Bathroom – destroyed!

For our first April visit of the year (and ever, since we owned the place), we enjoyed the first signs of spring. Highlights include:

  • Nina tore down the wall between the kitchen and bathroom (hence the title). The idea is to open up the space and provide a nice big laundry sink. We gave up on the idea of having an indoor shower and toilet since the only times we really need that stuff is when the pipes would freeze. So the next project is to re-plumb and install a laundry sink.
  • More maple syrup. Since we were up in February, we probably got many buckets full of sap; but when we finally returned this weekend, the buckets were full of melted snow, rain, flies, and probably sap. So we had to dump them and start from scratch. Only half the eight tapped trees are producing, but we did collect 16 litres of sap, or about 400 mL of syrup. We carted most of the sap back to the apartment where we can boil away with electricity that we don’t pay for. Considering our apartment is 350 SF, it is a sweat-house.
  • First canoe ride of the year. The lake is mostly frozen over with about 2″ of brittle ice, but the beavers have broken up the shoreline ice. So we managed to go to one of the tips of the lake.
  • First cooking fire of the year. We made chicken Cordon Bleu. No matter how good our dietary intentions are, we inevitably eat “well” with beer nuts, Doritos, boxed wine, hoppy beer, and lots of carbs, cheese, and meat.
  • Exploring our land. We walked quite far through the woods because the forests are thin and the bugs are not out*. We managed to walk about half-way around the lake. We discovered lots of new trails, a big beaver pond, and Nina found a door antler. It’s a bit annoying to have a neighbour with the “keyhole” property within ours because it’s hard not to feel like we’re stalking him, with the leaves down. Liam’s entire body is covered in scratches from Prickly Ash.
  • *We saw about five ticks and Liam got 1-2 on him. They hadn’t buried themselves yet, fortunately. In fairness, we each did 10 hours or so of bushwhacking over the weekend.
  • We added to our grape vine structure so that it’s about half over the main vines.
  • On a slightly different note, we have booked nearly all of the first 6 weeks of “fake sabbatical” (before Liam can legitimately leave Ottawa and call it sabbatical, because it’s not July 1). We will do 8 days in Copenhagen area, train over to Stockholm for a day, ferry over to Riga, Latvia for a few nights, then bus up to Tallinn, Estonia for a month.
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Beaver. Time to bring a real camera with some zoom. These guys continue to devastate our trees within 20-30 m of any body of water. They’re not really very shy either. We can get 20 feet away before the either slap their tails or slowly swim away.
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This sums up our energy level for the weekend.
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First canoe ride
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Anticipation of dinner.
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Chicken Cordon Bleu, stuffed with cheese and 2-3 kinds of pork
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Another beaver, another case of my phone not doing it justice
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Speaking of my camera not doing it justice, this is the hole of a birdhouse that is crammed with someone’s stockpile of acorns.
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New beaver pond discovery with antler.
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New grape vine structure. We added the two pyramids on the right to double the area. Not visible from the photo, we added lots of smaller branches so that there’s a full grid on top. Also, note the blue plastic over by the deck. This is Liam’s mushroom experiment put on hold. We collected about a dozen very heavy logs and are ready to inoculate them with Spawn, but the spawn company is not being helpful, so our logs may not get knocked up till we’re back from Europe. We’re trying to keep the logs a bit moist while not allowing them to rot.
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