Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bleecker NY to Bethel PA

The pump house was done for this year.  The last task was to make the Dutch door.  Well, it is a single door now, but next year I'll cut it in half, in place.

Our last evening in Bleecker was beautiful, with a gorgeous full moon.

The next morning was cold and frosty, a sign of what is coming.  

We loaded up the four dogs, two cats, horse, and two goats and headed off the mountain to Florida.  I couldn't find the adapter to plug the trailer lights into the RV, so I lead, and Pam followed towing the horse trailer.

I could tell that the trailer I was towing for Judi was much heavier than the last few times I hauled it, but I didn't realize how heavy until I hit hills.  Going downhill, Harvey the RV was being pushed and I was riding the brakes.  Going uphill, Harvey struggled.  In Pennsylvania it was especially bad.  I'd slow to 40 MPH on the uphills and ride my brakes going down.  But on the back roads to Windy Ridge Farms was stunningly bad.  At one hill, the best Harvey could manage was 5 MPH, and even then I thought the engine was going to blow.  Harvey's engine shuddered and shook and the temperature gauge was soaring, but then I finally crested the hill.  I then had to stand on the brakes to slow Harvey on the downhill side.

Finally  we arrived at Windy Ridge, one of our favorite stops.  Judy treated us to dinner and then it was off to bed, exhausted from the drive.  The next morning we were ready to head to Lexington, Virginia at 9:30.  It was a gorgeous foggy morning.

Unfortunately, I started the RV, put my foot on the brake, and the pedal went right to the floor.  Standing on the brakes on the final hill was the final straw, and I blew out a brake line.

Thankfully, I was smart enough to sign up for AAA premier RV towing.  A Peterbilt tow truck arrived to tow us to an RV repair facility.

Pam told AAA that we were traveling with many animals and it was important for us to get this fixed ASAP.  But when we arrived at Tom Schaeffer RV, we were told they couldn't look at it until December.  Fortunately, the tow truck driver took pity on us and called in a favor from a buddy.  Harvey is at his shop and should be done by Monday at the latest.

So what of the animals?  The horse and goats are in stalls in the barn at Windy Ridge.  Sadly, so too are three of our four dogs.  They must feel abandoned, again.  We have Ruby, the smart one, who wouldn't understand being left in a stall, so we paid extra to have her in our no-pets motel.  

The cats are locked in the RV.

We have a sign in the RV that we also had in our trawler, Drift Away.  The difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Pump House Walls Done

Today was a productive day.  I worked on the pump house for five hours, the limit of my endurance.  I finished the gable ends of the walls and built shutters for the windows, which we'll put up tomorrow after it stops raining.

I'll make the door tomorrow as well.

Left to right below is a kerosene heater, the 65 gallon water tank that I'll build a floor in the peak for, and a shallow well pump.

It is getting close.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Putting the Ridge Cap on the Pump House

YAY!   The pump house roof is finished!  The last thing to do was to put the ridge cap on, but I didn't want to do it without someone there.  I crawled up on the roof to screw the roof on and it made me nervous.  Enameled metal roofing is as slippery as a waxed playground slide.

Pam started it, but she's afraid of heights and lost her nerve despite that would award her six bravery points for doing so.  So up I went.  It all went fine with me straddling the ridge, screwing in the screws to hold it down.  And then I got charlie horses in both legs!  OWWWWWW!   I stretched out as best I could until they eased up.

The only things left for this year are shutters for the two windows and the door, put plexiglass in the eaves, and it is done.  Next year, I'll insulate the roof and walls and cover with 1x10s, build a cover over the well, build a support for the water tank going up by the roof, and plumb in the shallow pump well.  Then it is done done.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lilly Versus the Goats.

I took all four dogs over to our property today to work on the pump house.  It was the first time for Lilly, and apparently the first time she'd ever seen goats.  It was also the first time the goats had met Lilly and they were wary.

Lilly decided the goats needed gittin'.  This is going to be good, I thought.  Andy lowered his horns as a warning.

Ruby decided Lilly was being over the top and pushed her away.  Ruby runs... well, everything.

Sadly, I didn't photograph the best part.  I decided I couldn't work on the shed and watch Lilly and the goats too, so I sat in the screen house with a beer.  Lilly kept circling the goats, nipping at them.  Finally, Andy had enough and rammed Lilly so hard that she flew through the air, knocking over a metal table, and metal chair, and landing six feet off the deck.  That was the end of the problem.   Time to work on the shed.

It is getting very close now.  Another afternoon or two of uninterrupted time and it should be done for the winter.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Another Dog?

Yesterday, we had a call from friend Bill.  Someone apparently dropped off a dog at his house.  It was hiding under a carriage in a shed.  Pam grabbed Ruby (the world's smartest pit bull) and headed over there, but on her way out the door I shouted "DON'T BRING ANOTHER DOG HOME!!!"

So fifteen minutes later, she came in with a small pit bull that had apparently recently had puppies.

The poor girl was scared.  Pam put her upstairs in our bedroom and shut the door to keep our other three dogs from overwhelming her.  After an hour or so, Pam got her out.  She had her head down and her tail tucked between her legs as she was inspected by our dogs.  Pam fed and watered her.

I posted a "found dog" post on Facebook, which has been shared by our friends many times over, but no luck yet finding the owner, whom I'm guessing doesn't want her anyway.  Bill's house, is very remote, so the chance of her wandering there on her own is pretty slim.

The Mayfield dog warden thought she may have a lead on the owner, but so far no call.  The Bleecker dog warden doesn't have any report of a missing pit bull.  So if we don't find the owner soon, it looks like Lilly (she was found on Lilly Lake Road) will be traveling to Florida.

Thankfully, she's a very sweet dog.  Very affectionate and full of kisses just like our pit bulls.  Sadly though, her toenails are painted purple.   Some little girl somewhere is probably crying her eyes out.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

First Snow

Man, I've got to button up this pump house and we need to get on the road to Florida!  It snowed on and off all day today.

But I still managed to get most of a second wall done.  Tomorrow another.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Closing in on the Pump House...

Closing in.  Closing.  See what I did there?  HAHAHAHAHAHA!

One wall almost done, three + more to go.  But it is going to be COLD here for the next few days!  Highs in the low 40s.  I'll bundle up and do the best I can.  I need to get this buttoned up.

Finished the Pump house Roof Panels

It is always satisfying for me to finish a project, or even a milestone in a project.  Today, I put up the last two roof panels for the pump house.

Those of you who came here from my Driftaway blog will recognize a victory beer when you see one.

And then, being on a roll, I finished the wall studs.  All I have left is the door framing.  Easy peasy.

I still have to put the roof cap on, but I didn't have any screws for that.  Friend Bill will pick those up today for me.  Ridge cap, walls, and done for this year.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Sasquatch Stump

From Pamela:

Who can spot the differences? I left the stump where my sasquatch shares things with me..... my "dragonfly" mark on the right, my own "A" made from two red leaf stems and a small stick on the left, my dragonfly earring lying next to the "A" lying face up and flat and a cattail across the center of the stump.

 This morning it was all rearranged. Hmmm. smile emoticon I like playing stump chess with my hairy friend. I just wish I could figure out what the "A" symbol means to them.

Pamela also decided to check out a stump where an Ohio researcher left five coins on a stump deep in the woods.  This is how it was left, the "before" photo.


This is the "after" photo.

One thing we learned about Sasquatch is that they share.  If you leave it two apple halves, it will take one and leave one for you.  If it kills a squirrel, it will eat half and leave the other half by Pam's Miata.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Chinese Sasquatch?

The other day, we found this outside our Unabomber cabin's window.

Pam has found many of those, always in the general shape of the letter "A".  Not knowing what they mean, we figured it might be some kind of signature, or calling card.   So Pam decided to design her own and made a kind of dragonfly on her Sasquatch stump.  She also left some puffballs, which was a waste of time, it turned out.

Last night, she went out to check the stump.  She came running back to the cabin.  I was inside on my laptop, no doubt saving the world on Facebook, when she came running by.  I immediately sprang into action and looked to see if she was being chased by anything.  Nope.  But she came flying into the cabin....

"David!  Come and see this!!"

"OK.  Should I bring my camera?"


So I did.  What I found was this.

The sticks were rearranged into the familiar letter "A" shape.  Huh.  Me, being me, decided to peruse Al Gore's internets for some meaning.

Sasquatch are thought to have crossed the land bridge from Asia to North America many thousands of years ago, just like Native Americans, so I decided to review Chinese symbols.  I found this page -

If you look at number six, you'll see that the inverted V ahape means "man".

Scroll down to number 13.  The letter "A" shape means "big".

Huh.  See the little twig placed on the left leg of the A?  Yep.  Now scroll down to number 197.  That means "great".

You've now got it.  Great big man.  OK then.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Nailing up Nailers

I don't know if "nailers" is the right term.  We put up the horizontal boards that the metal roof will be screwed onto, so I guess maybe they're "screwers".

My hammering arm gave out so Pamela took over.  And a fine job she did.

Andy pointed his horns at Ruby, which she does not like.

The last nailer!

Maybe tomorrow, the roof!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fall Foliage At Its Peak

Our fall foliage always peaks around Columbus Day.  Maybe a tad sooner up here on Bleecker Mountain.  But it is indeed finally colorful, and our leaves are falling like snowflakes.

It is sad that the foliage doesn't last longer, but then maybe we wouldn't appreciate it as much.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Autumn in Bleecker

I got some of the rafters up on the pump house before my right arm gave out.  Hey, it's progress!

Our friend and neighbor Phil stopped by with apples for both Pamela and the goats.  These may have been for the goats, but Ruby the Pitbull ate a half a dozen.  Edible toys!

Fall is about at its peak here.  Sadly, maybe because of the drought, the colors are not as vibrant as usual.  

It was 55 degrees and cool sitting in the shade, but the sun was wonderful

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to finish the rafters and nailers, and then comes the roof.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bleecker Mountain Swimming Pool

Heavy rain was forecast.  Water and insulation don't mix, so I covered the pump house floor with the best tarp I had, the only one without holes. Today, this is what I found.  A swimming pool.

OK, maybe a wading pool would be a better term.  Or foot bath.  But I needed to get the water off of there without slopping it onto the insulation underneath.  How?  See the rope laying in there?  I put it there.  Capillary action.  Capillary action acts something like a siphon, and the water will travel down the rope and onto the ground.

Drip... drip... drip.