Oh my. I can hardly believe that I haven't blogged here for 6 months -- and yet the proof is in the timestamp on my last blog post (the demolished Shack). I have been camping but haven't had the gumption to write about my adventures. Let's see if can do a little catch up here.
|Country roads taking me home|
The year 2020 was a trying time for all of us. Next month will be the year anniversary that a pandemic changed everything. There is no excuse for me not keeping up here. Yet there is. I have really struggled with doing remote work/telehealth sessions. I am profoundly thankful that I have maintained employment during this time (and my heart breaks for those who haven't been able to maintain employment or their businesses). While I am thankful to be employed, I have found that working via the internet isn't my strength. And clearly, that led to a lapse in blogging. Among other things.
I hope to get back into the swing of things through sharing some of my photos from my camping trip last weekend. I spent Valentine's Day with Mother Nature and it was spectacular.
Shed Camping During an Ice Storm.
The Shack was demo'd in August and I have used the storage shed for camping in the meantime. Much to the bewilderment of some folks, I have enjoyed my shed very much. To be honest, winter camping in the shed without the woodstove has been slightly less comfortable than camping in The Shack. Regardless, I have still gone up to camp every few weeks, but I really miss that blazing wood heat. My camping trips have been over just one night during the cold trips rather than a string of consecutive days.
I use a portable Mr. Heater (propane heater) for some heat while I'm puttering around inside the shed. (Caution: when using such heaters, ventilation is a MUST in order to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning!). I also still use my wonderful sleeping bag that keeps me toasty overnight without the heater. I use my propane cooktop for cooking and for melting ice that freezes overnight. I wear layers of clothing under snowmobile pants and put sweaters on the dogs. Overall, we remain comfortable.
I left Daisy at home during this most recent trip because she is a bit of a diva - and Rat Terriers have such a thin coat of hair that it is hard for them to remain warm. But Willy loves the snow and would pout if I left him behind.
|Willy, February 2021|
I know many people are stunned that I go camping in the winter. But I feel it is much the same as camping in the summer. Maybe even more enjoyable! Food stays cold without a cooler. There are zero bugs and no risk of seeing snakes. No poison ivy. And no miserable humidity. I enjoy winter camping very much. I just have to problem-solve a bit differently.
|Drying clothes after sledding without the woodstove|
That portable Mr. Heater has turned out to be a fabulous purchase! I love that thing and highly recommend it. But it didn't perform quite as well in the extremely low temperatures (lows around 20F outside, 40 - 50F inside). If you look closely, you can see that ice formed on the propane bottle when the temps were at their coldest. The propane stopped working before the bottles were completely empty. I have saved the partial bottles for cooking use in warmer weather.
The scenes were Mother Nature's art displays at her finest. BEAUTIFUL. I walked, sat in the shed and watched through the window, went sledding in the knee-deep snow, and admired the views. I cannot describe it adequately in words. Probably not in photos either. It was one of those things that I am glad I witnessed in person.
|early morning after the storm|
|trees covered in ice|
|dormant flower garden - prayer flags and pine trees on ice|
Construction progress has been slow for a variety of reasons. Initially, I hadn't realized that perk tests expire, so I had to have it perked again. The pandemic caused delays with that (offices were closed, paperwork delayed). Construction finally began and there have been a variety of delays since. The biggest delay has been the supply chain problems related to doors and windows. It took what felt like a lifetime for the doors and windows to arrive.
My contractor called me on Feb 12 to let me know that the doors and windows had finally been delivered. We rejoiced!
I was so excited to see them that I literally hugged them.
Doors and Windows
These are the photos from my builder:
|"front" entry door|
|livingroom window and sliding door|
|bedroom sliding door and window|
The delay in the windows and doors had caused all progress to stop. Inspections have to occur after the home is closed in and before the next step of construction begins. I cannot begin to describe how thrilled I am that this step has been completed.
I was able to manage to take and upload two brief video tours of the construction during my camping trips. I am hoping to improve my videography skills so that I can continue to document progress via video. But we'll see. I have a lot to learn about video editing.
If you are interested in the brief tours, you can see those videos here:
November 25, 2020 - My Small Home Build is in Progress
Build Update Jan 23, 2021 - Plumbing is Roughed in !
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