Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Chronicling the cleanup and restoration of our house and property in northern Michigan

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Live from Shangri La!

Hello from Shangri La.  We finally made it up here yesterday (Tuesday).  We originally were planning to be here on Saturday, but between a major family upheaval and some vehicle problems, that just didn't turn out to be realistic.

There's about two feet of snow on the ground, and temps are ranging between the teens at night and the 20's in the daytime.  Fortunately we're surrounded by trees, so any wind is pretty much blocked.  We're not sure how much we're going to get done this trip.  Shelly and I are both under the weather, with her just getting sick and me just getting over it.  Damn flu bug is vicious.  I've been sick for over a week, and it's been kicking my tail.

Had a very cool moment last night.  I woke up around 3:00 AM, thinking, "Man, it's bright in here."  I looked out the window and found a full moon shining.  With the snow on the ground and in the trees and with the icicles hanging down from the eaves, the moonlight reflecting off it all actually had my breath catching for a moment.  I must have stared out the window for a good five minutes before I remembered that it was a full bladder that woke me up in the first place. 

The insulation in this place continues to impress.  We're heating with only a wood stove, and it'll chase you out of here.  We haven't stoked the fire in hours, and with temps in the 20's outside it's holding at 70 in here.

One nice new addition to the place:  We bought a small, bar style dinette set for the kitchen.  Space is short in there, so the bar style table is ideal.  The windows are high on the wall, and the taller table and chairs allow us to look out the windows while eating.  There are only two chairs, but it'll mostly be just the two of us up here.  When there are more folks up here people can eat in the living room, which is what everybody ended up doing even when there was a larger table in the kitchen. We plan to buy a nice wood set of TV trays.  I was wired after the drive, so I put the table together last night.  We had breakfast and lunch at the table...very nice.

We needed to buy some supplies, so this morning we took a drive to hit the Wally World in Cheboygan.  We picked up some food and sundries, and a new toaster oven.  There is a gas stove/oven in the kitchen, but due to it's age and tired condition we're a bit hesitant to fire it up.  There is a newer stove in the basement that we'll eventually move upstairs.

After getting back I fired up the tractor to see how well the snow thrower attachment works.  This is the first opportunity to use it since doing all the work on it at the end of October.  It works like a charm!  The driveway, which extends from the road to the house, around the house, and then back to the road is all clear.  I don't know how much life the old tractor has in her, but I'm going to run her until she drops.  We're hoping she'll keep running until we're ready to move up here.  Nobody is going to steal her, as she looks like a derelict.  If we buy a new tractor we'll have to haul it from and back to Ohio, as we would have no way to secure it up here when we're down south.  I'm dreaming of getting a nice zero turn mower, and there's no way we could leave an investment like that unguarded up here.

That's pretty much it for today.  It's now about 4:00 PM, and both Shelly and I are whipped.  We're going to relax this evening and hopefully hit things harder in the morning.  I need to replace the wax ring on the toilet.  I'm going to replace the seal between the tank and the bowl at the same time, as that'll be the next thing to go and it'll save me from having to take it apart yet again.  We also bought a new water saver shower head.  The current head is far from being a water saver.  It's an old shower massage, and the hot water heater is emptying way too fast.  The water doesn't cost us...well water...but the electricity to heat the water does.  That, and the second person to shower runs out of hot water before finishing.  :)

More to follow as the week progresses.  I'll post some pics as well.

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