Sunday, August 11, 2013


The snow keeps coming.  This will not be an early spring. 

The men continue ice fishing, feeding us, the birds and the dogs.  They bring home logs which we pile outside of the wood shed, slowly getting them cut up by hand saw.  The wood shed is nearly full.

Mildred calved.  She has a lovely little heifer calf, Maureen.  We get busy milking right away.  So much milk, and such poor storage.  I make butter and cheese and yogourt.   It's a great addition to our diet.  The excess milk and whey goes to the dogs and birds. 

Coffee is gone now.  Husband has adapted to drinking homemade tea with me in the mornings.  It's mostly dandelion root, pine needles, mint, rosehips, and yarrow.  It's hot, and we drink it without sugar or honey now.  The milk makes it much more palatable. 

We emptied the freezer in the garage.  I canned the remaining meat for summer.  We started filling pop bottles with filtered melted snow and filling the freezer with them.  When we ran out of pop bottles we made a trip to the dump to scavenge for more.

The dump looked to have been well scavenged already, but we were able to dig out a couple of bags of pop bottles from the recycling bins.  We found a few boards and an old pair of boots that might fit #2.  They have a rip in the side, but I can patch them with a piece of leather.

We stop to visit one of the neighbours on the dump side of town.  He's had a few calves born already, but lost one cow during delivery.  The calf is only a few days old, and not doing well.  He hasn't been able to get one of the other cows to adopt it, and milking enough to feed it isn't going well either.  He agrees to let us take Monsoon home to try on Mildred.

Mildred takes the new calf just fine.  She seems quite content with two calves.  Our milk supply drops a little for a few days, but then seems to pick up again.  It's still more than we can use before it spoils, so no loss.

We get the extra pop bottles washed out and continue filling them with filtered water.  I know it won't be enough to last the summer, but it might make things a little easier when we have to haul water again in the spring.

I start seedlings.  Lots of seedlings.  The plant stands in the sunroom are full of tomatoes, peppers, brassicas, herbs, and perennials.  Mom, Sil, Nira, and Lisa all have their shelves in front of the windows filled with seedlings too.  We are all looking forward to spring.

We got a letter from my sister.  It took 6 weeks to get to us.  She's with her family in Saskatchewan.  Luckily it's a small town, so they're doing as well as most of the folks in town here.  No word from government, military, or any sort of officials.  No power.  Waiting for spring.  She has learned to grind her own wheat.  Everyone there is grinding wheat.  The town plans to get an old mill up and running in the spring.  Meat has been scarce, but they're getting by.  We all write letters back to her, and hope she gets them.


  1. I know this is fictional but still have questions like...mail, do travelers leave it at main stores for others to carry on journeys?
    Clothing, wearing out & kids growing, & the weight loss from lean times, what are the chances of organizing a clothing exchange? Your SIL may barter services of altering clothing for other goods

    1. Questions are great- make me think!

      Yes, that's what I'm envisioning at this point. If someone's headed south, they take anything headed south with them, and pick up anything headed north on their return. Of course, that would make it incredibly slow going, and obviously you wouldn't want to be divulging big secrets or sending anything valuable, because it could be opened anywhere by anyone. It's pretty easy up here, there's really only north and south. East from Northern City and Southern City. Further south, they'd have stuff moving in all directions all the time.

      I had people trading in clothing at both the general store and flea market in the fall for food. I figure there should have been enough 'excess' in people's closets to get everyone through the first year. I would imagine that people would have continued that type of trading for 'new' clothes needed to replace things that no longer fit. Other things would need to be traded for clothing which has worn out, and I'm about to face the dreaded 'what now...', as #3 hit a growth spurt this summer, and I'm having trouble finding him pants in the thrift stores in real life.