Keeping Busy 5/16/12

These last few weeks have been very busy and we’ve gotten many things done here, but not all cabin work. The girls have been wrapping up the school year, which included final drafts on research papers, exams, and a weekend trip to TN to pick up girl number one for the summer. All three have been through with school and home for two weeks now, and they will be a blessing in helping me get things done over the next 3 months.

Our brother-in-law extraordinaire has been down a couple of weekends, as well as help from my parents. The electrical work is finished and ready for the rough inspection, and the outside is ready for hook-up once we get the go ahead.

Interior panel ready for inspection

We originally planned to rent a ditcher that would dig a 4′ trench, but found a man just down the road who agreed to dig it for us for half the price of the ditcher rental. They got a late start the day they did it, broke something on the machine, came back after it was repaired, and finished up after 9:00 that evening. In the end, they were working by a spot light I was shining where they needed it.

First leg of the ditch
Finished trench

The next day, we finished laying everything in it. On the bottom we layed a pipe with a leader string running through it from the electrical pole to the house. When we are ready to hook up power, the electric company will run our wiring through this pipe.

Laying in the pipe

After covering that up, we layed telephone wire as well as a Pex pipe about 18″ deep. The Pex will be a means of watering the fruit trees from runoff water in the future. We got all of it covered up and graded just in time for a torrential rain storm.

We also got some yard work done. We got the garden tilled…it is still hard to believe we don’t have a garden this year…so that weeds won’t seed and take over. We got grass seed spread where the plumbing ditch was, and new mulch out around the fruit trees.

Seeded yard, full garden box, and tired girls

I couldn’t grow nothing at all this summer, so I did plant some seed we had in the freezer for squash, tomatoes, basil, and dill. Only one squash came up, but we have tomatoes aplenty…even dozens of volunteers came up…as well as more basil than we can use. I planted these all in the garden box in front of the camper and this last week we moved everything to better spots and bigger pots because it was all overtaking the box and getting too big to move.

One sprays...
...while the other brushes

On the house, we’ve been plodding along getting boards planed, nailed up, and stained and finally got a shed roof over the front door. It is only temporary… we will have a full covered (and hopefully screened) porch when all is finished…but we need to concentrate on getting in the house first.  The new cover is a post and beam design, so we could practice for the final porch roof. We have had a lot of heavy rain recently and while small, it does exactly what we needed in protecting the front door and preventing rain from seeping in under it.

Temporary shed roof
This does a great job!

We also got the gutter hung on the front and the back of the house. Each is a continuous piece, to reduce maintenance and went up very easily.

Hanging the gutter

We woke up to rain about 4:30 this past Saturday morning, but started out at daylight hopeful it would end. The men started inside with some touch-up electrical work, and although it sprinkled a bit here and there, we got a good amount done on the outside. The women got the back covered with blue board insulation and as the men got the boards planed, we put them up all the way across.

Insulating blue board

Dad got the detail finish work done with the back door trim, needed because the door frame was a pre-fab and only 4″ deep, while our stud wall was 6″. When coupled with the board and batten siding, there were things coming together at multiple levels. Dad is a detail man, so this tedious job fell to him.

At some point during the day, everyone was busy doing something…planing, insulating, staining, trimming and wiring…when a bird nest was discovered inside the outside electrical box. We had been moving straw and other materials all week, but somehow the bird had managed to build a complete (and very complicated) nest in just a couple of days and lay and egg. The two men that discovered it are the two most likely to dispatch with such as being too much trouble to deal with. After all, there was work to be done in the box that couldn’t be done with the nest there and it couldn’t stay after the cover was put on anyway. I then heard talk about what to do with it and saw them gathering scrap boards to make a nest box to transfer it to. All this for a house wren when there was so much human work to be done! In the end, they just temporarily relocated the nest and put it back when they were done. We checked yesterday and there are now 2 eggs. I don’t usually say these two guys are “sweet”, but it really was.

Wren's House Saved...

After getting up the trim down the front corner on the west, we were to the point of being able to take down the scaffolding. It was a hallelujah moment!

Let the disassembling begin!
This is a group effort!


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