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I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
John Burroughs

Sherwood's Almanac

January 2010


Week of 3 January 2009

Week of 3 January 2009


3 January 2010

Barn Raising -- sort of

This week I connected with a neighbor, Gerry Hess. I'd hired his son, Conor, to work for me last fall. (Great kid, good work ethic. Asks questions, wants to know everything.) Anyway Gerry is building a new shop. I told him that if he needed a hand, to give me a call. I'll admit I've got an axe to grind. Having a neighbor owe me a favour will mean that when I'm trying to put gyprock on my garage ceiling, there is someone I can ask. Anyway, three days this week were spent at Gerry's putting up plastic, insulating his ceiling, and attaching gyprock.

I hate gyprock. It's like using spaghetti as a strucural material. The ends crumble. I miss the rafters with the screws. It's dusty to cut. Gyprock is a material designed by a government committee on a tight budget.

Gerry had another friend there too. Tim Perrault is a great guy. Knows welding, construction. He may be able to help me with a pond I've got in mind.


I took a look at the website stats. Fascinating. October edged out May as my busiest month, with September not far behind. Overall 2009 had three times the traffic of 2008. Not sure what I'm doing right.

I've been remiss in doing this Almanac every week. I'm trying to go back and fill in some of the gaps.


Otherwise it's been working on getting in firewood. I try to keep my firewood two years ahead. I'm a bit behind. In theory I want to fill up the empty half of the wood shed in April. This way it has two summers to dry out before I use it. Alas I didn't have my waterfowl in alignment, so only now am I getting to do what I should have done last April.

So I'm clearing some creek side trees. Want to create lightly forested area to plant firs. At the same time, I'm looking at trail making for the Christmas Tree trade. It gives me lots of time out in the snow.

Week starting 10 January 2010

Sunday: We took down the Christmas Tree today. This was the first year we had an SFTF Scot's Pine. We put this tree up on the 6th of December. 5 weeks later it was still green. Most of the needles on the floor were a result of being hasty removing the lights.

Monday: Well, it looks like we're in the middle of a January thaw. It's early morning as I write this. Outside it's still dark as as the inside of a black cat. And the porch thermometer says it's +6. Currently the weather network claims highs above freezing for most of the week.

This is good. The snow will consolidate some, and small amounts will start soaking into the ground. The ideal is that all the water will soak into the ground, and none will run off. Never works that way of course.

Tuesday: I don't think it even froze last night. Spend a good chunk this morning clearing snow off the roof of the wood shed. Once it gets wet, it slides fairly easily. I think I will have to re-roof it this spring, however, the tarp has one tear in it. May rebuild it with a steeper slope so the snow slides sooner. That would also make it easier to pitch chunks in without hitting the rafters.

More firewood. Took down another tree today -- big one, about 18-20" across at the stump. Bottom chunk became my new splitting block. Next chunk up goes to my friend Keith, who was complaining at his New Year's party that his old block was getting frazzled. (I saw it. It's time...)

Anyway, I've got about half of 2010-11 side of the shed full.

Collected the outside tree lights. Why are outside lights insulated with a plastic that is less than flexible in cold weather? Discovered we have quite a collection of lights now. Filled a 10 liter tote box.

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Sherwood's Forests is located about 75 km southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. Please refer to the map on our Contact page for directions.