Thursday, July 2, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Try A Different Medium

Hello Friends! 😊😊

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Try a Different Medium. Usually I ask Bugs Bunny to pose for me, but he wanted to try something different this week, so I posed for him!

"Night Vision"

Photo software (PhotoFunia) is a new medium for Bugs and he didn't know the program very well, but he wanted to try a few different effects. 

"Big Screen"


"Cafe Latte"

I think he did a good job! πŸ˜‰ 

As usual, I stumped myself with my own theme lol! Lack of time, reluctance to try something new and no ideas gave me brain freeze. Then it came to me: pigment liner sketch pens. I bought these pens back in January when I was doing some art classes, but I never used them. 

It was fun to try something new, but I don't know that I'm really a fan of pen and ink...I may have to try it a few more times to really see if I like it or not!

Believe it or not, I haven't had a chance to do much grocery our new fridge is still pretty empty. I'm spending some time this weekend to make a proper shopping list and meal plan. We're still finishing off my canned spaghetti sauces.

The other night we had cheese enchiladas with homemade salsa. Yum!

We stopped by a local salvage yard and picked up an old barrel for $20. Anything we can safely burn, that is not toxic to the environment, is going into the burn barrel instead of a landfill. 

Alex drilled about 20 holes in the sides and bottom of the barrel while I collected rocks. We also found these grates at the salvage yard. We pulled them off an old outdoor fireplace and paid 50 cents for them. We'll put these on top of the barrel when we burn, just to keep any sparks from flying out.

And here it is all set up! We cleared the ground of any plants and grass and placed the barrel on the cement blocks. Then we surrounded the burn barrel with rocks and stones for safety...I couldn't help using a little creative touch for the design! (Is this considered a different medium?? A sculpture perhaps?) 😊 

Any time we burn, we will have a bucket of water at the ready. We also have to call the "hotline" daily to see if there are fire bans in our county. We feel good about how we're reducing our contribution to the landfills and the recycling plants! (Note: It's nice to recycle, but that also uses up precious resources so we will burn all paper/cardboard products from now on).

That's all for now folks! Please check out the link widget below for more Try A Different Medium artwork!


July 9th: Next Thursday's theme is Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes. Click on the link for ideas and inspiration! Remember it's all about creating. You can showcase your paintings, drawings, photography, sculpting, baking, poetry...whatever you like! 🎨

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes. 

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! The link gadget expires Sunday at noon (EST).


Sunday, June 28, 2020

It Rained! and Baby Raccoons!

Hi Everyone! 😊

Guess what? WE GOT RAIN!!! Not much, a passing thunderstorm that lasted maybe 10 minutes!

But it was enough to water my raised beds and we are expected rain almost every day this week. I'm so grateful. Alex and I went out for a walk in the rain, it was pretty romantic! πŸ’•

My 'taters are growing well, now I need to figure out how to "hill" them properly. I used to grow potatoes in garbage bins and tires so adding more dirt as they grew was easy. I may have to add some wood to my raised beds to make them taller.

We got our appliances!!! Our fridge is up and running but it's EMPTY. I haven't had time to shop! So we're still eating sandwiches for dinner, last night it was subs with braised mushrooms, Jarlsberg cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. We had some ice cream sodas last night, what a treat to cool us off! (sorry for the blurry photo! I was in a hurry to eat lol!)

Whenever I have a spare moment, I'm researching. This time it was about our well. I have realized that we have what's considered a "low yield well" and it's directly related to the fact that the well has been dug through the bedrock where there is very low groundwater. It's not the end of the world, it just means that we can get enough water to meet our needs over say, a 24-hour period - but water on demand is a thing of the past. I can't take a shower, flush the toilet, do dishes, then do a load of laundry or the well runs dry. I can do a load of laundry at 9am and then take a shower around noon and do dishes at 2pm and we're okay. Flushing the toilet is an interesting thing...our toilets really draw lots of water, low-flow toilets are probably in our future! 

We're figuring things out and scheduling our water needs for now, but in the future, we are looking into installing a 500-gallon holding tank for water. This will run between the well and our pipes so that we don't run out of water when we have "high demand" periods. 

Funny. Taking a shower, doing some dishes and watering the garden used to be a no-brainer. Now I see how much water we used to waste when it used to flow so easily! My eyes are opening to how precious fresh water is.

Yesterday I was taking the dogs out back and they all lunged in one direction and started to sniff up in the air. There were three baby raccoons in the trees! Two of them were high up a pine tree, hanging like was so windy we were worried they might fall but they were playing and having a grand old time.

The third one was halfway up the tree taking a nap.

We left some food and water at the base of the tree then periodically snuck over to see what they were up to. Sleepy head woke up from his nap.

And down he came from his coniferous bed. Alex took this photo. We didn't want to scare the babies so we went inside and the next thing we knew they were gone. Mama Raccoon was nowhere to be found...We set up the trail cam today and put out some more food, maybe we'll catch them coming back for a nibble!

Canada Day is July 1st. I do love my country, especially the province that we chose as our home. We are so happy here. I'm a little emotional when I type this: I have never felt safe enough to fly the Canadian flag. I used to live in a province that (mostly) hated the English and hated Canada. You rarely saw a Canada flag up because more likely than not, that flag would either be stolen, vandalized or burned. I kid you not. This didn't happen in the urban areas and big cities, but it was well known in the rural areas that if you put up the red and white, it wouldn't be welcomed.

I put up my first Canada flag yesterday. Yeah, it's a dollar store polyester one, but my pride was shining and I have no fear that it will be taken from me. Happy Canada Day to my fellow hosers! πŸ˜‰ Freedom is also very precious!  🍁

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Thursday Art Date: Heat Wave

Hello Friends! 😊😊

Welcome to Thursday's Art Date, today our theme is Heat Wave. It's funny...I created all of the art date themes for 2020 back in November of 2019 during a power failure; and I had no clue what was going to happen each week. This week's theme is spot on because as I type this, we have been going through a major heat wave. I LOVE it...but sleeping at night is difficult. We have to keep the bedroom door closed so we don't wake up with cats jumping on top of us, our felines are very active at night and use us as springboards sometimes...the bedroom is really warm, despite a few fans and the window wide open! I hope those of you in our hemisphere are keeping cool!

Tweety Bird is sure enjoying a nice cold sprinkle of water during the hot weather! Cool water on a hot day is a magical experience! So far our well is doing okay. We are expecting a weekend of rain, gosh I hope the forecast doesn't change. We sure need to restore the well water.

"Peaceful Waters" (Watercolour)

I followed a tutorial for this painting. I'm not much for painting yellows...but I stepped out of my comfort zone for this one. It reminded me of a day at the beach, just when the sun goes down, the water calms and the hot air gets just a little cooler.

This is the most excitement we've captured on the trail cameras so far! We are experimenting with areas to put these cameras. We'll probably keep this one where it is because it also acts as a security camera. The other one will go deeper into the woods today, maybe by the swamp at the edge of our property.

Good news about the car! This is the transmission fluid's dipstick tubing. It basically holds the dipstick and sits on top of the fluid pan. There was a hairline crack at the base of it and that's why our transmission fluid was leaking. Every time we drove the car on a hot day, the fluid expanded and out flew the fluid through the crack. Our new mechanic soldered it and now it's working fine. A $40 fix, phewf.

Sometimes you meet friends where you least expect to. ALL of my friendships have developed from meeting nice people via Blogger. This is the absolute truth. Being a confirmed recluse, I'm not a social being whatsoever and having "virtual" friendships gives me so much joy. Alex and I received a very thoughtful house-warming gift from Joyce over at Octoberfarm. She's such a sweet lady and I love her to bits. Look at this cute salt and pepper shaker set. Isn't it wonderful? Thanks so much Joyce!! xx

Oh...looks like our fridge, washer and dryer are being delivered TOMORROW!!!  Yahoo!! I can't believe it! 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊 I'm SO looking forward to doing laundry and filling up my new fridge so I can cook decent meals again! 

On that happy note, I'll wish you all farewell for now! Please check out the link widget below to see more Heat Wave artwork!


FOR NEXT WEEK'S THEME, July 2nd:  Try A Different Medium I CHALLENGE you to try something you've never tried before! Step out of your comfort zone and get creative!!!  For those of you who may be stumped, check out these links:

Thursday Art Date With Rain. Click on the link for a description of the art date as well as a list of upcoming themes. 

Don't forget to add the URL link to your post (not your blog) to the link gadget below to share your wonderful creations! The link gadget expires Sunday at noon (EST).


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Water Tables, Pumps, Pressure and Wells - Oh...And A Fridge And Car Update!


Hi Everyone 😊

Happy Sunday! I hope you're all doing well. It's dry as a bone here in Queen's County New Brunswick...we haven't had rain in a week and there is no precipitation in the forecast for another week. It's so different from my last place! In that area, there was constant humidity and rain several times a week. Complete opposite. 

Before we bought our home here, we rented a cottage that had a shallow well. That mountain village had lots of rainy days and MANY months of snow, so water supply was never an issue. We have a shallow well here too and we are finding that it IS an issue, mainly because of the current drought and the capability of our old water pump. Lately we have been running out of water and our pump has been struggling to draw water up.

Lesson time for those who are interested! πŸŽ“  (And please correct me if I don't get all of this right!!)

There are three types of well water systems that most rural homeowners use. Shallow wells (also known as dug or water table wells), drilled wells and artesian wells. 

Shallow wells, like ours, are dug to the level of the water table, about 30 - 100 feet down. The water table is the top section of the saturated earth that contains underground water. 

Drilled wells are typically dug over 1000 feet below ground level to the zone of saturation. Artesian wells just confuse me so I won't get into those!

Most people will install a shallow well because it's cheaper. Ideally I would LOVE to have a drilled well because it's a more reliable water source.

To drill a "drilled" well, you need BIG machinery and it costs anywhere from 5-10k (CAD). This price doesn't guarantee you'll find water though. If the auger doesn't hit a spot with water, you are basically sitting on pins and needles as they drill lower and lower because most companies charge you per foot drilled. 

We have an old pump, likely about 15 years old. We knew it needed replacing in a year or so but we are trying to hold on to it as long as we can! It only has the capacity to draw about 40 pounds of water per square inch πŸ˜•. If I fill up my 2.5 gallon watering can twice, the pump turns on. Every time we use between 4-6 gallons of water, the pump needs to draw more water up from our shallow well. If we take long hot showers or do lots of dishes, the pump works harder to try to fill the 40-gallon hot water tank.

The water pump is attached to a pressure tank, this helps draw the water up to the pipes in the house. If the pressure tank's gauge starts to shake and shimmy, that means it's struggling and we need to turn the pump off. Why? Because the well is dry (figuratively) and if we leave the pump on, it will burn out. 

If the well is dry, it's because we pulled all of the water from the water table and there isn't any left. There will be more of course! But at this point, we've used too much water and the ground water needs to restore itself into our well. Another reason the well could be dry is based on the weather and seasons. We are in a drought right now so it's normal that the water table is low. The problem with that is the water table continues to fall year after year if there are a lot of summertime droughts...this means in the future we may need to dig a deeper well.

It's complicated, but we are learning. Here's an example: I can fill my watering can about 14 times before the pump starts to struggle. That means we can use about 60 gallons of water before the well dries up and needs to refill itself. Of course, that's right now because of the drought. So far we figure it takes a good few hours for the water table to come back up.

Alex and I are determined to conserve water. We are also trying to learn how to schedule our water needs better so that we don't get to the point of drying up our well. I stagger the watering of the garden now over several days. We only do one load of wash a day and it's in the morning. All leaky faucets will be fixed asap because that affects the water supply as well. We keep an eye on that pressure gauge to make sure it's not struggling. If we see that, we turn the pump off - the last thing we need is a burned out pump!! 

We are going to install gutters and we're on a waiting list for some food-grade plastic barrels that we will turn into rain barrels. The company sells them to people for $5 a piece. There is a waiting list for these barrels, and there are 3 people ahead of us; but the nice lady at the company said we should hear from her in about a month. I asked for 4 barrels so that we can harvest rain water.

The fridge??? Okay in short, the fan was broken and because it was one of those modern fridges run by a computer chip, that had to be replaced too. The fix was going to be way too pricey. We'd bought that fridge plus a washer and dryer from that second hand store. The washer stopped working as well. We never tested the dryer because we don't have an outlet, but we decided to rent a Uhaul trailer and return all three appliances. I was so sad because I LOVED that fridge!!! We were lucky that we got a full refund. We ended up buying some low-end new appliances, and even though it's not as big as the used one we returned, I'm still getting my stainless steel fridge! 😊 But, the appliances will only be delivered in mid-to-late July. It's weekly shopping, more canning and hand washing until then! We are pioneering right now so to speak!!

Our leak is pink.

The car??? When we returned the Uhaul trailer, the mechanic there noticed some grease on the trailer. He checked our car out and told us that he thought our transmission fluid was leaking. Oh joy. I've been checking the fluid level and it's borderline right now...I have to find a mechanic to check that out. But the good news is I have an appointment in early July to get my New Brunswick driver's license and plates! 😊😊 Getting rid of my Quebec license and plates is my last tie to that province!!

Fun stuff: In February I'd ordered a few trail cameras for our 7-year anniversary in March. They were on back-order but they were supposed to arrive at our new home just around the time we were to arrive. A few days before we moved in May, I was told that they were still on back-order. With all of the stress of the move I COMPLETELY forgot I'd ordered them and they arrived a few days ago! It was a wonderful surprise! We're going to have fun with these!! Last night when we brought the dogs out before bed, they all went nuts...barking, growling, pulling - there was something in the woods! It's a shame we didn't have the cameras up last night, but they are up now. I hope we get some good footage!

Charlie - resting by the window. She had an allergic reaction from what we think is a spider bite - her face swelled up three times its normal size. This has happened several times before. Poor gal was on Benadryl for 24 hours.

Big post today huh? Friends, I'm so busy. It's crazy. Tomorrow we have a chimney inspector coming. He's going to sweep the chimney, inspect our wood stove and help find out where it's leaking. We have rust on the top of the stove and inside so we need to fix that leak before the winter. I also have to figure out a menu plan and go shopping.

Sandwiches - a typical dinner these days!

Oh and during the last rainfall, we realized there are a few leaks in the roof too. One of these days Alex and I will get up there and try to figure out where it's leaking. We can't afford to fix the roof this year, but we CAN figure out a patch job. I was watching lots of videos on how to find leaks and caulk them. Worst case scenario we'll install a good quality tarp over the area where it's leaking and figure out how to fix it next year.

πŸ’ž We LOVE our home and property, despite its flaws and problems!! I need to find time to paint and draw this week!!! Please join me on Thursday for our art date, the theme is Heat Wave. 😊