Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Found 'em!

They were in the Scary Clown Bus. Now that there's recharged batteries back in the camera, there's no stopping me. Yep, also found the charger for the smaller batteries. 

Here we have my Sacred Altar of Relaxation. This tub is from the old farm house we got with our property in Ohio. Yes, we moved it the 600-some miles up here. It's like a favorite pair of jeans - fits perfect, super comfortable. I have missed this tub. A lot. The house we built at the farm in Ohio came with one of those water wasting, no place is comfortable to sit in, corner garden tubs. I hate it. After four years of showers only, longing for a relaxing soak, a woman and her tub were reunited. As you'll recall, I filled my tub early yesterday afternoon and let the water heat up all day under the sun. The sun was going down by the time I was able to hop in. It was a little cool but not bad. It actually felt good after the sweltering heat. The fun thing about an outdoor bathtub is that one can really flop and splash around like a happy fish without worrying about getting water all over the place. I was so busy being a happy fish that I didn't notice the shapes where there shouldn't have been any. When you're in a bit of a hurry, you have to knock your glasses over and get water all over them before you actually get them on your face. Schew. I could tell through the distorting streams of water on my lenses it was just a couple of deer. How awesome is that? Taking a bath outside surrounded by trees and wildlife. Ahhhh. Home Sweet Tub.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fun with cast iron

Today's adventure with water involves cast iron. And lots of it! Both water and cast iron. I used the tractor to move my old cast iron, clawfoot bathtub (aka Altar of Relaxation) away from the outside back wall (foundation) of The Secret Cabin. I want to paint my tub. I tend to paint with a lot of enthusiasm. My clothes and everything around me ends up looking like I was partying with Jackson Pollock. (See pictures below. I grabbed these off the internet and I don't know who the photographers are to properly credit.) Can you just imagine what The Husband would have to say if the foundation of The Secret Cabin ended up looking like a bad knock off of the bottom picture. Anyway, with the tub moved, I thought, I have a hose so why not? I filled the tub with water and I'm letting the sun warm it up. The water has been warming up for about fours hours. It feels warm enough to be comfortable but I won't jump in until later this evening after my friend who's working on the plumbing inside the cabin leaves. You'll have to check back to see how the outdoor bath turns out.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

OMG, grab a bucket!

So, the sun is just a shining and it's HOT in the UP. The frig is running a lot and burning some battery power over night. I think. The System Control Panel is showing that we're burning some battery power and the Inverter is showing we're fully charged. The Husband is looking into it. Well, I was feeling all haughty having running water and a flush toilet so I thought I'd run my new wash machine for the first time and do a load of laundry. Guess what I forgot? That the drain for the wash machine drains into a pit with a pump that drains the bath tub which isn't hooked up yet. Oops. Note to self that the utility sink drains there as well. What could have been a Lucy in the chocolate factory episode turned out to be manageable as the new wash machine doesn't use much water. You would think the thing was designed for use in a desert or third world country where water is scarce. (Our day is coming by the way. The number one source of pollution of our fresh water is agriculture.) How it's supposed to get your clothes clean without using hardly any water....it just doesn't seem right. Anyway, my jean shorts are all hanging over the round pen panels drying in the sun and breeze. I guess I'll know if the wash machine actually got my clothes clean if I don't hear anyone near me say, "What smells?"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Big FA-LUSHING Announcement

The Secret Cabin, built in 1995 or 1997 (I can't remember which), for the first time ever, has an honest to goodness flush toilet! No more trips in the middle of the night, flashlight in hand, to the portajohn.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dang it, where's....

My camera needs it's rechargeable batteries changed and I don't remember where I stashed the rechargeable batteries. The Outbuilding is almost done. The wood stove arrived yesterday. The tractor was able to get it as far as just into the doorway of the Outbuilding and the guys moved it the rest of the way into the building for me. A big THANK YOU to them on that as it really wasn't part of their job and it was really heavy. We are waiting on the metal siding, the door, and the floor trim. It's all supposed to be here this morning. I'm hanging around waiting on the delivery. Then I need to go shopping. I have to get paint for the inside of the Outbuilding and plumbing stuff for The Secret Cabin. Oh, and pick up a loaf of bread from The Conglomerate Cafe. The Strawberry-Rhubarb preserves are yummy too, by the way.

Wednesday evening, my friend came over and we worked on the plumbing. The wash machine is now where it belongs and is hooked up. Think of the scene from The Lost in Space movie where the robot comes on line. Cripes, technology. The water tank is sitting where it's going and up on blocks. My utility sink and faucet were retrieved from the bus and put back in the Mechanical Room. My little utility sink is stainless steel. It's all shiny and pretty and I wanted it to stay that way so I had stashed it in the Scary Clown Bus which by the way is FOR SALE. It could be easily converted into a HUNTING CAMP. It has heat, air, and two inverters. Oops, kind of got off track there. Back to the plumbing. The kitchen drain is hooked up. The bathroom faucet, water lines, and shut off valves are all installed. The sink backsplash is now caulked. We work on the plumbing again on Saturday. I'm looking forward to getting the water going to see how the pump effects our energy usage. It would be a bit more convenient to not have to go outside to use the bathroom. In the meantime, I'm enjoying having lights and a refrigerator. I'm planning on cooking in my Itty Bitty Kitchen for the first time today. I'll let you know how that goes. If you're from lands afar, the weather has been fabulous and the forecast for the weekend is all sunshine. Oh, the building supplies are here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Speaking of Beasts

This is a Beast Barn. Okay, so it's just an Outbuilding that will be for Beasts and seed starting for the farm. LR Contracting has been speedily building this for us. They poured the foundation on Monday and by Thursday, 5 PM, this is what I had. Sans big mess all over the yard and bad attitude and/or princess harassing. I have been really impressed with these guys. They were the ones that fixed the mistake in the concrete in the lower level of The Secret Cabin. There was NOTHING laying around when they were done with that job. As if that's not impressive enough, one of the gentleman on the crew use to build Morton Barns. If you're not familiar with the Morton name, they are a beautiful building. They're VERY pricey but come with every bell and whistle imaginable. But wait there's more.... I've been kind of a pain in the butt about not being wasteful with materials and trying to use up the stuff I have left over from building the machine barn. They have been making a huge effort to help me not waste materials and money. I really appreciate that. Especially at this stage of the game. We're at the end of all this and we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel. In fact, a big shout out to my Mom and Dad. THANK YOU! If it weren't for them, this building would not be possible and our move would not be possible which in turn putting the other house on the market would not be possible and our diabolic plan to take over 80 acres of the World would be foiled and we'd lose everything Mike and I have worked for over the last 20-some years. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I've got the power....

....and paint. And dust. And....

Ceiling fan because a solar cabin can. Special shout out to Wayne of Hanson Electric for going waaay up a really, really tall ladder to install. Thank you, Wayne.

The Secret Cabin as viewed on my way from the Portajohn in the middle of the night. Special Thank you to the Sun for the power to run the lights.


This is the Mechanical Room. I'm attempting to make it pretty so it's not a scary dungeon when I do laundry. Plas-Tex wall covering (almond, smooth) and painted (peach, Sherwin-Williams Frangipane to be exact) block wall. I'd like to have a board running along where the Plas-Tex and block meet to trim it out. Also, I could add hooks on the board for hanging things.

Well, we're close. Oh so close. Disappointingly, Eric and Jake did NOT finish the cabin on their last trip. They said they'd be back during hunting season but they were paid in full and I don't have a lot of faith in other people at the moment. We really, really, really needed them to finish. We canNOT wait any longer to move the animals in. Once I get everything cleaned up and the animals move in, I really don't want to have someone come in and make a mess and disturb the animals while they get settled in. Heck, I don't want to be disturbed. After spending most of the last 14 months apart, The Man, Beasts and I will all be together here at The Secret Cabin for the first time ever. It's been about 3 years since Mike and I have been at The Secret Cabin together. (It's hard to find a farm sitter.)

So, lots of cleaning, touching up of walls and paint, and applying of wood finish yet. Oh yea, I guess I should hook up the water. I've got about four weeks to get all the loose ends tied up. I feel like I'm preparing to be launched to the moon or some thing. I will be getting back to my life. Only my life is changing. I'm moving forward yet I'm taking a huge step back. About 5 years ago, The Husband and I lived in an old, not-so-updated farm house so we've had practice at living a life where day to day living is a little more work than just flipping a switch or pressing a button. Still, I'm looking forward to being done with all this construction BS.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Animal Sightings

(You should be able to click on pictures to enlarge.)

From May to present....

Turtles. I even got a close up as I herded one off the road. While I was excited to see turtles, I was shocked to see turtles. I thought that it was too cold for them. They must be able to dig down far enough to survive.

Some kind of weasel thing with three weasel thing babies. They were trying to cross the road when I came driving up. I stopped. Mom weasel thing grabbed one of the baby weasel things and ran across the road. I felt super sorry for the other baby weasel things as they were crying by the side of the road. I wasn't sure what to do so rather than making matters worse or get my ankles knawed, I left. I'm assuming it all ended well as I did not see squished weasel things on the road the next day when I drove through.

At our place, a coyote in broad day light. Coyotes apparently do not listen. I told him to Shoo! He didn't. He looked at me and then kept sniffing around. This does NOT bode well with me. Our donkey is small. If I tell something to shoo, it needs to shoo. It needs to fear me. Time to get out the big guns?

Partridges. Lots of them hanging around our driveway. This is only the second time I've seen a real partridge. Very interesting.

No Spring is complete without seeing a fawn or two. Right out the back of the cabin.

Now, I found this odd (referring to first picture above). A doe and four sand cranes came strolling through our property one morning. They were just hanging out together. It looked like some kind of scene from National Geographic or some thing. I didn't know that the different wild animals would hang out together. Fascinating.

And, last but not least, a BEAR! OMGG, A BEAR! (Dark spot in second picture above.) My very first BEAR sighting! Behind the cabin, back at the tree line. It walked all the way across the back, along the side and ducked into the woods. It looked pretty big to me. I definitely wouldn't go up and poke it with a stick. I don't think he saw me. He seemed very busy. I'm a little concerned about how much ground he covered even though he was just walking. VERY excited that I was able to SAFELY view a bear.

I would also like to SAFELY view a bobcat.

Oh, and I have seen a couple of bucks with velvet racks. Now, The Husband does NOT hunt, but he told me the other night that he is going to hunt our property. He even bought something or other so he can legally use our assault rifle for hunting. He was wondering who would go hunting with him. Seeing how The Husband does NOT shoot animals, I am a bit confused. I do have a friend whose husband is a vegetarian and yes, he went hunting last year. My not being a hunter is preventing me from understanding this whole hunting thing. I am completely bewildered by the mere thought of a hunting party consisting of someone who does NOT shoot animals and a vegetarian. There's got be a reality show in there somewhere.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Here I am!

For some reason, odd I'm sure, I picture the "world of blog" as a group of individuals, us, the collective we, walking along together on the same path. Then when I don't blog, it's like I fall down, face first in a big dusty poof. Everyone continues walking for awhile and then they realize I'm not there. I envision everyone stopping at the same time, heads wheeling around, not seeing me there and saying, "Bheki," in that disapproving, "what are you up to now?" tone of voice. Okay, so everyone reading my blog is only my family and a couple of friends. So here I am, popping up again, still in a cloud of dust a la Pig-Pen of Charles Shulz' Peanuts. I've been crabby. Yes, I know, so what else is new. The negativity on my blog has culminated to the point where I don't want to write when I'm crabby, disgusted, etc. If we want more positive energy in the world, we have to put positive energy in it. As soon as I figure out how to remain peaceful, graceful, and fricking loving under less than ideal circumstances, you'll be the first to know. Oh, all right, I admit it, I fired ANOTHER contractor. Yes, that makes three. It was long overdue. I should have listened to my gut instincts. But did I? No. So, Bill's Electrical is off my Winter Holiday card list. Fast forward through the negativity (he said, I said, they did this, they didn't do that, blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada, so on and so forth). Okay, there we go. My new electrician is Wayne of Hanson Electrical, Houghton, Michigan. Super nice guy. Nice, neat work. Doesn't complain. NOT lazy. I'm not really into electrical stuff but even I thought, "Wow, that's actually beautiful," when the electrical inspector came out and took the cover off the subpanel. More impressive, though, is that the electrical inspector, who sees a lot of work and knows what he's looking at, said, "That's a nice job."