Ups and downs

I went to the hospital to see a specialist yesterday about my back.  The good news is that he does not want to operate at the moment because there is so much positive improvement with my training (the operation would have been to fuse two of my vertebrae together).  However I have a degenerative disease; inherited from one of my parents which means that the tissue between the disks breaks down and eventually I will have to have the operation.

In the picture below the healthy disks are thick and have much grey colour between them.  The last three disks (especially the middle one which causes most pain) has almost nothing between the vertebrae.

back xrayLast week my employer terminated my employment because I have been sick so much and can’ do my job in my current condition.  I think it will be a challenge to find full-time employment again up here.

Last weekend we were at the cabin.  Teres wallpapered the veranda that I built a couple of years ago



I had left my fly tying equipment at home, but found a hook, some feathers left over from Easter and some fine fishing line and inspired by an article in the latest issue of “The Bushcraft Magazine” I decided to make a Pike lure.  I had no clamp to hold the hook, so improvised using my Leatherman Wave and a little vice

leatherman fly tying vice-1I was very pleased with the end result, and in fact we caught a 40cm Pike with it, but I dropped the fish before Emma could take a photograph!

leatherman fly tying vice-2

Emma kept both herself and Kelly entertained while in the forest, by crushing up Blueberries and painting stone art with the juice.

emma stone art lapland

emma stone art gallivare

blueberry juice fish

Kelly even made me a stone cake

kelly art nattavaara

On Saturday night the temperature dropped down to -6 C, the first frost of the autumn!


Leather shoes

Last night we had a light fall of snow, although more snow is not forecast for the next few days, temperatures will remain below freezing.

I have not been doing so much this week, but Teres has made Kelly a nice pair of reindeer leather shoes.

She cut out several shapes from the leather, including two reindeer

leather shoes-1

and sewed the parts together

leather shoes-2

to form some really comfortable shoes for Kelly

leather shoes-3

My mum passed away last weekend  and so I will shortly be heading off to England for a couple of weeks, and will be unlikely to be posting here for a while.

Structural improvements

After Dave left some comments about structural improvements to my out-building I felt I must try to address issues he had raised.  Not sure if I understood everything correctly, but I hope so!!

I have built an internal frame around the door opening

door frame

The door I am going to use, is a sliding door that i was give, which I will fit on the outside of the building once I have nailed the outside panels on.

I could not obtain more 2″ x 5″ to strengthen the roof, but the local saw-mill did have a 2″ x 6″ left, so I have placed this mid-way under the rafters to provide support and help spread the weight.

roof support

I also found an old window which I have now mounted on one side of the building to provide a little light inside.

window fitted

As usual, I am never alone when working ;>)

siberian jay nattavaara


Three knives

Not much has happened over the last week so I thought I would show a picture of three knives I have made recently.

knivesThe materials used are; moose antler, half tanned leather, sallow root bur and birch bur.

Hawk Owls plus an accident with an axe

I have located two different pairs of breeding Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) during last weekend. 

Hawk OwlThey nest in holes in trees.  This nest site was made by a Black Woodpecker.

hawk owl nest

One pair have large, mature young that can already fly and so were difficult to photograph

Hawk owl young-1 (1320 x 990)The other pair however, have young that have just left the nest and although they cannot fly, they are very good at climbing.  They were very difficult to locate sitting in trees.

Hawk Owl chick-3 (990 x 1320)But once located, they did not move.

Hawk Owl chick-4 (990 x 1320) Hawk Owl chick-2 (1320 x 990)

While carving a Birch spoon today I chopped my fingers with the axe (I was keeping an eye on Kelly instead of concentrating on what I was doing).  I had read an article on Facebook that Cayenne Pepper is very good at staunching the flow of blood so I tried it out.

handIt did not stop the bleeding within 10 seconds as the article states, but within a minute it had stopped.  The base of the fingers is not an easy place to apply a dressing, but I have taped the two fingers together and that seems to have worked ok.

Curtain rail completed

We were at the cabin last weekend.  On Friday it was warm and sunny

kelly enjoying sunKelly enjoys cleaning and tidying, which is good because I don’t!

kelly cleaningShe also also becoming very interested in nature.  In this picture she was learning about ants and  they get in your nappy!!

learning about natureWe wanted to have curtains in front of the beds to make it darker when sleeping, during the 24hrs of summer daylight and hide the beds away during the day.

We couldn’t find a curtain at the right length so I decided to make one.  The hangers for the rail (which are screwed to the ceiling) I made out of pieces of Birch, screwed to pieces of Pine.

birch hangers for curtain railThen I cut, pealed and dried a Pine sapling (this I did two weeks previously)

curtain rail-2Once it had dried and sanded and smoothed the sapling.

Here’s the rail fixed in place

curtain railand here’s the curtains in place

curtains on railI spent a lot of time trying to photograph birds, but there are very few birds this year (probably because spring is so late.  This Siberian Jay is the best picture I took.

siberian jay