Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yesterday I decided to undertake the task of supporting the house. The house is supported by cedar posts that are four feet in the ground. At the time they went in, I tarred a ring around the posts where they protrude from the ground. That is the place where wood eating bacteria are the most prevelant-the first few inches of earth.

I told the old timer who sold me the posts, and he claimed that should make them last 40 years. That was ten years ago. Last fall I checked them and was greatly alarmed that they had started to rot out at that location.

I immediately brought in a carpenter friend for consultation, and he believed there was still a lot of strength in them, but it was neverless an issue I needed to address.

When the power was put in here, a new pole was placed at the road, and the company told me that I could do whatever I wanted with the old pole. I figured that old pole looked pretty good to back up the posts under the house.

So I called on my carpenter friend again to drop the post for me. Although I had seen him handle a chainsaw, he seemed a bit hesitant when we got down the road with my small saw. Just then a mutual aquaintence drove by. One of his side jobs happens to be logging, so we-me mostly- coerced him into dropping the pole for me. He used his own saw, much larger than mine, although grumbled about the possibility of hitting metal.

We had the pole roped off and the first helper and I put tension on the rope so it would fall the correct way, and not on the line or the road. It came down with a crash, and the top cracked. Still, there was quite a usuable length left, and we left it for another time.

Unfortunately I lost the help of my carpenter friend shortly after that-after ignoring my repeated rebuffs of his physical advances I finally had to use cruel words and nearly physically kick him out of my house one evening.

So the post job fell to me alone, and in true procrastinator fashion I finally decided to undertake part of the job yesterday. I braced off one of the three supporting beams with two more posts-lengths I managed to cut off the good part of the pole with my little chainsaw.

That was easier said than done. I needed to support the pole in such a way the piece I was cutting would drop free and not just cave in and trap the chainsaw. But I coulnd't budge the pole. I spent some minutes wishing a nice strong guy would show up and give me a hand, but the road has never been quieter.Finally I found some lengths of hemlock I could handle, and jammed them under the pole in such a way that I could cut it up without getting the saw stuck.

Although the pieces I cut off were just around three feet in length, the post is 8-10 inches in diameter and the things were beastly heavy.

I managed to end over end them off the power line and into the back of the car to get them up to the house. The Firebird and I took turns with the sledgehammer sliding them into place. The Willow had helped me measure, and I added 1/4 of an inch to each length to make sure they fit tight. And they did-we really had to pound on them to force them into place.

Two more beams are left to brace off-which will each require three posts as they are the longer beams. And most of the work will have to be done under the crawl space-which the Firebird is NOT going to enjoy!

NOT today, Zurg. ;)

While I was prepping the location for the posts yesterday, I found an ENORMOUS bullfrog. I was stunned. We have quite a toad colony around the house, but it seemed like an odd location for a bullfrog. (The batteries needed recharging on the cam so no pix.)

Anyhow, the frog had to be relocated due to the work, so I put him in a bucket and the Willow and I headed down into the marsh. I thought that would be a better place than the pond. We had to hike quite far into the marshgrass to find a small pool of water for him. We found huge moosetrack while we were there!!!! That did alarm me, as it is not far from the house, and moose will be going into rut anyday, if not already. I have seen a video of bull moose in rut attacking a car!!!So I really do NOT want to come across a bull moose in rut!!!!! EEKKK!

We released the bullfrog and headed back, and I remembered two years ago we brought home twenty or so bullfrog tadpoles from a friends vernal pool. They had about twenty billion tadpoles, so I did not feel too back about taking a few for the kids (and me).

Well, we had them right where I found that frog yesterday!!!!! I thought most of them had died, but a few a the end we took to a friends and released in his small pond. So, maybe that is how we got a bullfrog living next to the house in the damp spot....LOL.

After all that was done, I had promised to take Willow fishing. The Firebird didn't want to go, so he stayed home to listen for several phone calls I was expecting. I took the cell phone with me as back up.

Willow and I found that the water has dropped enough the dam is dried, so we decided she would fish from there. It was so lovely!!! It is very nice to be able to cast from the dam with the branches cut back. The early bright red maples are turning up the pond, and the sun was behind us, so it made a postcard view.

Right after we arrived the Firebird showed up to tell me I had missed a call-of course-and not wanting to head back to the house, I made the call from the dam on my cell phone. I guess it is easy to tell I am an old-timer, because I am still amazed that I could be sitting outside in such a wild location making a phone call!!

The fish weren't biting very well-until Willow got a big hit. I coached her through setting the hook and landing the fish all by herself. Her reel was screeching several times. She landed a big largemouth bass!!!! And the tiny hook was set perfectly-just a flip and the hook was out and the fish was freed. I was so proud of her. That was a big fish for that little tiny Barbie pole! LOL.

She was just reeling in her last cast when we saw the Firebird coming back. He had my cordless phone from the house!!!! I took it from him and there was blaring static-of course!_ and I shouted"call me back in ten minutes!!!" and couldn't even end the call it was so far out of range!!!

On the run back to the hosue, I explained to the Firebird it was a cordless phone, not a cellular phone, and it had a very short range from the handset in the house!!HE was very apologetic!! I found it ironic in the generational difference that I am amazed a cell phone works out there and he just assumed the cordless would too...LOL

I think the most amazing thing is that when I finally did get the call through, the caller told me he could hear me when the Firebird turned the cordless phone over to me at the top of the dam!!!

Another icon of "Can you hear me now??" HEHheheh.

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