Shangri La

Shangri La

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On insulation and bugs

LSW here and we’re back from a gorgeous weekend in the Green Mountain State. But first, I need to recap our visit a couple of weeks ago. We’re slowly getting brave enough to tell people to come visit us. There’s not enough room to have overnight guests yet, but my brother and his wife came up for the weekend and stayed at the Latchis in Brattleboro. We went to the Vermont Country Store (where they were having a candy contest—fun!). We bought a dragon bell for the cabin and that night we had our first campfire on the front lawn. We’re getting there, slowly but surely.

You rang?
This past weekend was an unexpected trip. We originally had plans with friends at home to do some crazy mountain tubing hijinx, but the vertigo got the better of me and we had to cancel. So up to Vermont we went.
On the way up, we stopped at the Putney Co-Op to buy a “few” things to add to all of the CSA vegetables we brought up with us. I suggested we go to the grocery store, but the Vermonster is all about supporting the local scene. We did our part by dropping $75 there. Ah well, we’re healthier for it.

Setting up the cabin has gotten to be a much quicker, easier routine now that we’ve done it a few times. I set up the “kitchen” and the Vermonster sets up the cots and sleeping bags. I made a big salad for dinner and we popped open a bottle of wine and played Life on the front porch with The Boy. We forgot firewood for the firepit, so we went inside and watched a couple of episodes of The Simpsons before calling it a night.
This time, The Vermonster brought along his favorite pillow and, like the road less traveled, it made all the difference. He had a good night’s sleep.

Because the cabin is situated on the southwestern side of the mountain, we don’t see the sun until about 7:30 in the morning. This is distressing to the Vermonster, but makes me very happy. The boys were up and out by 8:30 and went to the lumber yard where they ordered $1700 worth of sheetrock, insulation and tongue-and-groove beaded pine ceilings. The Boy got a free American flag out of the deal, so nobody can say we didn’t get a bargain.
Apparently they then stopped for some Mocha Joe’s coffee and homemade donuts (none of which made it back to me). It’s the price you pay for sleeping late, I suppose.
Insulated gable #1

[Vermonster here: For $1,700, we got 2,000 linear feet of 6” beadboard pine ceilings, 300 square feed of R38 insulation and 4 sheets of 3/8” wall board. The insulation will complete the ceilings, the wallboard will complete the gable walls in the lofts, and the ceiling material will be used in the kitchen, bath, living room, lofts and cathedral. This work will be the focus of an upcoming weekend with my father and sister – stay tuned. I have no excuse for the missing donut and coffee.]
Insulated gable #2

The Vermonster finished putting the insulation on the gabled walls in the lofts, while The Boy and I cleaned the porch to prep it for staining. The sun was strong, so it didn’t take too long to dry, but The Boy had other ideas and continued to spray it down. We gave up on the idea of staining the deck and washed my car instead.
Child labor at its finest

We quit work around noon to head up to the Quechee Balloon Festival. We went last year and loved it, so we were excited to go again. This time, we got off in Springfield to see if there were any stores there for future reference (if, for instance, we ever forget pillows and underwear again), but we got diverted because of a parade, so we still don’t know what’s there. The town of Woodstock was getting ready for its own parade, otherwise we would’ve stopped there. Apparently it was National Parade Day and we forgot to build a float. Woodstock looked very cute with little shops and cafes; we’ll have to go back.  

This year, the Balloon Festival switched locations, due to damage incurred by Hurricane Irene. It was a beautiful day. The sun was bright and the blue sky was full of big puffy clouds. The Boy spent a good part of the day on various bouncy death traps that no doubt harbored all sorts of nasty germs. We took a walk through a nature preserve, then decided it was time for an early dinner. Choices included fried this, fried that, fried this and that and crepes. The one major problem with the festival is that you can only have beer or wine inside the beer tent. When happy hour hit, we were wishing we packed a flask.

The balloons were supposed to take off at 6. We placed our chairs on the field around 5, at which point some little old lady came and stood right behind our chairs and started talking on her cell phone. She had an entire field in which she could’ve stood. Why was she standing right behind us?  Exasperated, the Vermonster and The Boy went to explore. The old lady finally left, only to be replaced a few minutes later with another old lady, this one eating popcorn. Right behind my seat. I half expect to see us on a hidden camera show.
The winds were picking up and the launch kept getting postponed. Finally at 7 we decided to pack it up. We went to the balloon festival and didn’t see any balloons. Wah, wah, wah.
Sunburned and exhausted, we drove the hour home, during which The Boy fell asleep. When we pulled into the driveway, his eyes popped open and he pointed to sky. “I saw it take off!” he shouted.

We got him into his pajamas and he settled into bed to read my copy of “123 Magic,” a book on disciplining your children. (I don’t know if he retained any of it or not.) Meanwhile, we sat on the porch with our long-awaited drinks and listened to the night sounds. Frogs, crickets, bats, something rustling in the woods. We’re still not used to this country living.

[Vermonster: By ‘we’, the LSW must mean her and The Boy. I feel right at home in the country. There was enough wildlife noise that night that I was put in mind of the jungle, however…]

Sunday, we slept late again. We cleaned up the cabin and then headed to Saxton’s River for breakfast. It was packed… what gives? We realized it was Father’s Day. (Henri had given Brian his gift on Friday… a decoupaged rock that said, “My dad rocks.”) It was crazy busy but our breakfasts were delicious (even if they did forget the eggs in my egg skillet). The best part of the morning was when The Vermonster inadvertendly gave the waitress a 60% tip. Today’s good deed.
We headed back to the cabin to finish packing and then we stained the deck before leaving. It wasn’t the most productive weekend we’ve had, but it was relaxing and lovely. The weekend did, however, leave us with some unanswered questions, such as:
1) What are the tiny little bugs flying into the shingles and are they doing damage?
2) Why is the back door leaking and why do we have to spend $250 to fix it even though it’s only been in for a year?
3) What are the little worms (larvae?) we keep finding in the bath tub every morning and where are they coming from? Stay tuned as we look for answers to these, and other questions.  

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