I finally went to a Home Depot to look around and this was in the first aisle that I turned down. Bruce is my last name.
I really have no idea what I am doing right now in the sense of the construction part. I own a glue gun and basic tools so I like that I am already a name in the world of construction!
In my 20s, I feel madly in love with two women. They were night and day from each other.
In one space, I could view the world through the eyes of a 14 year old boy. The other one saw a 26 year old lesbian. I had no idea how to combine both sides of me, so neither worked.
In my 30s, I met two women who instantly reminded me of the first two.
Leo Jul 23 | Aug 22 In one of his poems, Rumi writes about being alone with a wise elder. “Please,” he says to the sage, “do not hold back from telling me any secrets about this universe.” In the coming weeks, Leo, I suggest you make a similar request of many people, and not just those you regard as wise. You’re in a phase when pretty much everyone is a potential teacher who has a valuable clue to offer you. Treat the whole world as your classroom.
Done and done. I just started the research side of building the Ginger Shack and have been reaching out to every where to see what others think, are doing and have learnt from their experiences.
The biggest challenge I am facing right now is the simple fact that I am not a researcher. Never have been. My life’s choices have been made by my gut and without a lot of thought to ‘what might occur’ or is this the ‘best product on the market’.
The first year of my land I had a friend take the reins on all of the projects; hanging the sign, building the deck and then winterizing the tent. If it was not for her brains and my neighbour’s tools (and generous hearts) not much would have been completed.
Now I have a base camp up there and 6 months of research time down in Toronto.
Just set up an account with this community. Instructables!
As 2014 comes to a close most of us are sitting back and taking stock of the year that just passed. When I look back on the past year, I smile at all of the things I thought I was going to accomplish but I am also amazed at what I did get done on my land. So what did I learn?
1/ The hanging of the sign. I actually bought a fence post for this sign. My friend, Judy, looked at me like I was crazy and said … You know you have a lot of trees. Why did you buy a dead one? Lesson learnt – I have a lot of supplies on my land.
2/ The deck. Working outdoors is nothing like working indoors, not even close. Lesson learnt – I am out of my element and need to slow down, do research and make way more informed decisions because if I don’t this will not work.
3/ The camp location. I put the tent on the most level spot of land that was closest to the driveway. We did not look up and ended up building right under a widow maker tree (a tree that is dangerously close to falling). I also put it at the bottom of my hill and am about to experience my first spring melt so it may or may not be flooded out. The ground is basically years of decaying organic matter so after a few months of heavy equipment being used I now open my door onto a mud pit. Lesson learnt – look at all angles before making a decision.
4/ The wood burning stove. It came with wire netting for the top of the chimney to keep debris out. This is a great idea for short amount of time but in my case the wire netting is pointless. Rain turns a stove into a small dirty tub but add a new metal T top and all is well. Leason learnt – this is not a vacation this is about to be an all element lifestyle.
5/ The canvas tent and wood burning stove. Making sure that everything is clear of stove inside the tent is great but making sure everything is clear of the stove pipe is also a good idea. Leason learnt – metal gets really hot and dry leaves burn really nicely.
6/ Mice. I have successfully build the best home a mouse family could ever hope for. I had no idea that there were so many mice out there. Lesson learnt – you are living outdoors and there is a lot of outdoors you don’t know about coming from the city.
7/ Black flies. Back in July when we went up to survey for the driveway I had my first ever Black Fly experience. I grew up in a province full of mosquitoes but not black flies. Lesson learnt – Black Flies love my blood.
8/ Winter. I actually thought that I could leave the tent up all year without any worries. Then my neighbours and I talked about the weight of snow. Thankfully, this winter has been very kind to us and as of today the tent has yet to collapse. Leason learnt – this is not a vacation this is about to be an all element lifestyle and you are living outdoors and there is a lot of outdoors you don’t know about coming from the city. (Reoccurring theme)
9/ I have really amazing neighbours and awesome friends. Thank you all for your support either up there working or simply telling me that this is beautiful and that following your heart is the best thing anyone can do.
Leo Jul 23 | Aug 22: The Arctic Monkeys are British rockers who have produced five studio albums, which together have sold almost five million copies. Rolling Stone magazine called their first album, released in 2006, the 30th greatest debut of all time. Yet when they first formed in 2002, none of them could play a musical instrument. I see the current era of your life, Leo, as having a similar potential. How might you start from scratch to create something great?
Oh Rob. You just keep making me smile from ear to ear. The more I research design, the more I am becoming convinced that the Ginger Shack is going to be stunning.
I built a very simple deck-like bed frame for my futon mattress so I took that knowledge, bought a bunch of wood and headed up North to build a deck. I could not have been more out of my element and unprepared if I tried. A forest floor outside is nothing like a hardwood floor in your apartment. No real surprise there.
The first trip up was all about hauling the wood from where it was delivered to where it needed to be. We laid out the deck area and took stock of what it was that I bought.
The second trip up was lead by my good friend and mentor, Judy. She renovates houses for a living and has a personal relationship with everyone at her local Home Depot so needless to say the level of knowledge increased 100 fold. In one day, 6 of us, built one really beautiful deck.
Levelled with some twigs and sticks!
Leo Jul 23 | Aug 22: By the time we have become young adults, most of us don’t remember much about our lives from before the age of five. As we grow into middle age, more and more childhood memories drop away. Vague impressions and hazy feelings may remain. A few special moments keep burning brightly. But the early events that shaped us are mostly gone. Having said that, I want to alert you to the fact that you are in a phase when you could recover whole swaths of lost memories, both from your formative years and later. Take advantage of this rare window of opportunity to reconnect with your past.
Today I told a friend of mine that I felt I was in a hyper state of learning. I don’t even know how to get into that statement other than to say it is really calming to start to have everything in you line up.
At work we are practicing C.I.A. Which is Control, Influence, Accept. Ask yourself that, have a honest think, then get on with it.