Catching Up

Winter wonderland
December 2021 snows turned River Song into a winter wonderland.

April 2022

My mostly finished shed.
The shed. Mostly finished; it just needs plexiglass windows along the top, but for now, the plastic works fine.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and a lot has happened in my life. Losing Pepper Dog Kitty at the end of 2020 was really hard on me, and that winter was really hard on my cabin. Mice moved in at the beginning of January. I spent three months battling the little pests until the weather warmed up enough that they moved out and left me alone. Moreover, condensation from the metal roof caused moisture issues, including mold. Between the mice and the mold, the cabin was uninhabitable for three months. I continued to head out there every weekend, but just to clean and sanitize before exploring the surrounding area on foot.

Moreover, the price of building materials insanely skyrocketed, and I refused to play that game. I’m not going to pay $60 for a sheet of OSB. I’m not even going to pay $30 if I don’t have to. When I began building my cabin, OSB was only $10 a sheet. I don’t need anything built badly enough to pay those prices. This is, after all, just a recreational cabin. It’s not a house. So, for the most part, I stopped. However, I did mostly finish my shed. Fortunately, I was able to do that while OSB was “only” $25 a sheet. The only thing I have left to do is add plexiglass along the top to create a transom window, letting in light. But, for now, the clear plastic I stapled over the opening works great, so I’m in no hurry.

Covered front deck
The front deck is now covered, protecting the front door.

In addition, I added a roof over my front deck. I had planned to leave it without a roof, being concerned about the roof affecting the view. But, the issue with rainwater splashing under the front door was too much. So, on a very cold, windy, rainy Christmas Day, I set to work. I’d already cut the materials and painted the posts and rafters, so it took only about two hours to assemble. In the end, I’m really happy I did it. It doesn’t affect my view at all, and it provides great protection during the rainy season.

When monsoon season ended and the mice moved out, it occurred to me if I could somehow bring Internet to my cabin, I could telecommute just as easily from there as I could from my travel trailer in the city. Bringing in Internet is not as easy as it sounds in a cell phone dead zone without electricity. But, I did it!

The battery system that powers the new satellite dish, providing on-demand Internet and cell phone service.

And…in August, I hired a professional roofer to completely replace my roof. Yep, we ripped her down to the studs and put in a completely new roof. I was pretty discouraged after not being able to use my cabin for three months because of the condensation. I considered a do-over, tearing it down and redesigning it. Learning from all my mistakes and the knowledge I’d gained during my first attempt, I could rebuild it. And do it right the second time. However, I talked to two engineers and two professional contractors and all four agreed–my cabin is well built. It was worth spending the money to fix the issues. A do-over was completely unnecessary. Woohoo!

Other than that, I mostly spent the summer floating my river on a giant chocolate donut, exploring the hills, and spending a couple days a week working with my feet up on the new front deck rail. You can’t ask for a better office than that!

As we moved into fall, I went over the cabin, plugging up any holes and openings big enough for mice and finished framing in the two doors. No more mice issues! And, it cut down on drafts considerably.

And….the zip line’s gone! My sawzall made quick work of that. I cut it on the road side, dropped it into the river, and then for now, coiled it up on the far bank. It can stay there for now. No rush!

So, stay tuned! I will post more about bringing off-grid power and Internet to my cabin, adding the front deck roof, and replacing the roof shortly. In addition, I now have steps down to the river! After months of research, planning, and testing, I finally settled on the most labor-free method possible. More coming soon!