Hey Diddle Diddle

Yesterday we set to work and had in mind to get the lawn mowed and wall work done.  So of course before we even left for the mountain I bent over to turn on the water spigot to water the geese and

WHAM!

I threw out my lower back. 

I didn’t let it stop me going, but it sure limited my work.

Every week it is something new up there, but the surprises that help us to continue, and not become too discouraged, are awesome!   So while Bob continued on demo and reconstruction, I busied myself with cleaning out the old smoke house.  In recent history it had been used as a shed and was mostly empty after the Octogenarian’s estate sale, but there remained tons of old junk,

plastic bags, moth balls, old chemicals, baling wire, string, cracked and brittle extension cords, old antennas from two mystery cars, pine cones, mouse eaten black walnut shells, screws, nails, old silk flowers, rusty saw blades, spider webs, and of course the ubiquitous mud dauber nests.

A nice consolation prize was finding a primitive, hand crafted bench, and some ancient iron shelf supports that will look great when cleaned and repainted for the kitchen.

I apologize for not having pictures for you, but I couldn’t carry the camera and lean on the broom for support at the same time.  Rest assured you will see these items when they have been spruced up and placed where I need them!

However, at the end of the day I did find you these by using my tripod to support the camera, and on the trail I used my trekking poles to support myself!  HINT – if you find yourself on poles for support, well, in a pinch you can use one of the poles as a monopod and balance your camera on it.  It isn’t as sturdy as using the tripod, but it works well enough.  😀

UPDATE!  The fencing in question is called “Ring Lock” fencing and is apparently quite dangerous to wild animals and livestock.  Mostly in Australia, and mostly to Kangaroos!  Animals attempting to jump over it get their feet stuck in the wires.  Their feet go through and as momentum takes them over their feet cause the lower wire to the whip over the top wire and this captures their feet.  Very sad!  Glad I will be removing any of it that still remains.  I like the look of the wire fence, but imagine it put to better use as some Objet d’art.    Thank you Pam and Deb for getting me on the right track to solving this mystery fencing!  😉

NOTES:

Chimaphila maculata – aka:  Spotted Wintergreen, Pipsissewa, Striped Wintergreen, Striped Prince’s Pine, Striped Prince’s Plume, Dragon’s Tongue.  Dragon’s Tongue is my favorite of its names and it produces the prettiest petite flowers too!  Want to see them? Then look HERE!

Smoke House –  When the Octogenarian’s husband was growing up on the Mountain, they raised pigs.  To keep pig healthy for eating you had to butcher it in winter and smoke the meat to last you through the year.  The smoke house works on beef, venison, or fish too!  Want to know more?  Look HERE!

Construction notes on the Mountain Farmlet – I promised you a bit of history on cabin building, but now feel it will be more interesting if you wait for me to take more pictures of the cabin’s structure.

I know this is a big tease, and I am sorry, but I think you will be as excited as we are when you can see the photos along with a good explanation of what you are looking at.  Don’t you agree?

Winter work

When the wind blows cold, and the garden sleeps, the only thing that can get me outside is my critters!  I have to let them out, feed them, change water, clean out their hutches and sleeping quarters, and this week I’ve been thawing out their water troughs and founts!   We’re just barely breaking freezing during the daylight hours!   It is a bittersweet job.

While I know the chickens and geese stay healthy for my having done all this work, and I am sure on some level they appreciate it, it is none the less a dreary job in winter temperatures and/or the rain.

So, once my duties to flock are done I then come in to do house work and special projects.  This winter my special projects are:

  1. Redo the pantries (yes, curiously, there are two of them)
  2. Paint the bathrooms
  3. Work on my Etsy items
  4. Research historical facts for my book!!!  (I am very excited about this!)

The first project on the list is actually pretty easy, although making the trim was very time-consuming.   I wanted to add a trim of some sort like they used to do in the 40’s and 50’s but there are none to be had because they are no longer made.  Too bad I say, but I won’t let it hold me back.  I found a place with instructions to make my own, but then I ended up doing it entirely differently!  I pinch pleated and sewed them all down… That   took   a    v – e – r – y        l – o – n –  g        t – i – m – e.  Then I sewed on the Swiss Dot Red Grosgrain ribbon.

Here is what I was up against… as in literally.

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Before

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Crammed and packed in two layers, It was hard for me to get into the back to reach anything because it is over a three-foot reach!  The solution?  Remove the front boards off of each of the lower levels,  which then gave me about a two foot wide access.  To replace the lost shelf space, we then mounted a demi-shelf at eye level, and added new shelving across the bottom.

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Carpentry Done and first coat of paint applied

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NOTE:  Plumbing panel to the bathroom tub is not blocked.  The shelf is braced on the panel, but not nailed in place to allow for easy access.  Light items only here.

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Now that I am done painting, I’m waiting for the paint to dry for 48 hours (so the cans won’t stick into it).  I am resisting the urge to just throw it all back in because I can’t stand the mess in my kitchen and dining rooms.  Ech!

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Skirting stapled into place…

OK, Done!

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Total cost to paint and skirt two pantries:  Under $15:00.

I’m happy!

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