Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New roof uses SIP panels

Thought you would like to see a roof I just finished down by Cedar Run. We used SIP panels under the roof they are 6" thick foam pressured fitted onto 4 x 8 sheets of 7/16" OSB board this gives the roof an impressive R 25. They make even thicker panels that have even higher R values. Since this roof had no insulation and a finished vaulted ceiling, putting the insulation on top of the existing roof was the only solution. I then raped the edges with locally cut hemlock, which will be painted to match the cabin. We put grace ice shield on top the panels and covered it with steel. The steel is the only roof that outlast the attack of the moss and algae on roofs. I had power washed this roof and the algae had literally ate into the asphalt shingle. The algae digests the shingle and makes it have about half the life it would have anywhere else.
So this cabin will stay cool in the summer and warm and dry in the winter. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Heat and bugs Summer returns to Leetonia

Isabel is visiting this week from Rockford, Illinois and is getting to experience the heat of summer in Leetonia. During the last week summer came without mercy. Temperatures near 90 and humidity about the same has made work outside difficult. We have still been getting frequent thunderstorms keeping the creek high enough to canoe. I took Isabel and Diane down Pine Creek from Blackwell to Cedar Run. We started around 5pm and were rewarded with the moderating evening temperatures and a quiet paddle down the creek. Hitting rocks was kept to a minimum and the rapids were gentle enough not to scare the novice paddlers in the canoe. It didn't take more than an hour to paddle down, however, we extended our trip by stopping to talk to Brad
along the way. His house is just a mile from Cedar Run. Brad at 89, had just returned from a bike ride up the bike trail to Rattlesnake rock. He is amazing. He used to be a bicycle courier in the DC area during the Roosevelt Era. He actually met Roosevelt in an elevator while delivering a message. So much has changed since then. Text messaging has eliminated the need for such messengers as well as security issues would never allow such a casual meeting today.
The heat and rain allows the bugs to multiply and be quite annoying in the early morning and evening hours. The last pictures shows Diane and Isabel wearing head nets to take an early morning walk with the two pit bulls: Leo and Thor. The worst bugs are the no see-ums, named so because they are so small they go through the screens and when they bite you they are hard to see but easy to feel. They leave large welts on you without being noticed. They also seem to get into your eyes and mouth.. very annoying. It looks like we might get a little reprieve from the heat this weekend. I hope so. I am working on a roof job and it is unbearable in this heat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shoe line at Cedar Run

Just past the bridge over Cedar Run North on 414 runs a guy wire that supports a telephone pole. On this wire every year is an increasing number of shoes. How and why the shoes are there is a mystery. According to Charlotte at Cedar Run Inn the first pair appeared a number of years back after a motorcycle accident near there killed a person. If this is the reason the first pair appeared it might seem like some sort of memorial. But for what ever reason the shoes keep coming every summer. They fall off when the laces rot and I am sure there is some sort of talent involved in tossing them just right to hang there since it is up about 20' off the road.
If you or anyone you know has been part of this ritual I would sure like to talk to you. The pair up on the left is nicer than some shoes I have and if it wasn't so high I would be tempted to retrieve them, but I can't tell if they are my size. There are five pairs this year a bumper crop of wire shoes. Usually there is only one or two pair. You would think with the economy being rough you wouldn't want your shoes to end up on a wire. It is the small mysteries that make me wonder. I guess I have a simple mind. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Storm rips through Leetonia area

Sunday afternoon, I saw dark clouds in the sky off to the east as I power washed the mower. Then I heard a sound louder than the sound of the power washer moving towards me. There is nothing like a wind storm in the forest. I ran to get under cover just as the rain came pouring down and I watched the trees across from me being whipped like they were in a blender.
I could hear the sound a large trees breaking and falling to the ground as I watched from the porch. The storm door flew open hard, I grabbed it and tied it to the porch post for fear of needing to replace the hinges if it continued to be slammed open. I went inside to turn off electronics that could possibly be damaged by changing voltages. Just as I finished the lights flickered once, twice and three times to out. After the storm passed, I realized how much quieter it is without electricity. No refrigerator motors or sounds of monitors humming total silence.
Duane Cizek, a local plumber, had called me before the storm to meet me at a camp in Leetonia where I was to help him with some work. I called his house to let him know we would be powerless and his wife had said he had already left and should have been there. Listening to the sounds of trees cracking, I knew his trip would be slow. I decided to get the chain saw loaded in the truck and head towards him if he didn't show up soon. Just as I got the chain saw loaded I got a call. Yes, the phone was still working. The reason we have a corded phone is it often works when the power is out. Lee and Diane had been working at the Herre Camp and tried to come home after the power loss. Two trees blocked their way so I headed down to cut them off the road. Just as I got the chain saw ready. Duane pulled up behind me. He had cut 5 trees off the road to get to this point. I cut and he moved and we made quick work of the two blockages. Lee and Diane went home and we went to the site. On the way there I passed two people who had just finish cutting five trees from the Cedar Run direction up. It pays to have a chain saw with you up here in bad weather or you can easily get stuck on the road.
I remember one night a few years ago one of my helpers came to work in the morning a bit late after a storm. Of course he had a story to tell. He cleared several trees, but two of the trees had quite a story to tell. He noticed a car parked past one tree and a sleepy man appeared. He had been there all night. Here a tree had fallen in front of him(no chainsaw), he went to turn around and another fell behind him. He spent a long night waiting in the woods for someone to come with a saw.
Barry and Darla arrived at their camp "Bobcat Camp" to find a new decoration on the roof as you see in the first picture. It managed not to do much damage to the roof, but will be fun to cut off. Barry said they had come up after the storm and 44 had been closed due to so many downed trees.

I talked to Charlotte Dudkin at Cedar Run after the storm and she said her husband, Stanley was sitting in the dining room during the storm and saw a tent blowing down Pine Creek. Something was bobbing up and down in the tent. Could it be a person? He was taking no chances as he donned his superman cape and ran to the kayak. He caught the tent to find his person was an air mattress and he now was down stream a ways. As Stanley attempted to pull the tent out it filled with water he tipped his kayak over and was in the creek with bare feet against the sharp rocks. Now he had to rescue himself along with his pride. But all ended well at Cedar Run no one drowned, however the tent floated away somewhere down Pine Creek. Well you know what the mountain girls say after a storm? Free firewood! Have a great Leetonia day. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mountain Solar tank

Well, necessity is the mother of invention or so they say. The other morning, Diane, Lee's sister, informed me the rug in the trailer bedroom was wet. I knew we water was leaking somewhere. Sure enough, the water heater tank had corroded and broken leaking water across the floor. Water heaters for trailers are very small only 6 gallons, but the price not so small $250. I had been planning to build a passive solar collector in front of the cabin using an old water heater tank. The water from our well is very cold around 45-50 degrees all year. It takes a lot of energy to heat the water up with a hot water heater. Using a tempering tank has been common up here for years, but adding the sun to heat the tank is not as common. The instructions had been to make an insulated box and cover it with insulated glass. Well, for the moment I didn't have any glass and I decided to see how much heat the tank would produce without all the extras. It is only going be working during the summer month on the trailer. So I built a sleigh like looking holder to tip it towards the angle of the sun the same as the latitude 41 degrees. I ran the cold pressurized water in and with the tank painted black the sun should do the heating. I will take some temperature measurements at the end of the day today to see how hot I can get it. There is 50 gallons of water so it will take a while to heat up. I do plan on putting some insulation behind the tank and maybe some reflective surface toward it. But no glass for now.
Lee complains my solar system looks like a Red Neck still. She doesn't think it looks too good. My offer to put some decorations on it did not soften the critical view of its beauty. I will rate its beauty on BTUs. If it heats the water to shower will be the most beautiful thing in the woods. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Leetonia summer of rain

The Bee Balm is in bloom. I took this picture in Leetonia behind a camp. Here is a description of the plant from the internet:

Other Names: Eastern Beebalm, Bergamot, Wild Oswego Tea, Horsemint, Monarda

Bee Balm Herb Uses and Medicinal Properties

Bee Balm is edible and medicinal, the entire plant above ground is edible used as a pot herb, and it is also used as a flavoring in cooked foods. The flowers make an attractive edible garnish in salads. The plant is noted for its fragrance, and is a source of oil of thyme. The fresh or dried leaves are brewed into a refreshing aromatic and medicinal tea. An infusion of young Bee Balm leaves used to form a common beverage in many parts of the United States.

Bee Balm leaves and flowers and stems are used in alternative medicine as an antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant. An infusion is medicinal used internally in the treatment of colds, catarrh, headaches, and gastric disorders, to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, to relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain, and insomnia. Steam inhalation of the plant can be used for sore throats, and bronchial catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus). Externally, it is a medicinal application for skin eruptions and infections. Bergamot's distinctive aroma, found in both the leaf and flower is wonderful for use in potpourri.

Cedar Run creek is flowing high for this time of year. My last picture is taken from the bridge in Leetonia and looks more like a Spring picture. The plants are very green from all the rain and the water is running constantly. In fact Saturday early I went for a kayak ride from Blackwell to Cedar Run. I haven't taken the time to do this for a couple years and decided I couldn't resist the abnormally high water. It took a little over an hour to float down and about a half hour to ride my bike back up to get my truck.

I went early in the morning and no one was out until I reached Cedar Run. The quiet trip was perfect capped by silent running of an eagle low, over the top of my kayak, scanning the creek. It don't get any better than that. Well today is promised to be sunny so I am off to do some outside work. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.