Construction Journal Entry Week of 6/28/20

6/30-7/3/20 I went up to Camp Serendipity for 4 days: Tuesday through Friday.

I had a doctor's appointment downtown first thing Tuesday morning, so I left for the mountains a little late. I arrived at 1:10. The temperature was a mild 65 degrees and the sky was overcast. I carried my gear up to the cabin, hoisted the flag, and noticed that the mosquitoes were out in full force. I put my strongest defenses into effect: I turned on the fan blowing up at the front door, I closed the inside entry room door and I decided to enter the cabin through the front door only.

By standing in the wash of the fan, most of the mosquitoes can be shooed away. Then, I slip in the front door and into the entry room. With the inside door closed, any mosquitoes that followed me in get trapped in that small room and by standing still in one corner, I can see them if they fly around. I have a flyswatter in there and I use it to swat any mosquitoes I see. When I don't see any more, I finally enter the cabin and shut the door behind me again. Then, of course, the final defense is the mosquito net tent over my bed. Even if there are mosquitoes inside, I can sleep and know that I am completely isolated from them. I also started wearing a mosquito-net hat that covers my face and head whenever I go outside. It all works pretty well.

After lunch and a nap, I went into the woods and irrigated Andrew. When I got back, Action Appliance Repair called and told me that the parts needed to fix my heater were no longer available so there was no way to fix the heater. They will refund the charge they placed on my credit card for the parts, but they will keep the $22 diagnostic fee that I had paid earlier. I also told them to keep the heater since it would be of no use to me.

Since I had gone through the winter with that heater not working, it doesn't seem like I even need to replace it. And, even if I do, the heater in the utility room has never been needed and has never been used. If I think I do need a heater in the dining room, I will move the one from the utility room into the dining room. I'm not really impressed with either the French engineering of the heater or the Canadian service.

While I was standing in the kitchen, I happened to spot a small lizard sunning himself in a spot of sunshine just in front of the linen closet door. After a comical chase that ended in the corner of the dining room, I managed to catch the lizard in a cardboard box without injuring him and I let him go out on the front porch. I have seen lizards out there a few times, but I have no idea how this one got into the cabin. I hope he scooted in through an open door without my noticing. I would hate to think that there is a hole somewhere big enough for the lizard. That would also be almost big enough for a mouse. I'll hope for the best and keep a few mousetraps set.

On Wednesday I worked on the loft flooring. I moved more furniture, some of it onto the newly-laid floor and some of it the other way, and exposed another four-foot swath of subfloor all the way across the loft. That swath includes the columns in the center of the building so I used the oscillating saw to cut the notches ringing the bottom of each column that will hide the flooring that will go into the notches.

After lunch and a nap, I went into the woods and irrigated Andrew with five gallons of water. Then I went back up to the loft and with a broad putty knife, an impact driver, and a drill, I found any screws in that swath of the subfloor that were sticking up. For those screws that were too stubborn to be sunk by the impact driver alone, I took them completely out, drilled a shallow countersink hole, and replaced the screw, this time slightly below the surface of the subfloor.

With all the screws sunk, I vacuumed the exposed floor and then began laying flooring planks on it. I got it about half covered before I quit for the night.

On Thursday, I resumed laying flooring planks. The going was fast and easy until I got to the edge that needs to be fitted against the columns, newel posts, and the 2x4 base of the railing structure. I got some of this fitting done before lunch and a nap.

When I got up, I went outside and irrigated Andrew. Then I got the string trimmer and drained the two batteries whacking down the weeds on the upper roadway and the concrete staircase.

Near the end of the work, I replaced the spool of string and I must have done something wrong. While I was trimming, the hubcap came off the machine and I couldn't find it. The trimmer worked for a short while without the hubcap, but soon the string got all tangled up and I had to stop. It just didn't work without that hubcap.

I searched the woods in vain for that hubcap and then gave up and decided to make a substitute part. After making one out of wire, I tried it and found that it didn't work. So, I decided to do a more thorough search in the brush. After a while I found it. That was a relief.

On Friday morning, I went out and irrigated Andrew. Then I vacuumed the loft staircase and the entire first floor. There was a lot of sawdust from cutting into those columns, so it was nice to get the place cleaned up.

When I finished vacuuming, I called Earl and had a nice visit with him. Then I spent some time fixing my broken hearing-protection muffs. I just had to replace the duct tape I had used to fix them in the first place a few years ago. It's good to go now for a few more years. I left for home at about 1:00 happy with the progress on the loft flooring.

7/4/20 Received an email from the building department with the go-ahead for scheduling the next inspection. I'll do that on Monday when they are open for business. Good news!

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