August 30, 2011

Family Fun!

Not ready to talk about storm damage from TS Irene just yet. . . Will keep this post to the great time we had Friday and Saturday with my brother's family. Ellie had her first sleep over at the cabin and Danielle made her first visit up.

That's Ellie and Mike preparing the fire for cooking hotdogs and marshmallows (Ellie's request for dinner). We also had Joe and his family over--they are our neighbors who happen to be good friends of my brother's. I believe Joe was my brother's college swim team captain. On Saturday, we went to a great swimming hole near Joe's house and they treated us to a lovely impromptu lunch and fun on the zip-line. Lots of fun for Finn too, there were lots of dogs at the swimming hole and he got to hang out with Buddy at Joe's.

August 21, 2011

Why can't I come in the house?

Here is adorable Finn, looking a bit down-hearted, wondering why we won't let him in the house.

For some reason, clicking on the pics won't make them big. But if you look closely, you'll see his normally tan and white front legs looking gray to black. And the fur all caked together. Because he ran amok somewhere and apparently got stuck in some gross black mud. So he was not allowed in the house until he was hosed off!

Anatomy of a cabin roof

We found this artifact under the porch where I had dropped a drill bit through the cracks. It's a piece cut out of the roof when the wood burning stove chimney was installed. Don't know when that is. Here you can see what the roof is made of.

First some strange shaped asphalt shingles:

Then two inches of rigid foam insulation:

Then nice big fat lengths of tongue and groove roof decking. They are a true two inches thick. They are also the ceiling inside the cabin:

Supporting that are logs, logs, logs.

August 16, 2011

Finn loves the water

Click on the picture to see just how awesome he is!

Ah, late summer

We just passed our one year anniversary with the cabin. We spent some time reflecting on how much work we have done to restore it. In many ways we are ahead of schedule. We also noticed that as the year progressed we have been spending more time relaxing and enjoying it. It's getting there fast!

The next big project - perhaps the biggest - is the log restoration. We are close to an agreement with Martin Kirsch, owner of Appalachian Log Home Repairs, to do the work. He will replace and repair logs with rot or too much weathering, corn cob blast the entire cabin (power washing is too lame and sandblasting is too violent), caulking and chinking, stain and seal. The corn cob blasting will restore the logs to what they were when they were new. Martin has his own website here:

Anyway, between two torrential rains we had a visit from friends Joanne and Mike. It was nice catching up again. And Mike helped us run electric and install a hanging lamp over the table. They even gave us the lamp!

We are looking forward to what autumn will bring us.

August 8, 2011

Stung by a bee... twice

Starting to swell.

Judging by these pictures it might appear that I am a wimp, but I haven't been stung by a bee in decades. I forgot how they pack such a wallop. The same bee got me on the leg and then the elbow. He went for the back of my neck but I managed to flail like a boneless cream puff and run with enough hysterics to satisfy him.

Foundation work

This is a BIG project we've been planning for a while - a huge step toward drying out the basement and controlling water around the foundation.

Neil's excavator

Looks like whatever they used originally to seal the foundation gave up a long time ago.

Neil in his excavator, or backhoe, if you must. He chain smokes but doesn't actually smoke. One after the other they just burn down as he digs away.

A backhoe behind a loader. Fun looking toys.

Below you can see the first parts of the drainage system that will run along the entire foundation footing to move the water away. Also, although there's no picture here, both gutter leaders now run underground and off the nearby cliff. Eventually we will collect that water and reuse it but for now we are happy knowing all those gallons per rainfall are going somewhere other than near our basement.

Rebuilding the road

After a decade of washout Neil Schaffer and his son Forest, of Schaffer Excavating in Woodstock, rebuilt our private road. The section below, which is only part of the road, is quite steep and leads up a hill and around to the cabin. We have a Jeep, but visitors with lesser vehicles were finding the ride up a bit rough. Neil brought in four triaxle dump truck loads of #4 stone to build the road up and create proper drainage.

Also before. Notice the bedrock showing on the left side. That means what road was there had washed away.


The dump truck driver is Tommy Morgan. A hearty fellow who can turn that thing around in the woods.

Tim and Mary visit

Thanks, Tim and Mary, for crossing Massachusetts to visit us. Below are a couple of pictures of us standing over the Hudson valley. We had a great time catching up with you two and hope to do it again soon!

August 2, 2011

summer work

Lots of activity at the cabin this week.

There is a big moat dug around the cabin so that the foundation can be sealed off and keep water out. The father and son team that's doing it looks to be doing a great job. Dad digs with the big machine (which Mike can name) and then Son goes around with a shovel and scraper to get the small bits off.

The same guys are also grading and making drainage for the long drive up the hill. Four loads of gravel should provide a much smoother ride to our lovely hermitage.

Lots of pictures to follow, once we get the photographer back to a wired environment.

more family visits

Mike's brother and sister-in-law came up for a visit from Lowell, MA, and a lively time was had by all! The beautiful day Saturday was marred a bit by a wicked hangover for one and a thrown back for the other of the womenfolk. . . are we showing our age just a tiny bit?

It was a time for catching up and also gave us another chance to show off the natural beauty of the place we call home. Pics to follow, stay tuned!