Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Barn in Motion, Karate, and the Weather

You begin to realize why people in the northeast talk incessantly about the weather. It's a crazy thing. I know it's this way every June, but I'm amazed at how much rain we're getting. It's all hot and humid, and everything seems damp, you just can't avoid it. I worry about the house and the threat of mold, but sometimes it seems like an inevitable result with the weather as it is.

Haven't heard from MG lately, wondering if she got the message and gave up, though I doubt it. We were stoked to have GL on board for the barn project, but I get a sense he's chomping at the bit and wants to have the project done yesterday. Fortunately we are constrained by funding and can't do anything until that starts to flow. Fortunately, again, that's not my gig, so we'll wait and see. Money is so awkward.

My duties have increased, however, with having to deal with barn stuff. Research and gathering information about something I have no clue about is always so time consuming, but thus begins yet another stage of my becoming a real man-building a house.

My first step is to find out the cost of our siding options, and of course I have no clue what I'm doing because we have to decide on what siding we want. How the heck am I supposed to know? Just put the stuff on.

I also want to contact M&AP to see if they'd do the septic. More phone calls.

It seems like the rain has taken a break and I don't seem to see any rain, so I might be able to do some work outside. The chimney sweep is coming today, which should be an interesting experience. Not sure what they're going to do.

Went to karate last night and saw the return of R and his mom, M. Weird, thought we'd never see them again. They just disappeared and I figured they were done with Chip and the rest of us, but there they were, and needless to say, it was awkward. They bad mouthed Chip for days on end, then took off, and I figured everyone was all the better for it since they seemed unhappy and their unhappiness seemed to taint the classes. On a bright note, R was able to lead the class and I learned two more katas.. I hope.

I think I'll start on the new wood pile this month, I need to use up the gas, and I think I'll give the Dremel tool a go for sharpening the saw.

Gotta run and get to work. Writing has been going pretty well, consistent if not anything else. I like the short blog work that pays peanuts, I've found a groove, though I'd like to make more bread.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Barn Revisited Again, Firing Up the Chainsaw

R's dad said once again to finish the barn, so we need no further prompting. We think we have a better sense of what needs to be done and how to go about doing it... hopefully. And best of all, we have our mentor, GL, there to help us. The plan is to have GL be the foreman while we do a lot of the work. When needed, we will hire outside work, but we hope it will work out this way. We shall see, we have RR's blessing, so things will move forward. I'm kind of looking forward to it, in fact we're meeting with GL today to talk things over.

In the meantime, I still have six cords of wood to cut. I haven't touched my chainsaw in about a month, so I fired it up just to get the cobwebs off. I also cleaned it up and got rid of the muck. I'm thinking I'll start doing some cutting in July, but man do I hate that heat. It's still got to be done.

Though I still need to paint the house, at least get to the trim and repair the gables. I've gotten next year's wood split, stacked and covered, and have about half of the year after. Just have to finish that and then attend to year 3's wood. That's 15 cords of wood. Wow, what a chore.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Sun Makes All the Difference

After days of June gloom, suddenly the sun pops out and everything changes. Amazing how that works. I was commenting on the lack of birds and bees in the yard, and once the sun came out, they seemed to reappear. I realize this is only my impression, but sometimes that's all you've got.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nice to See the Sun

The weather has been particularly gloomy, so much rain after a long dry spell. June seems to be a dour month, with the rain never ending. So it's nice when you finally get to see the sun. R has been really active in the garden, and I've been trying to keep up on the yard work, but it can be a challenge when the rain keeps coming. Especially with the lawn.

We are heading into the thick of summer and with it comes all the cool fairs and festivals. Next weekend is the Balloon Fest, though we're not sure how to approach that one. It's so expensive and a bit manic, but the kids deserve to have some fun, and we need to get out more. Maybe we can coordinate something, though these events can be awkward with CB sightings. She seems to ignore our kids and though they are oblivious to it, it's painful for me.

What to do, what to do.

Anyway, during my bout of angst about the natural state of our yard, sure enough the sun came out and the weather was beautiful yesterday afternoon. It really lifted my spirits, though I still don't seem to see too many bugs and our blueberries are toast. I hear and see lots of birds, but they don't seem to eat our seeds. Why do I take these things so personally?

I hope the bugs come back when the weather gets nicer. We took a walk to the Flower Farm and it looked beautiful. The community garden was on fire, and they have a blackberry patch to die for. I'd like to get some tips from KJ. We need some serious help.

Until then, thanks for reading.

Strange Happenings in Our Yard

I realize this could very well be my imagination, and I'm hoping that it is, but there are some strange things going on around here. I can't help but think that there is an overall lack of life activity in our yard. Not only is our blueberry bush completely missing anything in terms of flowers, but I can't seem to see any pollinating bugs flying around the flowers. Early on there were thousands of bees, honeybees and bumblebees, you couldn't walk without worrying about getting stung. Then the weather seemed to turn sour, we got tons of rain and clouds, it cooled off, and now I don't squat. It's sad and disconcerting.

I also put out our feeders and I don't seem to see any birds. I know I'm being neurotic here, but I stand and watch and don't see much of anything. I worry that our cats have scared them away, but they are high enough that they wouldn't be able to get close enough without fair warning. I can hear them out in the woods, but no sight. I like seeing them feeding around the house, as do the cats.

Either way, it could be my imagination. We'd like to resolve the blueberry issue and it may require drastic actions, like relocating them and proper maintenance. More sun, perhaps?

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Suddenly We're Flush with Wood

Got our second load of wood, out of nowhere. Been painting up a storm and replacing clapboards and trim, need to do a lot, but getting there. Garden in full swing, haven't been to karate for weeks, missing it, but still know what I need to know.

Lots going on, but no time to talk about it. Sorry, but stay tuned.