Keeping the cold out

So are we all ready for this?

Buckhorn backyard winter 2013

Buckhorn backyard winter 2013

I know I am not. We are headed up this weekend to do a bit more winterizing. Hopefully we can keep the outside where it belongs and the house in good shape in case this happens again.

I found this list of helpful tips which may be of use.

How to protect your cottage during the winter months

Well truthfully we don’t drain the lines like some folk do as we come up throughout the winter. And we keep a bit of heat on so that’s my main concern. But we keep a clear path to the door and to the propane tank and as long as we can get in and check in regularly all should be well.

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Sump pumps suck when they don’t suck

after this long, cold winter I had been looking forward to spring.
Then came the call from our friend who checks on the house. The sump pump in the root cellar had quit and the cellar was filling fast. Nothing between us and the icy cold ground water other than our hardwood floors and a few electric pumps.

After careful electrical disconnects and discovering a fortunate second sump socked away in the shed, we’ve been able to stop in in flow from becoming a totally disastrous deluge. Thanks to our kind friend and ex-neighbour we have saved the house from major damage once again.

Needless to say for this reason (and others) we have very little interest in that new Russell Crowe flood film.

2014 came in like a popsicle that’s been in the freezer too long.

I’ve always relished the Canadian winter but yeesh, this year, I’m having doubts.

I hope I insulated my plants well enough!

I hope I insulated my plants well enough!

It has been a long, cold winter this year. We headed up for New Years and were surprised at the amount of snow. Our next trip I am sure will reveal more snow!

I usually don’t like to complain about the cold winters but this one might just be the exception.

Snowy side yard

We hope that the snow and ice on the back porch, that has fallen from the roof and entrenched itself, will be gone sometime in May…

Power is out and so is the food in our fridge…

So it was a great ol’ week for Toronto wasn’t it?

Torrential rains caused flooding both from rising waters and leaky roofs. That also meant a major power outage for many people in the city and surrounding areas including us for just under 48 hours.

Heavy Rains Flood Toronto

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After living at the schoolhouse for so long a couple of days with no TV aren’t the end of the world. But it generally means it is time to clean out the fridge and freezer if it has been off for too long.

By not opening the fridge or freezer we managed to save a lot but when I started looking at expiry dates and old branding on labels I thought it might be time to do a purge anyway. How long has it been since Dave was the President at Loblaws exactly?

Toronto Public Health provides some solid common sense on its website. If it looks or smells weird get rid of it.

Food Safety at Home – Floods and Power Outages

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also mentions on its website that if an impending outage is coming, set your fridge at 4 degrees Celsius and your freezer to     -18 degrees Celsius to help keep things on ice until the lights come on.

Food Safety in an Emergency

This was the first time we’ve had a long outage with a fridge that has its own ice maker. Guess what happens? The ice melts and the cats get their own wading pool in the kitchen.

So what do you do if you aren’t at home for a few days and the power has been out. Is the food ok? I don’t know how scientific this is but it makes sense to me: fill a water bottle half-full (or half-empty depending on your outlook on life) and freeze it. When the water is completely frozen, turn it upside down and leave it. If you come home and the ice or water is now at the opposite end of the bottle then your freezer was warm enough to thaw out and drop and its likely the food needs to go and feed the bears at the dump. (Thanks to Heather for that trick. You know who you are!)

Ice storm, flood, zombie attack? An infographic.

We Canadians are generally prepared for the likes of most natural disasters.

We value our homes and like to ensure they are kept safe. If you live out west, you know about avalanches and earthquakes. Easterners know more than enough about surviving floods and ice storms. If you are from Saskatchewan, you have likely figured out how not to die from boredom and so forth.

We’ve contemplated getting the schoolhouse emergency-ready with differing heating systems and generators. Storing foodstuffs and water and all those important things the Federal government advises us of.

However we have no plan for zombie attack. So when I saw this infographic I thought, “well that makes sense.” And also, “I can’t believe I have gone this long without a plunger gun.”

How To Zombie Proof Your House
Browse more infographics.