May is another month of comparative isolation in the ongoing pandemic drama. We settle in, settling in to a location where we normally only spend a few months a year. It’s okay. Keep telling myself that, because reality is what it is.
The work continues on the base for the garden shed. When pounding sand has been done enough I construct an insulated base to trap the ground heat in the winter and prevent frost heaving. Then floor, walls and a roof. The roof is overkill but should support a one in a thousand year snow load for here. It would probably be fine in Revelstoke for that matter. The roof skin is EPDM. EPDM is not sold locally. They will bring in a full roll which weighs about 550 pounds and much more than you need for a garden shed. The Saskatoon supplier will only sell to certified installers. That’s understandable. Firestone doesn’t want people who don’t know what they are doing making faulty joints and giving their product a bad name. I located a Saskatoon contractor who agreed to sell me a piece of a roll end enough to more than cover the shed. I was going to get it couriered to a local contractor friend, but the person in Saskatoon was coming up to Big River for the May long-weekend and brought it there. We met them, traded money and EPDM and brought it home.
All that sand hauling did in the garden trailer tires, but the local co-op had more. The old ones still had the co-op stock number. So only two trips to town for that. One to pick up the tires mounted on the wheels. A second to buy different sized bearings for the wheels. Just like ten years ago. Now I remember. They say that experience doesn’t prevent you from making mistakes. It just helps you recognize them sooner after you make them.
A dump truck load of top soil mixed with aged horse manure is delivered. It arrives before road bans are in effect so it is a full load. The driver is still adjusting to backing up a dump truck after a winter basking in Yuma, but he stays mostly on the driveway and only breaks one side view mirror on a tree. When he starts getting close to the designated dump point the truck tires start to sink in so that’s where the load gets dumped. Close enough. I guess. Provides incentive to move the stuff overlapping the driveway as soon as possible. I start moving it wheel barrow load by wheel barrow load into the raised beds. After the pile is about half gone and I am running out of locations to put dirt until I build more beds, Erne and Debbie show up and fill their pickup. Thanks. I needed that.
Family visits happen but at a distance. Outside. We also visit with the Edmonton family over Zoom which is better than nothing. The way we use it with just two screens is no different than Skype or Facetime. They all work.
Speaking of working, I ran across an app called Xoom. Is that pronounced “Zoom”? How confusing.
It’s part of PayPal corporately but is more of a replacement of Western Union. I have used Western Union to send money to Nicaragua a few times in the past. A lot of people have. I remember walking past a Western Union office every morning in a small Nicaraguan town where we spent a month. There were all these young women sitting outside waiting for their money from the States. When I needed to send some money this spring the person mentioned Xoom as an alternative. I was willing to try it. The recipient said they had problems with Western Union and I, too, have found it cumbersome at times. Xoom shoves it straight to a bank and the recipient goes there and picks it up. Much cleaner.
I finished off the last of my paid for Spanish lessons with the tutor in Granada. He mentions some of the challenges the town is facing with Covid. It doesn’t match the official version from the government. I wonder why that would be?
I have been in Meadow Lake in May a few more times than in April but it is still rare to be here to celebrate granddaughter, Sasha’s, birthday. Juanita has a better track record. We do a repeat of last month where we show up with the gifts, place them on the porch and retreat an anti-social distance.
A SOWER couple we know split their chores into Daddy-Do’s and Mommy-Do’s. We have never formalized the practice but certainly have certain chores that we each tend to own. With me busy on the garden shed, Juanita took over firewood splitting, one of my former chores. I attended once in a while to lift the heavier logs and split them in half to start. Other than that she did it all. I wonder if I will get it back next year? I remember after two years of her picking up my slack while I was working on my master’s degree her saying, “Welcome back, honey!” as I walked past with the electrostatic furnace filter on the way to wash it.
I can’t remember any books I read this month so no book reviews, but there were a few products we bought from Amazon:
Love Good Fats Bars in various flavours. At room temperature they are kinda blah. Stored in the refrigerator they are pretty good. The chocolate mint ones stored in the freezer and nibbled while drinking coffee? They’re wonderful.
Gardus DVME Dryer Vent Made Easy has a part that goes onto your dryer vent and a corresponding connection for the wall. This allows you to just shove your clothes dryer into place connecting the dryer to the ductwork without a huge gap between the wall and dryer. It is not without issues. You have to be diligent to attach the piece to the dryer solidly enough that it isn’t just left sticking out of the wall when you pull the dryer away from the wall. Canada: Gardus DVME Dryer Vent Made Easy USA: Gardus DVME Dryer Vent
Heartland Natural Energy Saving Dryer Vent Closure goes on the outside of the house as a replacement for those nasty louvered things. It does a good job of preventing cold air from back-flowing into your laundry room. It comes in a natural plastic colour. It needs to be painted with a plastic paint like Fusion to provide protection from UV and to match your house. It is designed to be mounted right on the siding; I didn’t like that so mounted a piece of white aluminum on the wall and then trimmed around the outlet with j-mold and ran the siding into the j-mold. You may be less anal. Most people are.
Kraft Tool Drywall Corner Roller – I saw this on YouTube being used to apply drywall mud on inside corner joints. It looked great. Didn’t work for me. You may have better luck, but I would discourage even trying it.