Monday, November 16, 2009


At the top of this first rise, about eighty feet past St. Francis is the property line and the Haywood County line. From there you descend into the Kingdom of Madison. Sometimes I think the water over there must be a bit off. It is a land filled with characters.

Through the trees, the mountain on the far horizon is Sandy Mush Bald. It is another 1000 feet higher in elevation than this low spot on a North Carolina mountain top. I am fairly certain that ridge forms the Buncombe County line. I guess I live in the tri-county region.

After Saturday's hubbub of activity, Sunday was a very quiet and peaceful day. Sundays are nice. It is illegal to hunt on Sunday.

Just over that line is an old road that runs parallel to the county line and for a mile or two into the woods. It is no longer drivable, but it is used by hunters who actually get out of their trucks and walk into the woods. These hunters don't have hounds.

The activity resumed today. Something else with orange highlighting was going on over there again today as well.

Good progress has been made on covering the sewer line insulation box. One end piece and the bottoms will complete the job. Then I will be left with all kinds of intricate borders needing trim. I could be lazy and leave all the box edges and corners untrimmed. They have fit together nicely with next to no gaps. But I will not have mices in my house. Every conceivable entry point no matter how tiny the sliver will be sealed. There is still a mouse up in there now.

The piece that went around the sewer line as it exits the cozy cabin fit in nice and snug. I even primed it before screwing it in place. It looks good, but there is a very generous, mousezilla sized hole on the left side of the sewer pipe where it rests on top of the cement foundation column. Some thinking will be needed to come up with the best solution for this hard to reach grand entry for mice.

This is one very busy intersection beneath the cozy cabin. With everything going on in this space you wouldn't think one thing would have stood out and been bugging me for months.

Well I couldn't stand it anymore and removed the offending element. Back in the post Hurricanes and Beadboard is a shot of the diagonal brace between the two posts of the kitchen stoop that had been making me crazy. Instead, the space between the posts will now have horizontal boards forming a lattice of sorts. I started with one 2 x 6 at the top and bottom. Next will be two each 2 x 4's at top and bottom and the center will be five 2 x 2's. I hope that turns out nice. If not I'll just rearrange the pattern.

The railings and banister for the long stairs still have to be put up and that will be the end of the busy intersection.

Speaking of busy. Bulbarella complained that something was digging around in her newly planted stoloniferous tulips and all along the fence and property line. Someone needed to go up there and figure out what was going on up there. That is when I noticed the bright orange ribbons of plastic tape tied to the fence about every forty feet. Someone has been up there surveying and good lord it looks like a huge herd of deer has been camped out in the ridge top garden for a couple of days.

We do not normally have deer issues. There certainly isn't much left for them to eat, but in the hurricane wet ground their sharp pointy hooves were churning up the ground big time. I even found places where it looked like they had laid down to sleep and left body imprints in what is left of the garden.

Poor deer. On one side are hunters. On the other side is a house full of people. I wonder is this the perfect spot for them? They are too close to a house to be shot at and just out of sight of the house. No wonder Crawford has been so freaked out and jumpy the last few days. I've had to push him outside with my foot. There has been a major commotion going on at the border.

This afternoon I heard a clanging and pounding sound. I had seen two trucks parked at the roadside pullout when I pulled in. I went to investigate and found the surveyors next door. Hi there, we really want to know why this land is being surveyed. Is it going to be sold?

I have walked back there often enough to know the only good place to park a house is right at the top of the hill just on the other side of the fence. Below the old road it gets mega steep.

The surveyor man said no it was not going to be sold. The owners had passed away and the children would be keeping it. They just needed it to be surveyed to know what they had, all 200 acres of it.

Bulbarella and the Building Contractor will be happy to hear that their only new neighbor is still going to be just me when I finally move out of the luxury basement accommodations of the resident gardeners house.


Anonymous said...

Whew! That's always a scary possibility for any empty land these days. Glad to hear this was just a transfer survey, but one is never really safe.
My inadequate right brain has long ago lost track of your porch challenges, but I know it will look great whatever you choose to do! You are coming ever closer to completion!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

My, it has been quite lively up on the mountain lately. Your project is coming along quite good. Thats what we like to see...progress. Poor Crawford. He might think he will be Next. A scary time of year when the orange starts roaming the hills.

sweet bay said...

How nice that the kids are going to keep the land.

St. Francis has a lovely view. We have a lot of deer on our land and I often find hollowed out places in the grass where they sleep.

phrago said...

Hey Chris, One thing I have learned over the years is that spray foam (out of a can) works wonders keeping mice and other vermin out of the house. It seals beautifully and the mice will never chew it.You can just cut the excess off with a knife, very easily. Cheap too...
Good luck, Patrick

Lola said...

Hi Christopher,
I agree with Phrago about the expandable foam. My youngest used it when he redid my kitchen. It does work. Just wondered if it would work in the cold temps you have there!!!
Hunters, surveyors, deer---what else is going to break the most lovely soundless atmosphere {except for the sounds of nature}.
No wonder Crawford was so skittish. I would be "gun shy" too.
I think your idea of the border will work just fine.

Siria said...

We used that expandable foam too. So far so mice! Glad to hear no neighbors moving in next door.

fairegarden said...

Oh my, that is a lot to digest today, Christopher! Thank goodness for one day with no hunters. While that spot would make for a terrific view just on the other side of the fence, it is awful close to your parent's house. Good to know they will remain free of neighbors behind them for a while loner anyway. That is some prime real estate and will probably be sold at some time. Good luck keeping those mice out, they will try hard to get in for sure. Your trellis sounds very attractive, I like the size differences. I imagine you will get quite artistic with it at some point. :-)

Christopher C. NC said...

Bev, while I was looking at property/deed maps online to do a bit of snooping, I discovered there is in essence a subdivision of lots two large properties north of here. Now of course I want to go drive up that road and see if any houses are actually there. Or I could walk there along the ridge line after hunting season ends. I'm working on the trim for the beadboard at the moment. That little detail will make it look nicer I think.

Lisa it sure has been busy up here of late. I am glad Crawford is so scared. Collar on the other hand doesn't seem to notice or is just more savvy about staying away from things.

Sweetbay I was sure glad to hear that from the surveyors. My other neighbor across the street owns close to 1000 acres up here on quite a few different parcels. He's rich, rich, rich. He has indicated he wants to preserve the land.

Hi Patrick. Spray foam insulation is a for sure barrier to be used. I was wanting to then cover it with another layer of something so it would not be exposed to view when people crawl under the cabin. Heh.

Lola the quiet days are that much more appreciated after all the commotion. Spray foam it is.

Siria I know the folks are happy to hear that as a fact. I hope between the foam and silicone caulk I can keep those varmints out. I was thinking to just foam it now before I get the last pieces of beadboard on the bottom of the sewer box. I know right now they can come and go as they please. I must put a stop to it now.

Frances I looked at the survey pins and asked the guy. He said once his boss agrees, that is the line. In places our fence is eight feet back from the line. I can just see the resident gardeners moving the fence to get that extra bit of room to plant and yes a nice bench up there and some undercover tree chopping would open another fabulous view. I think the trellis idea on the two posts will be much better than a single ugly diagonal cross beam. Perhaps a good spot for one of them big flowered Clematis.