This week

Ordinary, I suppose. OTG ordinary, anyway. We have what we might call ordinary days but, of course, they are extraordinary to our previous lives and so they are still kinda special.

We worked on Sal’s Suzuki until Sal was so good at getting the carb in and out of the ridiculously tight space, it seemed like minutes. She does her work sitting at the back of her little 11′ boat and leaning over the engine – not easy. The first time she did it, it took most of the day. The last time (maybe the sixth?), was all of five minutes. Grease-monkey Sal. Sadly, it was all to no avail. The damn thing just won’t run right so it has to go to grease-monkey-GOD Jay, who somehow seems to be able to fix anything. We hauled the motor off her boat, packed it in my boat and hauled it over Wednesday to Jay’s boat. His boat was at the other-island dock where we then picked up the doctor to deliver him for his monthly clinic.

We also had an old genset down at the lagoon that we were just not using enough to leave it there and so we went to fetch it using muscles, sliding beams, Sal’s boat (paddled), the block and tackle, highline and winch and then various carrying contraptions ’cause it weighed a ton. Interestingly, I had not run that genset for over 18 months. I tried starting it. Third pull, it fired up! Amazing. That genset had to then come up a steep hill about 80-90′ long and then down to the shop for servicing.

I serviced two engines and got them running. The old genset ran but not properly so it is next in line. I also disassembled and modified an electric motor with which I will power a big ol’ winch that was designed for arm-strength only. That winch takes forever so the electric motor will make it all more efficient – when I get it all put together. I am half-way.

We lifted and sorted about twenty logs on one of the days, too That’s just brute labour. Good thing Sal is a brute! Together, we grab the log-carrier and drag 8 foot logs along the ground then stack ’em so they dry. That was a good job. Plus, a tree that had been leaning fell during the last big windstorm and it fell in precisely the right place. Can’t let that good fortune go ignored so we trimmed that tree, cut it into rounds and added them to the woodpile. Kinda on a roll…..

All the batteries needed attending to. So, we unearthed them (usually hidden behind boxes of stores). And topped up the water levels. They were due. It was a good thing. A bit tedious, to be sure, but very critical to this lifestyle.

Put in the new kitchen tap set. NO leaks. All good. Filled up all the gas containers (going through three liters a day) as there is no sun and the solar panels are doing nothing. SO we are running the genset a lot (for us). Three hours a day? Our heat tapes are on in the dark hours and they draw a chunk. Heat tapes are remarkably efficient but still, we have about 150 feet of tape and when they all kick on, they draw juice.

Having a slow-ant invasion. When the temps drop, the critters look for warmth. We have managed to keep anything a quarter the size of a mouse OUT but ants have found access. But usually only about for our five a day and they are moving like slugs so we are doing good. When building a cottage, pay extra, extra special attention to sealing everything you can. Make it ant-proof.

Water is bloody cold these days. Showers are just a bit better than luke warm. Sal also went up the creek and re-worked the water pick-up again. That’s running nicely now. I also cleaned up the workshop on one day and two days later, it looked like it always does…a mess….

Chopped kindling, cleaned up the garden, household chores, managed the Home Care program, our neighbour J. brought in the six sheets of plywood we need for a ramp rebuild, tried a bunch of new dinner recipes, Sal’s always-on quilts, snatched up a few logs from the sea that were floating around (high tides right now), wrote blogs, consulted with some clients, watched Netflix at night, drank scotch, read, read, read.

Sometimes I nap now. Must be the Covid, eh?

10 thoughts on “This week

    • Strangely, it did not feel productive until I wrote it all down (and I did NOT write it ALL down…..listing laundry, tidying, dusting, making lists and other minor issues would be pedantic). Still, if we can do at least one REAL OTG thing a day, we feel like we are on top of our game. That may sound a bit pathetic but it is cold, it is often raining, the light is dim and we are getting on….so I think I have to take what goals and gains I can. But thanks for the support!


  1. Good job, I know that cold, wet, short days often lead to doing nothing with me, besides reading…It’s harder to go outside to do chores when it’s cold and raining. But have a big chore to do tomorrow…wet or not…pressing 500kg of apples to make a batch of cider, should keep me busy for a very long day. But respect for all the work you do, especially hauling those logs seems very hard work (and moving the genset of course)


    • Of course the hidden message was that we are still heroes doing OTG stuff. The real truth is that we are still doing stuff but there is nothing heroic (save for Sal’s Stream-fixing). The rest of the time, we pace ourselves. Lots of tea until 5:00. Then the wine-and-dinner shift take over. Still, an ordinary day out here is still a bit extraordinary.


  2. Off the grid life is not very easy you have me convinced. But the trade offs seem quite worth the expenditure of sweat and tears. This was one of your blogs that was inspiring to read. You both are obviously in better shape than most half your age(s). What a well of energy you are blessed to draw from!!!


  3. You are making me homesick. With the travel restriction we won’t be able to come home in January as planned. There just isn’t time to quarantine before we leave again for Arizona at the end of the month. Good side is we are enjoying the sunshine and warmth here in Southern Arizona. We travel to a new campground with the RV every 4-5 days so we are seeing lots of interesting places far from the big cities and COVID. I know you used to like coming down here for some winter sun. – Margy


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