Building a small cabin shouldn't take long. However, when you live about a five hour drive away (or longer if you have small children that need longer stops for diaper changes and bottle feedings), things can take a bit longer than expected.
Last week, we made a four-day trip up to Maine to work on our little cabin. After being left without work for almost a year, everything was exactly as it was left. Some birds had made a nest, and a bit of a mess on the second floor, and there was a field of dead lady bugs on the first floor. Considering that the second floor was not fully enclosed last fall, and there are still a few gaps that needed sealing in the outer walls, this was no problem at all compared to what we could have found.
The first day was spent travelling, trimming down the overgrowth, and setting up camp. We had one snake in the camper this time, which is a massive improvement from the 10-15 that had taken up residence that last time our camper had been left for the winter. There was also a hornet nest and a yellow jacket nest discovered in various vents, and both were destroyed by my very brave, beekeeper husband!
The second day, friends arrived to help. The men got right into mowing the tall grass for a larger camp, and then set to work on the cabin. The doors framed and hung, and the remaining windows were installed. We also set up a screen house for the little ones to play in, keep the bugs out, and provide some shade.
Speaking of bugs, the infamous Maine black flies were there in numbers to greet us. The mosquitoes were also present in unusually large numbers due to the massive amounts of rain and flooding this past spring. Not wanting to use DEET with small children, we used an essential oil based insect repellent from Burt's Bees. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, I'd give is a 9 for it's effect on the black flies, and about a 7 for it's effect on the mosquitoes. The blood suckers kept buzzing us, but didn't land to bite, making them more of an annoyance than a real problem.
On the third day, the second floor exterior was finished. We had originally planned to put up the roofing shingles as well. With the temperature topping 90 degrees and humid, the idea of working on black roofing paper with black, asphalt shingles wasn't very appealing to anyone. So, it was time for some play. Most everyone took rides on the dirt bike and ATV. Work hard, play harder!
The last day was bright, sunny, and we hated to leave. But, we should be able to actually sleep in the cabin during our next trip up to our developing homestead.
Live better, a little every day.