Days are getting shorter, and everyone seems to be waking earlier and earlier. My quiet time in the morning gets shorter and shorter. It's ok though, with the busy days we've been keeping it's nice to have the time to talk, just the six of us. We drink coffee and tea, and #2 makes pancakes. It'll be another long hard work day, so we won't be breaking for lunch.
It froze last night, there is a thin layer of ice on the rain barrels. I check the freezers, but there isn't much change there. It seems that they insulated against the cold somewhat. I prop them open to catch the early morning chill. My water bottles for the cooler have frozen some, so I put them in the freezer and set out more bottles.
The Littles do chores, I close the freezers and check the smoker, and then we all head over to Brother and Sil's to start construction, except Husband. He gets the horse cart ready and heads to northern neighbour's. It's been more than a couple of days, and we haven't checked on them. He might even bring them back to help with construction.
We get to the camp and everyone is up and about. The girls are cranky. They don't like walking to the outhouse in the morning, and they hate sharing the tiny room at the back of the trailer. Tonight, hopefully, they won't have to. Once we rip off the tented extension, we really need to get the lean-to built. They'll only have propane for heat until the woodstove is back in place, and it won't last long.
#2 and I start cutting logs while Brother, Sil and #1 take down the woodstove and tent. The girls and the Littles move everything back out of the way. The Bigs dig post holes once the ground is cleared, and Brother and Sil put the posts in. The frame is up in a couple of hours, another 12' X 36', essentially turning their trailer into a double wide.
Husband joins us. Diego* and Nira* are doing well. They got a bear the other day, so they're busy butchering. They dug an outhouse, and they've been hauling water from the creek. Nira's been working with the ponies, and Diego has built a little cart for them. They're hoping they'll be able to travel in a couple of days.
We cut and place logs for the walls all afternoon. The Littles have a grand time filling the chinks with clay. The door frame from the tent is recycled onto the new structure and the woodstove is put in place. We cut poles for the roof and alternate them over the shelter and the trailer. This will give them a peaked roof to combat the heavy snowfalls to come. We cover them with the tent and a couple of tarps. At the end of the day everyone is exhausted but the structure is finished. Brother, Sil, and the girls will have another busy day tomorrow building shelves and bunks, piling the trimmings for firewood, and figuring out what to do about the dirt floor.
Back at home I check the smoker and add more wood to the fire. #2 cuts a branch off one of the cherry trees for me to use as flavouring. The roasts smell pretty good, and have shrunk some, but they don't look anything like jerky, so I'll keep them in at least overnight again. The Bigs do chores.
We splurge and cook a big pot of spaghetti for supper. We're all hungry, and haven't had such a filling meal in a long time.