Sunday, November 30, 2008

In Mist And Rain

The day stayed this way from beginning to end. Barely raining. Rarely not raining.

It was not enough to deter me. A little more figuring and a little more measuring got the footings for the front step stringers in the right location. The 2 x 12 lumber for the steps was placed inside to dry out and the first template for the steps was marked in red pencil.

Building stairs is rather confusing, particularly when you have never built a set of stairs before. It may be a good thing I have been forced to go so slow and think about it, before I make that first cut.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Enter The Fog

The Thanksgiving respite of pseudo-sunny days and warm, as in 55 degree weather, delicious home cooked food and good company has ended.

Enter the fog, the precursor to the next round of winter.

Stolen moments of construction are squeezed in. The back stoop has railings and fascia trim boards on the roof. How to build the steps and finish the railings for the front porch is established in my head. One of the cement block footings on a packed gravel base for the bottom of the front step stringers is in and level.

Things look to be thick, soupy and wet for the next few days, followed by more cold snow. Some more cabin construction might be squeezed in among the fog.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Walk In The Woods

With Spot.

The wind stopped howling. The snow made a weak attempt at falling, then gave up. The skies cleared again. Yesterday's rain and "warm" temperatures had melted most of the piled up snow on the sunnier slopes. There weren't any hunters parked at the pull off next door. Didn't hear any hounds. Despite the big high today of about 32 degrees, it was a good time for an afternoon stroll through the woods.

The Puttyroot Orchid, Aplectrum hyemale is one of the few firm green denizens of the forest floor after everything else has been laid to rest. My ID on this of a picture I had submitted to Dave's Garden was questioned. After the snow melted, I went back to the same patch for a better closeup to reassure the doubter.

You know your kitty has bonded with you when she follows you on a walk through the gardens and forest like a dog. My kitty likes me. She followed me all the way to my cozy cabin next door and back. This isn't unusual behaviour for cats. I have known many cats who like to go for garden walks.

A fern I have not identified also stays green through most of the winter. It gets mashed down a bit from the heavy wet leaf litter, the wind and the snow, but it stays green and gives the naked forest a hint of botanical life.

The bright orange fungus I have passed by for months suddenly becomes more interesting.

Spot waits for me.

Miscanthus turns brown in the sunny utility meadow

Tomorrow promises to be a pleasant day.

I can get a little work done on the cabin before the company arrives.

Monday, November 24, 2008

In Between Foul Weathers

Determination drives me. There is no schedule, no due by date. An amorphous 'finished by' haunts the mid future of next year. Layers of snow, cruel cold winds and temperatures down to 20 that might warm to 45 impede a continuous flow of cabin construction activities.

But the front porch has the bulk of its railings now.

Firestop caulk for electric wire holes and spray foam insulation for around the doors and windows has a temperature range for optimum use. Generally it needs to be above 40 degrees to use these products. I wait for the temperature to rise and begin the process of sealing and insulating the cracks and crevices. Every little bit that gets done makes the cozy cabin more air tight. Just maybe it feels a little warmer inside.

Next come the steps and the banisters for the front porch. Maybe even a stretch of warm sunny weather might see the porch's metal roof go on.

I have some time to kill while I wait for the daffodils to show themselves on the other side of the line in the leaves and a new round of gardening can begin.

Today a cold rain (drops on the lens) pushed by a steady wind melts a good bit of the snow before another layer is added tonight and tomorrow. The back stoop is smaller. Perhaps I can do the side railings for it in between bouts of foul weather.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Berry Forlorn

Friday, November 21, 2008

Buffalo Clyde

Am I living in the new Buffalo? I went to Gardening While Intoxicated and Art of Gardening, both in the infamous snow capital of the US and there was nary a mention of snow. Maybe they don't ever mention snow there because it is boring. It looks like they are still doing fall though and I am buried in a couple of inches of snow. Yes inches, not feet. This is still the south.

It feels like Buffalo.

It was a good day for book work for the cozy cabin. It snowed pretty much all day long. I have one more huge receipt to add to the tab then I can cipher it up and see how much this thing has cost so far. Like I really want to know.

Despite the Buffalo look and feel to the world outside, I still have to go out there and wander. It's a sickness.

Snowed In

I am a bit outside of the average weather diagnosis. The inch of suggested snow for the area was at least triple that up here. There is mention at least of "THE FAVORED NORTHWEST FLOW AREAS ALONG THE TENNESSEE LINE, THAT THE SNOW SHOWERS SHOULD RETREAT BACK TO." Which sounds like it will keep snowing up here. Why are extreme weather forecasts always in bold caps?

The last word of this winter weather advisory for Haywood county at Ray's Weather Center was "HIDE." I like that Ray uses more descriptive words to talk about the weather. I was thinking of going to town today for a few items I need for the cozy cabin, thinking it would be to cold to work, but it can wait.

Uncle Ernie looks over a frozen road side vegetable garden and watches the few cars go slowly by. It must really be snowing out there because the road was pretty well covered with slushy snow. The plows must be busy lower down. Often the high roads may be all that need plowing and they have kept on top of this road to an amazing degree until today.

Uncle Ernie and I have pretty much similar hairdos now when I take off the knit hat. Yikes!

The Blue Wood Aster and the Ageratina start the process of returning to the earth. All this wind and snow could be called the big mush. It bends and breaks the taller perennials and presses them into the ground. All will be laid flat in no time.

This has been a beautiful powder snow from the start. I wonder what ever became of my old skis?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow Pack

It is beginning to feel like last winter was a gentle welcome to lull me into thinking this cold and occasional snow isn't so bad. I can handle.

The first real snow last year was on December 6th. There had been some very real cold and a few dustings of sleet in November, but that was it. It all melted fairly quickly within a day or two.

This year winter is off to a much more ferocious start. The sleet was skipped altogether and we went straight to snow on October 28th. This last snow on November 16th was three to four inches and there have been a couple of morning lows at 20 degrees. The highs are kind when they get to the mid 40's and even more kind when the wind stops blowing, you wretched wind.

Another bout of snow is diagnosed for tonight and tomorrow with a high of 30 degrees for Friday and a low of 15 Saturday morning. It's not even officially winter yet. That starts a month from now. What's up this this early, deeply cold, winter weather?

It has been way too cold for the last snow to even melt half way and there is more a commin'. It sure won't be warm enough to melt any of it in the next few days.

There is snow in the weather diagnosis for Monday as well. More snow.

This stuff could really start to pile up. Is there supposed to be a snow pack in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the winter?

I did manage to get some cutting, measuring and marking done for the railings for the front porch and back stoop of the cozy cabin today because I shoveled all the snow off and they finished melting and dried. Tomorrow morning they may be covered again.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Done Froze

It's to darn cold

to do much of anything.

And I don't know how to just be inside.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Inside The Cozy Cabin

It's getting cold outside. Let's go in the cozy cabin and have a look around.

Standing at the front door looking in, on the right is the standard size bathroom and on the left is the galley style kitchen.

Here is looking up from the living room to the loft space. The loft covers the kitchen and bath space and is 10'8" long x 14' wide. The flat ceiling area in the loft is four feet wide and eight feet tall. It drops to a six foot head clearance two feet over on each side. You can see the cross tie beams in the loft that the flat part of the ceiling will attach to. In essence there is an eight foot wide area through the center of the loft with non-ducking head clearance.

This is the view from the window in the loft. When the Hemlocks are done dying and fall down, I will have more of a north view to a higher part of this mountain.

Now we are in the kitchen looking into the living room. You have to imagine it without those big bales of insulation. It will be roomier when those get put into the walls and a whole lot warmer inside too. Right now being inside the cozy cabin gets you out of the wind which is a huge help, but the roof is vented and there are all kind holes for electric wires, plumbing and deadbolts in the cabin that let the air in. It's still a might chilly inside.

This is up in the loft looking down into the living room and across to the smaller storage loft that is above the front door.

This is the window I will look out of when sitting at my computer desk while blogging.

This is round two of snow and frigid Arctic cold massing at the border right before sunset. To get this view I will have to go next door to the resident gardeners house. The cozy cabin was not blessed with quite the same view.

That is where I am now, in an insulated and heated house thank goodness, cause it's snowing again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Finding Interest In Winter

Late afternoon sun on Sandymush Bald

Dying Hemlocks posing

The blue and white house

Frozen red apples and blue sky

Is this what they mean by winter interest?

Road Spikes

Ramp seed heads

Faint pink glow over dark blue mountains

Visions of Haleakala