sleeping in the cabin and other adventures

We haven’t done a blog post in 2 or 3 weeks but that’s because we haven’t done anything around here for 2 or 3 weeks. The husband was offered some work in Portland and then had to go out of town on a few various expeditions and now we have 8 days of company. So, no real progress in the cabin.

Well, a little. 

The bedroom is 100% insulated and drywalled, taped and mudded. We’ll be texturizing walls old lath and plaster style after our company leaves next week then priming and painting shortly thereafter. Since we have company (two adult male humans and a female wolf hybrid), and were trying to shove 5 people and 2 canines into half of a tiny house, the husb and I decided to sleep in the cabin. Above is my view out the window our first morning. (Actually, looking at the clock, I was clearly taking an afternoon company break.)

It’s kind of funny. The nights have been pretty cold so we turned the space heater on high about an hour before we came in, thinking it would be cold. Both space heaters are constantly on full blast in the main house and it’s not super warm. We about fainted when we came in the cabin bedroom. It was a sauna! Having the space heater on low for a couple hours before bed and then turning it off is plenty toasty. The difference is amazing beyond words.

The roof got finished, finally, too. That’s old news, but I hadn’t yet shared. We were missing part of the ridge cap and some rake edge pieces. I can’t really remember what they’re called so, sorry. But it’s done and that is awesome!

We realized after I had posted that picture where I claimed I took a cruddy crooked shot that the chimney *was* actually crooked. That’s all now fixed as well (that’s what happens when you work late into the night, after dark, on the roof wearing headlamps). We aren’t replacing the siding until spring but all colors have been picked, inside and out. That part is my job.

I’ll unveil the exterior colors in Spring once everything is done, but in the meantime this will be the living room wall color. (I’m a jerk and should have written down a photo credit from the above picture. I found it on Pinterest.) 

The kitchen will have white cabinets but I’m going to distress them with a ball jar blue color peeking out from underneath. The built-in shelves will be the ball jar blue. Since we’ll have so much extra, the bathroom will probably be that color as well. It will be one of those slap you in the face with happiness kind of colors.  after having to use so many boring neutral colors in our old house in order to sell it, we’re going a little crazy perhaps. But the beauty of paint is it can always be changed if we get tired of bright happy hues.

We’ve been adventuring as much as ever with the intermittent sun. My best and most exciting find was this arrowhead/projectile. The ironic part is I can spend hours rockhounding, combing every inch of the areas we like to go but on this particular day we were showing Paul’s Uncle and Cousin around the property. The creek was super high and there was only about a 1 foot by 3 foot tiny edge of beach with the high waters being so high so we were turning around to go back. I saw this poking up out of the dirt and had to jump down to get it. I about peed my pants with excitement. I’ve since found out that is about 2000 years old and likely made of either common opal or Oregon honey opal. It’s an extremely rare material for Native American projectiles, I’m told.

Showing the arrowhead first probably makes these less exciting but I was thrilled to find tangerine agate, carnelean and some pretty fantastic zeolite and possible thompsonite pieces.

The carnelian pure fire in the sun, and I’m going to have it made into a necklace.

The husb is the master of finding bones and teeth for me, and found this. It’s an elk tooth.

Here’s the top.

We also started collecting and cutting up next year’s firewood. Yesterday the guys cut up several loads of this size. Thank goodness for the riding lawn mower and cart!

In the process, another new path to the creek was made.

We still live in paradise! It’s crazy to think that no humans have probably been down in this little area for decades. It’s right next to a beaver den, and the gift of aged wood they had nibbled down for us and not used for whatever reason.

Our sweet dog Modoc has been enjoying the company of our new wolf friend Helja. He’s always thought he was a wolf and has carried the spirit of his wolf ancestors.

Helja is 3/4 wolf and an absolutely Majestic being. She was gentle and sweet and so very kind. We sure will miss her when everyone leaves next week! I’d love to have a wolf but I don’t know that that’s a good combination to have with my desired future 36 chickens, 6 ducks, 4 geese, 4 goats, 2 sheep and 2 donkeys. (My list keeps growing and the husb is not very ammused.) We’re actually meeting a new dog next week to potentially add to the family. He is a blue heeler and lab mix and ever so precious. Cross your fingers for us!

I hope you all had a wonderful Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas or whatever you celebrate. We’ve had a lovely break for the most part and will be getting back to things soon. We’ll hopefully have lots to share in then the next week or two.

Happy New Year from our home to yours!!

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unbuild. rebuild.

Rebuilding a cabin sure takes a lot of unbuilding. The husb was working on a simple electrical rewiring project that turned into a massive unbuild a door frame and rebuild it again project. Why? Whoever did the electrical in cabin one is/was a jackass… some of the wires went through the bathroom wall, outside, then back inside between two load-bearing framing pieces. So, an hour project became a day project (including the extra issues discovered). Unbuild. Rebuild. 

We finally got to pick up the windows and stove pipe though! Wooohooo!!

The pipe and chimney are in. The roof is now 98.5% done and 100% water tight. (Bad photo makes things look crooked.)

Everything is ready to get the wood stove installed inside, too.

Th old ugly pay by the hour type frosted hotel windows are now gone. Got a cute pensive photo of the husb before we yanked it.

Things were wonky here too. Unbuild. Rebuild. 

Now it fits perfectly AND we have an amazing view! Air and water tight + visibility of our stunning land = happy us!

We can now watch the deer in the lower field in the evening when they pass through. 

And I can visit with the gnomes and faeries while everyone else sleeps and actually see them through clear glass. 😉

The other old window was even more wonky. It required way more unbuilding and lots of rebuilding. Thank goodness the husb knows how to do all of these things! I’m not as good. I’m his “fetching fetcher” and “holder of things” more often that not.

Now it’s all painted and cute, which should have been my job since I’m the artist and I’m not allowed to cut things, being accident prone as I am. Soon it will be ready to unbuild and rebuild again in the spring when we replace the siding.

roof, rocks, recipe

Holy cow, Sunday was amazing! Paul, Brandon, Jake (and Finn for part of the day) pulled off the two old layers of roof on cabin one, replaced all of the rotten sheathing, did the flashing, completed the roof and tacked down the ridge cap before dark. Well, and into darkness while wearing headlamps, but the point is that they kicked massive butt!

We have a roof!! Paul had already cut and framed in the chimney support stuff through the attic crawl space so all that needs to be done now is the roof on the bedroom addition, finish attaching the ridge cap to both main cabin and addition, and install the chimney. Holy cow, we are so close! B is definitely one of the kings of the universe and is coming back on Saturday to help. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends!

We’ll be tending to the porch roof and adding all new gutters later. Originally we were going to go with a red roof and paint all of the cabins totally different bright colors kind of like a storybook lane. But at the last minute we decided maybe it would be better to blend in to nature and went with this sexy green roofing instead. 

We thought we would get the chimney finished and the wood stove fully installed and burned in by this weekend but… nope. I’m annoyed with Lowe’s (really their vendor — Lowe’s has actually been awesome). We had to special-order the chimney pipe which was supposed to be here on the 1st. No call on the 1st so they say it will be here on the 3rd. No call on the 3rd so they say it will be here on the 7th. I called today and I’m told it should be there by the 17th! Seriously!? No heat for another week and a half? Dang.

We got the water heater hooked back up last night though. We’d had heated water for maybe one week out of the past two months we’ve been here. Pure Bliss! I ordered a short shower curtain rod on Amazon and they sent us the wrong one. Oops! And I couldn’t find our shower curtain hooks but we made do with staples and duct tape. How wonderfully awesome hot showers are! I love our funky set-up. It makes me giggle. 

Jake stayed the night Saturday and we all took Sunday off. We usually take at least half the day off on Sundays but this time we decided we were going to do nothing but explore and enjoy each other’s company.

We went down to the creek on the side of the faery pools and much to our surprise, the water was quite a bit lower than the couple of weeks previous. The sun even came out for about twenty minutes. 

The guys ventured off while I was visiting with a tree and taking photos and Paul returned and said “you HAVE to come with me!”

We meandered through paths and bramble, climbed over fallen logs and duck-walked under others.

This was the first treasure I found before we even got “there”…

At first it looked like petrified muscle to me. I still really don’t know what it is but it’s beautiful. 

This majestic fallen oak marked the entrance to “the place”. 

Oh my goodness! A beach of amazing rocks, crystals, minerals and treasures such as tumbled glass and pieces of smooth antique china.

The three of us hunted and rock hounded until the sky opened up and soaked us to the bone.

We left with our pockets full of the most amazing finds!

I can’t wait to go back! I could seriously live there. Oh, right, we do live there. ♡ There is a whole huge second set of waterfalls as well but I was so obsessed with treasure hunting I forgot to take a picture. Don’t worry, we will definitely be going back within the next day or two.

Lastly, Finn wanted me to share a recipe. We have such a sweet boy! It’s not so much a recipe as it is a means of avoiding waste though. When he makes rice, there’s always WAY too much left over, and left over rice isn’t super tasty, at least plain.

1. Stir your leftover rice so it’s not stuck together in a big clump.

2. Whip a bunch of eggs and mix them together. Add finely chopped onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper… whatever you want. Grated cheese is awesome too.

3. Fry it in some organic olive or canola oil and butter until it’s all golden brown and yummy.

4. Add something to it to make it a tasty sandwich. Here we have two fried eggs, cheese and a whole bunch of sauteed kale for a good sized breakfast sandwich. 

The guys love it. I don’t really eat grains or carbs pretty much at all but these little rice cake patties are so good I always make myself at least a silver dollar sized one. It works awesome with leftover oatmeal too, with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, diced apple and dried cranberries. We make it topped with fresh foraged berries the first time.

garlic, rosemary, roof progress and food

I think it’s only been a few days since our last post but we’ve gotten so much done it feels like a lot longer.

The first garlic bed… prepped, ammended, planted and covered up all cozy and nice for the winter with an organic hay blanket. I’m a little OCD with garlic and lay it out perfectly spaced in symmetrical rows before planting (though you can’t really tell by the angle of the picture). I’m the same with tomatoes but everything else is fairly willy-nilly. Anyway, the rest of the garlic will be planted this week as well.

This fuzzy fellow helped with yesterday’s planting. 

My very firm plan of “nothing but heirloom varieties in the first 3000sf garden area” was immediately shot down by this lovely lady. Miss rosemary demanded that I plant her here. Technically though, I guess she’s outside of the official area and on the edge. 

Garlic is the only plant I know of it doesn’t like rocks intermixed but thankfully rosemary loves them. Try this: plant two rosemary plants right next to each other. Put one right into the earth and with the other throw in a couple handfuls of pea gravel or small rocks. See which one grows faster. In my experience, the one with stones doubles in size compared to the other within the first year.

We received the most amazingly beautiful of gift! She’s stunningly gorgeous and over 6 feet tall already. Maybe even pushing 7. Our beautiful neighbor and we were talking about dogwood trees a few weeks ago. I mentioned that that was the first tree Finn wanted to plant on our property because it was the first tree I had planted with my stepfather when I was young. He said he would keep an eye out for one for us because for every one good dogwood variety, there are 10 not good varieties in his decades of nursery owner experience. 

This one is the most beautiful dogwoods I’ve ever seen! She’s so healthy and I already know exactly where she’s going. We’re planting her at the property line near cabin 5 (the main house) so when we come out the front door it’s one of the first things we see. Right next to it is where we’re building our outdoor community picnic space with the grill/bbq area. I thought that would be pretty perfect because my stepfather not only loved gardening and dogwoods but grilling and barbecuing. It will be our first tribute to him and his life on this property. We miss him so much! 

This morning, Paul started the tear-off of the main roof of cabin one while awaiting The arrival of our friends Brandon and Jake (the last tear-off was just the addition).

I made breakfast while he did that (he didn’t marry a roof girl). It became a wee lesson. Finn somehow didn’t realize the huge difference between store bought eggs and fresh-laid yesterday eggs. The rest laid won in color and taste, he said. Maybe he’ll become a farm kid afterall.

It was all hands on deck for the guys. It was requested I prepare them oatmeal for lunch. Of course I couldn’t feed them just oatmeal… so I made it with apples, cranberries, cinnamon and other goodies and offered the toppings of sunflower seeds, brown sugar, pumpkin seeds, flax meal, milk, molasses, more diced apple and nuts. 

All layers of roofing materials have been removed and most of the sheathing has been replaced in the back. Obviously you can’t see it in this picture but that’s what they’re working on here. I’ll post the big reveal tomorrow. 

And it was back to the kitchen for me. ♡ I started a huge pot of beef stew in the slow cooker. You can’t come over to our house without being fed. If you’re helping out with anything at all, fed becomes potentially over-fed. I’m making pear cobbler next, and maybe “thank you brownies” to send home with the fellas.

Things are looking pretty around here, still changing colors.

Off to separate more garlic for planting tomorrow and Monday. (You want to separate them a day or two before you plant them, just as an fyi.) This is an heirloom hard neck variety called Chesnok Red which is in the purple stripe family. It’s a supper rich and yummy garlic and great for storing. 

mowing and moving

We (which really means the husb) got the mower fixed!

Here you can see him delivering a massive bag of peat moss for the near future blueberry patch.

Of course he needed to test it out and mowed some meandering Zen paths through the lower field and around the trees. I’m a tad too short to shoot them properly but they’re awesome. 

He had so much fun! We’ll enjoy the Zen pathways for a bit longer and get the rest mowed next week.

The west wall is finally pretty much done for the season. All sheathing is up, topped with a moisture barrier and painted OSB. All eaves and everything else are now blocked with construction cloth. No more unwanted creatures will be getting into this place.

We  ran out of our pretty “pepita” paint so grabbed whatever cheap mis-tinted exterior hue they had and it was this. I wish, in a weird way, that we didn’t have to cover this in plastic until the new siding goes up in spring. It’s pretty lovely. 

The “need to plant these” collection of goodies is growing! All were gifts, except 9 of the blueberries which we got from our wonderful neighbor for wholesale price since he’d purchased too many. Ten blueberries of five highbush varieties (I think I said four last time), a dozen heather plants, a well established rosemary, and two autumn olives (a red and a golden).

This is what the “autumn olives”, or silverberries look like at the end of summer/beginning of fall. They aren’t actually olives.

Tomorrow the roof goes on! Or Saturday. I regularly lose track of days. Our goal is to also have the wood stove installed next week and burned in before we start insulation and everything else. Then, a fully functional bathroom with a shower and hot water! Woohoo! That’ll definitely happen before thanksgiving but the goal is the next week and a half. 

I somehow managed to forget about the kitchen — there so there’s much to do on that front. Like… everything. A whole wall that hasn’t been removed or replaced yet, gross counters that need to be removed and replaced and a couple more cupboards to purge. A new faucet. Then lots and lots of paint. We were going to replace the cabinets entirely but with all the extra other things that were unforeseen and things taking so long, that’s not happening. Lots of bleach, new paint, new hardware, call it good. We have leftover white paint from the trim at the old house so that’s what they’ll be for now. The insides and the built-in shelf with be the old ball jar blue color. The counters will be butcherblock. 

My personal goal is everything except the kitchen done by thanksgiving and the kitchen done by winter solstice. ♡

lazing on a sunday afternoon 

Just kidding. We don’t “laze”. But if cabin one is done by thanksgiving as we’re shooting for, we’re sooo taking a whole week off.

Since our last post we got the entire South wall down to studs.

We repaired this nonsense where they had removed supports to run the old stove pipe through the wall.

Paul was so quick with that, coupled with the impending rain, I didn’t have time to get any interim photos.

The entire new wall went up with 2000+ nails hand pounded (here’s the inside view). I need to buy him a freaking nail gun and air compressor! I helped, but he did 90% of the pounding. I’m weak sauce in comparison and he goes twice as fast as I do.

And the whole thing was covered in black plastic because we had a half day notice of the freaky storm and no time to get tyvek. This was all Wednesday. Fourteen hours of butt kicking work. We planned to do the top/attic area too but didn’t get that far with the extra amount of support beans and framing pieces that needed to be replaced.

But there’s no more stuff like this in the walls. Or at least that wall. We’ll be starting in on the next wall tomorrow. 

Thursday was stormy and super windy, impossible to do much outside so we picked up our cute wood stove and ran errands. Friday was a guy trip to Portland for concrete supplies, banking and New Season’s Market goodies so not much accomplished around here, except I made an awesome pot roast while they were gone.

We ended up starting in on the new roof yesterday after all. Our amazing friend Brandon, who is the roofer, came down from Portland to help and our neighbor came to help as well. So much of the sheathing was rotten and needed to be replaced but the whole thing got fixed and felted before being covered in a tarp. We will be finishing it next weekend (and probably the weekend after) along with the roof of the main part of the cabin. Yay!!

I should have taken pictures of the backside because it was 98% rotten and got fully replaced.

If anyone wants any Greater Saint John’s Wort in the spring, let me know (a bit different than common St John’s Wort but still medicinal in a slightly different ratio). I dug up about ten square feet this week and have at least a hundred more. I’d like to keep one smaller patch and replace the rest. It looks stunning in the autumn when the flowers change, but we have just too much.

Today, the new range arrived!! We put it in cabin five so we can start using it immediately but as soon as cabin one is done it will live over there until cabin five is done late next year, then it will come back. The main house will have all the pretty black and stainless stuff and the first cabin will get the cute white stove and fridge that came with the property. The 1970s puke yellow stove goes in the workshop for animal glue (bow making) and wax melting/candle making and such.

Going from a camp stove to one functional and one semi functional burner was kind of awesome, but going from that 1970s junker stove with no oven to this is going to be pure bliss! I need to go shopping tomorrow to get all of the ingredients to make our neighbors chocolate chip cookies. And brownies. Look at all those burners! And it has a freaking convection oven! It’s like pure cooking paradise around here (it’s only been here for about 17 minutes so I haven’t actually gotten to use it yet, but I’ll be cooking something tasty within the next hour). We seriously lucked out because it was a $1000 stove that we got for almost half price because Lowe’s offers price matching and Best Buy was having a massive Columbus sale (or “Columb-ass” as our brilliant child says).

It’s still pretty rainy here although we’ve had about a 10-minute pocket of sun this afternoon in which I danced around in the mud and rays. I’m still making the husb take the rest of the day off. Hauling out the old stove, cleaning behind and under it, rewiring everything for the new stove and getting all of that hooked up is plenty for one day after such a crazy week. He forgets to take time off, nutty Virgo guy. I’m great at reminding him to relax and enjoy this stunning beauty that surrounds us and just “be”.

It’s been lovely to watch the waters rise and the creek swell into the river it will become in winter.

This little tributary off the main creek is the same place as the photo above it (though a few feet farther back), taken about seven weeks apart.

I’ve been meaning to take a photo in the same place every couple of weeks to watch the color changes and finally remembered to do so today. I’ll keep it up and share the transition with you. So pretty!!

Happy Sunday! I’m off to cook. ♡

weekend off, back to work

We ended up taking 100% of the weekend off because Paul got the nasty bug that was kicking all of the butts of the Elk Valley residents. All the neighbors had it first, Finn and I fought it off before it got us, and Paul finally got it. Told him he should have taken echinacea… but it gifted us with our first days of rest since moving here over a month ago.

I cooked for him all weekend and made him soup and about four gallons of tea, fed him herbs and tincture and his bout wasn’t as bad or as lengthy as anyone else’s, thankfully.

So back to work. 

The poor cabin looks like a trash heap, but will soon be cleaned up and beautiful, inside and out.

Lots of new discoveries, like no sheathing between the insulation and siding on the front of the house. See the light shinishining in? Oops.

And the sill plate under this stunning window is all dry rotted and needs to be replaced, but that’s easy enough.

We found stunningly beautiful old wood under the drywall in the kitchen. I wish it wasn’t behind where the fridge was going but knowing it’s there will make me smile.

For some crazy reason there’s this cartoon looking mouse hole cut into it that literally did become a mouse hole. We were dumbfounded (and still are). We’re leaving it for fun.

The insulation is now coming out of the attic crawl space. Omg. Rat. Shit. Everywhere. The husb even found me a rat skull which will surely make it into a future art piece. 

No more drywall on the ceiling. I wish this wood wasn’t so gappy and ruined because I want it to stay! Someday that ceiling will have new wood. ♡

We finally got to order all of our drywall, insulation and roofing materials today! We were supposed to be doing the roof this weekend but it’ll be the next weekend. In the meantime, finish the attic crawl space, redo all of the electrical, pull off the old/current roof and possibly work a bit on the floors. We also got our new stove ordered for delivery in a couple of weeks (with five burners and a freaking convection oven for a $400 discount) and our wood stove is picked out and ready to order tomorrow. I’m baking all the neighbors chocolate chip cookies the day the range arrives. Things are going to start moving fast around here and we’re so excited! The only big things remaining are the water heater, shower/fixtures, pedistal sink for the bathroom, toilet, light fixtures, cabinet hardware, butcherblock counters, a couple of replacement windows, and a ton of paint. (It didn’t feel like a lot more until I listed it out.) Oh and OSB (which we’ll paint) for the bad exterior sides until we can wrap and re-side (and paint!) the whole thing next spring. 

The highlight of my week was getting to have three outdoor healing client sessions (so far). One under the above tree at the edge of the forest…

…in this secret little spot.

Another in the moss covered underbrush of an apple and several hawthorn trees.

And one today, right on the creek. There’s a rock in the center that’s a perfectly dry perch where the mini falls flow around you. It’s almost as if you’re sitting in the water. It’s so peaceful and magical. 

The upper field was finally mowed! Our sweet neighbor did it because although a riding lawnmower came with the property, so did a 2001 Saturn that is locked and has no keys. So, the mower is stuck in the garage until we can work out that wee obstacle of car extraction.

See that tarp? It’s actually 49′ despite looking like a slip ‘n slide. It’s huge! That’ll be a wee garden soon (which is still about ten billion times larger than our other garden — our old yard was only 50’ wide and only three of those tarps equal our old oversized city lot). We may to be doing a temporary traditional rowed garden but our “real” gardens will be in shapes of leaves and mandalas because… we like that idea. It’ll look amazing and be so fun to figure out the geometry of it all.

This is one of them. Pardon the angle, it is actually perfectly symmetrical. Then we’ll have my tiny medicinal herb garden off cabin four (that’ll be my art and healing space, complete with an apothecary room where I can make my earth and body friendly products, essential oils, tinctures, medicinal teas, etc.), a small potager garden off cabin five (the main house) and a tiny soup and salad garden right next to our summer camp spot so we don’t have to go far to procure things to eat. The rest will be free form and meandering. 

The rains returned right as we were driving the last stake in the tarp.

And with the rains came the irradication of the two subterranean wasp nests which I didn’t think was happening until next week. So excited about that! We kicked some butt around here having taken two of the last four days off.

all kinds of discoveries

I’ve fallen a bit behind in blogging because our progress has exceeded my ability to write fast (and I scheduled some of them to be published in the future which threw things off a wee bit). So, all of this is a huge long update covering last Thursday to present. 

In his deconstruction, Paul discovered a multitude of mouse-chewed electrical wires, saving us from a potential future fiery demise. He’s an electrical genius and planned on replacing everything already and I’m glad for that.

This is the old bathroom sink location. Remember the wonky cabinets, blue sink and medicine cabinet? Now look a little closer and what do you see? Copper pipes. The realtor told us there were lead pipes going from the well to each cabin. Nope, they are iron. He told us that both cabins 1 and 5 had all lead pipes. Nope, cabin 1 has copper. Cabin 5 has a crazy mishmash of copper, PVC, iron and PEX with a possible lead bit that is in the parts after the house and before the septic. I should have Paul write about the construction stuff since he actually uses proper lingo. Anyway, cabin 1 will not be replumbed but cabin 5 will and we already have the supplies. Yay!

Then we discovered this (Paul discovered!)… rotten ceiling boards. Did I already share this picture? Moldy, water damaged and rotten enough to poke a broom handle through. So, we don’t have to do the plumbing we thought we did but we do have to replace a roof we didn’t think we had to. I’m going to research custom metal roofs for both cabins, but it’s probably out of the budget. I’d love them for clean water catchment! 

Thursday afternoon was hot and we went adventuring and swimming and found a fourth apple tree we hadn’t previously seen. So much abundance grows here and we haven’t planted any edibles yet!

We found a hobbit tunnel through the trees that looks like a crescent moon in our avoidance of the huge subterranean wasp nest. 

And of course spent a bunch of time at the creek.

A million rocks stacks surround the swimming hole. Well, more like ten, but still. They’re huge and beautiful. 

The rains came Friday and a new leak sprung in the roof of the bedroom addition of cabin 1.

Drip. Drip. Oops! But the water heater was drained and removed and is ready to be moved to cabin 5 so we can have hot water and a functional laundry space. Cabin 1 will soon have a brand new on-demand water heater.

I had actually never entered the laundry room until Saturday. This is peering in over our new washer and dryer through the “office” (or school room) of cabin 5. The flow is: cabin 5, laundry addition, cabin 4 “apartment” addition. Cabin 4 is the worst and half the floor is on the ground below the dwelling (4 and 5 are on post and peer and having some issues due to a pipe that broke and was probably spraying everywhere under the house, rotting and ruining everything for a year and a half or so).

Because of this, that addition has some floor and foundation issues but nothing some new pressure treated 6×6 posts, concrete piers, some bottle jacks, and a genius man can’t can’t fix. He wouldn’t let me help so I made a hefty pot of beef stew to nourish him with, and cleaned out the rest of cabin 5’s bedroom. It looks like thunderstorms are coming so we may need to sleep inside 5 awhile as 1 gets completed. Kevin 5 is clean and rodent free, no mold or mildew and perfectly adequate to dwell in. It just has the aforementioned Foundation the issues and oddly sloped floors in a couple places. And a couple cruddy windows that need to be replaced but whatever. We’ll get there.

Yeah, it’s a laundry room project and a half as it was never finished…

But we found a cool old piece of furniture (under a funky slab of wood). It kind of matches my grandma’s old buffet that I have and that makes me smile. 

We’ll have these pretty ladies (thanks, mama!!) set up and functional AND hot water in cabin 5 in no time. No bathroom in this cabin until spring though. (Don’t fret for us — we’ll have a full and complete new bathroom in cabin 1 by the end of October.)

This is not functional or pretty, and not a place I’d enjoy hanging out naked. Cabin 1’s shower. There’s a hole in the ceiling quite close to where Paul found a snake living in the wall. Dead snake by the time he found it, but still. I’ll be bathing with no snakes.

I know it seems we’re jumping all over the place but there’s logic to our seeming madness. All of cabin 1 bedroom addition and bathroom are 100% ready to realign the walls, close all rodent/snake/bug entry points, rewire, reroof, insulate, drywall, etc. 

The rest of cabin one is almost ready to start deconstruction on. This is looking out from the bedroom, through the bathroom and into the living room of cabin 1. (I should do a cabin explanation post!) The door on the left is to the deck.

This is the awesome view from the deck. It will be surrounded with fairy lights so we can sit there at night and watch the deer go by, from the forest through the lower field. There’s a family of 5 deer that like to spy on me when I pee in the night. It was a little disconcerting at first seeing their sets of eyes and not knowing what they were but I quickly realized it was just sweet, sweet deer. Phew. Made me jump a little. (Hopefully I don’t ever see eyes and discover they are connected to a cougar. There are apparently a lot around here.)

It’s been an on and off rainy weekend and I found myself suddenly grateful for the plastic bags left behind. I need to get myself some insulated Muck Boots ASAP! We all do!!

We’ve discovered we have lots of newts, salamanders and crawdads. Plus two woodpeckers and a bunny, three stellar jays, geese and wild turkey. 

An abundance of lichen covers everything, indicating we even have some of the best air on earth.

I hadn’t previously thought about it but another discovery is the lack of recycling here. We are HUGE recyclers and tiny garbage accumulators. This means a weekly trip to the recycling center, or at least a couple of times a month (which requires old school separation of all things). And, plastic bags are a thing here. Portland outlawed them forever ago and I thought it was a statewide thing. Nope! We forgot our reusable bags and paper wasn’t even an option. We’ll certainly not forget our cloth bags again.