The first order of business when we got back in March after getting the wood stove going and the water system flushed and up and running was to clear the snow away from near the house to remove water from the area while it was still solid.
The Snow clearing continued into April with paths here and there and excess snow dumped into the fish pond to add to the spring run-off when it arrived.
With travel for volunteering and work it seems like we don’t even reliably meet the standard of Christmas and Easter Christians in terms of attendance at our home church. This is the case, for sure, this year. Even out of quarantine Covid continued to modify our lives in minor ways. We attended local church by YouTube.
Before our return to Canada we ordered a Mini Waffle Maker (Canadian version: Dash Mini Waffle Maker - Red USA version: Dash DMW001RD Mini Waffle Maker - Red mine is the same only Black) and some Farm Girl Keto Pancake/Waffle Mix. We continued to test drive them in April. It was an easy way to make tasty, keto-friendly waffles. The last time I looked the Farm Girl Brand was out of stock, but here are some affiliate links for similar items
With quarantine over we went back to doing our own grocery shopping. The local supermarket opens at seven a.m. and the first hour is for seniors only. We wear masks and gloves and sanitize everything we buy when we get home, before taking it inside.
Looks like we will be here all summer. Might as well start a garden. This will be the second garden since we bought our house in Meadow Lake in 1989. It snowed on that first garden in August! I declared “this is neither fun nor profitable” as I observed our tomato plants shivering in six inches of snow.
We cleared some snow and built a couple of beds for a garden. The lumber was, of course, in stock. The PVC pipes and fittings were not. PVC pipe is not as commonly used in Canada as it is in the States or Central America. Buying everything that was in town gave me enough to cover one bed and a start on the second. I ordered enough to put two layers of polyethylene on each, eventually. I also ordered some clips on Amazon to tighten the poly covering onto the PVC arches. By the time they arrived I was happy enough with the results without clips. You may find otherwise. If you need clips here are the links: Canada Snap ClampUSA Snap Clamps
We ordered topsoil mixed with aged horse manure. The guy hauling it is not ready yet. His piles of material are still frozen under the snow. Once he starts hauling there is a narrow window of opportunity before the “Road Bans” hit. Ordering dump trucks of stuff is an iffy process in the spring in the north when you live on a gravel road. As soon as the melt starts happening “Road Bans” are applied by regional government, restricting trucks to half loads, doubling hauling costs per yard of material.
We seem to getting along okay, just the two of us. Not like one picture I saw on the internet of a woman digging a “garden” that was obviously designed more as a final resting place for an annoying spouse.
For many of the past years I have been working elsewhere in April, but Juanita has always come back to Meadow Lake to help celebrate granddaughter Sonja’s birthday. This year I could help too. In a manner of speaking. We drove to her parents’ house, put her gifts on the edge of the porch and retired an anti-social distance in honour of Covid. The shy woodland creature approached the tantalizing packages…
When we started retirement I fitted the fifth wheel with solar panels and four golf-cart batteries to assist in living off grid. That worked as long as we went south soon enough in the fall, but its usefulness to us is past. The last time I replaced the batteries on the fifth wheel I went with a single deep-cycle marine battery. It froze to death when we left it here all winter. We planned a trip to North Battleford a hundred miles south to buy some stuff not available here in town. The plans included curbside pick-up of some items from Canadian Tire. A couple of days in advance we ordered the stuff on line. On arrival in the parking lot at the designated spot we phoned and advised of our arrival. The kid brought our stuff and put it in the trunk. He said he couldn’t take the old battery for the core charge. I would have to bring it in myself. I argued that if he could bring out a battery he could take in a battery. He sulked away to consult with the powers that be and came back with the cash for the core charge. Couldn’t put it on my credit card. I took the receipt and had him dump the cash on the receipt and I threw it in the glove compartment to age a few days, sanitized my hands and we were on our way.
I started removing the grass and pounding sand to level a spot for a garden shed. The sand came from a retired gravel pit in the forest. A few puddles had to be drained to get easy access.
On line Spanish lessons with Roger of One on One Spanish Tutoring started winding down as the weather improved and the prospect of using Spanish receded in the distance.
For most of my adult life I have read one or two books a year. This practice continues in spades during Covid social isolation. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until late in the year I started saving a cover picture of each book I completed. Too late to help with this month’s book list. Two books I can mention, since they are timely and a third because I show having bought it in April.
Books of this Month
My mother was born in 1909 in Australia. She mentioned helping nurse relatives through the Spanish Flu, aunts and uncles dying and orphaned cousins being parcelled out among the survivors. I bought The Great Influenza in May 2018 and read it shortly after buying it: There is a lot to learn from history if one pays attention. Not that it appears anybody has been.
A friend recommended A Journal of the Plague Year as an interesting read of how people dealt with a plague in London a few centuries back. I found the book a bit depressing and never finished it. One takeaway was that you don't need Facebook and Twitter to be misinformed and make questionable choices.
Scrum is a powerful method for managing multidisciplinary projecst. I liked what I read about and wanted to learn more. I bought Scrum for Dummies with that end in mind. Ultimately I realized its value for my professional life is decades past. The only discipline I need to manage is my own and I am not yet scattered enough to be called multi. YMMV