On the mountain, we have been sleeping in the loft of the machine shed.  Every time we go up, we have been doing a little bit more to it so it is more livable.  First it was a counter for cooking.  Then walls to protect the sleeping portion from so much weather.  Then it was more counter.  Now, one of the railings we have been talking about is installed.

The railing really got a push after on the people on Alaska The Last Frontier fell off their second story porch and died.  It is a boy thing to pee off the porch at night instead of maybe going someplace safer.  Also, there is the thought that Blue may be coming up to the mountain at some point.  I will be putting some netting up then but this will help.

The boyos really wished to use round wood so they did.  Again, all the supplies were either from the mountain or from another project.  I did not help much but I did sweep.  Pee holes in the railing were something that was a requirement and they were measured and tested.

I do like how it turned out even if I laugh the whole time it is being built and tested. :)


laughing at myself

While I was supervising on the mountain, I was working on the sweater I had started this summer.  One of three actually but the one that was closest to being finished.  I missed judged how large the arm holes needed to be.

Because I worked this top down.  Because I always want the sleeves completely finished because I have had problems in the past.  I had not really checked the fit for the armhole until the very end.  I was getting ready to put on the bottom binding.  I tried that sweater on and laughed!  So hard!  Way too much underarm!

So pulled out the sweater.  Until what is pictured was left.  The crazy thing was that I had many of the correct measurements written down.  I would not have had to do this if I just followed my own notes!  I am back to having one sleeve finished and the arm hole seems to be a much better fit.  But I will not know for sure until I have the other sleeve finished and more of the body done.  Slowly.

I have been adjusting to being back.  Lots of curves in this road this week but I have a feeling it will be okay in the end.  Deep breaths and being patient are what it is going to take.



In the machine shed on the mountain, we have a loft.  We sleep on the loft.  We have a long counter so we cook there.  My Beloved decided that he wanted to add counter space in the "kitchen."  It really is not a kitchen but it is always protected from the rain which really helps.  Wind not so much but I am okay with that.

He and Koda Bear went foraging supplies for this build.  There was a maple tree of the right size that was not in the right place.  Or the best shape.  There was a butcher board type counter top from the ReStore.  Boards and screws from other projects.  The chainsaw came out and the boyos went to work.

The wood glue had curdled and did not stick.  There was discussions that maybe lumber should have been placed differently.  The shelves were probably installed in the wrong order to make life easy.  But in the end there was is a counter.

Due to the end shape of the counter and the colors of all the wood, it has an Asian or modern feel to it.  It reminds me of the angles in some of the roofs and stools I have seen.  Or the lanterns.  I like it.  Not bad for time and ingenuity.  The counter top was the only thing that we had spent money on and not even this trip.  We had purchased it a while back.  So you could say the cost was $25 plus time.  And trees and leftovers from other projects.  

I do have to admit, the boys were bored due to the broken tractor.  I mostly helped with design, holding pieces in place as they were screwed in, and supervising.  I worked on my sweater in my rocking chair watching them.  

I have been doing a lot of resting since we have gotten back.  In some ways, it is still like I am on vacation.  I have three appendages with blisters so my normal morning walk has been difficult.  We have also been doing some video watching and reading late into the night.  Next week will be more normal.  I am just hoping the allergies are better too.


bored bear

I had a bored Koda Bear on the mountain.  

I had a bored bear because the tractor broke and things were needing to be done to fix it.  The boyos were flattening the spot I would ilke my studio to be because the goal is to flatten the mountain.  Just ask any male who runs any type of flattening equipment on the mountain!  The tractor suddenly stopped.  Bob came up (who has over sixty years of experience with heavy equipment) and could not figure out the problem.  It could be the starter.  Well, it was actually a $20 spring that is going to end up in about a $1000 of maintenance.  Because the tractor has not been serviced in three years.  But while this was all going on, Koda Bear was bored.

He was trying to build things with no materials and no tools.  He wanted to build an ecoprinter.  I am really not sure what his imagination meant by that but I do know there was frustration because it was not working.  I finally stepped in, took of the silk and cotton slip I was wearing (protein fibers print/dye easier), and had him smash plants into it.

If he had been an adult, he probably would have ended up with the flowers and leaves mashed into the slip so it was an actual print.  But he is seven.  I have the most interesting splotches of color on that slip now.  With holes where the hammer broke through the cloth while he was mashing plants.  The rock did not cause holes as such.  

I will mend my slip and have a tatter slip with colors of plants.  Yes, I like white but he had a really good time.  It is starting the process of learning how to print.  It is all the same process truly.  Something to print, color added some how, pressure added. 

He had fun.  I laughed.  It was a good time.  And the tractor will get fixed.


back to the city

I am back to the city after being on the mountain for five days.  I have not been back to the city for a full 48 hours and I have already had frustrations.  But I am trying to remain calm and deal with this life.  I know part of it is that I did not sleep well last night but part of it is truly frustration.  

When we travel, I may have mentioned in the past, I drive to audiobooks.  I like Kerry Greenwood's Earthly Delights series a lot.  It is about a baker who solves mysteries.  By the time I get back, I am really in the mood to bake.  I wished to make bara brith.  It is not hard.  The recipe is here.  But a main ingredient is buttermilk.  

I now have a small grocery store and a WalMart that I can walk to.  With my state of mind, I knew the WalMart would be too much so I went to the small grocery store.  It really is not that small.  No buttermilk on their shelves.  Fourth largest city in the United States and no buttermilk.  Every other grocery store would have meant longer away from home and I just could not deal.  My Beloved suggested that I make butter and use the leftover liquid.  The recipe calls for cultured buttermilk and that would take days.  I used a mixture of yogurt and milk.  I made do.

There was a lot of upgrades to the mountain.  One of my favorite is that my Dad gifted me with a very basic pressure cooker.  The manual looks like something from the 1950's but the gasket was nice and fresh so it was not that old.  I now can cook dried beans in about a half hour after soaking them for eight hours.  I think this is lovely.  By the end of a trip, I am always craving a bowl of beans and rice.  I now can cook it on the mountain.  It is just way too easy for me to cook too much!  It is what I do.

More pictures of my week away are to come.  It was a good time with the boyos.  Lots of work.  I did take a tumble so that slowed me down for an afternoon.  And there was a long walk.  It was good.  I am not ready to be back.