H O M E S T E A D I N G   2000-2001

June 2000, Nearing the completion
of my first rock wall.

June 2000, Rock Wall
Kitchen Shelves, built May 1, 2001
Kitchen Shelves, built May 1, 2001

Putting on the cedar shingles, Spring, 2000
Beginning the cedar shingles on north side
May 27, 2001: These are my new used tools, found at a yard sale in Arlington. That is an aluminum expanding rake. It narrows to accommodate narrow spaces. Very Cool!

New Tools The Amazing Expanding Rake

Below: the holding tank and foundation
awaiting the arrival of the magnificent outhouse on May 11.

The ready pit

14 June: Slinging rocks today, reinforcing the bank under the bridge. Click to enlarge. The first shot is kinda strange because you can't see that it's water and it's also very blue. Taken overhead from the bridge facing south. The second is also from the bridge but looking down on the north side, below the little rock wall garden. The last shot is the most telling. Note there are no large rocks in the middle at all and you can see how they are piled up on the left (west) side. I have at least one more day of this before the left side will be ready. I may actually get my bridge built this year. Then the back side will meet the Mighty Mower. It was oppressively hot and being in the stream kept me reasonably cool.
14 June 2001, Willows 14 June 2001, Bird's Nest 14 June 2001, Rhododendron blooming
Below, top left are the willows I pulled up at Willy's pond at the bottom of the West Sandgate Road. It was there that I took the pic under that of the bird's nest photo in another, almost identical, clump of willows. I don't know what bird it is but it could be a red-wing blackbird as this is how they nest. The photo is slated for Vermont Daily. The willows (and some attendant ferns) are planted on the south side of the barn wreck in the wetlands there. Someday, that will be a pond. And because it is looking so lovely, I shot the Rhododendron in bloom with Spring Columbine in the foreground.

14 June 2001
14 June 2001
rhodie and columbine Shade Garden June 1
The shade garden

22 June: Taking the chimney down
Making a mess 1
Making a mess 3
Making a mess 2
Making a mess 4

25 June: More chimney demolition.
All the cement blocks are gone and only the cement/rubble foundation remains
Making a mess 5

When making a mess of the chimney gets too hot, I go to the stream to shovel gravel and sand for a couple hours.
Here I flattened out the exit ramp off the east side of the "bridge" and built up the wheel barrow path to make that route easier.

Making a path off the bridge Building up on both sides of the ramp

A good view of the bank reinforcement and the level bridge off-ramp
A good view of the bank reinforcement and the level bridge off-ramp

19 July 2001: I finished the riprap on the south side of the bridge so I could then move the bridge over to that place and work on the area that was under the bridge. A 12 foot 4x4 made the job pretty easy. Building up the rock wall was more work. My back is killing me. Photo 1: Looking from the front side... getting started on the move. Levering the heavy pole with a 4x4 using second pole as fulcrum. Photo 2: Looking from the back side you can see in the lower right corner of the photo how far over I moved it by the position of the little boards that I had been using for an off-ramp. Photo 3: The same view from the front side. The bridge is much higher on the back side now because I wanted it to be level but I think it's a mistake because building up the ground to make it a level off-ramp is more work than it's worth. I'm going to lower the back side a bit but I'll have to think about it.

bridge move bridge move bridge move

The Bridge Story: I love heavy earth moving equipment and when anything that sounds like that comes up the road, I run out to see it, always with the faint expectation that it's a backhoe or dozer and I'll have the courage to flag him down and he'll agree to move a boulder or dig a hole or something for me. And so one day I was drawn out by the sound of a tractor coming up the road. It was my neighbor and he was dragging a utility pole on a long chain. He stopped and after the pleasantries, asked if I would like one. I flounced and fawned and ended up getting two. They were so heavy they flattened the wheels on my handcart so all moving was done by rolling, levering and skidding. It took an entire day to maneuver one pole to the stream bank. (Pre-come-along days) It took a year to get the second, big one across. It was newer and thicker and much heavier than the first which I got across in a couple of days. I dropped both poles into the stream during the course of my maneuvers. I raised them incrementally on cement blocks, 4x4's, and all sorts of levers and pry bars. I would abandon the project for weeks, too intimidated to go on, until one day the inspiration would kick in and I would make progress. So for a year after getting them next to each other across the stream, I crossed on a 2x6 nailed along the middle of their length. Over this, I wheel barrowed heavy loads of rocks and cement rubble from the chimney project. And this summer I got the lawn mower across by tipping it sideways at a balanced 45° and rolling it over on two wheels.
9 aug 2001 south side
9 august, 2001
lilies, 10 aug

August 28: I'm giving the shed renovation it's own page.

august 23
So, I went for the raised ramp... a lot of shoveling gravel out of the stream but the result is beautiful. I'll buy the pt 2x6 bridge decking a couple at a time until it's finished but, for now, the planking down the middle works just fine.
16 aug 2001
The finished bridge will be 6' wide.

September 18: The big guys from CVPS and Verizon were here today to complete the necessary steps in preparation for the new power and phone lines and utilty poles. There will be a new 10 pair phone line and a transformer on the pole that services my house. 3 years I have been begging for this. It will happen in the next few weeks. They will be taking down a lot of my trees.

august 17
mare and morgan spent a few days in the "guest house"
It's much bigger than it looks. i can easily walk around inside

june 2001 September 24: The third fence shot below shows the branch trim on the outside of the dog fence and some of the rock work. I also lashed a stout vine to the top of the fencing on the other side which looks very attractive and gives the fence more rigidity. I put in another cedar fence post and a metal one, too. I'll get that shot tomorrow. Cut all the 14' metal roofing in half so that's ready to go up on the shed as 7' sections. Today was beautiful beyond description.

September 22: Put in the last two posts for the south side of the back yard and attached the wire with the top edge level. This left a wide gap underneath on the low end, hence the temporary 8" board. I'll probably build a rock wall to fill the space. Surprise! The plywood piece will be a gate and the posts will be trimmed level. This section ends at the maple tree. The wire fence will then continue on the other side of the 3 maples with an artsy, tree branch "crib" filling the V space in between the 2 maples. Eventually the wire will be replaced with some kind of wooden fence still in the conceptual stage.

Second shot: I also worked on the driveway that will cross the stream, moving one very large rock and leveling the area and filling in a bit on the low south side. This whole area is much improved now and looking pretty tidy.

Dog Fence Driveway through Stream Dog Fence

October 3: The shed roof is ON!!

Panoramic Shed Roof View Looking South
Panoramic view from the shed roof, facing south
Back of the outhouse, Nov 01

Halloween 2001
New door awning and faschia

This thing is what's on the back side of the outhouse

Left: Mowzer inspects the pet door airlock that Billy built. I need to do some finish work on the top and paint the window trim.

right: painted the outhouse trim.
gate to the dog yard

New trim paint

November 2: A gorgeous day in the low 70's!!

Nov 19, 2001: The new utility pole installation

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