Thursday, December 3, 2009

Domestic Affairs

Clearing a Path

After feeding and scooping and then preparing and eating my own breakfast I went into my garage to try to clear some paths and horizontal surfaces.  I'm expected a Nor' West Company customer this evening, and he and his wife want to check out a lot of different items.  Since everything is packed in wooden crates in my garage, making space for their shopping trip took some time and effort.  You may recall that this is at least the second, if not third time this week I've worked at it.

Even when tidied up my garage is a mess.  I have mushing gear hanging around in one area, a canoe under construction in the main bay, and a bad habit of not putting things away when I'm finished with a repair or a project.  Add to it storage of materials for future projects, including a fair amount of historically authentic linen and woolen fabrics, leather and hardware and you can imagine how much of mess it can become.

Today it was a major focus, and I'm pleased with my progress.  After four hours of concentrated effort and a trip to the dumpster station I no longer feel like I should be embarrassed by it.  It isn't perfect, but it will do for a while. 

One of the things the customer wants is some black powder for his muzzleloading rifle.  I had to fetch that from the magazine, which is located a safe distance from the house.  I was a bit concerned about having to shovel out a patch, but it turns out there isn't enough snow to make doing so a worthwhile use of time.  Just stride on out, and barely get your shoes covered. 

Food for the Horde

While doing my house keeping I was stuffing a bunch of dog booties into a bag for storage when the dogs started barking and carrying on in the way that tells me I have a visitor.  I had lost track of time so was surprised when the crew from 49er Feeds showed up to deliver my latest dog-food order.  They were just in time, as I opened up the last bag from my last previous order last night.  I really enjoy doing business with that company, as they are willing to deliver for only $5.00.  The very reasonable delivery fee saves me at least 3 hours in driving, loading and unloading the feed. 

Early Christmas Gift?

Well, it isn't so much a gift as it is a pay-back.  Our electrical company (Golden Valley Electrical Service) sometimes estimates electricity useage rather than reading the meter.  Every so often they have to reconcile the estimated usage against the actual.  I got my electrical bill today, and it was WAY less than I expect in winter, when the lights are on and furnace running so much more than during warmer and lighter seasons.  When I checked out the details I found that they had adjusted the bill by a bit more than $100.00 to make up for overestimating my power usage.  I'm pleased with that.  It means I might actually make it to next pay-day without having to tap into my savings account.

Still No Snow, Though...
The lack of snow and wheels on which to train the team is weighing heavy on my mind.  We've gotten a couple of tiny flurries today, but nothing like a real snow-fall, and the long-range forecast isn't offering any near term hope.  On the positive side, it doesn't include any particularly bitter low temperatures either, so I should be happy about that.  If we don't get adequate snow between now and my next R&R I may have to start begging the loan of a machine so I can get these dogs out and about. It is so sparse that the Two Rivers Dog Musher's Association is contemplating cancelling the Solstice 100 race.   

I'm going to have the make the purchase of a used four-wheeler a high priority between now and next August, along with stripping out the engine and power-train from the dead one, to convert it into an unpowered, free-wheeling training cart.  [Sigh] Just one more thing to have to spend money on.  

OK - it's time for me to feed, scoop and love-up on the dogs.  Catcha next time.



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