Back on the ranch, no Skype or email, but we have a bath

So after nine days back in Rzemien to respect the ‘All Saints’ holiday and let me fit in two English teaching days, we headed back to the ranch with the intention of ‘getting things done’. Easier said than done it seems as our enthusiasm wanes along with the sun. We did manage to clear most of the wood that we cut down to make way for the electricity cable to supply the new house, which is just as well as we need to feed the koza (wood burner, it also translates as goat) a fair amount to heat the water and to keep us warm in the stable. We do have a good stock of wood that we have seasoned over the last two years, but it’s all too big for our scaled down wood burning goat, so a good four or five hour stint dragging the culled silver birch and willow to the stable to be reduced to 20cm (ish) lengths by lopper and chop saw filled the fuel buckets and boxes for the next week or so. I may have mentioned this before, but the old saying that wood heats you up three times is as true today as it was when it was first thought up; first when you fell it, second when you chop it and a third time when you burn it, I was reduced to wearing a T-shirt despite the cooler weather.

Keep feeding it and you can cook, heat up water for the bath and keep the stable warm!

Talking about burning wood, we also fired up the piec for more than half an hour, building up day by day, to today’s big burn of about six hours. It heats up nicely, with the brick structure slowly retaining heat but I need to make some fine adjustments to the cast iron hot plates as they don’t quite sit right; the grinder needs to come into play. We also fired up the bread oven, but we have to take this a little slower, giving it more heat every day for a month until it will be finally ready, we intend to add some fire bricks to the base as well to help retain the heat more so it will double as a pizza oven 🙂 If only the house doors had arrived as planned then we may have kept some of the heat in the building!  As we were in the house we managed to strip the protective film from the windows and frames, removed all the wedges holding the widows in place whilst the wonder that is expanding foam set and in turn filled the new gaps with more expanding foam. If I had of known that the window fitters would have worked to such a wide margin of error I wouldn’t have spent so long with the frames; my 2mm tolerance could have been 20mm, it would have made little difference to the final fitting! Still as they say in Poland ‘Z tego sie nie strzela’ (You don’t have to shoot from it)

With this saying in mind Gosia and I decided to take on the soffit 🙂

The wild boars have made a few more appearances whilst we were away, or should I say they have left evidence; nobody has actually seen them yet, but I fear its only a matter of time; dogs close by, knife in pocket whenever I go out past dusk, it’s that time of year. It also means that the deer are coming in closer as well and it’s almost a daily event to see them on the land now, sometimes at the side of the road (track) that leads to our land, only running off at the last-minute, within 20 meters or so of us in the van. The same can be said of foxes as well, maybe not as often, but they are a frequent sight; are chickens such a good idea next year? Will they be feeding us or will we be feeding the foxes?

There you go you see, I started to ramble on without mentioning the big event this week; we found a bath, or should I say that whilst we handed in the scrap that we have collected over the last couple of months, old tin cans, beer cans, rusty nails and the like, Gosia spotted an old rusty cast iron roll top bath and after a brief negotiation with the proprietor we handed over 140 Pln (about £30) this was after we had received 43 Pln (about a tenner) for the scrap we handed in. Gosia has high hopes, whilst I’m glad we don’t have to fork out a small fortune for a new one! Remind me of this statement when I’m cursing the bath as I try to re-enamle it next year! I will follow-up with a photo when I have a fully functional laptop again. At the moment I’m limping along running my operating system from a USB stick, but not to worry, Amazon are sending me a new hard drive and I hope to be back to normal with Skype and email after the weekend.

Posted in Life in Poland, self sufficiency, Straw Bale House and tagged , , , .

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Preperation « winkos

  2. Hi Eddie, thanks for the like and follow. I must say, after reading through your blog, that your life in Poland makes my semi-rural existence in Norfolk feel like Manhattan! Interesting blog style and visual format though. I will be back to check it out again. Regards, Pete, England.

    • Hi Pete, thanks for the feedback; style and visual format keeps changing with themes and my mood, I wish I could make my mind up. Have really enjoyed reading your blog, the ambulance stories can be hard hitting as well funny; looking forward to reading more of your posts in the future.
      Cheers
      Eddy

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