Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Keeping it warm in Leetonia

Thought I would share with you my daily winter rituals. When I got up this morning it was 4 degrees outside and 58 inside. First I let the dogs out and next started the fire for the day. We heat mainly with wood. I do have a back up gas space heater for temperatures below -10. It gets hard to keep the place warm enough with my woodburner.
The cart you see in the picture when filled to the top lasts one day in temps that average around 20. When it goes down to zero we can go through two carts a day. The wood container near the cart holds kindling to help get the fire going.
The dogs are quick to do their business in the morning for two reasons: they get a morning treat and it is much warmer inside then out.

My boots are commonly on the hearth drying out from the snow. A pan of water is refilled at least twice a day to keep some moisture in the drier winter air. The nice thing about a fire is if you are really cold you just move closer to it. I have a fan that circulates the air to move it a little faster through the cabin. There is something mesmerizing about looking at a fire I can do it for hours and never get bored.
The down side to heating with wood is if you let it go out you get cold, your pipes freeze and havoc occurs. I can't just set a dial to the temperature I want and forget it. Also being gone for more than a day is out of the question without winterizing the water pipes. That is why not having indoor plumbing for the pioneers was a frozen pipes. The dogs love the fire. My old dog Jack would often sit up on the hearth so close I swear I could smell his fur burning. I just wish I could teach them to tend the fire.
Of course wood burning is not without its dangers. The old methodist Church in Marshlands (which is now a residency) had a chimney fire last night and did quite a bit of damage. Carefully cleaning of the chimney each year is a much and making sure you store your ashes carefully. I learned this the hard way a few years ago. I would just carry the ashes out in a bucket and toss them over the hill near the stream all winter. I didn't think a thing about it until one day I came home to a large fire in my stack of next years firewood. Flames were shooting 10 foot in the air. I had to carry buckets of water from the stream to start putting it out until Lee could connect a hose. It took 4 hours of water and kicking my pile apart to get it out.
I was very lucky the fire had started at my ash pile, burnt the dry grass up within 5 feet of the house, under the propane tank down a 100 feet to the wood pile, on its way claiming a large pile of expensive cedar boards. I was so lucky it didn't catch the house on fire. Since then I have built a cinder block pit to keep the cinders in and avoid such a disaster. Well about time to put more wood on the fire. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Leetonia at Christmas time

It was a rainy/icy day for Christmas. Lee is gone so it was just me and the dogs. We celebrated Christmas early so I worked on Christmas day to make it seem more like any other day. The ice outside was bad enough you did't feel like doing much outside anyway.
The day after Christmas I crept out the slippery roads to get some supplies. On the way back Leetonia Road was jammed with tow trucks. Not small ones..the big ones they use for semis. It seems the Gaines road plowing truck thought he could get by without chains and did a little flip off the road he rolled down about 15'. I did a little flashback to my accident and was glad I didn't
take a big dump truck down the cliff.
I turned around and circled over the mountain going up Elk Run to Schumacher. I came out by the Elk Township building and Lee Stover stopped me to say the Elk Township truck was laid up. They were sending the West Branch truck to cinder the ice. He told me the Gaines truck did a "Paula" down the road. Being a good sport I laughed, but now I think my name is becoming synonymous with flipping off the road. I had hoped for a better legacy.
My daughter and kids are coming up the second week in January and my daughter send me this picture of the youngest, Ella. She looks quite ready to be a mountain girl. I don't know if you can tell by the smile but she has enough energy to move the mountain.
The first picture shows the weather today. We got a couple inches of snow last night to cover our ice so it looks a little nicer but I doubt if it is any easier to walk yet. Well the fire is stoked up and warm. I have a trip into town for one of the dogs and will pick up some more cereal. Hope you all had a great Leetonia Christmas. I know I did. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

No Snow from East Coast Storm

Just a quick update. We did not receive any snow from that storm that dumped up to 24 inches on the east coast. We still have a lot of ice on the roads and wearing chains is the only safe way to travel in the back woods. The ice is the only part of living back here I do not like. It is difficult to walk. Just getting into my truck yesterday, I ended up holding the steering wheel as my feet flew out from under me. The dogs seem to fair better. I think having four or in Thor's case three feet on the ground with claws helps. The propane company has not come to fill our tank and my concern is they may not show up until spring. We might make it through the winter on half a tank but it would be close. Well I got the fire started and the house is starting to warm up. Today is pancake day so I am off to eat breakfast and then go work. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Road Conditions

In case you all are wondering how the roads are to Leetonia, here is the news. We traveled south on Leetonia road to Cedar Run today. The first picture shows some of the ice we encountered. This is in front of Theresa's place and shortly after I took this picture we slid sideways. We have studded tires on the Subaru it does well in snow but not so hot on ice.
Traveling down the road was slow and most of the road looked like the second picture icy rough ruts. The snow in the middle and edges is frozen hard and it is difficult to get out of the ruts which is good and bad. Staying in the ruts keeps you from going off the road, but if another vehicle
comes it could be a problem for a car like ours. The bottom of the car rubbed on the high snow in the middle of the road for about half the trip.
About half way down the road had a few places like the third picture with the ruts down to the gravel. If it had been this way all the way it would have been a breeze. We weren't that lucky.
The last two hair pin curves were slick like the first picture and I have to say I held my breathe more than once on the way down.
After making it to Cedar Run we pretty much decided the road is only drivable with chains on. You must go slowly and stay on the high side of the banked road to do well.
If you come in from the Galeton/Gaines side the road is plowed and sanded up to the point in of the first picture. From Theresa's place down to Franks it is very icy and you must have cleats on your shoes to walk or chains on your vehicle to drive. If we get more snow the conditions could improve as the snow tends to rough up the ice and bond to it making it less slippery, but for now it is for brave or crazy people. I am not sure which category we fall into, but I will say my IQ improved on the way back and I made Lee drive 50 miles around to come home. This is hard to do since it is only 9 miles the fast dangerous way from Cedar Run to home. It took forever, but I was able to breathe a lot better.
Coming from the south I would suggest coming up 15 to 6 then down from Gaines at Watrous to Leetonia road and in. Bring chains and cleats for your boots if coming up this weekend. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Icy Blockade

We are getting an ice storm. DO NOT EVEN THINK OF DRIVING THESE ROADS TODAY! It is chains only as the freezing rain continues to fall. It is weird how it can be 22 degrees and rain. Right now it is 29 and raining the result is an icy mess as soon as it hits. What snow was on the road is now an ice skating rink.
If you are back here the only hope is chains but even then it will be a scary ride. I have decided to stay in and do paper work. Even walking on this can be hazardous. Chance of losing power as this continues is great. So the generator is ready for action. I will let you know how we come through this tomorrow. All the chain stuff is ready: chains for tires, chains for chain saw and cleat for shoes. This is the kind of weather that makes winter hard. I would much rather have 12" of snow. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter is here!

Well last night it got down to 10 degrees. I woke up to a 53 degree house. When it is cold inside you don't want to get out of a warm bed. Of course the fire has to be started to get the house warmed back up. We had some wind last night that seemed to go right through things and cool them off fast. Even the dogs didn't want to get up this morning.
The eight inches of snow we got a couple days ago went from a heavy wet snow to a hard mass of snow. The plow put down some salt on the road to our house, but anywhere it is not plowed it has frozen ruts that jerk you around. Best to have some studded snow tire or chain if you are running around much. Well got a few outdoor things to finish up today. I will be putting on the heavy winter clothes today. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The annual Christmas card picture

Well, every year after it snows and we put the tree up outside we attempt to get a picture of all three dogs for the card.
None of them are impressed by the process. Scooter doesn't like wearing anything, Thor gets bored, and Leo just sticks his tongue out at the whole process.
It always takes about 50 pictures to get one without one of the dogs doing something unchristmaslike. The snow didn't cooperate this year and melted as we attempted to take the picture. So this year's Christmas will be a little green on the card.
The picture we did use will be in the profile picture during the Holidays for all to see. Hope you all have better luck getting your Christmas pictures. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Monday, December 7, 2009

An icy touch of winter

I got the feeling of winter settling in to stay; first yesterday it snowed about 2", then the temperatures dropped to 14 degrees last night. There is only a couple days in the next ten days it is forecast to be above freezing. So seeing the wood stacked on both front and back porches gives you a nice safe warm feeling for the winter months.
Lee is getting her studded snow tires on today as it looks like ice and snow are also in the ten day forecast. I am still finishing up some outside work, but "no roofs" thank goodness. I have winterized two camps for the season and will do another one this week. Two more camps stay open a bit longer hoping to come up over the holidays if the weather holds. Lee's sister, Diane headed South for the winter just in time to avoid the cold. She is spending the winter in Florida looking for work down there and enjoying her kids and grandchild. Lee will be driving a vehicle to Arizona for some friends and I may be alone for Christmas unless I can talk my brother into coming up. Well, at least I know I will be warm and the company of three dogs keeps a person from being too lonely. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Long time camp owner passes

Ruthe Herre passed away Dec 1st you can follow this link to her obituary. Her and her friend Jan Sager have been coming up to camp together since the death of her husband Harold Herre a number of years back.
The Herre camp was a haven for Ruthe as she watched the bears, deers and others animals from the large picture windows on the camp.
I have a feeling she is freer to visit the place now and it wouldn't surprise me to see her sitting in the window by the long white table some day.
I did a lot of remodeling on the camp this year, but I am sure she won't mind sitting in the freshly painted and carpeted place. Something she wanted to do for a long time before her passing. When she and Jan were up they would often go to different places to eat out. It seemed like every time they passed my house they would be surprised by the things I would be doing. I know I will miss seeing her and talking to her. Ruthe had a way with words, she loved a good joke and wasn't afraid to tell you the way things were. I'll be looking for you around the corner. Happy trails from the Mountain girl, Paula.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Deer Season

According to the paper the first day of deer season was slow and not many deer brought in. The camp next to us Sunlite Gun Club, however didn't follow the rule. Michael Curcil shot the ten point buck and coyote on the first day from the same spot. He said he saw the coyote first and then the buck.
The next day Courtney Foose shot the eight point. Both bucks were heavy bodied and promise to be a lot of good eating for the work.
I will have to admit they look a little strange hung in among the Christmas lights. I am not sure Santa's Reindeer would be too happy with this decoration. I know the boys at Sunlite are happy and many a car passing by was jealous as they slowed down to take a look.
Scooter and I walked down to the camp to take this picture and he wasn't too thrilled seeing the coyote. I am not sure if he thought it would bite him or he would be next, but he was very jumpy near the hanging animals.
I have been trying to finish all my roof work before it snows too much and haven't taken the time to blog for quite a while. Now that I am done with roofs for the year, I can slow down a bit and smell the firewood burning. Mountain girl, logging off.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Shamu and the Mountain girl

Went to Sea World today in San Diego and thought I would share some Shamu stuff with you. The first one is of the whale jumping. It is amazing how high such a big animal can go. The trainer even rides up on some of the big jumps and is tossed into the air.
I think you have to be a little crazy to do that since he must be at least 30 feet in the air before he comes down. The second one shows him riding the whale across the pool.
I saw many other animals as well but thought
you might enjoy the whale the most. The funniest thing was the volkswagen painted like a whale in front of the park.
Mountain girl, Paula, logging out and enjoying a few more days of warm weather before coming back to winter.

Monday, November 2, 2009

kayaking in the San Diego Bay

Had some fun kayaking in the San Diego bay with my son Hal today. We got to see a large group of Leopard Sharks, Garibaldi, Sea Lions and numerous small fish. We went on a guided tour of the bay which included going into a cave.
The tide was low and we were only allowed in one cave. The guide took one kayak in at a time. On the second group in a big wave side-swiped them and they took a pretty good beating, but fortunately, the guide controlled the kayak well enough no one got hurt. I went in with pretty much no problems.

You can see the cave in the second picture. The salt water and animal life is a big change from Pennsylvania. It is nice to visit, but my heart is still in the mountains of Pa.
We kayaked about an hour and a half and just as we finished a fog rolled in. It was great planning to be out of the water, since you couldn't see much of anything at that point. Trying to soak up as much sun as possible to make it through a Leetonia winter.
Mountain girl, Paula logging out.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trip to San Diego

Well, I am in San Diego, but trying to stay in contact with mountains and nature, I took a trip up to Palomar Mountain with my son Hal.
I will have to say the constant Sun in San Diego is good for my rain soaked soul. This summer in Pa has been the rainiest I can remember and it does take its toll on my outlook.
Palomar Mountain is about 5460 ft high at the Observatory, where they have one of the largest telescopes in the world. The lens for it was made a short distance from us in Corning, NY and is
a 200 inch wide lens. The size of the telescope is stunning and the white outline of the observatory looked great against the blue sky.
We also walked a trail in Palomar State Park. We walked through an area of cedars, black oak and many plants I am unfamilar with. A fire had taken a heavy toll on the trees in this area and it was sad to see trees nearly 300 years old blackened and dead on the ground. I am inside one of them in the last picture hollowed out by the fire. These cedars can have a life of up to 500 years and I counted at least 250 rings on one of the downed cut trees. They are trying to log out the downed trees and at least get some use from the disaster.
Tomorrow I will be kayaking in the San Diego bay with seals, a bit different than kayaking down Pine Creek, but I am sure I will adjust. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out, but still thinking of Leetonia.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Snow continues

Thank goodness for the warm ground or we would be socked in this morning. I would guess it has snowed close to six inches with most of the snow melting on contact with the warm ground. This is not what you expect the middle of October, in fact this week is usually the peak of the color on the trees. I am not sure what will be left on the trees when the snow melts off, probably something less than great color.
It is still snowing lightly with snow/rain scheduled for the weekend. I am betting many people will be disappointed with their
Fall color vacations this weekend. Looks like it will be back in the low 50's next week so the snow won't last long. We still have all the firewood to move up to the porches before deep snow. It is nice if the wood is dry when we put it under the porch.
The last picture shows the snow peeling off the porch roof in back. It reminds me of how high the snow piles up in front of the porch over the winter. We usually end up climbing a 2 to 3 foot mountain of ice by the end of the winter.
The dogs didn't seem to pay much attention to the snow. But like
little kids seemed frisky as they romped through the white blanket. I hope this isn't a sign of the winter to come. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October Snow

Well it looks like the next couple days are filled with snow. It is snowing now and although much of it is melting as it hits the ground some is not. The trees are still holding quite a few leaves and the snow weight is bending them.
The first picture is near the top of Cedar Mountain. I took it as I went out to get mail. For those of you who don't know our mailbox is 7 miles from the house at the end of the State Forest. I generally don't get mail everyday for this reason.
The next four days are promising to stay cooler than usual highs in
the low 30's and mid to lower 20's at night. It is also supposed to continue to snow on and off as well. Not the kind of weather I expected when I put the kids pumpkins outside. I think I can see one of the pumpkins teeth chattering.
This is also not good news for the painting and other outside jobs I have not finished. Hopefully, it will warm up next week so I can squeak the last few jobs in.
Mountain girl, Paula, logging out and putting some more wood on the fire.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lost in Leetonia: Busy Fall time

Lost in Leetonia: Busy Fall time

Busy Fall time

My nieces and nephews were up over the weekend and we did a little hiking and site seeing. The first picture is Diane sitting next to a wild child, my niece, Haley. The energy from this picture tells you how tired I feel today after four days of keeping up with the twins and their brothers.
I took them to the Colton Point overlook of the Grand Canyon. It is always amazing to see into the canyon. The leaves aren't as spectacular this year as years past. It seems they fell off the trees as fast as they changed color. It was cool during the Columbus Day
weekend, but stayed dry for the most part.
I also had a group of 50 people and kids from St. Micheal's school in Penn Yan, NY. stay over night Saturday to Sunday morning. The night was cool and clear and they got to see our spectacular night stars. The kind of stars you only see in a place without any lights to distract from the natural star light.
They stayed in tents and woke to a crispy 27 degree morning with a heavy frost on the plants. They only do one night as for many of the kids ages 8-10 this is there first camping experience. The
picture of the tents and frost is early Sunday morning.
We also had our first snow this Monday morning. Nothing to stick just enough white flakes to tell it was snow and remind us bad weather is on its way. My nieces and nephews squealed with excitement to see the white flakes. Our reaction is more subdued. In fact, the white flakes signal a mourning for the loss of nice weather and a return to the struggles of getting in and out during the winter.
Many other camps were full this weekend and it seemed everyone
enjoyed the dry, cool weather. It does have the advantage of getting rid of the bugs. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Color and egg color?

We are heading into the peak week or two of fall color. Many of the mountains are looking much like the one to the left. There is a cold snap to the air and the bugs are much better to deal with. I think this year was the worst I have ever seen the "no see-ums" with all the rain we had they made a bumper crop. I have a bunch of kids coming to camp on top my hill this weekend and my sister is coming with her kids as well. It seems quite a few people will be coming to Leetonia to see the color this coming weekend as too.
The second picture is two eggs: one is the normal brown color and the other a light green. The
egg was laid by a chicken at Paterson's Maple Farms. They say it doesn't act much like a chicken and gobbles like a turkey. Seems they have a strange one on their hands and this eggs although the color doesn't show as well here could be from a Dr. Suess green eggs and ham book. If we had any green ham.
Thanks to all for the contributions on the many uses of a hair dryer including: removing bumper stickers and thawing freezers. I am glad we aren't the only ones using our hair dryers for something other than drying ones hair.
Well hoping for dry weather to finish up some outside work and make it nice for all the kids and adults coming to enjoy the Pennsylvania wilderness. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mountain girl uses for a hair dryer

It seems our hair dryer gets used more for projects then drying hair. Lee decided it would be a great way to fast dry some stain on boards so we can get them up today. With a cold 40 degrees this morning stain and varnish won't dry. This isn't the first time our hair dryer has been used for non-hair drying applications. It is my go to in the winter for frozen pipes. I have one pipe when it gets really cold that will freeze up between the well and house. The pipe wasn't buried deep enough since the cabin was mainly used during warmer parts of the year. The pipe runs inside a pipe and allows me to blast hot air into it to melt any frozen areas. Once the water is running it stays good on its own. Sometimes I let the water drip slightly overnight during the problem times to keep it from freezing. But there is the occasional time when I forget and the hair dryer has always done its thing.
I usually let my hair air dry so the air dryer is used for hair mainly on guests. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A day in the life

Above is a picture of Leo and Scooter from left to right. Sometimes having dogs can be fun and sometimes it can be frustrating. Scooter goes to work with me nearly everyday since he is the only one of the three dogs who doesn't mind the nailer and saw noise. He has learned to keep close track of me before I go to work so he doesn't miss the ride and starts getting anxious to go home around 5pm. It is like having a doggie alarm clock. For the most part Scooter is good at the work site and will stay close only barking if someone comes up unannounced. He is good company and gives me someone to talk to at lunch and I admit sharing a bit of my sandwich with him on occasion.

Yesterday, however, he got on the bad dog award. I was running out of stained boards and thought I would stop early and run to pick up some more before the lumber yard closed. Just as I got ready to open the truck door a squirrel ran past the truck. Scooter ran over to the driver's side and nicely hit the lock button for the doors. I looked at my keys in the ignition and the closed windows and realized I now had a problem. First I thought how hard can it be to get him to step on the button again. I walked to the driver's side and called him he moved over and I tapped the window. He just sat there and looked at me.

"Scooter, step on the button!" I yelled.

He just cocked his head and looked at me like I had just spoken a foreign language. I had this happen once before with another dog when I stepped out of the truck running at the lumber yard. That time I was able to crawl through the sliding back window. After that I always took my keys or left the window rolled down a bit...until today.

Now I had to call Lee and admit my stupidity as she brought an extra set of keys. It took about a half hour for her to get there. As she backed into the drive I noticed her back tire was flat. Well that rounds off the day nicely, I thought. I had an air compressor at the site and we blew the tire up. I thought for sure I would hear some gaping hole letting the air out as fast as it went in, but to my delight it held. It must be a slow leak. She got home alright and I made it to the lumber yard, no thanks to Scooter, my helpful work dog. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lifting a mountain girl

Lee and her sister Diane finished staining a large cabin in Leetonia last week. They did everything except this back from ladders. At first Lee was a bit nervous about riding in the bucket, but once she got the hang of it she loved it. It reached the hard to reach spots near windows over 30 feet high without the need to move a ladder or worry about it falling.
I am afraid the one downside to this rental was that now Lee never wants to use a ladder again. Something I think the people at the Wellsboro Rental place secretly know before they rent these addicting machines out. Although, this unit was nice on this camp it is limited to places you have enough room to set it up. They have another unit which is larger and is self-propelled eliminating the space needed for the truck to move the unit. Lee painted the whole back side in one long day(about 11 hours).
The summer has been bad for doing outside painting jobs until just recently when the weather changed and has been much drier. Now all we have to worry about is frost. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

First frost and will the color be good this year?

The picture to the left has nothing to do with frost, it is a fire pit project I finished. I built the benches out of left over hemlock from the earlier dam project.
Its official last night was the first frost of the season. It got down to 31 just enough to leave a little glaze on the ground this morning. I thought I would see if there is anything that might predict the fall color and the following is what I found.
During the spring and summer the leaves have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree's growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year these colors are masked by great amounts of green coloring.

Chlorophyll Breaks Down

But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.

At the same time, other chemical changes may occur, which form additional colors through the development of red anthocyanin pigments. Some mixtures give rise to the reddish and purplish fall colors of trees such as dogwoods and sumacs, while others give the sugar maple its brilliant orange.

The autumn foliage of some trees shows only yellow colors. Others, like many oaks, display mostly browns. All these colors are due to the mixing of varying amounts of the chlorophyll residue and other pigments in the leaf during the fall season.

Weather Affects Color Intensity Temperature, light, and water supply have an influence on the degree and the duration of fall color. Low temperatures above freezing will favor anthocyanin formation, producing bright reds in maples. However, early frost will weaken the brilliant red color. Rainy and/or overcast days tend to increase the intensity of fall colors. The best time to enjoy the autumn color would be on a clear, dry and cool (not freezing) day.

Our experience has been that the rain tends to knock the leaves off a little faster so for long lasting color we need little rain or wind during the color period. The frost we had last night was probably not heavy enough to affect the tree color and we often get frost in the middle of September. So we will see how true this information stays as we progress into the fall color season. Our best color usually lands in the second to third week of October about a month from now. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall is in the air.

This morning I woke up to see 35 degrees on the thermometer just a few degrees away from frost. The trees have just started to change in the last week and the large maple to the left is just hinting at turning yellow. Mums and pumpkins are for sale everywhere. I did succumb to buying a mum, but it is too early for a pumpkin. Halloween is still over a month away.
Today I will prepare the house for the fall. It is my annual bug spraying of the exterior. This helps stop the ladybugs and flies from migrating inside and making a mess to clean up. The ladybugs are really Chinese Beatles that look like lady bugs. They were brought in by the State to help control the gypsy moths and now are a big nuisance. After we have a few cold days and then we get a warm day they will swarm out of the woods and land on everything. When they are really bad they bite and leave a yellow residue on you. When you suck them up in a vacuum cleaner they smell real bad. Before I used to spray the cabin you could shovel them up. Now only a few get in usually tagging a ride on the dogs or us.
My other project is the annual cleaning of the chimney something that isn't as much hard as it is dirty. My mother is coming to visit this week and she gets cold easy so having a fire could be a real possibility. Lee will protest the fire if it isn't below 50 inside the house, since she is some sort of Polar Bear, but she will just open the windows to compensate. The temperatures look fairly moderate for the week with chances of rain most days so maybe we won't have to start a fire. The last project is three dogs getting a bath so the visitors don't have to smell them. Scooter rolled in bear dung yesterday(one of his favorite things to do) and did get a fast creek bath to get the black out of his fur. He is the worst at rolling in things and being white it shows up real good. So it sounds like a day I am going to be wet, smelly and dirty, pretty much a normal day at Camp Eaglebear. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wetmore Run Rd Gaswell

This is the drilling rig set up on Wetmore Run Road, which is just the other side of Cedar Mt. They are drilling at least eight different gas well sites on the other side of the mountain from Leetonia. All the sites are outside the State Forest Boundary.

The drilling rig which costs millions of dollars to move can drill 4-5000 ft straight down and the same amount in a horizontal direction. This enables them to reach gas pockets in the shale they could never reach drilling even five years ago. Needless to say this has brought Texas and Colorado gas companies to our area anxious to cash in on the Marcellus Shale gas boom, which extends from lower New York into Pennsylvania.
Leases of land to these companies can be quite lucrative for local land owners, especially if the companies find gas. The cost to the land is partially apparent when you see a couple acres of land cleared to drill. But there are other costs to the area: transport of water for drilling taxes roads that are in
minimal condition to start with, water reclaimed from the drilling has to be disposed of somewhere and contains a low grade contaminates, neighbors whose houses are along these routes bear the burden of constant truck noise without the benefit of compensation, although there are no reports of local drinking water contamination this is not the case with all the wells being drilled in the State.
This area is poverty stricken and hungry for any source of income. Unfortunately only a few locals are making any money in either drilling or supplying for these operations. Seeing the eight wells on the other side of the mountain has soured me from the thought of turning my backyard into a gas well, although I admit the money is very tempting. When the drilling is done and the gas is gone, will everyone be happy with the outcome? Probably not. I just pray we all aren't regretting any damage done will not be easily repaired in our lifetime. Now that I have stood on the soap box... if someone comes to me tomorrow and offers me 100k to lease this property with the chance of making thousands a month in gas royalties more money than I could ever make doing carpentry, will I be strong enough to say no. I hope so. But I can't say I won't be as tempted as those who have done so and I certainly will not judge them. Let all hope this boom isn't the last thing we have. The Native Americans have a saying, "Do nothing that causes harm to the next seven generation." Mountain girl, Paula, climbing down from the soap box and logging out.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Only in Leetonia

The picture to the left is horse trail people and I am using it only to add a little visual to this story. These are not the people I will be talking about.

I think I could write a whole book on odd things that happen in Leetonia, but this is definitively a funny one.

With all the rain this year it has been difficult to get all the outside painting jobs done. So when you get a few nice days naturally you paint even if it is a holiday weekend.

Lee was staining the decks at the Hooke cabin this weekend and a wooden bridge I had done some repairs on. She just finished staining and was packing up to go home when she heard some noise. She looked across the bridge to see about a dozen horses and riders on Misner Trail and to her distress she heard them say lets cut across the bridge. The bridge she had just stained. Well Lee is a quiet person who doesn't move fast unless threatened. This is why she is called,"the bear". Bears are quiet, lumbering animals that for the most part leave well enough alone unless you threaten them or their cubs. This bridge was Lee's cub and she quickly stopped the horse assault. Yelling at them, "This is private property, you will have to cross somewhere else! I just stained that bridge!"

She successfully chased them down the trail which empties out right in front of our house. Now as timing would have it I opened the front door to let the dogs out just as the horses were coming down the trail. So they got another rough greeting by Leo and Scooter. They had a dog with them and Leo seemed more curious about it then the rest of the procession. After I yelled at him he reluctantly let them pass sniffing each horse and rider then came back up to the house. I am sure these riders will choose some other trail the next time they ride after being jumped by mountain girl, Lee and the dogs. I think this ranks right up there with surprising things we see such as the bear trap sitting 20 feet from our front door filled with donuts. You can look that one up in the side topics. Never a dull moment in Leetonia and always good for a laugh later. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Germania Home Days

Went to the Germania Old Home Days today. I took some pictures of the lawn tractor pull a humorous event, which these guys seem to take quite seriously. I guess the thrill of making a lawn tractor do a wheelie is all it takes to have some fun.
Germania was founded by German immigrants and has this festival every Labor day weekend. On Saturday they have a greased pig contest, which I guess can get quite rough. Past events have caused a few injuries to contestants all vying to be the one holding the pig.
They have good pork sandwiches(not from the
same pig they chased) and chicken on the Barbecue. They also have bingo, raffles and a horseshoe pitching contest. They compete with a host of other towns all having similar events the same weekend, Morris and Galeton both having events and the weather was picture perfect for everyone.
Most the camps in Leetonia were full this weekend and everyone seemed to be enjoying the great weather, cookouts and a relaxing weekend in the woods before going back to school or work next week.
The focus during the next two months is getting all the work done outside before the cold comes and the other thing we don't mention this early.
We still have some painting to finish that has been hard to get done this summer with all the rainy weather. Looks like next week is calling for chances of rain everyday. I can only hope they are wrong. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Weekend in Leetonia

I ran in to a formidable crew down at the White Camp today. The kids in order from left to right are: Madison and Jimmy White and their friend Patrick Kelly. The taller kid in the back is Jim White supervising the lesson in gun safety and target practice.

They saw a large bear cross through the yard last night and I am sure are hoping for more of the same tonight. They will be joined by more kids later today hoping to take in the last big vacation of summer. The weather is perfect for this Labor Day Weekend sunny and in the 70's during the day. Some of the nicest weather we have had all summer. Seems quite a few camps are busy this weekend taking advantage of a well earned nice weekend. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out and watching out for the three banditos of Leetonia!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New gas well site at Pigeon Hill Rd.

These pictures for this don't this site justice it is is much bigger than it appears here. They appear to be moving the topsoil off to piles. I was jealous looking at the soil they have there as ours is mostly rock. This site is about a mile east on Pigeon Hill from the intersection of Leetonia Rd and Pigeon Hill right were the road comes to a T.

They have a lot of equipment out there and are moving a pretty large area of dirt to put in this well. I don't know all the details yet, but thought you all might be interested.

The gas well drilling has been a boom to this area, which is otherwise suffering like much of the country in this economic downturn. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More about the roof

Since quite a few a you wondered what the roof panels looked like on this project, I took a picture of a small piece of one. This panel has high density foam attached to 7/16 OSB board. When they make SIP's Structural Insulated Panels they put the OSB on both sides and sandwich the foam in between. With it on one side it is called J-deck and is screwed to the top of an existing roof. Here is a picture of the roof finished now covered with steel and the facia painted to match the cabin. Hope that helps answer a few questions. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.