Shangri La

Shangri La

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Solo Stay

The knee walls - much scaled back from the original idea - almost done...
Now that most of the heavy construction is done - and the cabin season is almost over - it was time to take the truck up to clear out the scraps and cart home the tools. There is a growing list of 'primary house' work that needs doing but has been neglected because the tools are a few hours north.

The truck doesn't fit 3, however, and the LSW has developed the alarming habit of falling asleep at the wheel when she drives solo for any length of time, so the solution was for me to do an overnight trip after work coupled with a final day working the 'punch list'.

As we're going up one more weekend later this month, my original goal was to finish the drywall work so we could finish priming next time. Looking at the remaining 2x4s and bead board pine scraps, however, I opted to finish the knee walls in the lofts.

The original idea for the knee walls was essentially custom cabinetry for storing clothes. Over time, this scaled back to simply running the bead board ceilings to the floor, and evolved to foot-high walls faced with bead board to both make cleaning easier and use up the bead board scraps.

I figured I could knock these off in the morning and spend a few hours in the afternoon with the drywall, but - as always - it took longer than expected. In the end, I finished them and most of the trim around the bathroom ceilings before packing up all of the tools, paints, stains, and scraps, draining the plumbing (just in case - we had sub-freezing temps one night last week) and giving the place a good cleaning.

1x4 pine trim to finish the ceilings in the bath.
This is the first time I was in the cabin alone for the evening, and it felt odd. I'm basically a homebody so being alone was a little unnerving, but a call to the LSW and a good book got me through. I woke up at 7, got up to turn up the heat, and then climbed back into the sleeping bag to lay around for about an hour thinking about the work. This is one of the best things about life in Shangri-La - wake up whenever and then get up when you feel like it. No clocks, and nothing that has to be done. Suddenly I'm really looking forward to retirement

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Odds and Ends

The knee wall framing is finally in place. In the back loft, anyway...

The work has been minor since the ceilings for two reasons: We spent the 2012 cabin budget on them, and we're too busy enjoying the place.

The LSW is right - Vermont is a epicurean paradise. Food gathered at the Brattleboro Co-op is usually supplemented by stops at farm stands, resulting in our going from mostly eating out to mostly eating in. Amazing what you can do with a grill, toaster over, hot plate and dorm fridge.

Uh...amazing what the LSW can do, that is - I still mostly don't cook.

Recent trips have mostly involved meeting the neighbors, geocaching and attending local festivals. The night routine tends to begin with cheese, pepperoni, crackers and drinks and proceeds to sitting around a campfire until bed time. Nice. Really nice.

On the work front, though, we have managed to make a small dent in the punch list despite the lallygagging:
  • The bath - and about 20% of the remaining walls - has been primed. The bath has also been painted.
  • The Vanity is installed. We finally have a working sink! Unfortunately, I've lost the thing on the faucet that closes the drain, so we have to reach into the vanity and close it manually. Eventually I'll get around to ordering a replacement part.
  • The knee walls on the back loft are completed.
  • The fire alarm has been installed. Improperly, it turns out. According to the instructions, it was supposed to be at least 6" down from the peak, something I didn't know when we installed the box and put up the ceilings.
  • The 3-way switches for the track lighting has been hooked up. While doing it, I found that I only needed 3-lead wire between the two switches, as power comes into one and both track lights hook to the other. I made the mistake of running 25 feet of 3-lead wire to both track lights instead of using the 2-lead wire I already had - a $30 mistake.
  • I used scrap EWP ship lap to cover the Tyvek under the porch roof. We'll do the remainder of the underside in T&G bead board pine next spring. We've got to get something up and paint it blue because the hornets love the underside of the roof.
  • The remainder of the tile backer board for the entryway is now installed, as is the marble threshold for the bathroom.
Front wall primed. Side wall, not so much.
 I'm planning a solo trip soon to replace the basement door with something that seals better (in what I'm sure is a futile attempt to keep the mice out), finish what little remains of the drywall mudding, and clear out the material scraps. That will be followed by another weekend trip with the LSW and the Boy in which we plan to complete the priming and close the place up for the winter.

Looking around, I believe that next year we'll be able to finish the place and start working on our long neglected primary home. Unless we decide we need to immediately turn to the guest cottage that will allow us to share it with friends...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All play and no work

LSW here. Oh, we've been terrible about posting. The good news is, though, that we've been up to Shangri-La pretty much every other week since August. The bad news is, we haven't gotten much done. I'll take the blame for that. It's hard to be a slave driver when it's just so darn beautiful. I'll let the Vermonster fill you in on the building details, while I tend to the other stuff. Like the food, for instance. I'm pretty sure I've said it before: Vermont is a food lovers' mecca. We always stop at the Brattleboro Co-op on the way to the cabin to stock up on provisions. Going in there is kind of like going to Target. You  know what you have to buy, but there's always something else that strikes your fancy. This time, it was Vermont-smoked pepperoni and maple-infused goat cheese. Oh man, talk about making your happy hour even happier. These nibbles were so delicious.

On Sunday, we headed to Dummerston for the annual Apple Pie Festival. Now, I'll be honest here and say that the pie isn't the best, but there's lots of it, and it's THE place to be. If you're looking for a small-town festival, this is the place to go. There's a craft fair, a tag sale (they were even selling chickens), a pancake breakfast and lots and lots of bikers.

After some breakfast pie, we headed down the street to Scott Farm, which was amazing.

They were giving a talk on heirloom apples, so of course I bought a bunch and immediately came home and made a pie. The Vermonster says it's the best he's ever had. I think he's just buttering me up so I'll make more.
We had lunch at the farm, which consisted of hand-made pizzas with toppings like apples, kale, and honey mustard or maple sauce and Vermont chevre. 
In any case, while we weren't eating or visiting with the neighbors or geocaching, we were hard at work. Stay tuned for an update of our latest adventures, which include (but are not limited to) staining the porch, constructing the knee walls, putting in new light bulbs and finally hooking up the sink!