I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007


Ottawa's biggest storm in ages, and our first real snowstorm on the farm. They say 37cm fell, but the wind made a huge difference. The creek is bare ice in some parts with no snow cover to speak of, while the drifts in this picture are over 3 feet high. Capricious is a good word for it, with the wind being a sculptor again, but almost with a sense of whimsy as the drifts curl and curve around large things (barns) or the tiniest stick poking out of the snow. It's lovely.
But for the 'oops': today will be a search for a shear bolt for the tractor's snow blower. Hooray!

I was clearing out the drifts in the driveway in the aftermath of Monday's huge storm, and a fist-sized rock got into the blower. These tractor implements work from a shaft that spins at 540rpm, so something getting in the works could wreck the machinery if not for these nifty little things called shear bolts, whose main purpose in life is to break. If something messes up the works, the bolt breaks and keeps the 540rpm from trying to turn the rest of the implement. Smart idea. But now I have to see if (a) we have a 1/4" hex bolt thingy on hand, or (b) if the tractor store hasn't yet closed for Christmas break and I can drive 1/2 hour to get a few.

I never knew a thing about shear bolts before I lived on a farm. The things you learn out here. Some are interesting, some sublime, and some, like this, necessary but really not all that exciting.

The girls had a realization yesterday when I announced that there was a certain amount of work I had planned to finish by Friday, and that once that work was done there would not be new work added before Christmas break. They put two and two together and figured out that a day of no school on Friday might just be possible. There's motivation for you! A final chapter in their history book was begged for (really, how can I refuse three little girls saying "please, Mom, we want to hear about the fall of the Roman Empire!"?) and Rome was accordingly done away with. Today, barring drives to tractor stores, we are getting together with the Snowman family to decorate gingerbread houses.

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