Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, March 31, 2014

An Awesome Weekend With Liam

Spending quality time with family is priceless. I especially enjoyed this weekend visit with Jessi, Liam and Trevor--here's a little taste of the fun I had (we did so much more, but these are the highlights with Liam).

Liam swam, and swam, and swam. He's like a fish without gills.

Each morning, he counted down the the number of sleepovers we had left. This picture is him telling me "two days". 

He painted--he's very serious about his artwork!

Liam's responsible to help feeding all the pets each day (he takes this responsibility seriously). Here he is bringing Marty the turtle a kibble of cat food (a weekly protein).
And a hibiscus flower treat.
Marty gobbled most of his flower.

Liam takes his time preparing meals for the cats (there are three) and dogs (two); this household loves animals... 
...here are Patches (on the left, recently adopted) and Stitch, waiting patiently.

They built a fence to plant flowers and veggies...
 ...Liam figured out how to move this 8 foot lattice stretch...very clever process with dropping one side and swinging the other over to "walk" it to where it needed to be.
Trevor and Jessi were proud of their work,...as soon as they let Stitch out of the house, he jumped the fence (somehow, we never anticipate that).

This morning, Liam entertained me with poses for the camera...

The weekend passed far too quickly, but I did enjoy every minute of it. Memories forever!

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Friday, March 28, 2014

Liam Time!

It's a beautiful day on the river, and it'll only get better--I'm going to spend the weekend with Liam (my grandson) and I'm excited! I may not publish any posts this weekend but I'll fill you in when I return. I hope your weekend is as awesome as I know mine will be...

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Moon and Venus

There was snow on the ground as I drove away from the cabin early this morning, heading to our river place. The moon and Venus shone in the early dusk hours, distracting me a bit from my travels...
...causing me to stop more frequently than I usually would. But it was worth it.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fascination With Icicles

When there's snow, there's icicles, and they decorated everything following yesterdays snow.

Icicles formed one after the other and lined the roof across the entire length of the cabin, something I've not seen before.
The blustery winds were so strong it caused the tips to freeze in motion.

They were everywhere. 
I enjoy the challenge of capturing photos of them in action as they sparkle in the sun...
...and discovering interesting twists and turns in their shapes. 

I especially like the closeups...

 What I don't like is what the snow temps in the teens did to my lone daffodil...

Spring, are you going to stick around now?

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Wonderland

It’s not the first time we’ve woken to snow, but the wind usually leaves the branches bare. This morning was like waking in an enchanted forest, with everything covered in white. The air was crisp and chilled my lungs with every breath, but I kept moving from one side of the cabin to the other, soaking it all in.  

Branches glittered as the sun peaked over the mountains.

The distant mountains were covered...

...but the snow covered trees in the forefront stole the show.

Logic says we probably won’t get snow again this year, but that was the belief before today too, so who knows. It’s snowing again, creating a new blanket where this morning’s flakes had melted. Old Man Winter's not done with us yet, and I'm enjoying it.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wood Stove Repair & Maintenance

Ahh, the yellow flames consuming our wood confirms that our source of heat is doing its job.
At least we thought so. About eight weeks ago, when spring made an appearance, I opened the windows to let the fresh breeze flow through the cabin. It was a perfect day to clean out the resting stove. I followed my usual routine, scraping the cool ashes through the floor grate into the ashpan and then heading into the woods to scatter them, laying in wait for a nice rain to wash them away. Unfortunately, when I replaced the empty ashpan, I noticed a crack in the combustion block--ahem, sounds like I know what I'm talking about, doesn't it? Thank goodness for owner's manuals and husbands who read them; yes, he did and no,not before this crack appeared.

We called Clean Sweep, the company that installed the stove, and were pleased to confirm that the part was still under warranty. We scheduled and rescheduled (weather and a wrong part can put a damper on things; it's a very good thing the stove could be used despite the crack) the repair, and Rob, one of the same guys who installed the unit, arrived last week.

We decided to have the chimney swept while he was here--Johny and I are not fond of heights and even though the process isn't difficult, we'd rather someone else climb onto the roof for the task.
Good news--the chimney was relatively clean...

Time for the tough part. Rob used an industrial shop vac to suck out every speck of ash in the stove.
He then removed the two sidewalls,
and exposed lots of ash behind them. He assured me this was normal, but I was glad to hear it clicking on the sides of the vacuum hose as it disappear forever. 

Once the bolts for the brick retainer were loosened, the combustion plate and back brick were relatively easy to remove.

It was interesting to see the gutless innards...
...and the reassembly...

When everything was reassembled, I slung my camera over my shoulder and brushed my hands up and down, clapping against each other saying "Ta da, that seemed simple enough." Rob turned his head, his eyebrows and the upper half of his eyeballs peering over the glasses that rested on his nose and said "Easy for you to say," with a grin spreading from ear to ear. Good job Rob!

We're back in business, enjoying the warmth of our stove, which is a good thing because they predict snow tomorrow!

FYI, other than this cracked combustion block, which we learned may have been due to a manufacturing defect, our Lopi Layden stove has kept us warm for two years. We have no complaints.

Thanks for reading my blog, see you tomorrow,