A strange winter

Today, as I write this, the temperature has been +3 degrees. Temperatures can fluctuate 15 to 20 degrees during a 24-hour period. We have also had a lot of snow, and although it is a metre deep, it is still less than we would usually have at this time. At least the sun is now starting to appear above the horizon again.

With extremely high electric prices, I am using the woodstove to cook food and help heat the house.

Pasties are my favourite food to bake at the moment.

I have also been making some Reindeer skin coffee bags.

Icefishing rod stand

I have now made an icefishing rod stand for the rod that I made recently. I have used two metal shelf brackets, a piece of plywood, and a piece of waste pipe to construct it.

I have also designed a simple “jaw-jacker” so that the hook sets itself when I get a bite. I used a 3mm thick piece of wood to make it. The piece of wood is 8cm long.

The fishing line is laid over the screw that you see in the picture above. The notch that I have carved sits in the outer most eye of the rod. When set, it looks like this.

And here is how it works.

We have been fishing once but had no bites.

Snow plough

I have purchased a Click-n-go snow plough for my quad to help with clearing snow from garden during the winter. Here are a couple of photos of my father-in-law testing it after we had mounted the plough on the quad.

We still have very little snow for this time of year, but there is 40cms more than when I wrote last time.

Times are hard here in the north as with many other places. We have had temperatures between minus 20 and minus 30 and with electric prices more than sig times as much as a year ago, I’m expecting my next electric bill to about £1200. It costs more to live here now than I earn each month.

Fortunately i have the woodstove to help heat the house and cook meals.

Kelly is enjoying the winter weather. Today I have been pulling her behind the snowmobile to help here with her balance training.

Unfortunately if the high prices continue, I will have to sell the snowmobile because just don’t have the funds to keep it running.

Icefishing rod

I had a broken icefishing rod and found a top from an old spinning rod and wanted to try and make a new icefishing rod.

I started by removing the foam handle from the broken icefishing rod.

I used birch bark, sallow root bur and Reindeer horn to make a new handle and glued both the parts of the handle together and the spinning rod top.

I filed and sanded the handle to the shape that I wanted.

I’m very pleased with the end result and looking forward to testing it.

We currently have almost no snow here and so it was possible to drive to the cabin last weekend.

We spent the majority of time outside. Kelly had a friend with her to play with.

And of course we grilled sausages.

Not much snow

We have had almost no snow so far this winter, but during the last week temperatures have been down between-15 and -25.

The cold clear nights have provided us with nice displays of Northern lights.

And for two days we have had a rare phenomenon called a white rainbow.

I have been out walking today and thought I would show some of the photos I have taken.

It was -23 by the stream, but there was still a little open water

I boiled a kettle of hot water on my bushbox xl and made a warming cup of coffee.

I have made an adaptor for the bushbox so that I can use my homemade alcohol stove in it.

The toothbrush tree

We had a fishing trip into the forest but unfortunately caught no fish.

As usual we made a fire and made hot drinks.

I also taught Kelly how to identify an Alder tree and that if you cut a piece and then chew the end, it makes a very good toothbrush.

I managed to get another weekend at the cabin last weekend.

It was nice to come there and turn on a light and have light from the solar panel.

I cut and split at the Birch that I had gathered. The weather was nice but the sun doesn’t get very high in the sky now.

We have coldnights now. While fishing one evening at the cabin, ice began forming on the water.

New kitchen cupboard

I decided it was time to make improvements to the large cupboard that we have by the side of the woodstove. The old one had become unlevel after I had lifted the cabin.

I made new sides and installed new shelves.

I kept the pull-out worktop that was already there.

And made doors, which the old cupboard did not have.

I have also had an unusual visitor at the cabin. A Nuthatch has been visiting the bird table.

I have now left the cabin and returned to my house for the winter. I am hoping to get back to the cabin at least once more before the snow arrives.

Zander fishing

I had a weekend away recently fishing for Zander (aka Walleye).

Friday evening was cool and windy. We stopped at a beach along the lake shore for some food.

We caught 2 on Friday evening,

which we smoked and had for breakfast on Saturday morning.

It was still very windy on Saturday morning.

But calmed down later on during the day. We caught three more on Saturday evening.

Here at the cabin I have had several nights with temperatures below freezing.

I have built an insulated box to house my batteries so that they do not freeze. I will not be living here during the winter but will be visiting.

I am currently busy cutting and splitting wood for next year. I am planning to live at the cabin until the end of this month and will then move back to the house before the first snow arrives.

Lifting the cabin

About a third of the cabin (all the way along the back side) has sunk down and the floor slopes very noticeably. I have made attempts to lift it before with limited success, but decided to give it another go.

I had three bottle jacks to place at strategic locations

I raised each jack a little at a time and placed concrete blocks and pieces of wood under and the cabin lifted. I had to raise one by 22cms to get the cabin level!

Unfortunately, when I had finished raising the cabin, a door and window would no longer close.

It was too late in the evening to try and fix the problem so the door had to be left open and I covered the window with plastic.

I had an horrendous night because mosquitoes and midges (no-see-ums) were able to get in, making it almost impossible to sleep.

I ws up at 5am the following morning and it took all day to adjust the door and window to get them to close.

It is nice to be able to fry and bake food now without everything running to one side of the pan!