Cause for celebration – six week cabin update

celebration six week
1938 cabin after addition was removed, October 29, 2017, Photo by slc

Six weeks, three 18 yard dumpster loads and 145 “man” hours later, we have completed the demolition of the non-permitted, mold and rodent excrement filled cabin addition.  All that is left is the flooring and the lower level deck.  This accomplishment is cause for celebration!

What I learned from the demolition:

celebration six week
Third dumpster load, Photo by slc
  • Wear protective clothing, goggles, and a respirator.  You can never be too careful as my son-in-law found out when he opted for hiking boots instead of professional work boots and took a nail through the bottom of his foot.
  • Make sure you’ve had a tetanus shot in the past seven years.
  • Try to place the dumpster as close to your work site as possible.  Due to all the large beautiful moss-covered rocks and the slope of my property, we were unable to have it close to the addition.  This less than ideal placement required lots of walking, carrying and pushing a wheelbarrow of debris to the dumpster about 50 feet away from the work site.
  • When working remotely as we were, it was important to bring the necessary tools each day to the work site.  We often needed nails we didn’t have, so I often removed nails from the demo debris to reuse.  One day I forgot to bring the circular saw so we ended up cutting some ceiling joists with a hand saw made to cut tree branches.  We could have left our tools in the cabin but felt that it just wasn’t secure enough.

Read moreCause for celebration – six week cabin update

The sign I needed

the sign
Bald Eagle, Photo by slc

Years ago my late Father visited my family in Colorado to help with a basement electrical installation.  I believe it was around Thanksgiving and while having a meal in the dining room, my Father saw a bald eagle for the very first time in the sky outside the window.  He was very moved and excited to see America’s majestic icon.

My Dad passed in December of 2013.  Several months later, I was speaking to my daughter on the phone.  We talked about my Dad and the subject of my receiving a small inheritance from his estate came up.  I told my daughter I hoped to use that special gift to purchase a piece of mountain property some day as my Dad loved the mountains.  Right then a bald eagle flew toward me on the deck and then flew over my house.  I felt it a sign that my Dad approved of my use of his gift.

Last week, I realized I needed reassurance that buying and fixing up the cabin in the mountains was what my Dad wanted for me.  I needed the sign of an eagle.  Today, I got that sign.  While driving home from a beautiful afternoon of work at the cabin, I spied a bald eagle in a tree along the North Fork of the Big Thompson River.

Thank you Dad for the sign and the gift of the cabin in Glen Haven.  I love you for it and I hope you are proud of me!

Funeral, repointing & another nail – week three cabin update

At the age of 100-1/2, Marguerite died on September 21, 2017 and her funeral was September 27. May she rest in peace.  Marguerite was my son-in-law’s only surviving grandparent and he attended her funeral this week in western Iowa.  I continued work on the cabin’s property cleanup and began “repointing” the nearly 80-year-old stone foundation.

cabin repointing
Stone foundation before

You can learn how to do almost anything on YouTube.com, including “repointing.” According to Wikipedia, “Repointing is the process of renewing the pointing, which is the external part of mortar joints, in masonry construction.”  I watched a This Old House video and then drove to Home Depot to buy the necessary supplies.

cabin repointing
Repointing after photo, mortar still wet

Spackling and repointing are similar in my opinion.  You are filling in gaps or holes with a compound and smoothing that compound out so it blends in.  I think it turned out pretty well for my first time at repointing.  Doing the work myself saved a lot of money by not having to hire a stone mason to perform the tedious work and it was rewarding to know I could do make the stone foundation secure again.

Demolition exposes many nails and other potentially dangerous elements. Another nail made its presence known this week, this time to my son-in-law.  He was working alone on the second story demo when he stepped on a nail and it went through his boot and into the bottom of his foot.  After applying first aid, he went back to work for several more hours but he too wondered, like me last week, when was his last tetanus shot?

cabin repointing
Second story of addition demolished, 10/1/17

As Highway 34 is only open on a limited basis beginning October 2nd, we worked hard and fast to try to accomplish as much as we could this week.  We finished tearing down the second story section of the cabin addition, tarped a portion of the roof and boarded up part of the original cabin.  Work will slow now as the weather changes and the road closure restricts our access.

cabin repointing
Cabin, October 1, 2017

Much work remains but we are making progress and who could ask for a better working environment than in the Roosevelt National Forest in Glen Haven, Colorado.

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