ski slope

We cut a slope this fall and used snowshoes to groom in a few storms. February 10, the conditions were good to excellent in our front yard:

We saved a lot not going to our usual mountain. But a lift ticket does buy an easier ride up. A handful of runs is all I could handle.

making cider

My wife's uncle has an orchard full of MacIntosh apples. Here's our friend from Maine helping us press cider:

Three bags of apples gave a single load. We pressed about 1.5 gallons, stirred the mash, then pressed out the last quart or so. And the mash goes into the forest for the deer and bear.

Some like cider aged and fizzy, but I like it fresh and sweet right from the press. Unpasteurized cider is now rare, but not at our house.

making syrup

We tap 6 different maples each year (we have hundreds). Here's one out by my watch workshop:

We pull the sap in a sled, then boil the sap using this high-tech arch. (Notice the woodshed is still half-full due to the mild winter):

I finish on the stove for better control. With this year's tiny batches, the sugar goes from water to syrup to rock candy in a moment. I use the thermometer to know when to pay attention, then I continuously spoon looking for the sheeting that indicates syrup.

We don't filter much, so the syrup starts cloudy. After a few weeks of "gravity filtration," the syrup will be crystal clear.

turkey dinner

This is our old tom turkey:

Here he is today (dressed out at 17+ pounds):

Update: After a few months in the freezer, he becomes Easter dinner for the whole family.

bathroom remodel

New sink and faucet:

Restored shower (new seals / disassembled and cleaned with CLR):

New floor and a new fixture on top:

Not much room to work behind this model (Jacuzzi Espree). I've glued on the side porthole tiles.