Monday, May 30, 2011

Trailer on the Level

Finally, I had a complete day (without work, without interruptions, without other demands) to work on the trailer. At the start of the day, I had a pile of footers and cinder blocks,

and a trailer that I wanted to reposition. (I wanted the hitch end closer to the hillside, so it wouldn't stick out into the driveway as much.)

After draining some more water off the site, I positioned a footer under this corner.

Then, I used webbing and a come-along to pull this end of the trailer closer to the hillside.

This took a bit of work, mostly because the cable in the come-along is not very long. Three tries later and it was all set (16" closer to the hillside). Who says you need a truck to move a trailer?!

Next, I wrestled with the footers and cinder blocks. The cinder blocks were not hard to move, but the footers sure were. Then, using house jacks, I leveled the trailer. I still have some tweaking to do, but I am pleased with the progress I made today.

All of this mucking around in the mud took me all day. I am completely wiped out, but I'm happy. I haven't yet begun to install the anchors (leaning against the house in the lower right part of the photo below); that'll have to be another day.

Check out these lupines that are growing on the hillside behind the trailer. Can you spot the bumblebee?

Also see:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rain ALL Week

I don't think it could have been any more gray or more wet than it was this week. Rain and fog, then harder rain and thicker fog. The river has been a little flooded all week--although nowhere near as dramatic and devastating as what the Mississippi has been doing this week.

Good things about the rain this week:
- Working hard this week was easier to take than it would have been if sunny, warm weather had been beckoning.
- I wasn't on a bicycling trip this week.
- Can't imagine there will be a high risk of forest fires any time soon.
- All the plant life has come to life this week. When the sun comes out, it is going to be very springy green!

I've been trying to come up with some positive effect the rain will have on this weekend's JayBee project, but I just can't. I took delivery this week of the footings and cinder blocks I will use to jack up and level the trailer. Also, the trailer anchors arrived. So, I will be crawling around in the deep mud... Quoting my niece, Frida: "Good! I like getting dirty!"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Momentous (Paperwork) Week

Even with all the hours I worked this week, I was able to carve out time to get some JayBee-related paperwork done. The trailer is now registered...

...and I have the building permit I need for the project.

The house itself doesn't require a permit, but the plumbing connections to the water and septic systems do.

These things may not seem like much, but they feel hugely significant to me. Now I feel like I have a green light to proceed. Time to place a lumber order! (Due to work, it will still be a few weeks before construction really takes off but, if I can continue to get materials organized and on site, everything will be set for making real progress soon.)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ladder Done

Even with all the busy-ness of Mother's Day (and even with the nastiness of the black flies that are now out in force), I managed to finish the loft ladder this weekend.

First, I applied stain...

Then, multiple layers of polyurethane...

I'm pleased with the results. This is a very sturdy ladder that is still lightweight enough that I will be able to easily move it from one loft to the other. Now to build a house to put it in!

Also see:
Loft Ladder...Almost
Ladder Progress

May Day Kayaking

Last Sunday, May Day, I did my first kayaking of the season with Dale and Steve. The wind was very strong--bracing. Kayaking on a lake or river would have been very challenging and probably not very fun. Dale had a great suggestion to launch at Muddy Pond and paddle up Potters Brook.

Great idea! A lot less wind, no bugs and, with no leaves on the trees yet, we could see back into the woods.

The water is so high this time of year, we were able to paddle all the way to Rt. 95.

Steve checked out just where we were along the highway.

We had heard loons; finally, once back at the cars, we saw some.

A perfect first kayak of the season!