Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ice Storm

My world is encased in ice--and the storm is not over yet. The only way I was able to walk around outside without falling was by wearing studs on my feet! I am enjoying this storm. I'm feeling connected to the season--something I once took for granted but I've been missing for a very long time. I have been so consumed by my work these last few years that I haven't really experienced the changing seasons. I only had two seasons this last year--the forever-long season of overwork, and the shorter but even more intense season of overwork while caring for my dying mother. Now that my work is coming to a close, I am slowly beginning to feel reconnected with my life, and with my natural surroundings. I have a long stretch of healing ahead of me, but I am ever so grateful to feel it beginning.

See Bear in this next photo? The cats had trouble keeping their feet under them. It was funny to watch but freaked them out a bit.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Still Here (believe it or not)

Below are the autumn pictures I promised awhile back...

As you no doubt have noticed, progress on the JayBee has been stalled for a very long time. That will change in 2014. I have given notice at my, come January, I will no longer be working 55-80 hours a week. January is not the best time for building construction in Maine...My first priority will be to work at getting healthy and strong. My second priority will be to bicycle the Underground Railroad bicycle route from the Gulf of Mexico to Niagara Falls during the spring. Then, I will use the summer and the fall to work full time on the JayBee! (Only after all that will I seek new employment.)

I have always enjoyed working, but I also value having a full, rich life outside of work. The death of my mother in September provided me a good opportunity to reassess my life and face the fact that I have allowed myself to stray quite far afield of how I really want to live my life. 2014 will be all about righting my course.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Digging Out

No more excuses; no more postponing. The sun was out. The cats were clamoring (including a 4:00am session of meowing and pestering that led me to--once again!--go to the door, open it, and demonstrate that the deep snow was STILL THERE!). It was time to dig out.

This is what I faced when I opened my door this morning:

The plow guy had done a great job of plowing the driveway, but I had a stretch to shovel to reach the driveway.

First, I used a dust pan and broom to carve out a place to step outside the door.

Once I opened up a path to the driveway, I invited the cats outdoors.

Given that these shots were all taken during the morning, aren't these shadows dramatic? The sun is still pretty low in the sky this time of year.

It turns out that being outdoors wasn't that all-fired important after all. The cats lasted all of ten minutes before going back inside.

Digging out the car took awhile...

Check out this bug I found on top of the snow. Do you think this guy tried to get somewhere during the blizzard?

I had just finished moving all the snow away from the front of the JayBee when I heard the avalanche start, and jumped out of the way just in time to avoid having the snow on top of the JayBee hit me in the head. So, then, there was more snow to move.

Finally, that part was done.

The bulkhead was buried in a deep drift. (I keep the bulkhead clear during the winter because it provides the only access to my furnace.)

Can you see, buried in the snowbank below (a little left of center), a wooden barrel laying on its side? Oops. My plow guy got a little carried away. That barrel is usually standing over my septic pump with a yellow caution sign attached as warning for the plow guy.

I dug out the oil tank, the bulkhead, and the barrel. Unfortunately, the caution sign is lost in a snowbank somewhere. I sure hope the septic pump is alive and well.

I didn't have the energy to get up on the roof...but it really needs to be dug out too. (It's possible we'll get rain [!] this next week; that would NOT be good on top of this snow.)

I took care of the heavy snowbank across the end of the driveway...

...then turned my attention to shoveling a path to the deck.

I took this last photo while standing on the deck. See the bare patch of ground next to the railroad tracks (near the lower left)? That patch was never completely covered with snow during the blizzard, due to the wind constantly moving and sculpting the snow. 

I have no idea what our total accumulation was from this storm. Somewhere between two and three feet, I guess. It's difficult to tell, given the dramatic drifts and such. This is not a lot of snow for us to receive during a winter, but it sure is a lot to receive at once!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Blizzard 2013

I'm posting this now (well before the storm is over) for you, DWR!

Oh, my goodness, what will I do with all this snow?! I'm cozy and happy indoors (the power is still on here), but when I open the door to ponder beginning to move snow around... seems so overwhelming that I just close the door again. This accumulation really is stunning, given that the ground was bare when this started. (I stuck a yardstick in the snow out beyond the drift up against the door, and it currently measures 29" deep.) 

The storm is not near over here. The snow has been falling heavily all morning, and I just heard the radio weather report. ("One to two more feet of snow expected before the storm ends.") Yikes!

The cats are going stir crazy. Apparently it's way more important to be able to go outside when it's not really a possibility. They keep asking me to open the door and then they freak out. They won't stand still for photos, so I was only able to capture Bear briefly before he bolted. Notice his irritation, expressed with his ears.

This next shot shows George peeking out the sliding door next to the deck. From his viewpoint, he's looking at the wall of snow on the deck.

Thankfully, the JayBee appears to be doing okay through this. Due to the snow being powdery light and the high winds, the snow is regularly shedding itself off the roof. The snow in front of the JayBee is not very deep at the moment; this is thanks to my plow guy, who came by a few times last night to clear things out.

Wherever you are, may you be safe and warm.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Pretending It's Spring (Pantry Cabinet 1)

Surprisingly, the day began with temperatures in the low 40s. Felt like the beginning of spring. Ha! I used the opportunity to hang out a JayBee-related gift I received for Christmas. Dale made me a birdhouse duplex that looks like the JayBee! Very cute.

I've had lumber, intended for a JayBee pantry cabinet, clogging up my house for a few weeks...

The warm temps today prompted me to open up the JayBee...

...and use my saws to cut the pieces for the pantry cabinet.

I ran out of time (I still have a few more pieces to cut) but I got a lot done and, by the end of the day, my house was stacked with cabinet pieces. (The piano hinges are sitting on top of the stack.) Also by the end of the day, the temperature had plummeted. This next week will be frigid. I guess it really isn't spring yet!

Below are a couple of my pantry cabinet drawings. This cabinet will be narrow and tall; it will sit in front of the water heater (see floor plan). The whole cabinet will be on wheels (that lock) so, when necessary, it can be moved out of the way for access to the water heater.

Also see: