Archive for October, 2021

surprise!   2 comments

Posted at 3:05 pm in Uncategorized


I just returned from my second trip of the day to the lumber yard in town. First trip was to buy more of the pine I’m using as siding on the north wall of the house. Yes, I needed more board feet, but some was to compensate for a weird problem that I encountered when I started cutting and nailing siding to the wall. The 10 foot boards and some 8 foot board that I bought — supposed to be the same — are not. They are milled a little differently and the 8 foots were about 1/8th of an inch wider and had a slightly different profile than the 10 foots, so they can’t be used together in the same course. Well, that kind of threw a screw into my carefully calculated materials list!! After hauling wood home in several trips, I decided to just improvise and use the 8 foots further up the wall as it’s not a noticeable difference — it’s more the plank width difference — which means I can’t mix them in each course. I’m okay with it. No biggie.

What was a bigger deal was removing some “repaired” wall to find THIS underneath. I mean, like who repairs a wall and replaces some of the planks with plywood, but leaves some planks looking like THIS? I know the repair wasn’t done a way long time ago as the plywood piece covered by the same batch of shingles was screwed to the wall with fairly recent looking Robertson screws, so we’re talking recent decades and not something done during the war years or the Depression. I’m kind of imagining a former resident, now hanging out in the cemetery across the highway, getting a laugh out of knowing that someone has finally discovered their little half-assed repair job where they covered rotten, carpenter ant eaten planks. Ahahaha. Pretty funny Mr. Skeleton!

Anyhow, that’s why I made the second trip to town — to buy more planks to go under the siding. I thought I was done replacing rotten planks further down the wall, but nooooo. haha. Guess the job has just stretched out a little longer. Thank goodness for the nice autumn weather we’re having!

Written by Administrator on October 9th, 2021

the scent of autumn   no comments

Posted at 8:56 am in Uncategorized


This is the big old Sugar Maple outside The Pod window — the “Pod” is my main living space situated in the former living room of the house. I love looking out on this tree through the seasons. It stands just at the top of the long, steep slope down to the river. In autumn, it’s usually one of the last trees in the woods to turn colour and lose its leaves. The trees on the hillside are already changing and are starting to drop their leaves. At night, I am beginning to be able to see the lights from some of the neighbours’ houses on the east side of the river. By day, I am seeing a growing patchwork of white wooden siding on the other historic houses of our little hamlet. Soon, when I stand looking down the hillside at the houses below, it will take on the quality of an old Currier & Ives print, especially in winter. All that is needed to complete the scene is a flashy red cutter pulled by an elegant dapple gray horse.

Yesterday, as I looked out at the woods, a single large leaf dropped from the Maple tree. It didn’t fall straight down, but zoomed down the hill like a Flying Squirrel or a Magic Carpet. It didn’t look ready to go — it was still a brilliant green the colour of a lime skin — but I’m imagining it making the decision that it was ready to leave the tree – it’s had enough of hanging out on a branch all summer and is ready to fly off on its final adventure — perhaps to be caught in the wind and carried down to the river where it can ride on downstream to the Annapolis River and perhaps even further to the Bay of Fundy.

Today, I lit the first “morning fire” of the season. I’ve been lighting an evening fire for about a week now. This is how it is – at first just the evening fire, then the morning fire, and eventually the two fires become one throughout the day. I love stepping outside in the morning and catching the scent of a wood fire in the air. Good hardwood produces a scent that takes me back to many autumn memories like that of the old Findlay Oval stove heating our family’s cottage on the shore of the Ottawa River back in the 1960s. Perhaps my strongest memory is of the many times around Thanksgiving, when Don and I would drive out to Upper Canada Village near Morrisburg, Ontario, just to walk around the recreated historic village, enjoying the wonderful buildings and their architectural details, the gardens which still had a few cabbages and other late season vegetables, the huge old trees with flaming colours, the creak of an oxen cart, or jangle of chains on a horse team trotting past. The air would be filled with the scent of hardwood smoke from wood fires in the various houses where women were making preserves. At one end of the village was a smoke house where sides of pork were hanging above a hickory fire. Visiting the village at that time of year became something of a tradition for us. I can no longer go there, but the scent of a good Maple fire can send me back in moment.

Written by Administrator on October 7th, 2021