Tuesday, January 14, 2014

End of Summer 2012

These last few months that have composed the year of 2012 have been very busy for me and have not allowed much time to work on the house. Since my last posting I have done nothing but maintenance and repairs. I have visited several times but only to drop off stuff and pick up other stuff and leave the next day. Much of this was in preparation for our move to Portland, ME.

Finally at the end of September we are settling in to our new home and I am again feeling the tug of the Great North Woods. I am rekindling my determination to continue this project that still has so far to go. If I could put in only 2 days of work each month I would be happy! It would amount to at least some progress and the project would be moving slowly forward rather than this perpetual standstill. Things that don't move die and I can't let that happen to this project! I've still got big plans!

My past few visits have not allowed enough time for any substantial work to be done but I have done plenty of dreaming and scheming. There are a few repairs and work that must be accomplished soon before rot sets in. Some areas may already need replacement. The flashing on the eves of the tower and kitchen need to be installed and I need to once and for all replace and reconfigure the roof that covers the camper. In the same realm there is the decking surrounding the pine tree at the center of the house that needs to be opened up around the trunk. Soon I must finish covering the rest of the house with exterior siding of one sort or another. The biggest trick in that regard is the finish of the exterior of the tower. That will require a scaffold tower. I can see no other safe way to do it and it must be done soon. Lastly, to finish the outside, besides painting there are still sections of the foundation to be filled in. After that the house will be much safer from the ravages of Mother Nature.

Because I have nothing to talk about in regard to what I have done on the house, I would like to elaborate on a portion of my maintenance routine: the vehicle situation. These machines compose a list of very important tools or future projects. They are all components that make up my dream of this place here in Monroe. Unfortunately it is without some small amount of maintenance that they quickly fall ill or in some cases begin dying right before my eyes. Each of the following machines must be have their fluid levels checked, engines started, run, and brought to operating temperature.
The John Deere tractor is most critical to this project. It is a 32HP diesel powered machine with a front end loader and an eight foot backhoe. I have used it to clear and level areas for the house, parking areas and driveway. I used it to dig a trench for the electrical line, and a trench for the water line, pump pit and the small well itself. It was also essential to the building of the septic system. I continue to use it regularly for a variety of purposes including snow removal in the winter.
Next I must mention my two Stihl chainsaws. At the beginning of this project the one I started with was my only means to serious cutting. I used it to cut all the lumber to build the main section of the house before it was hooked to the grid. Now the saws are used to cut firewood, an essential fuel source as none of this would be possible without heat in the Winter, the season in which I have done most of the construction. Rarely am I at Monroe that I do not need a fire for heat.

I also have a little Yamaha 125cc motorcycle that I use to ride to the other end of the property and back. I like to have a look at the property every now and then to be sure that nobody is logging my land or whatever

The Suzuki Sidekick is an efficient little runabout. A Sidekick is a small Jeep-like 4cyl. 4X4. It was given to me by my friend Kris Smith. I want to keep the Suzuki alive because it is such a fun car to drive. It will someday be an excellent touring vehicle to explore the surrounding countryside. It may also be a good racing car for the track I plan to build... but that is another project!
Another fine racing machine that I must keep running is the 1968 Dodge Charger. The Charger is getting harder and harder to start. I will have to drain the gas soon and refill the tank. It's going bad.

Sadly I've had to let some die. I could not continue to maintain them without sacrificing more time from the house. Someday I hope to atone for these tragedies and rebuild them to running condition and use them as race cars on my future enduro dirt racetrack.

Some honorable mentions:
'96 Subaru Impreza
                           1988 Chevy S-10
'83 Chevy Silverado.

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