Aerial Acrobatics

I started sheathing the roof of the addition to get it weatherproof before the next rain. The weather reports have been extremely volatile and it’s been hard to plan properly. A freak soak sent me scurrying throwing tools where I could so they wouldn’t get wet. I was worried things would be too wet to get back into it but enough sun came back and dried things enough that I wasn’t worried about slippery surfaces.

It’s just me on the roof this time, I had to find a better (not completely insane) way to move bulky 4’x8′ heavy panels up a ladder on the roof.

Double Pulley (AKA block & tackle) to the rescue

I’ve added to my arsenal of climbing equipment. These things give you a 4:1 mechanical advantage, I kind of knew they existed but as with many things it’s only when I’m confronted to them that I truly understand how incredibly enabling they are.

With 2 double pulleys and the trusty Grigri, I can hoist myself up anywhere with little effort

And while the hoisting wasn’t actually meant for me, this fun session helped establish what new capabilities I had gained and how to tie it all together. Of course I let the kids play with it at low altitude, they both float in the harness waaaaaaaaay to much to go any higher.

The main difficulty here is to find a system that is reasonable in terms of effort and safety. Once the system is figured out, the panels go quickly. And so it was time for the rubber to meet the road.

And it worked wonderfully. With the freak soak behind me and the system figured out, a load was taken off my shoulders and I was able to enter the quieter mental routine of construction.

This still makes for an intense day on effort and focus. One more like it and we should be fairly weatherproof.

Every Day

We get a good 10lbs of blueberries every single day. It’s hard to keep up with all the harvesting, processing, gifting and eating. Next year the operation will most likely be turned lucrative.

This season, I can safely say that we have enough berries for our family’s generous yearly consumption. It got me thinking about all the things we solely provide for ourselves. Heat, electricity, water, maple syrup, garlic. These are all major sources of pride, savings, and resilience. Blueberries and currants can definitely be added to the list this year, it took 6 years of tending to the frailest sticks in the ground to get there. As with many things around the homestead this year, we are finally reaping the rewards, and they are plentiful.

This year’s canning label

Soon, we’ll be harvesting en masse from Nicole’s massive garden. We might have other staples to add to the list then. Others like cider are close but not quite 100% self produced yet. Although we don’t particularly seek autonomy as an endpoint, it is pleasant where we have achieved it. It all feels unreal sometimes, that our decade old typical silly dream of leaving the city for greener pastures, could end up being so fully incarnated.