Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 15- The Return

Husband woke me early this morning.  They made it there and back ok.  The trip was relatively uneventful.  There were a couple of road blocks set up, but most people were friendly, just looking for goods to trade.  It seems everyone out and about has armed themselves.  We're now living in the wild, wild north.  They had a bit of trouble on the return trip, it seems the northerners are ok with people headed south, but not as kind to southerners headed north.  They had to explain several times where they were headed, but no gunshots were fired, so they consider it a good trip.  There were people out fishing at every lake and stream they passed, a few people with signs, 'Will work for Food', and plenty of hunters on the back roads.  The military is guarding the city of Barrie- probably for lack of anything better to do, but they were also friendly.  They just want visitors to know that no nonsense will be tolerated.

They stopped and refuelled from transport trucks in the middle of the road, and refilled all of our gas cans by siphoning fuel from abandoned cars.  We should be ok for quite awhile, so long as we're careful with it.

Husband goes to bed and I get up and make my tea.  I want to go and see the girls, but they're probably sleeping after their long trip.  I have more butchering to do today anyway.  It's warm already, and the sun hasn't risen yet.  I think I had better start canning while I butcher.  I'll do the ground beef and the stew as I cut today, and save the roasts and hope for a freeze.  I go downstairs to get a box of jars.  I don't have that many left.  If it doesn't freeze soon this could be a disaster.

#1 gets up and uses the outhouse.  He tells me we're out of toilet paper.  I send him out to the trailer to get what I have stored in there.  He finds two 24 packs- that's all there is.  Life is going to get very interesting in the next little while.  Luckily I'm the only girl here, so I decide to start using cloth for wet and keep the paper for the icky stuff.  As I dig through my material bin, I figure I better start on hankies too.  I'm not sure how many boxes of kleenex are left, but I better wean everybody off of them before bad colds send everyone scampering for kleenex by the foot.

The rest of the boys are up and eating breakfast- toast and jam.  That's the last of the bread again.  I get them to start two batches of bread while I cut the cloth.  It seems like we should be relaxing, the stress of getting the girls here is over, but there's just so much to do!

The boys do chores and find me a couple of small bins for my 'tissues' and 'wipes'.  The wipes go to the outhouse.  I leave the tissues in the bathroom, for lack of a better place to put them.

#1 gets the horse cart ready and goes to pick up Mom and her laundry.  I go down to the creek with them and show her what I've been doing.  I gather up my laundry from yesterday so the lines will be clear, but she'd rather use her own lines at home.  She also has plenty of soap still, so doesn't bother with the lye water.  I leave her there with #1 and walk back to the house, picking weeds as I go.

#2 and I get started on butchering.  We make good progress today, finishing the last two quarters and ground beef.  It's not perfect, and we leave more fat on than normal, but we're eager for this job to be done.  There's still tallow to render, and stock to be made, but the hard work is done.  We set up the smoker and put two small roasts in to smoke overnight.  I have no idea how these will turn out- I've never smoked a roast before.

I take frequent breaks from the garage to switch things up in the kitchen.  At the end of the day I have all of the stew meat and half of the ground beef canned.  The roast and steaks are spread out in the freezers, where things are still cool, but not as cool as they were when all of this started. 

#1 takes Mom home with her laundry to hang, then unloads our laundry in the house when he returns.

Husband gets up and we go to visit Brother, Sil, and the girls.  They're sitting around the fire pit when we get there, discussing what to do with themselves.  They have a good selection of supplies now, but they're still missing so much.  The trailer is nice as a vacation spot, but pretty cramped as semi permanent living quarters.  They need more food for winter, though Sil has a nice collection of weeds dried out as well as her canned goods.  They'll need meat.

The girls are in a bit of denial.  All they had been focused on was getting here.  Get here and they'd be fine.  Except now they're here and the world is still upside down.  They want to read, listen to music, play on computers, and shower.  Luxuries of the past, at least for the moment. 

We talk about the space issues first.  We decide to build a log cabin lean-to on the front of their trailer.  It'll mean ripping apart the current extension, but it'll give them more space and hopefully keep them warmer.

As evening approaches the temperature starts to drop and I hope for a freeze.  Even a few degrees below zero would help the freezers so much at this point.

We have a quick beef soup for supper and call it a day.  Everyone is tired all the time.

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