We made decent progress this week by getting the second
floor walls up, windows in and started framing the roof. I have to admit to having an irrational fear of heights so I was very uncomfortable working hanging off the side of the building by one hand while nailing on plywood. There are still areas that need to be nailed and screwed down but that will be done from an extension ladder. Randy had other pursuits so we wrapped up Wednesday then headed back to town. I spent Thursday sleeping, crawling through my storage and buying material. Friday morning I headed back out with a truck load of supplies and 60 pounds of ice to spend several days.
The first order of business was to try to introduce some order into the chaos which results from two very exhausted people just tossing stuff at the end of the day. Heh, what a dreamer. By dark I had one side of the shack cleared out with the first coat of paint mostly. By then it was to late and to dark to cook so my Friday rations consisted of two Nutty Buddy bars washed down with two large vodkas. The white paint did wonders for the light level but it was still rather dark for my taste.
Part of the darkness came from my kerosene lamp which puts out a lot of light. When it’s working. I had it cranked up and was enjoying it for both the light and heat when it went TINK! What the hell? I thought. Then it started putting out clouds of thick black smoke. A close look revealed that a tear drop shaped piece of glass had just decided to fall out of the glass chimney thing so it was burning like mad. I blew it out while cussing the fact that I didn’t have a replacement.
Resigned to the fact that I was going to have a dark corner I set up my propane heater. No sir, no more Ziggster pupcicles tonight! Then I realized I had a 20 pound bottle of propane inside a wooden shack with candles and a Coleman lantern burning. So I cranked the heat all the way up, started shedding clothes and stared at it for two hours until I began sweating. I figured I had the shack pretty well sealed so it should hold the heat for a few hours especially with the candles and lantern. I woke up about 3 am and it was cold as in every joint was screaming cold. So back in came the heater and I stared at it until about 4 at which time it went back out and I laid on another sleeping bag. I woke up about 7 when I noticed the sun coming through the window had heated my toes enough that I was getting some feeling back in them.
After I put on a pot of coffee I looked around and realized I could see daylight coming in from every direction and angle. So much for the sealing I did the day before. I set about
sealing out daylight with a passion and painting like mad. When I was done I decided that my kitchen needed some work and set about remodeling it.
The next day was spent mowing my front yard. I use a giant sized Stihl brush cutter and have to stop frequently to clear the brush when mowing. After a few hours I was worn out but much happier with the view from my front porch. It gets pretty old sitting there staring at the same old brush about 15 feet away which never seems to do anything interesting. Now I can stare at brush as far as 200 feet away which never seems to do anything interesting. Well, my front yard goes all the way to the trees in the back of the pic so something interesting is bound to surface. Anyway, I was tired and hungry since I had forgot to eat the day before. (is vodka eating?)
So I set up the gas grill and set the wood chips to soaking. I had visions of a slow grilled T bone, baked potato and corn on the cob. So of course the gas hose for the grill had a leak in it. Cooking a steak on a griddle on a Coleman stove should be a felony but as hungry as I was it was delicious.
Then it was time to get ready for dark and the sub zero arctic conditions which I knew were fast approaching. I had knocked over the gas lantern the night before and needed to replace the wicks which was an easy task. Then I lit it. Holy crap it turned into a ball of flame. There were flames coming from every joint in it which gave me visions of an explosion turning me and the Zigster into crispy critters. So I threw it onto my freshly manicured front yard. It went out. Thinking it was a trap I shut the boy up inside and stared at it for about an hour. Finally I went over and poked it with a stick. Dead. So I stared at it some more then poked it some more. Dead. I’m just not having much luck with flaming devices designed to give off massive quantities of light.
Compared to my first trial run this wasn’t near as miserable. I’ll dig the solar panel, deep cycle battery and electronics out of storage to solve the lighting problem. A new hose will fix the gas grill. I have a wood burning stove so I just need to put in a chimney for heat with the added benefit of some cooking capability. I had an air pump which worked well on the air mattress but I still had to deal with rolling out of it onto the floor then standing up. Some 5 gallon buckets and a piece of plywood will handle that. I easily have enough buckets full of beans, rice, flour, etc. to make a platform.
I’m hoping to get the shack dried in this week then want to try a full week out there. At that point keeping food cold and mixing vodka will become the problem. Well, as they say, be careful what you wish for, you just may get it. I got it.
And I’m loving every minute.
“I’m not going to tell you again, STEP AWAY FROM THE TRUCK!“