Winter Preparations

We’ve just passed our one-year anniversary since making the move to our old island home.  About this time last year, we had our new well dug, the moving truck unloaded and were getting settled in for what was going to be the worst winter PEI had seen in almost fifty years.

Fast-forward a year or so and we’re making preparations for what’s going to be a milder-than-average winter for PEI – that’s if you choose to believe the Farmer’s Almanac’s winter outlook.  (I choose to believe).  With Vanessa and I both working near full-time hours now, the work around our house has slowed considerably.  Our projects are broken down into manageable, bite-sized jobs that we can tackle in the couple of daylight hours remaining after work or what we can fit into a Saturday between grocery shopping and other errands to run.

Last week it was to finish insulating and sheathing the lower exterior walls left open from raising the house for the new foundation and sill replacement from the summer.   We had the open portions enclosed with an air barrier in the interim, but with the temperatures dropping, we needed to infill with insulation and enclose it with sheathing.

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I was able to find full-dimension 1″ x 12″ rough-sawn pine boards for the same price as 3/4″ plywood.   So, in keeping with the original construction, and not needing to build out the thickness of the studs to match the old remaining sheathing, it was a simple decision.  And it made for a simple (read: quick) job.  In the spring, we’ll be building a wrap-around deck and porch, so for now this will get us through the winter.  Shingle and siding repairs to follow the porch-build.  We also managed to get our first load of firewood into the house.  Vanessa passed it through the window…

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…and I stacked it in the basement.

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We’ll go through about five of these piles this winter

No more trudging through the snow to the barn to collect our daily firewood needs.  Nosiree!  Now it’s just down to the bottom of the basement stairs to gather up what we need.  And with the season’s first snowfall in the forecast, it’s one more job off the list – and not a moment too soon.

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Thankfully, that’s not going to last.  With temperatures on the plus-side for the better part of next week, we’ll be able to do a few more things outside before winter really arrives.  Somewhere out there, there’s almost sixty pounds of carrots, onions and cabbage to harvest.  The cold temperatures are just sweetening their flavors as the plants produce natural sugars to act as their antifreeze.  For now, until the thaw, we just stoke the fire.  And I have to admit – there’s nothing nicer than wood-heat on a chilly day.

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6 thoughts on “Winter Preparations

  1. Love the pics….even the feet:):) and the winter scene is Christmas card perfect!! You must have to dig through snow now though to get to those veggies? Happy late harvest!!!!

    • I think I’ll let nature take its course and wait for the snow to melt after the weekend. Although we made a big pot of beef barley soup tonight – with carrots, potatoes, parsnip, onions and celery straight from the garden. Not too shabby for the end of November.

  2. Hi Russ ,it must be hard getting all the preparations done for winter and working. I’m home all the time and still don’t have time to get it all done. Slathered a hog to day, one of the worst jobs I have to do. It is part of having a homestead life and death. This week have been a bad one, a mink got in the chicken pen and kill 23 young chickens. They were the laying hens for next year. Not sour what to do now, have to see if I can fine some. You and Vanessa should come by some time this Christmas season. It is nice to meet new people that are interested in the same things that we are. I live in Grandview eastern part of the Island. Rod Date: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 23:42:38 +0000 To: layden.hollow@hotmail.com

    • Hi Rod – good to hear from you. I agree – there seems to be never enough time to get everything done. Our hope is that we’ll soon be able to be fully self-employed and able to spend the majority of our time around the home. Sorry to hear about the chickens – that’s disappointing. A neighbor of ours just lost all twenty of their meat-chickens to a mink or weasel – and just within days of processing them. We’ll touch base again soon and hopefully find some time to drop by – would love to see what you’re doing. Cheers.
      Russ

  3. I love your update—–things are really looking up since last year. Tell Vanessa we talked to her Mom yesterday at church. We were away for the weekend and on the way home we went to Scarborough for church.’s She mentioned that she has the house up for sale and is going to move to Nikki’s——she seems really happy about it! 🙂

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