May 20, 2013 - Personal    2 Comments

Digging Up the Cache

I was invited to dinner at Charles and Caroline’s last night, with Charles telling me to use my imagination to come up with something to bring. My imagination came up with these incredibly delicious garlic/butter/sour cream/parmesan cheese/oregano biscuits. Thank you imagination!

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I headed over around 4:00 in time to dig up the cache. C&C had put tons of root vegetables into tubs and buried them for the winter. The plan was to have these veggies for dinner. The tubs they had dug up in April were great, but the ones last night were a little disappointing. The ground had warmed up, so the veggies had started to rot. The carrots were a lost cause, but the parsnips, huge beets, and few potatoes were in good shape.

Caroline set to work washing off the veggies at the outdoor sink while Charles, Laura, and I moved some plants into their stable. Then Laura asked me if I wanted something that was about to rot in her yard and which would need a little TLC. The three of us went across the street so I could check the thing out and it was exactly what I was looking for as the first piece of yard furniture. So we got it on a dolly and trundled it down here:

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YAY! 🙂 I wanted a nice big sturdy table to use as my laundry station. The boards on one side have come loose, but that’s okay because that will let me stand on the long side and I would have likely removed them anyway. The table needs major cleaning, wire brushing, stripping, and refinishing. Another project!

Charles then confirmed my property limits. OMG, this place is HUGE. 🙂 I don’t know how we got on the subject, but I mentioned that I was hoping to find more pallets and he pointed to the place next door, owned by the disagreeable man, and told me to help myself to all the pallets on the property. The guy is giving them away and had told Charles spread the word around. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with them, besides make a bigger porch but they are oak, so they will come in handy. So today’s projects are to go to C&C’s to borrow a wheelbarrow and shovel, rake more leaves, and then start hauling pallets. And at some point, do some paid work, too, although my projects aren’t pressing and I’ve earned a day away from the computer…

We headed back down to C&C’s and Caroline let Laura and me help her prepare the veggies, then we were banished to the porch with beer. Charles and I got talking about water and he said that between myself, him, and Laura, there is enough hose to go from one of the public taps to my rig. He’s going to have the town turn on one of these taps until I can get my own. It’s not as convenient as having one on site, of course, but it’ll save me a little money to start, especially since I’ll have to pay the water bill.

The dinner bell rang and we went in to enjoy a wonderful meal: fresh asparagus from the garden in lemon pepper butter sauce, salad with biscuits, roast chicken with mashed potatoes, parsnips, beets, stuffing, and gravy. And tons of white zinfandel. YUM.

We were just finishing up when other neighbours, um, let’s call them Isaiah and Grace, came over and we all got along like a house on fire (what an odd expression). Isaiah is Laura’s former son-in-law and a farmer whose life could be a comic strip, the way he expresses his woes being so hilarious.

The subject of my utilities came up and he asked me why I’m planning to go dump in Assiniboia when the ‘lagoon’ is just a mile away. Lagoon? As it turns out, the holding tank pump out truck empties the contents into a pit about a mile from here. Not accessible with an RV, but no problem with a truck. I can just dump into a bucket once a week and go dump it out there instead of paying for the service. Sounds crazy, but simple!

I found out heaps more history about my property. As it turns out, there used to be a town garage and it was on my lot! After that, the lot was used for parties around bonfires, and then went quiet, looking for someone to take care of it.

Isaiah’s father might have a grainery for me. Now that I know the real size of my lot, I am very excited about putting one of these 14’x12′ structures on my lot. They are made of fir, which doesn’t rot, and people put a tin roof and some siding on them. They are tall, so adding a loft inside is very feasible. The plan would be to get it here this year, make it weather proof next year, and then slowly convert the interior into a cozy bunkhouse/shed/work shop. I would get it wired for electricity so that I could have the option of putting a washer and dryer in it at some point. This falls right in line with my plans for the property, except I couldn’t imagine being able to afford such a construction for several years. I’m looking at about $600 to get it here and make it weather proof, versus paying $1,500 just to build a frame from scratch for a building that size.

After a couple more bottles of wine, we all went back into the house for Laura’s apple pie with some ice cream. And then the wine hit all of us and the lateness of the hour began to make itself felt. I walked home with Isaiah and Grace, who live a few doors down, on the other side of the church, carrying home the following:

-pin cherry jelly and apple sauce (from Laura)

-garlic and green onions (from C&C)

All good stuff grown locally. Mmm!

Here’s a rough sketch of the village, to help situate you all a little. It’s about a mile wide, to give you a sense of scale. The top of the map is south.

Legend

map

Arrow=road towards the petroglyphs

P=post office (that road continues to the west, winding and wending through the hills, to join highway 2)

I=Isaiah and Grace’s house

+=church and the symbol behind it is a headstone for the cemetery (probably a half mile behind it)

E=easterly non-sociable neighbour

M=me

D=disagreeable westerly neighbour

L=Laura’s house

C=Charles and Caroline’s house (the road continues eastward as gravel towards the town of Willow Bunch)

A=the apartment building

S=the swimming hole

I didn’t put the community hall on this, but it’s between the church and the cemetery. I will update this map as if I get more landmarks, but this should help for now.

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2 Comments

  • […] End result, with a little peanut butter and some of Laura’s jam: […]

  • […] a flower pot with soil in it for transplanting my tomatoes and was just finishing that up when Isaiah and Grace stopped in for a quick chat. My “I’m a real homesteader now that I’m growing my […]

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