Poochies

Oh Piper. She's a busy girl, there's no doubt about it.

I'm always so curious about both my sweet little dogs lineage. We have not much of a clue beyond their looks, and their mannerisms, what they are a sum total of, because they are “Rez” (Indian Reservation) rescue puppies. Unfortunately at these reservations, there are dozens upon dozens of dogs of every size and shape running amok and making puppies on a daily basis. Guessing breed specificity is certainly a crapshoot. My guess is that, by far, both my girls heritage is Jack Russell terrier. But you can never be 100% sure that there isn't a skosh of something else exciting tossed in there for good measure.

Given that Declan is a bit longish, and is very blondish, maybe that's an indicator for a smidge of Corgi DNA introduced along the way. Or maybe a Chihuahua great grandmother, as she is fairly small. But that blond color seems pretty common in Corgis and Chihuahuas. Whatever combination she is, it's a good one. She is extremely smart, well mannered, quiet (when the Buffalo Gal isn't exerting her delinquency tendencies onto her), and is always anxious to mind and please you; the perfect definition of a little lady. She can be taught a trick in less than 10 minutes, and she never forgets it. She's very trustworthy, and I never have to worry about her not being on a leash from the gate to the car, or when we go outside at the cabin. But, I guess you have to factor in that we got her when she was just 8 weeks old, so she hadn't been forced to deal with too many hardships. Coming into a loving forever home as a little baby I'm sure has to be an advantage.

Miss Piper, on the other hand,………… She has a heart as big as the moon! And loves you with every ounce of that big heart. She's fearless, energetic, smart as a whip, and more than a little bullheaded. Lordy, she's entertaining! But you really have to keep a handle on her. Being the free spirit that she is, she wants to run. If she's taken outside the yard without a leash and sees a bunny, she's a kickin up dirt in your eye – gone like a streak. Ditto with deer (and cows, and horses, and moose, and the list goes on and on). We drove to the cabin once last Spring, passed a doe and her fawn, continued on the 1/2 mile to the cabin, and when we parked and opened the truck door, she hadn't forgotten that deer. She was out like a bullet, tearing down the road to find that doe. We called and whistled for 10 minutes. Bruce was just getting the 4-wheeler out to go look, when here she came, sopping wet and covered with mud, her tongue hanging out to her knees. (That's why any photo you see of her at the cabin now, she is on a long lead, tethered to the cabin.) But, she came to us at around 1 year old, after having run loose and uncared for on the “Rez”. And I'm sure there would be horrific tales, if only she could tell us. Most likely it was a situation of survival of the fittest, and most Rez dogs run pack-like, looking for food, and fending for themselves to the best of their abilities. I'm fairly certain she had been abused, also, as she was terrified of boots, hats, and anything stick-like (brooms, yardsticks, sticks in general) for many months after we adopted her. She still has spells where she is afraid of Bruce and my son, especially after dark. But for the most part, it's all good, because after 2 years she knows deep down she can trust us. What a hoot she is! Maybe she has a dab of bird dog in her. Any time something catches her eye, the first thing she does is assume a “pointing” stance. The magpies tease her mercilessly in our yard, so she spends a lot of time zipping around the yard, or on the deck rail, or highest point of the wood pile, trying to catch them.

Come on you darn magpie, just a little closer...

 

There was a major, very concentrated, staring out the window session at work not too long ago.

Because of this –

Then a few hours later, this –

Note the tarpaper decoration dangling from his antlers. Don't know what that was all about. He moseyed right past our window at work, and wasn't deterred in the least by her barking.

Piper is very interested in her surroundings and pays rapt attention to all the goings on. I watched her sitting on the woodpile for the longest time last weekend.

I used the zoom on my camera to see what she was watching so intently.

 

 

She was really taking it all in. I think I see a sledding party in our future! I bet she'd really like it! I already know she and Declan both love riding on the snowmachine and 4-wheeler. And I'm sure up for some sledding!

I feel so lucky and blessed to have these 2 fuzzy little gifts in my life. It seems like there is never a dull moment with them around. So darn lucky 🙂

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Steady By Jerks: More Chronicling Of A Very Drawn Out Cabin Rehab

I guess this would be a “triannual” cabin update, since the last one was in July, and the next one probably will be around March or so. There is already over 30 inches of snow at the cabin, so no more driving in; snow machine or snow shoes must be utilized to gain access now. And that is really going to put a kink in any forward momentum for all that needs to be finished up there.

Mr. Bruce really earned his keep this Summer. He would put in a 40+ hour week at his job, come home Friday, change clothes, throw what he needed for a few days into his pack, grab a bite for dinner, then head to the cabin until Sunday night. Come home, go to bed, and start the same process over again the next morning. Week after week, all Spring, Summer, and Fall long. I think he only missed 3 weekends, and that was due to day job work obligations for the most part. I mentioned before that the carpenter he'd made a deal with never came thru, which didn't really surprise me. The man was too over-booked, and our cabin job was too insignificant in the scheme of things, and too far out in the boonies. But I wish he'd come clean clear back in February when Bruce called to get on the guy's work schedule. It would have given us the opportunity to try and find someone else since we were starting good and early, before the Spring rush started. Bruce had faith in the guy, but to no avail. Anyway, this is what Bruce has gotten accomplished since Spring, and primarily by himself.

He did hire an electrician for the beginning part of the big electrical process, and our big little son went up a couple of weekends to help his Dad get some of the worst windows replaced. There are only going to be 8 windows total in the cabin when all the changes are completed. One window is newer and in good shape, so it will be left as is. The remaining 7 are to be replaced. Bruce and sonny boy tackled the 3 in the worst condition, and were able to pull the old, then get the new ones set, over a couple weekends. There was a lot of log cutting and patching required, so it was very labor intensive, and time consuming. A smaller window on the porch, next to the door, Bruce was able to install by himself. So, what remains on the list for replacement is – one in the bedroom, one on the porch, and one in the loft. Bedroom and porch should be pretty straightforward. But, the one in the loft will be difficult, and it's all my fault. I felt, for safety sake, it should be big enough to crawl out of if need be. So, the window will double in size, necessitating more log cutting. It will be tricky since it is in the tight pitch of the roof line. Then we'll have to get a rope ladder, or attach some type of wood ladder to the outside. Here are the before and afters of the windows –

The old bay window in living room, barely hanging onto cabin.

 

 

Terrible rot and broken glass. It usually had a blue tarp attached to keep the weather out.

 

 

Brand new fresh! No more extending beyond the roof line inviting leaking.

 

Tight, secure, and weather proof. Double paned and with low E.

So much better.

 

Tiny before bathroom window, lower middle.

 

New bigger bathroom window moved left, with tankless hot water heater venting to the right, propane furnace venting to the left.

A slider window for good bthrm moisture ventilation. Hot water htr has the potential to be the elephant in the room unless we can come up with a creative cover solution.

 

The before kitchen window to the left of the door, and the porch window that will be eliminated.

 

New kitchen window, moved up, to accommodate taller kitchen cabinetry.

 

It will sure be nice when we're able to have the logs stripped and stained. They look pretty ghastly right now.

 

A lovely view to see out the wonderful new window.

 

 

We got a good solid wood door from Craigslist, and the window in the following picture is now installed in the opening to the right of the doorway. I didn't get a photo of them installed.

 

So much of what has been done isn't really photographable – tons of electrical work, mass amounts of plumbing, hours worth of trenching (with machinery and by hand digging) to accommodate cables and pipes of all kinds. A company we hired came up and blew in a foam insulation to the entire underside of the cabin. It is supposedly the best you can get. It better be. It is so expensive it would bring a tear to a glass eye. After much research, a tankless water heating system was decided upon. A larger one to service the bathroom, a smaller one for the kitchen. Installation was a bear, but he got it done. Now we have to figure out how to camouflage the monstrosity in that itty-bitty bathroom. We'll git 'er. It's just going to take some imagination.

We've roughed out a plan for the electrical layout inside the cabin. This is something you really don't want to mess up. It's not easy going back later to add or subtract plug-ins and fixtures. Way different than wiring a house where the wiring is hidden. Because of the logs, all the cabin wiring has to be run thru conduit, which is a kind of hollow metal tube, and the conduit then attached to the logs on the interior and run to each plug in and light fixture. Looks a bit funky, but not much in the way of alternatives.

This is a photo I borrowed off the Internet to show an example of how the electrical wiring will be run thru conduit. Hopefully we'll be able to make ours look a little less obtrusive than that shown in this photo.

I'm most certainly not a delicate flower that expects “the man of the house” to do all the rough/tough aspects of remodeling while I sit at home and sip tea and knit. I'll get in there and rip and tear with the best of them. Gosh, I even have my very own hammer, saws, screw drivers, and tile saw! (I know you're impressed! ;-D ) I'll try my hand at most anything finish wise, with a bit of mentoring. But this electrical and plumbing is beyond me, and Bruce doesn't have the time to fiddle around and try to teach me the stuff. So the poor guy is pretty much on his own with this mountain of malarkey to get done.

Anyhoo, with the new insulation blown in, and a majority of the new, awesome, weathertight windows installed, it should be considerably easier to heat this winter. I'm sure he'll snow machine in and work on whatever he can as often as possible this winter, and should be downright cozy during his working weekends! I'll stay back and tend the home fires until I can be of use “up the mountain”. And I'll be happy to work toward the finish line on this long drawn out process! Whatever the heck it takes to get this bugger put back together!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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