Rocks & glass

Still winterizing. This weekend, we actually got a bit more done than we planned. K continued the herculean task of digging drainage and we (mostly he) carried a little over a yard of gravel up a flight of stairs, around the house, through the rocks, and to the far side. He previously dug out the entire area outside the back door, and today he laid perforated pipe and began filling around it with gravel. He thinks we hauled a hundred or so (heavy) buckets. It is looking fantastic!

I cleaned and stained all of the water table trim boards/sills. Then pulled apart one bathroom window and the two remaining study windows – neither jamb had been painted (only primed), and the bathroom window sashes are just primer too. Luckily, it was amazing paint drying weather. We got it all back together before dark – and the properly painted windows make a huge difference. Perhaps next weekend we can finish these projects? Could the list be getting shorter?

Cave of wonders

K has spent a good bit of several fairly hot days shoveling heavy rocks and soil around to insulate our waste pipe, which some previous owner managed to squeeze in a big granite cave, though partly aboveground. The cave now has been dug out, insulated with foam, landscape fabric, gravel, and then covered with two yards of loam. It’s no small feat to work all hunched over in a cave, doing heavy, dirty work, all for the sake of ensuring that your poop won’t freeze over the winter. The least I could do was scavenge some creeping phlox and sedum from the roadside ditch and some clearance Joe Pye weed to make it look more garden-y and manage water better.

We are getting closer to being prepared for cold weather.

Office space

Now that we are back to our day jobs, I needed a better office setup in the ol’ cabin. I picked up this old vintage desk at an antiques shop last year, and have been just waiting to see it in place. We had measured my office wall prior to making a big $60 desk purchase, and it was meant to be – perfect fit. Today I used a trick we learned in our vintage trailer re-do – Gel-Gloss to clean plastic/laminate surfaces – and shined up the desktop so it looks like 1964 again (the desk is stamped underneath with its date). It’s looking pretty good for 51 years old!


Gel-Gloss is stuff that you can use to shine up fiberglass, laminate, etc. It essentially buffs out the plastic a bit. If you are feeling brave, and have done a test spot – you can apply it with a green Scotch-Brite rather than a rag to do a more aggressive polishing, then just buff, and voila! Wear gloves and glasses, of course.

The two side units are freestanding – with most excellent adjustable steel feet – and the top just sits on top. It was a cinch to store – then move in. It also goes beautifully with our old Jens Risom chairs. The chairs had aqua-colored covers over the original upholstery in our old house, but here the original upholstery is the absolute perfect color, so I removed my covers and will clean the upholstery next time I have some elbow grease available. All the colors linked nicely to the vintage curtain fabric I’ve been hanging on to for a couple of years – my original inspiration fabric for the cabin – so we sewed them up and hung them in the office. Desk surfing is a little nicer now.



Weekend job

This is the time of year that we are crazy-busy in our day jobs (well, it will be that time until next summer, really…), so we revert to being weekend warriors on house projects. This weekend we really got a lot done – maybe more than we expected?

K dug out a giant tunnel under an even bigger rock, and began sealing, insulating, and burying our waste pipe. We do NOT want any poopsicles in that pipe this winter. He’s almost ready for a big load of loam to finish filling that in. Soon. (I didn’t take photos yet – but it is mighty impressive!)

We also went for a lovely hike or two (or three) and swim, and I worked on clearing out a small connector trail we’ve been using. It’s nearly trip-hazard free, and now has a planting of blackberries which might be tasty next year. It was a fall clearance plant, so it’s a bit beat-up looking, but I have faith in the berries.


We began planning for that funny little season called winter by shopping around for pellet stoves, and laying out its location in the house. We think this will work well!


And, I continued the acrobatic show known as “painting from rocks and ladders” (sometimes, ladders on rocks). We got almost all of the upper trim finished. A bit more over the next couple of weeks, then down to the sill area, which will be dirtier working on the ground but a bit less like hot yoga with flying insects and spiders harrassing me.