I hope you all had a happy Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day in Port Neville started out with soft fluffy drifting flakes of snow, just the right consistency for … you guessed it – snow ice cream. Ken made up a wonderful batch using a bunch of secret ingredients he remembered from his childhood, including but not limited to, canned milk, vanilla, and homemade red currant jelly. What a Valentine’s treat from my sweetheart! For my part, I was working hard to make something unique out of our stock supplies (much are dried and canned, and we haven’t had a grocery shipment since December). I made up something I’m going to loosely describe as “mushroom pesto” – ground dried kale, Magenta spreen, pumpkin, tomatoes, and nori (red seaweed) with lots of olive oil as a base, then with added mushrooms of all types (canned field mushrooms, dried shitake, puffballs, chanterelles, portobellas, and boletes) all simmered until the dried mushrooms were tender. It actually tasted pretty good, and was a nice break from our usual stews, pastas, and curries.
And talking about food, last week I made a seafood stew. We wandered around the yard gathering up root vegetables to begin the meal, and ended up with this beautiful basket full of winter surprises – carrots and sunchokes straight out of the ground, and potatoes from our root cellar.
It makes me feel rich looking at that!
On another happy note, a couple weeks ago, when we had a nice rain-free day, a friend-of-a-friend who had some diving gear came by and recovered our prop from the seafloor where it’s been sitting since December! Amazingly, the prop was found almost exactly where I had guessed it would be located. Good luck, or just that my subconscious has an accurate eye for detail? So now we have our prop back and some new prop nuts, so we just need a little good, ice-free weather with big tides to get the job done. Two out of three ain’t bad (Meatloaf, I think).
The weather finally got cold here, and our water line froze up. It’s been awhile since that has happened, and I’ve come to realize how much I appreciate running water in the cabin. The hard freeze broke several of the connectors in the water line, so when it thaws, there will be some emergency repairs necessary to get the water running again. Oh well, there’s always so much to do out here that there’s never any time for boredom.
I’ve been working on our blog site again, getting a few more things set up for when I finally get my book published (I’m only a few chapters from completion, so I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel).
This brings me to another project that I’ve been working on for a couple of years. Internet out here is expensive and crappy! We really need something better. However, until we can get a cheap satellite system, we’re still dependent on cellular internet. I felt we needed to get some backups for our old gear, particular our cellular hub, which is getting onto 7 years old. So I decided to get a new one. Apparently, the MOFI 4500 unit (http://mofinetwork.com/can/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=196) is the “go to” unit for rural cellular internet. It has a bunch of programmable features that allow you to maximize on your signal (e.g., band combining, locking out poorly performing bands, etc.) and it can be used with a wide variety of North American service providers (including Bell, Telus, and Rogers). However, it’s bloody expensive. I got that far last year, then got too busy with spring projects to get back to it. Well, I’ve discovered that there is a cheap Chinese “clone” which has all the same components (or can be upgraded to the same ones) and with a little flashing, you can get the equivalent of a MOFI unit for half the price. So … I have one on order now. Should get here by the middle to end of the month, and then I’ll see if we can get improved internet. It won’t make it any cheaper, but it might make it more reliable and usable.