We made that dang thing from downed branches from any number of about 10 White Pine trees that surround the house, and dot the property. Casey put in the best part of it, those nice red berries. It’s a little lopsided, but then again, so am I. The bow came compliments of my own dear mother, Lee. Nothing says the season quite like a wreath on the front door. So, Happy Holidays from Owls Hoot. Tomorrow, winter officially begins – it will be the Winter Solstice – but ironically, and not totally for the bad, it also means the days will gradually begin to lengthen. There’s something reassuring in knowing that the beginning of winter, is also the beginning of the road to spring. The beginning of the beginning and the beginning of the end.
Now that heat is here, we’re really at 6s and 7s trying to figure out what’s next. Casey’s advocating for a good thorough cleaning, and we’re both on board with doing some serious replumbing (oh great, opening up more walls and allowing noxious gasses from the dregs to perfume the air). But it’s gotta happen.
Of course, my first desire was to find a spot for my precious tractor to nestle, at least slightly out of the weather. Incidentally, that tractor still doesn’t have a name, so if you’ve got any suggestions, or brilliant ideas, we’d love to have them. The chosen spot is pictured there to the right. Notice at the far right, the red level. I got out there to start cutting into things and realized, almost immediately that I probably ought to hang that level right back in the shop where it came from. As my old friend, mentor, benefactor, and most recent house guest, Bob K., pointed out, doing work on an old house or barn, the first thing to remove and never use from your tool box is a level. I cut my door in alignment with the cedar shingles. It’s not level at all.
To give a rough summary, I pretty much assumed that the leanto on the wagon shed was some addition cooked up and slathered on sometime in the ’70s. The newer dimensional lumber used for the roof rafters was what made me think that. When I trotted out to cut my hole, though, I found some surprises. The whole thing (spindly, and underbuilt though it be) is made from hewn timbers. All except the roof system, that is. The hewn timbers were all reused from somewhere else (there was a half-round floor joist used as a girt, for instance). Makes me think that the wagon shed was all built from the same reused materials, at around the same time. Though we don’t know what that time is – maybe sometime early 20th or mid-19th century. When the leanto roof collapsed, somebody came in and jury-rigged the current roof on, and partially re-sided the whole thing with cedar shakes and 1/4″ plywood. The old pine barn siding is really lovely looking though, I think you’ll agree.
The shop keeps shaping up. Here’s a nice still life with plaster, flyswatter and pushstick.
In closing, we’ve begin measuring and considering how to bring back the collapsed wall from the North Ell, the building we’ve been calling, up to now the summer kitchen, but
really, we think, would do quite well as a small library once we reinforce and button it up, and connect it back to the main house. Can’t you just picture it with one or two nine-over-six windows and a door? Sit yourself in front of a crackling fire and page your way through the OED, Kipling’s Just So Stories, or the U.S. Constitution. Or I guess, in these dark days of winter, Papa Panov’s Special Day could be a nice one too.
All the best from Salt Point for a warm, relaxing holiday, and happy prosperous New Year!