversary AND also celebrating the fact that the gonzo homesteader, also known as my man jam, has moved the dishwasher back down to the basement???? you share an afternoon bloody mary cocktail is what!

the man used to be a waiter and bartender and he makes some of the best cocktails known to man!

you gather up your dried seaweed - free food that you foraged from the ocean.

you grind that stuff up to be added to broths, soups, stews, salads - and you consume a healthy spice that you made yourself.

then you spread the table with all of the fixings required for making some delicious thai rice paper wraps with peanut-hoisin sauce and chili-garlic-lime sauce.

and while you are giving thanks for living in such a beautiful, remote, wild, healthy environment and meeting the bestest friends of your life and feeling like you have finally come home and that both of you finally have what feels like true family (even though the people here beg you NOT to serve them any of your weird food - bahahahahahahah!) - you stuff yourself full of thai rice paper wraps, hold your baby's hand, look into his beautiful blue eyes, play cards several times throughout the day, pet all 3 of your cats throughout the day as usual (and feed the little buggers 4 million times that day!!! arghghghghgh!) -

...and end the day in amazement and wonder and look forward to tomorrow. and give thanks. and feel peace. and understand that this day was unique. there will never be another 4th anniversary at Framboise Manor - THIS is the only one.

now it's time to climb on the couch with your man, finnagle something worth watching on netflix....and sigh. filled with thanks for every adventure that has happened and the trillion that you know are coming.

bring it on.