Follow by Email

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tinkering with Toys for Fun, Safety, and Pleasure

Wow, it has been an incredibly long time since I posted anything here, and for that long lapse I sincerely apologize. Lots has happened since the hot and dry summer of 2012, culminating in some nice rain, a fabulous election and relief that our state refused to put intolerance into our constitution... but that's all for another blog or at least another blog post!

I feel that it is time I caught up with some of the more mundane and mechanical events of 2012, which included some creative on-the-spot carpentry, a bit of frugal use of what's lying around to make things more attractive, and the latest and greatest in toys for the women of the woods who have lots of toys!

First, let me re-introduce you to our friend Nick, a creative carpenter if there ever was one! 
Nick's arriving for the day's task: to make our "Overlook" site on our ridge trail, where so many of our friends have posed for a photo or stared off into the wonderful view, a safer and more sturdy place. 
Here is the Overlook, or "The Lookout"... we had put up some makeshift rails of downed tree limbs, but the slope down to the edge is kinda steep. Thinking we'd just dig down and put in some sturdy rocks for steps, we discovered what we already should have known... it is bedrock just a few inches below the surface, all the way down. Hmmm... now what? 

Well, Nick brought some ingenuity... and some masonry bits... 
...started sinking some anchoring blocks..
...and a few more anchoring blocks...
...pausing to explain his strategy... notice the fine tools for precision cutting of the various 2x4s and other lumber (the chain saw)...
We had some leftover stair risers...
Heck of a deal... they fit! 

Fasten them down to those anchor blocks nice and tight...
Looking good...
Adding tread...
Voila! Stairs! 
...and with a newly reinforced railing, our lookout site is much safer and more comfortable. Come on up, we'll take your picture! 

Now this project was something we began last year, let languish over the winter, and finally completed this summer. We made this wall/fence of lots and lots of bits of scrap lumber, mostly pieces of board and batten from our siding...
Behind this lovely rustic fence hides... an LP tank...and Kathy... 
Hi there! She was momentarily in charge of holding the fence in place while Val ran to get a few more bolts...
Here's the final view... no LP tank lookin' like a big beached submarine. 

And then there's the Toy category... BIG toys, noisy toys, that is. As you may recall, earlier this year we had a close encounter with a busted wood chipper, and were not very amused by it all. Well, we started over, and ordered from a different company, who kindly delivered to our small and far away community... Nick provided transport for the final stretch...
...and friends Michele and Dawn helped drag the thing off the trailer...
And here she is: the Wood Chipper, that is... Val, for perhaps the first time in her life, actually reading the instruction manual before attempting to put it together! 
What a beaut! 
Michele and Nick attaching the shutte...

...the feeder mechanism...

Watch your hands, everybody! 

...and not much later, Charlene the Chipper started on the first pull, which is why Val is grinning so widely! Yes! 

Here's a small sample of our first product... Michele immediately said, "looks like great dog bed material" but we have the garden and the landscaping projects more in mind... maybe dogs will come later...
Woo hoo! She purrs like a big ol' red tabby cat! 
...and even Zoe, Nick's daughter, thinks the chipper is neat!

Soon to come, more pix of this summer and fall's outdoor projects... you won't believe what we've been up to at our Hard Labor Camp in Northern MN... 
and a very hearty thanks to all our friends everywhere in the state who went out yesterday and VOTED NO on the so-called marriage amendment! Yahoo! 

1 comment: