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DayCreek Journal

March 18, 2003

What a Difference a Week Makes

It's hard to believe sometimes how rapidly weather can change. I arrived on March 8th with temperatures struggling to get into the teens (F) and exactly one week later, temperatures nearly reached 70°(F). Although there was only a couple of inches of snow on the ground it was frozen solid and when the "heat wave" arrived, melting snow was running down the hills. Day Creek was the highest that I had seen it in quite some time and our gravel road turned into a temporary creek. (Hopefully, I won't need another truck load of gravel.) It's amazing to think how rapidly weather can change this time of year.

And with spring in the air, some of the early migrants have been making their way through the area: red wing black birds, grackles, robins and water foul are quite numerous. The ground is still frozen for the most part and the choir of the spring peepers has yet to be heard. The sound of chirping frogs is quite astounding when they all get singing. I'm sure it won't be long before they emerge from the icy waters.

Car Update
Thanks goes out to all of you who wrote to me regarding our car dilemma. I did get quite a few good suggestions—quite a few suggesting biodiesel. I have considered biodiesel for my pickup, but I am rather leery about problems that it might cause with rubber fuel lines. A few years back, I had to have my fuel line replaced and it required special tools, just to get at it. (Biodiesel has a degrading effect on rubber.) They certainly don't make vehicles anymore that are easy to repair.

Depending upon how long Jo's old car lasts, I may eventually look into a used VW diesel and try my hand at it. I have had a copy of the book "From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank" for a couple of years now, but have never invested in the time to make biodiesel. (Too many other things going on—like building a house.) If you are interested in learning more about biodiesel, click here. Joshua Tickell has been making biodiesel from used cooking oil for some time now and has made appearances at the MREA fair in Wisconsin. I'm not sure if he will be there this year, but there is usually someone doing demonstrations.

As I mentioned in the last journal, Jo needs to feel safe when she's behind the wheel and her Subaru (for the last 11 years) has done the job of keeping her in control in all sorts of winter driving conditions. So with that said, we bought another Subaru and I will drive her old one. This will definitely help with the cost of commuting to and from Minnesota.

There's a Bathroom on the Right
Isn't that the title of a CCR hit? The bathroom is starting to look like a bathroom. No longer is the toilet all by its lonesome. There's now walls and a shower! (No vanity yet —that's my next project.)

With the help of Tom, we were able to get the ceiling up last Thursday and I finished up the rest of the sheet rock this past weekend. I really hate working with sheet rock, but it is much faster than doing plaster / papercrete work. I do plan on experimenting with papercrete to make a few walls in the house, but for now finishing the bathroom is priority #1. I was able to put on the first coat of joint compound before heading back home on Sunday.

Plans are to finish up the bathroom by early April and then it's on to the thousands of other projects on my list. That's about it for now.

In memory of Yuki who gave us many years of affection, love and companionship.