I’m listening to my room mate belt out “. . . if you need me to be with you, I will follow. . .” It’s another Gilmore Girls marathon at the Paris House in Nowhere, MN. This blog is missing a big section of my life, you’ll have to go to Trail Journals if you really want to know details. Otherwise I’ll give a summary at some point.
I had a great week this week. Since I got back home I’ve been trying to get into a routine that I can keep up for the winter. I need to be efficient, there’s things to do! One of the first things I got to do was help Dad saw some logs. He’s got a nifty portable sawmill from New Zealand. I was able to make some money, be out in the fresh country air and feel all tough piling lumber. Bethany and I had talked about getting into the sawmill business since it’s all there and available. I hadn’t really thought about what was all involved. Dad laughed at me when he heard the idea and that’s how I got invited out to help. He’s right.
With the leaves off the trees I can look across the fields and see cars driving down the road a mile away. I know it’s a mile because that’s how the roads are laid out. It was a lot different to be back from North Carolina. Have you ever looked at a map of Pennsylvania? The roads look like a river system. There’s a ridge that goes through the state that determines where the roads are able to be built. We don’t have the land dictating how we develop it around here. It’s just flat. I never really thought much about it till I spent so much time in North Carolina. Now it makes me smile when I can see oncoming cars miles away.
My brother is going into training to be a Kirby Salesman. I don’t know how I feel about that. I think it’s funny but then again, he’s my brother. Now I have to say that out loud when someone asks what he does. I hope he has fun. I think if he could find something he really believed in he would be a great salesman.
In between jobs Ben has been out helping Dad on the boat as well. That’s another way I have been making money. Dad has/had this rotten boat in the yard. It had to be stripped down. That meant lots of unscrewing. I had no idea how many screws go into a boat. We pulled the top off of the bottom, put the bottom in the garage and now Ben and Dad are building an extension onto the garage to enclose the boat. It was so fun to be hanging out with both of them. I wish we could all just work together. All the time.
On Sunday Dad bribed his kids to come out and help bring in the firewood for the winter. Dad heats with wood, stores it in an old corn crib and when winter comes around he gets it all thrown down into the basement. He has a good system for it. He puts up some plywood to protect the siding on the house and from there it’s a game of skill to throw a log sideways so that it shoots through the little basement window. Bethany and Charity even came out. Casey drove the skid loader and it was a beautiful day. Cold but sunny. We were all paid with a complete Turkey dinner. The works, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, even pumpkin pie. That reminds me, I should make something for Thanksgiving Up North.
It’s down to that time of year where we are seeing our last warm days. You never know when this is going to be the last day above freezing. Dad has all sorts of projects that he hoped to have done before the cold weather set in. They all involve epoxy and that needs 40 degrees to work. So one day I was called up to come help finish putting in the last bungs around the cabin on the boat. I forgot what sort of wood it is but Dad has some really high quality stuff that he has boarded the wheel house and cabin with. That’s a bunch more screws and each screw hole gets a little wooden bung glued into it to fill it and cover up the screw head. It’s slow monkey work but Ben was out there and we spent till 7:00 gluing and pounding in those little bungs. The warm weather held. Now Dad can go along and sand down the cabin.
Bethany is still job hunting. While I was down in North Carolina visiting Jason she called to tell me the business she was working for went under. It was pretty sudden. She’s been on interviews, trying to decide what she wants to work toward and I’ve enjoyed all our time together to hang out. Last week we attacked the basement. This house is just full of stuff. Most of it left over from her Grandmother. She has wanted a craft room and she has plenty of room downstairs if you were to just congregate the junk. We got rid of so much STUFF. The best part is that Mom and Dad got a bunch of things that they are excited about, a Nordic Track, a fireplace cleaning set, and a microwave, and I now have a work space. We finished late on a Friday night about midnight. We were in a frenzy. All crafting supplies were pooled from all the corners of the house. I brought my kitchen table from home and set up all my art books and travel journals. Bethany has these old wooden crates and she let me use some to form book shelves. I love it, I just love it. I’ve never had my own work space. I’ve never have a spot that I could just leave my art work. I haven’t even had a shelf to hold all my journals. It’s me. I’m all right there in that one little spot. My stuff is out of boxes and in view. There’s room for my laptop and I’ve begun writing out my travel stories. Did I tell you that I got and external hard drive? I suppose that’s no big deal to most everyone else but for me it means that I have now sorted my travel pictures and I have all my travel pictures in one place.
Bethany and I were also talking about the coming winter. Last winter she had an energy audit and learned that there was basically no insulation in the attic. She was highly advised to have some put in. That’s as far as it went. How hard is it to blow in insulation anyway? And who was ever going to get around to doing it for her? The price of gas is supposed to go up, she’s been re-evaluating how she spends money and well, why not now? This last Wednesday I got to looking at the schedule and realized that Friday was probably about our last chance. I dragged Dad in for advice, he let me use the Jimmy to pick up the trailer and whaddya know. Yesterday Bethany and I blew insulation into her attic. What a day. I was dead tired from a late night and an early morning. We had to stop so she could go to a job interview and it was at that time that I noticed how nice the weather was. I checked the temperature and it was 42. The magic 40 degrees. I still hadn’t finished her mural on the garage door. It was close but there was still one small detail that annoyed her. Instead of taking a break I hauled out paints and within an hour I had a signed piece of art in Bethany’s driveway. Very nice.
So, I’ve started my book, increased and decreased my bank account, experienced insulating an attic, practiced backing up a trailer, have gotten pretty good at using a drill, finished a mural for my room mate, taken my dose of green food nearly every day, made friendship bread, I still feel skinny, and Charity and I have started watching the Firefly series. They played that in Antarctica and I never got to watch it.
It has snowed a couple times already but nothing has stayed. One day the flakes were like snow packed together in the shape of a snowflake. They looked like sprinkles you might put on a cake, totally artificial.
Oh, another weird thing, I was browsing craigslist when I found a guy looking to move to Alaska to build a cabin. I have a new pen pal now. Turns out he’s not up for cold weather but he’s a writer from NYC. Almost the day after meeting him I got another e-mail from another writer. It turns out that this writer found my blog. He’s also a traveling artist who has been to all 7 continents. He just published a book as well. I, of course, had to order it. It should be here any day.
Well, that’s about it. Except maybe the shopping spree I went on at Saver’s 50% off sale. I got red pants. I got a bunch of other stuff too. I guess I’m just saying that I feel all spiffy in my new stuff and I just want to go out. I guess it’s time to give Kimmy a call.