With Randy most likely running naked through the playa at Burning Man, I'm keeping busy here. Last weekend I stained the deck and picnic table, took some swim breaks with Bunker and enjoyed some quality tub time.
This weekend some of the Perka crew came up to celebrate Labor Day. We had our own little playa inspired parade on the lake!
Plumb it up this weekend.
The PlayLab partners Archie & Jeff and their ladies Emily and Jen came up to the hideout to lend a hand. Being the designers of the cabin they wanted to see how construction was progressing and give a helping hand. They're all excited about camping this year for the 4th of July and wanted to get some practice in their brand new sleeping bags. The first night we set them up on the deck, just to set their minds at ease. Once they survived the first night they were gung-ho to camp on the lawn. I think by the 4th they'll be ready to set up tents in a bear cave.
- Finishing the deck!!!
- Duck BLT's AND Short Ribs in one weekend
- Mowing the lawn for the first time, ever
- Jeff's & Jen's Great Smoky Mountain proposal story
- Introduction to Uncle Jeff and imitation time by the campfire
- Night croquette
Anyone that's watched the History Channel knows you need pulley's and ramps to build a pyramid. To get the pole to hold our loft up into place, I decided to use a similar technology - STRAPS! While Becca primed the wallboards in the bathroom, I got the loft support pole in place. It's a game-changer to get those huge wood supports out of the living room.
Early January brought the first significant snowfall. We got to spend a few days snowed in over the new year. It was extremely cold but we got the cabin nice and warm. Our mountaintop is a beautiful place to experience the cold outside and then stow back in for warmth. When we're lucky Bunker is waiting in bed for a snuggle.
Inside Becca continued the never ending job of filling the holes in the wallboards with wood putty...sanding then putty, sanding then putty. We picked up the huge support pole from the metal shop and I sanded and primed that. We even found a little time to relax in the yard and pretend it was summer.
We finally were able to turn on the lights. And plug in the saw, and refrigerator, and the pellet stove, and our iPhones, and, and and. We brought up some Rosé Cava to celebrate and went outside to just gaze at the lightbulbs inside like it was a space shuttle taking off or something.
It takes hours to heat up the house with the pellet stove when we first arrive, so Bunker is invariably under the covers looking at us like we're dicks for the first few hours. When it finally warms up he likes to get rowdy and confront me in the middle of the room. Let's go papa! Let's go!
We were excited for a 4 day weekend over Thanksgiving. We were hoping the electric would be ready to turn on, but the cable wasn't covered with dirt in time, so the electric company wouldn't juice it up. We had one last weekend with the generator.
We brought nice food to prepare like steak, and chicken, broccoli rabe and potatoes, eggs and whitefish salad.
While Becca worked on painting the wall boards, I installed tongue in groove boards on the underside of the loft and finished up a few electrical outlet installations.
Saturday was a beautiful fall day, the kind that it's hard to work to hard on. Sunday delivered a cold rain and heavy fog, an inspiration to work, what else ya gonna do. Becca had the idea to put unpainted tongue in groove pine on the ceiling of the loft to match the unpainted boards under the eaves. It's a nice offset for the rest of the painted woods, and should develop a nice butterscotch patina over time. While Becca primed the walls, I hung the ceiling, mixed in the assembly of our red basket wagon.
We'll be back for the Thanksgiving vacation and ready for 4 more days of work!
We're very near to having electrical service to the cabin. To do this we'll need a pole added to the front of our property near the road to receive an electrical cable from across the street that will then run 700' underground to our house. But before we can have this dead wood pole put in we're required to clear out a bunch of live trees so they don't interfere with the overhead wire. It took Becca and I about 4 hour to clear six trees and their branches.
It's not easy to clear trees by a road. You're not really supposed to drop trees on the road... it's not safe, and you have to be very careful of passing cars. The problem is, the trees reach out over the open space for sunlight, so most trees growing by the side of the road lean over it.
I tried to drop them towards our land, but only a few would cooperate. Before I learned this I had one young 40 foot whipper snapper fall back onto the road, and the very top branches nearly grazed the wires across the street. It was the phone or cable tv wires, not the electric, which run much higher up the pole on unshielded wires. After that... we employed ropes and the truck to control the direction of the fall. Getting the ropes involved made the job a lot more complicated, but safer. I think in the future we'll be using ropes more often when we fell trees.
We had a big work weekend, as usual. But unusual for us, we woke up and hit the road at 6AM. We wanted to get into Manhattan early to pick up the barn lights that had been delivered to my office. There's always lots of jobs competing for our attention, but this weekend we really need to make a dent in the electrical so we'll be ready when the service is connected from the road.
But it was cold. Very cold this weekend in fact. So before I could get those lights installed, I'd need to install the pellet stove. Pellet stoves actually have more in common with gas heaters than wood stoves. They're very well insulated electronically controlled heating devices. They don't heat up their bodies and emanate heat like a stove, instead the heat from the controlled fire inside the insulated chamber is blown into the living space via a fan, and the exhaust from the fire is blown outdoors via a small horizontal chimney vent. They still take all day to set up. (Rule of thumb: Everything takes a day.)
Once we got pellet stove set up, I had the rest of Saturday night to wire electrical outlets and assemble the barn lamps for installation in the warmth of our new heater. Bunker curled up on the bed and Becca joined him later.
On Sunday we woke to a reasonably warm house. We didn't run the heater that night because we haven't yet installed our carbon monoxide detectors and while I think I did a good job installing the heater, why risk it.
I spent Sunday up on a ladder installing our barn lights. It was cold outside, but I knew it was nothing compared to how cold it would get in the next few weeks, and the last thing I want to be doing is working with stiff copper wire and cold metal pliers on a cold wet November day.
Becca had the good fortune to spend Sunday inside priming the walls in the now roasty toasty cabin.
The Moore fam came down this weekend to pitch in with wallboards and yard work. We had 2 very productive days and some delicious bison burgers at the Rolling River Café. Big thanks to them for all the help!
After the fam left we managed to get the dock out of the lake. Swimming season is officially over at Hunter Lake. Bring on the ice skating!
More of the same this weekend...priming the wallboards, getting them on the wall, and choosing wall paint colors. I'm liking "buttermilk biscuit" and "mountain peak white". We also raked the lawn, got some paint samples, and started filling the cracks with wood putty. We even got one wall up in the bathroom!