Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The state of things now

The house is in good shape. Fritz and Mike intended to do some roofing over the winter but were not able to manage it. So the front half is nicely done, the back half is a mess. But nothing leaks, yet. Scaffolding is up and one of the upstairs bedrooms is now converted to a work area, and a ladder leans up against the porch roof. Since both men have jobs that give them time off in the winter but keep them very busy the rest of the year, neither thinks he will be able to get back to the roof before the fall. Carolyn and I could work on it, but we really need Mike to be there to at least direct. And Mike does not foresee any time off over the summer.

As well there is the small problem of no outhouse. The old outhouse is more than full. My emergency hole in the ground from last summer is still there and I can still use it, but it's not exactly pleasant. Mike did dig a hole for a new outhouse last fall, and the materials are apparently around for building it, but Fritz and Carolyn have specific plans for how they want it done and I am not clear on that. Again, Mike is not available anytime soon. What I am hoping will happen is that I can get him to spend an hour one evening with me showing me how it is to be done. I have a feeling my first building project is going to be an outhouse.

Last summer I was here building the kayak, and that pretty much occupied my attention. When I needed a new outhouse I just dug a hole in the ground and put a couple of boards over it to create a trench. That works OK but it does leave one exposed to the mosquitoes and rain. This summer I am not building a kayak so I feel like I can spend more time on other tasks, such as the outhouse situation. I am thinking that rather than simply make do with the hole, I will put a temporary A-frame roof over it and install a bit of a pedestal for a toilet seat. Then I will tackle the more permanent outhouse.

I would also like to put in a garden. Many years ago Carolyn did have a garden here, but the trees surrounding the house have grown considerably taller and there is less sunshine now. However, I think it is still worth a try. Her garden beds are still visible but seriously overgrown. I will borrow a spade and a fork from Mike and Ruth to start digging them up. The open area around the house is full of bracken. Last year I enjoyed watching them sprout and unfurl, but this year I know what a nuisance they are when fully grown so I think I will be ruthless about cutting them down and pulling them out while they are still unfurled. I know Fritz and Carolyn won't miss the bracken at all.

These photos are from last year. I've got my camera and I've already taken some photos, but I don't have a card reader for transferring them to my computer. So for now, no new photos.


Barbara Anne said...

Hi Anne, How did I miss commenting on this entry? Thought I did, but it's not here.

Good luck with your many projects and the garden. After lying fallow for years, your garden soil should be well ready for a bumper crop of whatever you plant!

If deer are a problem there, we're having great success in protecting our garden by surrounding it with orange plastic construction fencing, chicken wire twisty-tied to the bottom of the orange fencing and school supply store rubber snakes woven into the fencing. We did this last summer and lost nothing to deer. The orange plastic fencing was chosen so it would not harm the deer if they tried to jump it.


Zabetha said...

Hi Barbara Anne

Interesting solution to the deer problem! Do the rubber snakes scare them? When I was in Tennessee a few years ago I saw deer fences over 12 feet high to keep them out of gardens!

Although I see deer scat in the woods nearby, I haven't seen deer and Mike and Ruth report no deer problems with their garden, which is unfenced. So my tiny garden is unfenced too. Something visits in the night though, I see footprints and little holes dug around the edges. Nancy suggested it might be a skunk or raccoon.

I hope I don't have to fence, it will be kind of inconvenient!

Hugs to you, Anne