Just Broken In – My Chainsaw!

It is funny that this post fell on Boxing Day.

In the process of moving my life from Toronto to Mother Nature, I am attempting to barter/sell/trade my ‘Urban’ things for ‘Prairie’ things. My best trade yet is a bike for a chainsaw. I bought the bike 12 years ago from a friend and rode it year round, to Montreal, everywhere. I am a great Urban Sherpa and it was my horse. I have a feeling that I am about to develop the same relationship/love affair with my chainsaw.

The bike sold for 350.00. I bought a chainsaw, some chaps and the protective hard hat for 349.26.

JBI-T&M13 A helping hand is necessary. Tree cutting is best as a two person job.

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I am pretty good at cutting up a tree once it has been cut down but I am really now aware of the skill it takes to bring down a tree. A clean cut that does not fall into the other trees is an art form.  That photo is not art.

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Getting comfortable making 12 inch logs.

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This time next year I would like to be really good at cutting down trees.

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The larder

larderRight now I live in a beautiful apartment and out of all my homes in Toronto this one is by far my favorite. The only downside to living there is the fridge. I have never lived with a louder, more invasive appliance in my life, it defies logic. I also happen to have tinnitus so that combined with the subtle whinny hum of the fridge I often feel like my head it going to pop off my shoulders. Solution – unplug the fridge from 5pm – 10pm nightly.

Trying to find a silver lining to this situation, I have come to the conclusion, that I am going through this experience so I could realize that we don’t need to live with a fridge or at least not the size of the fridges we currently use.

Let me introduce to you the larder!

I am going to put one of these in the Ginger Shack. The plan is to have a small larder/cellar built into the floor of the kitchen area. So take that photo and envision it as a little cellar and presto I have my ‘fridge.’

Just Broken In – The Tent

I began looking at yurts online and discovered that they are really expensive. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a great Canadian company called Deluxe Wall Tents and bought myself the most beautiful 168 square foot glamping tent out there! I added on the wood burning stove and upgraded to their deluxe model so mine is equipped with a front and back door as well as two windows. If you like the look and size of my tent it is 12 x 14 x 5 wall x 8.5 peak.  jbi-bday19Everything in the tent (except the bed, pillows, sheets and duvet cover) is second hand or donated by my neighbours. I like the look of objects with a story worn into them plus I am super clumsy so it hurts less when you add a nick to something that already has a few.

jbi-bday22View from the front door

jbi-bday12Check out this company – Cordaroys. The bed is super comfy!

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My closet area and indoor toilet in case of emergencies (ie bear outside your door)jbi-bday14

Kitchen area/dining room/work table.

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My nightstand is all about my family.jbi-bday27

The stove area which at that point was yet to be assembled. It had to be cooked for about 5 hours. Cooking a stove involves getting a huge fire going inside of it to burn off the fumes and seal in the paint. This was done the following weekend with some friend.

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The tent total cost: $2600.00

Everything in the tent: $700.00 (roughly) with the bed being the biggest purchase.

Just Broken In – The Deck

I built a very simple deck-like bed frame for my futon mattress so I took that knowledge, bought a bunch of wood and headed up North to build a deck. I could not have been more out of my element and unprepared if I tried. A forest floor outside is nothing like a hardwood floor in your apartment. No real surprise there.

The first trip up was all about hauling the wood from where it was delivered to where it needed to be. We laid out the deck area and took stock of what it was that I bought.

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The second trip up was lead by my good friend and mentor, Judy. She renovates houses for a living and has a personal relationship with everyone at her local Home Depot so needless to say the level of knowledge increased 100 fold. In one day, 6 of us, built one really beautiful deck.

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Levelled with some twigs and sticks!

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jbi-july26-25Cost: $1800.00 (I am not good at keeping track of everything but I think that is about right)

Just Broken In – The driveway

After I bought the land I started to save money for a driveway. This was my first priority, you have to be able to get onto the land, in order to live on the land. Budget $10,000.00.

The first step was to survey the land. AKA drinks some beers with good friends and walk in the best driveway line you can find.

survey2 survey5 survey6 survey3My first driveway was okay but ended up being not done to what we agreed on as his equipment ‘broke’ so I was left with more of a dirt road than a driveway. Still it worked and I loved turning onto it every time.

jbi-june21-10 jbi-june21-11 jbi-june21-12The final driveway was done by Steve Beaver and when he was done I was able to cross one thing off bucket list. I have always wanted a long, tree lined driveway and the one I have is stunning!
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Bike Parking coming next summer!

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Total cost: $8400.00 – I will have to add a few more trunk loads of gravel next year as everything settles into place so the driveway should come in on budget.

Just Broken In – The prep work

Before you can build anything you have to get the land ready.

JB30First step is clearing out the energy and bringing it back to the beginning. I bought some Manitoba sweet grass at a little shop in Parkdale to use in my smudging ceremony and had my Indian friend Judy do the honours. .

jbi-june21-32Second step, make friends with your neighbours!

jbi-bday34Last thing I needed to deal with were the bears. I decided to put up a marker and let them know that they are welcome to walk across my land but they need to stay on there side. I may be reaching here but I figure it cannot hurt. I have also been going to the bathroom in a wide circle around my tent. Taking a page out for Never Cry Wolf and getting all animal up there. Loving it.

 

Just Broken In For June 14

tulip tigger-tulip1 tigger-tulip4I live in Parkdale and out back is an overgrown garden with 1 random tulip. My cat sits next to that tulip.

Today I took him to the vet to make sure all of his shots are up to date cause we are prepping for the move up North. Turns out he has lost 2 pounds in the last year which is perfect because my overweight indoor cat needs to get ready for the great outdoors too!

 

Addition to the name: King Meow Meow Reigns Supreme Over All, especially Tulip.

 

 

Just Broken In For June 7

SOLDjbi-1jbi-jun7.13Just Broken In. This is about to happen to my land and it is about to happen to me.

I bought 23 acres of land last October. I fell so incredibly in love that it blew my mind.   I am going to build a retreat for people to come and sit and be quiet and thoughtful. Your quiet is your call.

Medicine Man for May 23

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I went survey on my land. This translates to drinking a few beer while walking in the best driveway path with a couple of good friends. I should have a driveway done by mid June. Exciting summer ahead!!

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