Construction Journal Entry Week of 1/31/21

2/1-5/21 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

I arrived at 11:30. There was no new snow on the ground and the driveway still hadn't been plowed, but I had no trouble backing in to my parking place. I brought some of my gear up the steps in one trip, hoisted the flag, built a fire, and then went back to the truck for a second trip. The stairs were clear, and the snow was firm so I had no trouble walking. The temperature was 33 degrees.

After lunch and a nap, I practiced the piano and then used a screw extractor I had brought with me in an attempt to adjust the front door threshold. The adjustment screw had been stripped and I thought the extractor might work. I succeeded in turning the screw two full turns with the extractor and as far as I could tell it was working. But then the extractor broke off deep inside the screw. I quit for the day without knowing how to proceed.

On Tuesday I started by practicing the piano and then listening to the radio. I also worked on plans for making a wood carving.

After lunch and a nap, I made a special extractor of my own using a hacksaw and a file and a discarded piece of a big lag screw. I designed it so that it had a hex drive on one end, and two prongs on the other end that went into holes in the screw I was trying to turn. I had a nut driver that fit the hex end and the prongs engaged the screw well enough so I was able to turn the screw. Unfortunately, as I turned the screw the threshold did not behave as I hoped it would. It seemed to raise a little and then lower all the way back down regardless of how I turned the screw. I was back at square one. I think I will have to glue shims on top of the threshold and forget about the adjustment screws.

On Wednesday I started out by playing the piano. Then I got the Skilsaw and the planer out and made the casing header for the back door. With a sheet of 120 grit paper I prepared the header so it was ready for varnish. After lunch and a nap, I varnished the first coat on the header and both casing legs. Then I vacuumed the first floor.

On Thursday Dave called first thing and we had a great, long conversation. After we hung up, I had my breakfast and then practiced the piano.

Next, I did something I have been thinking about doing for 75 years and had never done. When I was a kid, my dad had suggested that you go into the wilderness, which in my case in those days was the prairie, but now was the woods, and just sit still for an hour. He said you would be surprised at the wildlife you see. Now after all those years I decided to try it.

I dressed warmly and took a wooden folding chair outside and climbed up on a small hill just above the privy and sat down ready to observe for an hour. I no sooner got seated than Robert called and we had an interesting conversation for a half-hour. After we hung up, I started the clock again and this time I sat still for an hour. The only wildlife I saw was one insect, but it was a very pleasant contemplative time. I don't regret doing it.

It was noon when I walked back to the cabin, so I had my lunch and my nap. When I got up, I sanded and varnished the second coat on the casings for the back door. Then I spent the rest of the day writing.

On Friday morning after practicing the piano I loaded a bunch of water jugs that I wanted to bring back home and carried them down to the truck. Then I insulated the gap above the back door and finally installed the last exterior door casing. I took a picture of the top part of the casing because I couldn't stand back far enough to get the entire casing in one picture but this one shows how they look. I left for home at 12:40 after another delightful week in the mountains.

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