Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cabin Day 4, 2013 - Another Nice Day

We were up early and did our normal morning routine which you should have memorized by now. It looked to be a sunny day, maybe a bit breezy. 

Putting a few moth balls under the hood of the truck kept the pack rats from building any nests. We've found it is really important to keep them out of the engine compartment. A range of bad things can happen. At minimum, it is a nuisance to have to open the hood and clean out all the nesting materials. And, if we don't do this and go for a drive, the sticks and grass can catch on fire. Next along the offensive spectrum is when we start the engine and a rat under the hood gets caught in the engine and turned into small, gooey rat bits. This can create a smell, especially as the engine warms and there is usually cleanup under the truck required. We, and neighbors, have had rats chew on the wiring under the hood. This can cause a variety of hard-to-diagose problems, the worse of which is that the truck won't run. This is a particularly bad and potentially expensive scenario. Finally, as a variation on the second scenario, the rat can get caught in the V-belt (a serpentine belt in our case) and dislodge it making the truck unusable until fixed. This happened once a couple of years ago and all I can say is that having Internet access and YouTube rescued us as I found a video explaining how to put the belt back on a Chevy truck.

Because the weather yesterday was cloudy and rainy, we got very little battery charge from the sun. The battery capacity was at about 50% when we got up. It was cold overnight, too and the heater had run a couple of times making the situation even worse. So, during morning showers, I ran the generator. That way, when the well pump comes on (the largest drain on electricity we have) the generator could cover that demand. And, as long as the generator is running the batteries are getting a super charge. It was a sunny bright day, and by the end of the day, charging from the PV panels alone had us back at 100% charge.

We had leftover Bob's Oven Fried Chicken for lunch. It was a bit dry. I think our oven is miscalibrated and we cooked it too long at too low a temperture and it dried out. Still, it was tasty enough to satisfy us for lunch.

After lunch we did the customary short walk to the "bottom" with the dogs.

A neighbor was kind of enough to both loan me his chain saw as well as repair mine. He learned of my frustration with my saw through an earlier blog post, I think. I tried out my saw, which he had fully checked out and declared healthy. Once I put some gas in it, wink, it ran great. (Thanks David!) So, I grabbed the saw and Lynne and I decided to do a walk "around" and do trail maintenance on the way. There were numerous spots where trees had fallen across the trail. Some I could cut through and clear the existing trail, but with the saw I have and the amount of time and effort I'm willing to invest, there are some places that we just have to go around the fallen trees and make a new trail. What started out as a bright sunny but cool day quickly became a bright sunny hot day with the physical labor of haulilng the saw on the trail, cutting through limbs and logs, and then hauling the cut wood away from the trail. It is nice to get that done because now the trail is easily walkable. I'll be sore tomorrow, though.

I called Suburban Propane in Laramie and arranged a propane delivery for next Monday. We are only down to 50% which is very surprising given it has been 15 months or so since it was filled, and we leave the propane gas-forced-air heater running at 45° all winter. Either it was a warm summer, or we lost electricity and heat for a good part of it. Anyway, we'll be topped up and good for another year.

On our way home from shopping on Monday, Lynne declared "I forgot to get the ciabatta." We planned to have Outdoor Grilled Cheese sandwiches for dinner tonight and needed an appropriate bread. So, I made some. I have a very easy recipe that takes about 24 hours to make from start to finish. I started it yesterday afternoon and we cooked it this afternoon. And, it came out great!

We had a couple of sets of neighbors visit for a glass of wine and to catch up with each other. They came over about 4:00 and left about 5:30. They were all headed to the closest restaurant at Woods Landing, but we had our grilled cheese planned and really did not feel like going out again. Bet they had a good time.

The grilled cheese is a great sandwich that is truly grilled on the BBQ. We had made the chutney at home and canned a few jars, bringing one with us. So, other than having to make our own bread this time, it is an easy and tasty recipe.

Finally, the highlight of the evening was a moose visit. One minute, I'm sitting at the table which looks out over the western meadow admiring the emerging sunset. Then, I look over at Lynne to say something, and when I look back out the window there is a huge, dark-colored, bull moose standing there. I mean "right there", not 30 feet from the cabin. What a shock. It was like he was "transported" there. Of course with his long stride he can cover a lot of ground very fast even at a saunter, so it is not hard to see how he could go from out of my line of sight to smack dab in the middle of it in a few seconds. But, what a shock!

I'm sure Lynne will post photos on her blog sometime soon, so watch for that. He stood there moving a little, but mostly just staring at us for a very long time. This viewing makes the whole trip worthwhile for us!

Maple Apple Tartlets for dessert. I read a short story aloud to Lynne in front of a nice fire. Then, off to bed. G'night.

Tags:  activitiescabinnatureother-wildliferecipe
Posted under: Cabin News • by Rick on 09/24/2013 at 01:17 PM
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