ugh… and pretty stuff

Well, “the final” march was far from accurate. Let’s rephrase (regarding our previous post)… yesterday’s march of the carpenter ants was just beginning. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, the husb and boy didn’t get a photo of the writhing, watermelon sized mass of huge carpenter ants discovered today. I didn’t see them either, just the aftermath. 

One whole (extra) area is jacked up. Munch, munch, go the ants. Spray, spray go the fellas… and we discover our otherwise amazing organic cedar pest spray doesn’t actually kill them as I was told it would. We used a whole $25 bottle today for nothing. Dang it. (Wondercide is an AWESOME alternative to poison for pets/fleas/ticks, mosquitoes, little house ants, etc. though). Super soapy water with essential oils of rosemary, oregano and lemon worked better, and we’ll be ordering a metric ton of good grade diatomacious earth post haste. And replacement wood.

That is/was our feat for Wednesday. And grocery shopping. And pulling out another few tons of drywall and insulation. And the creation and enjoyment of three huge meals, followed by three huge loads of dishes (still no hot water, but soon). And finishing the deep cleaning of cabin five’s bedroom because nights in the 30 degree range are cold in a tent*. And that cabin doesn’t have any pests or vermin. Or I should say that cabin doesn’t have any *visible* pests or vermin.

*The childman has taken to sleeping inside as of three nights ago. (Internet and privacy. Not warmth. He’s always warm.)

Even after the massive spray downs, they continue their march. Little fuckers.

Much has been accomplished though! This is peering in the front door. Huge progress. Just a little bit of the living room remains, plus the kitchen. 

In more lovely news, we spent about three hours on Sunday forging a new path to a place in the forest that was otherwise only accessible via water. 

Love the new land access! The husb found the majestic secret spot during one of our first days here while walking (and swimming) up the center of the creek and surprised me with it. Go down the path above about fifty feet, turn right to the path below, and you’re more than halfway there.

More trail clearing. (I’ll share the actually spot soon)

In the meantime I’ll say this place is magic! There are arched vines and twigs overhead, about seven feet tall, and a blanket of soft moss, leaves and sand covering the forest floor making it cozy. Along either side of the paths there you can stop to eat blackberries and wild raspberries, then settle in for a wee afternoon nap.

Two fallen trees along the creek make it almost invisible to others, not that “others” traverse this part of our creek. The water sounds are peaceful and mesmerizing. 

If you lay in this area on your back and look up, this is what you see.

And this is the view to the left.

This is where we are going to build our late spring to early autumn “love hut,” which is just a glorified fort for adults. (We’ll have a second one for the rest of the year too, of course.)

There are curved magic wands all over this area, tumbled smooth by the high winter waters. There are butterflies there too, and moths, deer, newts, faeries, elves, a thousand birds… and not a single carpenter ant. It’s perfection.

the final march of the carpenter ants 

My husb and his many voices are so funny. Here we have a vlog from him, entitled “the final march of the carpenter ants”. There are three parts but you get the picture with part one. He didn’t do his voices in parts 2 or 3 so they aren’t as fun anyway. Too bad he didn’t get a video of the mouse using him as a human highway yesterday…

concrete, snakes and misalignment

Pretty much everything is out of cabin one and the demo is beginning. Some carpet has been ripped out, some walls have been investigated  (we’re taking this baby down to studs!). Many gross things have been discovered. 

Originally I was going to spare you all the aforem”gross things” but realized then that you won’t be able to fully grasp or appreciate the drastically amazing progress without them.

That mold I mentioned from the improperly installed wood stove and stove pipe? That’s the result. We wear masks inside, don’t worry.

The husby started getting happy with a sledgehammer. The smaller hole to the right near the floor was rodent created. So nice of them to help!

As we progress, my eye twitches and my mind goes a bit crazy. Not with thoughts of mold and mouse droppings, but with the misalignment of things. The window isn’t centered in the wall, and the toilet isn’t centered under the window. Ugh! We can’t move the toilet but we can move the window and put shelves to the left so everything is aligned for my OCD mind.

The sink and mirror aren’t aligned either (and this is the last of the previous owner’s belongings to purge).

The carpet is starting to be removed. The floor in the bedroom addition is pretty perfect. Awesome. 

Thankfully there is no asbestos tile like there is in cabins two and five, but mastic… fun! 

Snakes? Long story short, use no more than four squares of tp at one time when using the toilet or you’ll have a significant plumbing issue to interrupt your day. (AND before you pee outside, especially if you’re a lady, look for snakes. Tip: just because it’s not moving and it looks dead, doesn’t mean it’s dead. I met my first foot-and-a-half long baby snake two days ago.)

Our first dump run pile is ready to load up and get out of here (except we gifted our truck to our old Portland neighbor so this will require a bit of thought and planning).

A lot of you (family in particular) are surely thinking wtf are you thinking!? But a) this is the grossest cabin and we’re 1/4 of the way through and b) we have never in our lives found more stunning land than what we have here. Ah, and c) (the biggy!) we’re so happy here!

(I may not be proving my point entirely with is this pic, but a wasp was swarming our faces. Trust me, I’m happy!)

Even our angsty 14 year old boy is elated to be living here, even in a tent and with limited privacy. (We have fiberoptic internet now which certainly doesn’t hurt either.)

At the end of the day, we live in paradise! 

With deer, hawks, eagles, turkey, rabbits, and other beautiful creatures. And so not so lovely ones too, but I’m accepting the balance. 

We already have a small abundance of food (two Bartlett Pear trees, a Gravenstein Apple, blackberries, lemon balm, all kinds of stuff!)…

The nights are beautiful beyond words with a million stars in the sky. We can even see the Milky Way on clear nights!

Oh, and our pup couldn’t be happier either! 

The gross is temporary. The beauty is forever.

I’ll just leave you with this thought, shared with me by a beautiful lady friend of mine: