TIMBER!

It is very different looking at a tree and thinking I wonder which way it will fall.

May Long Weekend is being dedicated to cutting down trees.

I need openings to the sky so come July the ground will be dry and workable.

tree clearing 1This is the first area.

I feel like I can handle those trees.

tree clearing 2These ones are huge and when I look up at those trees and imagine them falling I only see a crash.

A crashing down that will be dangerously close to the deck.

These are way outside of my comfort zone.

tree clearing 3This is the campground area.

They are a nice mix of sizes and I have more forgiveness if they don’t fall exactly as planned. I know that I can thin this area out and maybe I will feel solid enough to try the bigger ones in there.

tree clearing 5 tree clearing 4The fallen ones should just be a couple days of easy cutting once I am up there in July.

Slow, steady clean up straight into the fire pit.

tree clearing 6There is one more window maker that needs to come down.

I would like to know the math on this one.

I am guessing a line straight down near the base to a 90 degree angle but then when it falls does it snap up and take off my head.

These are my thoughts right now.

Just Broken In – Lessons Learnt

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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Just Broken In – Hilly Billy Hot Tub

In 2002 I stayed in a cabin in Northern Ontario that a couple had built from the ground up out of reclaimed wood and furniture. Outside, at the end of their deck, propped up against some Canadian shield, was an old claw foot tub. They lined it with wood,  dug a firepit out underneath it, filled it with well water and.. Presto! Best Hot Tub Ever. I was instantly in love and inspired. I quietly added this to my bucket list – in my lifetime I want to own land and have my own hillbilly hot tub!

My tub was donated by a good friend of mine. It is not finished but next July I will be soaking and gazing up at the stars.

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Neighbour Dave and Laura coming to help with their tractor.jbi-tub3

Because they like to humour me.

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I love this photo. The looks on our faces is about right.

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Safely transported to the tent area.

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Its final resting place.

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Aaahhh, thank you!

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Consensus is in, it is brilliant.JBI-T&M21

Its is going to be magical when done.

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