Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Unending Snow!

Day 2 of this blizzard...and it's still snowing.

First thing I noticed this morning, for some reason...

...was the snow stacking up on the JayBee's vent stack.

I guess we have about 12 inches of snow from this storm so far.

I have managed not to get up on the roof to shovel so far this winter. Hmm...

Monday, March 12, 2018

Clothes Closet

The Kennebec was brilliant today. A gorgeous lull before the next blizzard.

The bright light blue in the sky looked more painted than real, and it was reflected in the water.

I realized a few days before last week's blizzard that the snow had receded enough that I could get into the back storage room and dig out some framing lumber. The day before that storm hit, I scrambled to pull out a bunch of 2x4s, I cleaned up the table and miter saws that hadn't been used all winter, and I cut all the framing lumber I would need to build the east side of the clothes closet for the JayBee (colored green in the drawing three images down). It is good that I made the effort that day because last week's blizzard has made the back storage room inaccessible again.

To refresh your memory, I built the west side of the closet awhile ago. It includes a ladder to the storage loft...

...and it includes some built-in shoe storage shelves. Note the blue tape on the floor to the right of this section in the photo below; that is the outline of the east closet section.

This east section of the closet will consist of three connected wall pieces that will sit on ball-bearing casters. The whole section will pivot open on a piano hinge that will be attached to a wall stud at the red X. Constructing this closet section is complicated (cuz that's just how I do things!) because the eastern wall (the longest wall of the three) will have a folding ironing board as well as a little alcove for a small speaker embedded between the studs on the living-room side.

Here are the studs for the east wall of the section. It's hard to see due to the poor lighting in the photo below but there are cut-out sections in some of the studs. You may also notice that one of the studs (the second from the right) is very warped. I initially had a very nice, straight stud--but I totally messed up the cut-away bit, so this is what I had to use as a replacement. Hopefully I don't lose my mind trying to wrestle this warped stud into place.

I decided to hustle today to get some of this east closet section assembled before tomorrow's blizzard begins. As I laid out these pieces, I became puzzled by the bottom plate of the wall. It turns out that instead of this... really needed to be cut like this... it can be installed at the bottom of the wall like so.

Assembly underway.

It took awhile, but this part is done so far.

I've been watching this snow hanging off the JayBee for a week. It finally let go today--just in time for the next storm.

Ahem! While George may not be the cause of the plastic pulling away from the house (I think it was the wind during last week's blizzard that did that), he is an incredible opportunist.

George visited the JayBee today once I put out the step ladder for him.

George supervising.

Ready for tomorrow's blizzard.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Just When You Think Winter is on Its Way Out... comes back!

For some reason, I have raging spring fever--and it's WAY too early in the year for that. Where I live, the entire month of March is still winter. It's no wonder, though, why I was teased into thinking that spring might be on its way. Just days before yesterday's blizzard, the JayBee was looking very snow free.

Enough ice had left the yard that I could leave the front door of the house without wearing crampons.

The river had gone from thinning ice... broken up ice (with a little help from some Coast Guard cutters)... open water...

...with ice chunks only left along the shore.

On one of my rambles, I found some nesting eagles.

Here is one of the parents--circling before a nest landing.

But, then, the blizzard started.

After one plowing, it was still going strong, and we had eight inches of snow.

A few hours before it ended, the snowfall was up to 12 inches.

After it was done, and another plow looks like winter again.

The snowbank in front of the garage is huge again, too.

This snowfall was all heavy, wet snow. Perfect for building a snowman or an igloo, or for having a snowball fight. Shoveling it out of the yard? Not so fun. While I was shoveling, a sudden, thunderous sound had me instinctively diving into a duck-and-cover move. It turns out this chunk of snow had let loose off the JayBee's roof. Thankfully, I was not standing under this eave. Made me chuckle afterwards. What did I think--that the sky was falling?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Winter Update

Do you have any idea why I constructed these three things for the JayBee out of cardboard? The answer is at the end of this post.

Late last fall, after I made sure I had two working bottle jacks, I crawled under the JayBee to level up the house. I tried to wrestle a footing out from under there that had gone wonky and was in my way, but I couldn't do it; I couldn't leverage enough strength in that tight space. So, I enlisted my brother's help.

He was able to pull it out of there. Thank you!

Here was my view after I dug out a spot for the jack and put it to work.

I wedged a block under the northwest corner of the JayBee's trailer, which had previously been sitting on the ground, and got the JayBee leveled up. (The drain pipe you see is the one coming from the toilet.)

I got some primer paint on the shoe shelves, knowing that the access I have now is a lot better than it will be once the wall boards go up.

I put some sound proofing around the shower stall.

I spent a bit of time staining boards for the ceiling. I'd rather do all of these steps down where I can easily reach the boards than after they are installed. First I wipe them down (turns out they have caterpillar hairs on them, which give me a terrible rash), then I apply a coat of conditioner and two coats of stain/finish.

I've been storing stained ceiling boards by length up in the storage loft.

This winter, I have created a number of drawings of storage elements that go in the JayBee, and I'm getting eager to get started building them. When I go looking for wood, though, the door to the "shop" is still all iced in...

...and the door to the garage is behind a big snowbank. I guess I will wait awhile longer yet.

I caught two deer in the early-morning light the other day.

George outside today.

The JayBee as it looks today. It would be nice if I moved into it before it gets too much more weathered.

Answer to starting quiz: I made the two rectangular solids to use outside the JayBee's front door to discourage nest building. The larger, more angular solid is for the top of the air exchanger on the north wall. Nest Arrestors. I will not keep them permanently installed, but I will use them during the prime nest-building months.