The Beginning – Chapter 16

One morning out my window.

One morning out my window.

Chapter 16
After I get home, I feed my chicks that are looking long and leggy now. The little roosters are trying to crow once in a while and sound funny. I hurry and pick a bunch of small weeds from the garden and bring them over to dump in the pen for them. Then I check out how the ice house is looking and if I need more gravel. It seems to be firming up nicely as it dries so maybe it will be fine. I start up the tiller and run it between the rows quickly to make the garden look better and not let the weeds get too good a start on me. I use the rake on the sides of the hills so all that is left is the actual rows on top of each hill to pull weeds out of and I have been keeping them pulled fairly well for the chicks.
After I go in the house, I reheat some leftovers and eat as I sort through laundry needing folded. I figured I would have it all ready to need washed again if I waited long enough to fold it. Certainly was working out that way, right now. I tossed all the underwear and socks into a basket and did fold the T shirts and pants. A pair of the Carhardt pants for working in tomorrow and a long sleeved T shirt would work well. It is my standard day to day wear. T shirt color changes and sometimes the pants, too, depending on which pair gets worn. I dress for comfort while I work, not for anyone’s fashion sense. A pair of athletic shoes finishes the outfit. I’m set for tomorrow. We can probably have the cabin ready for a roof by tomorrow evening. That part I will be willing to leave to the guys. I’m up early the next morning and have transplanted a few more shrubs around the new ice house. It is starting to look like it has been there a while and blending in with the surroundings rather well. The moss and bushes in the surface I had cut out in chunks has apparently not suffered too much and is growing right back.
As I walk over to the woodshed, Pal presses against my leg and a low growl rumbles through him. I stop and look around, trying to see what is bothering him. Pretty soon he relaxes and we continue walking to the woodshed. Now he has me feeling jumpy, so when Noah walks around the corner of the woodshed a bit later, I nearly jump out of my shoes.
“Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.” he says as he steps into the shed.
“Well, it wasn’t exactly you that scared me. Pal was growling at something out back here and then you said hi and I wasn’t expecting it.” I reply
. He is suddenly all business, “What did you see and did you hear anything?”
“Not really, maybe some brush crackling on down over the bank. I’m not sure.” I don’t feel too secure and am happy to have Pal and Noah both staying here. He asks if he should move his camper up to my yard and right now, that sounds pretty good. So I say sure
. After the camper is loaded and moved up the hill to my yard we leave it on the truck and use mine to go over to help on his Dad’s cabin. Odd, when Roman and Thad will both be living in it and are both paying for the materials, we all call it Roman’s cabin.
We unload Roman’s pickup and start loading stuff up onto the 2nd floor for the walls. In short order, we are in production again and walls are being built. Rose had us leave the siding stick up and cut slots wide enough for the rafters every 2 feet. We taped the wrap to the top of each piece to hold it in place until the rafters were on. This gave the top of the side walls the appearance of arrow slots. The side walls were the short sides of the cabin and only 6 feet high. The gable ends were across the long section and went up to 12 feet at the top of the point. This gave more height and more light into the upstairs room and a good pitch to the roof for snow to slide off. The ridge beam would be shorter, too. 20 feet instead of 28 feet. Much lighter for us to place after the walls were all up. We assembled the beam across the floor on the second floor, using 2“ x 12“s, liquid nails and strips of plywood between another 2“x12“. The beam was 3 2”x12”s wide Rose cut the ends slightly tapered so they would look finished.
I had brought my ladders and Rose and Kara had ladders, so did Roman, in his trailer, so we had plenty of ladders for everyone to be able to walk the beam up the ladders and slide into it’s slot on each end. Even with all of us it was still heavy and awkward but we didn’t drop it. We did almost put it in upside down, but caught that mistake seconds before it became reality. Kara said they had actually done that on one of hers. Very difficult to lift back up out of the slots and turn, once it is in.
The top plates are nailed on the side walls and it is ready to start putting up rafters. For a crew of amateurs, we are doing pretty darn good.
We load the rafters up to the 2nd floor and wish we had done it when we loaded the wall material as it would have been much easier, even if we had too keep moving it out of our way as we worked. Rose marked out where to cut the birds mouths and lined them up with that side up, walked down them with her chainsaw and made the first cut on all of them at once. Then a slight notch where the angle cut started to finish. As each rafter was turned on its side, she cut from the notch to the end of the other cut and had the birds mouths cut. The notches to fasten the outside rafters to the inside rafters were cut with the chainsaw also. The lower ends would rest on the top plate extensions we had made. But a little extra support never hurts. With such a small cabin, putting the rafters on didn’t take much time. We crisscrossed them over the ridge beam and nailed them together.
There were only small pieces sticking out to be trimmed off and the chainsaw again worked very well for that. Two of us on ladders started on fastening the house wrap over the rafters. We overlapped the walls a small amount, then cut and taped the wrap down in to the wrap left up from the wall. A 1×2 tacked on top the 2×12 rafter held the house wrap firmly in place. Then we moved on to the next rafter and repeated the operation. This cabin would be water resistant by the time we were done and not a drop of rain hit the inside to dampen the insulation in the floor.
The wrap on top of the rafters with the 1×2’s on top, will keep the insulation from poofing up and touching the roof, and making it a hot roof with ice buildup in winter. Any space at all between the insulation and the metal roof will allow air circulation and make it a cold roof
. As we wrapped the rafters, the guys were placing nailer strips over the 1×2’s on the rafters, from ladders against the walls. It looks like Roman bought 1×6’s to use to fasten the roofing to. We made a box and fastened it between the rafters to hold the chimney and for the guys to see where to go around with the nailers. We taped the house wrap down inside it and hoped no rain would enter before a chimney was added.
Kara opened the shack at noon and I headed down to see how Will and Shari were doing. As I started out the driveway, they were pulling in. They had come to help on the cabin. Oops, well, they were surprised.
Will asked Roman to mark out where he wanted electric lines and he would put them in for him. Roman went around the walls, marking for outlets and switches for overhead lights with magic marker.
Shari apologized for their being late, she had been barfing up the last years worth of food, she thought and wondered how anyone gained weight when pregnant if this lasted very long.
Shari and I pulled wire as Will drilled holes and placed outlet boxes. As soon as she knew what to do, I went back up and started on helping upstairs.
I tied a nail to a string and tacked it to the upper edge of the chimney box in the roof. Where it hit the floor would be where the hole would need cut for the chimney to come up from downstairs. I sure hope it is between floor joists. Well, it only needs a little bit of adjusting and it will be fine. I draw the outline in magic marker where they will need to cut to put the insulated pipe support piece.
Then Rose and I start on installing the doors. Roman has bought 2 very nice metal clad insulated doors with a window in it. Wow, I have never worked with a new door before. We only have to shim in a couple of spots and it slides right in. We have them screwed in place before the guys even notice what we were doing. Then they yell a little bit that it was too heavy for us to be lifting. Well, fiddle, it is in, isn’t it? Guys. Rose and I grin at each other and just keep on working. It is kind of nice to have guys actually want to do the heavy stuff.
It is a large step up into the cabin, at the front door, so Rose and I bring over a large heavy duty pallet and place it on some flat stones and level it out. Then we add a couple of boards so it only has narrow spaces between boards so no one will go between boards on their way in. When Roman comes around the corner, he thanks us and says he would like to build an entryway porch later, to have a place to hang coats and to cut the wind coming in the door when going in or out of the house.
He has several sheets of T 1-11 siding left over and offers to put it on the outside of the shop Rose has, down the hill as she has never been able to side her shop. Some of the extra house wrap to go under it, too. She is speechless and almost tears up a bit, but then says yes, that would be wonderful. He pulls out 3 sheets to use for his porch and the rest he loads back on his pickup. He says with the trim left from the window cutouts and the walls, he will have plenty for a nice porch now
. Rose, Kara and I will leave the rest of the cabin work to the guys as they don’t seem to mind being on ladders or roofs. With the house wrap over the rafters, the roof will shed light rain and should be okay inside until they can get the roof on. Rose had requested metal roofing as it is pretty much a lifetime roof and fire proof, also. It has a steep enough pitch to shed snow fairly well, also. No one should ever have to get back on it. Rose and I walk over to the shack and talk to Kara a bit. Rose tells her the guys are going to put the leftover T 1-11 siding on the shop for her. We all just stand there, thinking of the difference in people. These 3 men not only said they would do something, they actually got right in and did it. Sometimes they didn’t even say anything, they just stepped right up and started helping.
Rose says the spring is still running very well, even with the dry weather we have been having. She has been able to water the gardens and greenhouses from it and most of the laundry, too. She said it tastes good, also, although she didn’t have it tested. Mine has been doing very well. Shari comes over about that time and she is happy with the small spring they have, too. She said they were digging a small ditch bringing it closer to the house and garden. She was planting wild rose bushes all around the edges of the clearing their house was in. She loved the flowers and wanted to make rosehip jelly and catsup. I think that is a very good idea and I will be planting more around my place, too. Maybe similar to a hedge, even. Some raspberry plants here and there with the rose bushes. Good things to eat and a nice stickery hedge. No down side to that.
Will and Roman flip for who gets to buy us all dinner. Thad says it isn’t too fair to Kara as she still has to fix it for us. She laughs and says she certainly doesn’t mind and what would we all like to eat? We each place our orders and she starts preparing our meals. I could get used to this and very spoiled. I have eaten out more often in the last month than I have in the last several years.
While we are eating, we talk about the next project needing done. Kara needs a woodshed which to me is the most important and then we need to fill it. Will and Shari also need a bigger woodshed and it filled. Rose has most of her woodshed filled, but another stack or two would be good, just to have on hand. I don’t think it is possible to have too much on hand. Also, Roman and Thad should have a woodshed and firewood if they are planning on staying
Roman plans on another trip to town tomorrow morning, early, for materials to finish up the cabin. Insulation, foam board, vapor barrier and plywood. Some light fixtures and electrical outlets, maybe some plumbing stuff, too. He asked if any of us needed anything from town. No one did, so we all said good evening and headed our separate ways.

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