Thursday, December 15, 2011

Narrows Finished!

The narrows project on 414 is finally done. They opened the road yesterday only six weeks past the time they had estimated. I had guessed Dec 1st back in October so I was a bit closer.
It is a far cry from the half falling off road we are used to.
I did notice it makes other parts of the road coming up to this one look much worse. Since it took 20 years for them to really fix this part I am not holding my breathe on anything else getting done.
It got to 51 degrees today in the middle of December. I am not complaining as I am still working on the job at Slate Run, which is only 13 miles from me when the road is open. But once the snow closes the road it will be over 50 miles to go around.

Things are quiet up here as they get once the hunters and tourists go. It is easy to get used to the quiet and not want to be around anyone even in a small city like Wellsboro. But with Lee being gone for over five weeks, I will admit I am looking forward to someone to talk to again. She is coming home this weekend, and I have already been warned that she is not up to working on the first day back. I guess watching a two-year old for 5 weeks tends to wear you out a bit.

So Saturday I have to make the house look like I haven't been living in it alone for five weeks. That will be an all day the dogs have to all be bathed. No one will escape the cleanup. Lost power this morning for a few hours a tree decided to fall randomly. When trees fall in the woods and you don't hear them; they still knock out the power.

I got the grand kids presents sent, which other than some things I made for Lee is all I am doing this year. It is funny how once you get older the things you want either so small you get them along the way or so big you can't afford them. Course the one thing I wanted the most is Lee to be home for Christmas and it looks like I am getting my wish. After all the holidays are about sharing time with your family, friends and the ones you love. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deer Season in full swing

Saturday, Donald Robblee, walked up to my camp with a big smile on his face. He told me he had just shot a large buck up Misner Trail behind Hook's Cabin and drug it down to their place. The problem was his truck was on the other side of the mountain.
So I drove around and picked up his truck and helped him put this buck in the back. It was all we could do for both of us to lift it. He estimated in weighed about 140lbs and figured it to be pretty old as it ears had been torn up from past fights and its eyes didn't seem good.
The interesting part is the deer only had 5 points three on one side and two on the other, but the spread was over 17.5". So this deer proved that points don't necessary predict age or size.
I got a free dinner out for picking up his truck and with Lee Anne still gone helping her sister it was nice having food that wasn't out of a can or a box. Robblee also shot a coyote while deer hunting. Seems to be quite a few of them out as well. Didn't see too many others with deer so far but thought you would enjoy this.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Leetonia Logger readies for big Turkey

This logger in Leetonia is sharpening his saw to get ready to kill the Thanksgiving day turkey. We have big turkeys in Leetonia so only the largest of saws will work.
The biggest problem with our turkeys is they won't fit in a stove so you have to cut them into pieces and spread them around or start a big bonfire to cook it whole.
Don't you wish you lived in Leetonia? Have a great Thanksgiving wherever you live. Mountain girl, Paula, getting ready for one big turkey.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Latest Project

The weather has been unseasonably warm and bear season is in full swing. Lots of hunters in the woods, but I haven't seen a dead bear yet.

Just finished roughing in a small addition close to Slate Run. The owners are coming up for hunting season and my brother is coming up for Thanksgiving, so this is the last day I will be working for a week. Wow, can't think of the last time I had a week off. Of course that means I get to do work around the house that I have been ignoring and cook for my brother and his girlfriend. My brother is bringing his dog up with him, so that will be four dogs in the small place. Hopefully, none of my dogs will eat his dog for Thanksgiving. They aren't always too accepting of a new face right away.
Lee is still gone to Rockford, Illinois to help her sister with taking care of a 2 year-old, while her sister watches over her son in intensive care up in Madison, Wisconsin. Her son, Neal, 19, has leukemia, which has reoccurred at they are all on needles and pins. It is tough seeing a young person be so sick. So say an extra prayer for them this Thanksgiving.

After Thanksgiving is deer season so the boys will be up to chase the deer and the beer. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and spend time with the ones you love. I will be missing my dad this year for the first time and I know many of you have loved ones not at the cherish the ones you have while they are here. Even if some of them are pains in the b..., Mountain girl, logging out, and cleaning house.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Maynard School and Election

Well, Tuesday, was election day and I finished the outside painting of School house buildings (outhouse included) just in time. I added a little color to the porch by painting the top and bottom rail dark green and the spindles white. The door is also green to match. It made a huge difference over the green-treated wood look.
I took these pictures as the sun was setting so they are a bit dark. The sun is setting earlier thanks to the time change. We can now count on it being dark by 5:30 pm.
We have had absolutely beautiful weather for nearly a week. No rain and temperatures way above normal in 60's and 70 one day. I have to say it spoiled me a bit. I know when it goes back to normal temperatures for November I will be complaining.
All the "girls" plus Bill Merkle manned the ballot machines from 7am to 8pm. With only 32 voters registered in the township, it makes for a lot of free time. Time they use up by snacking and playing a township version of Skip Bo that I can't quite get used to.
I worked on an addition I needed to get under roof before we get too much bad weather and stopped in at the end of the day to munch on some of the goodies. Who said there isn't such a thing as a free lunch? They haven't lived in our township. Voting time is definitely a time of catching up on local news and a time to see all the voting members of the township. I think they
ended up with somewhere around 26 voters by the end of the day. Well all that is left to do in the school house is a few more repairs on furniture, which I will do as I have time between jobs. One day soon I hope to set up all the school desks and get a nice picture of the building as it might of looked when school was in session. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.
P.S. Thanks to all who stop when they see me and say hi. Makes me realize how many people read and enjoy this little part of heaven in Elk Township.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vandals in Leetonia

Well over the weekend Melvins place got hit by vandals and thieves. They stole some scaffolding and pulled the posts down holding a roof over his camper. They also pushed his outhouse down the hill. This kind of behavior is inexcusable no matter how you feel about someone you don't do this kind of damage.
This isn't the first time Melvin's place has had damage, but it has been a long time since the last incident. Anyone with any information about the person or person's involved in this should call the State Police.
When you are up keep an eye out for anyone not where they are supposed to be. Mountain girl,
Paula, logging out.

We dodged the Oct snow bullet

Crispy start to the morning at 25 degrees, but very little snow. We are just North of the line of heavy snow that hit others and I am not at all upset about that. Our temps will go above freezing today and I am guessing the small amount of snow we have will go with it.
Since I am digging a footing tomorrow for a frost wall I am perfectly happy to see we are looking at decent temperatures and a little drier weather for next week.
It is always a push to get the last few things done before "real winter" hits and the ground is frozen hard. So for anyone worried about their camp, never fear, the woods are clear. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Top of Maynard School

My mother will scream when she sees this post, she is afraid of heights. However, mom notice I do have my safety harness on! For the rest of you we finished painting the outside of Maynard School and by the looks of the weather just in time. The last part to be painted was the bell tower. I had hoped to get a picture of the bell, but without removing wood panels it was impossible to see much of the bell. On the very top of the bell tower was a wood pillar. I am sure something was on top of it at sometime. I am guessing either a weather vane or lightening rod, the first seeming the most likely.
Our power went off in the middle of the night and I had to get up before it got light of course lately that just means before 7am. I had a kerosine lite bowl of oatmeal to start the day. Fortunately the power out was solved by 7:30am so Lee didn't have to deal without power all day. It appears the problem was somewhere in the Cedar Run area.
We are under a winter storm warning for tomorrow. Estimates ranging from 1" to 10" are floating around. In looking at the weather map it appears we may be on the edge. So I am hoping for the closer to 1" amount. I still have a foundation and small addition to get up and under cover before the big stuff comes. I will let you know if we get anything of significance tomorrow. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Snaggle Nose LIVES!

Snaggle Nose was first injured in June of 2009. None of us thought he would make it past the first hunting season and yet here he is over two years later. Dutch one of the township road workers took this picture during this summer of the bear right in our front yard. Snaggle Nose was in pursuit of a female bear at the time and didn't seem to care that the men watched him. Somehow he must be able to smell in order to track a female and keep from being shot. Unlike humans who might feel a bit intimidated if half their face was torn off old Snaggle Nose still makes other smaller bears flee in fright at the sight of him. And appears to be quite the lady's man.
I often wondered what the other bear looked like that Snaggle Nose tangled with. He is truly one amazing animal to have not only survived but prospered after an incredibly hard fight. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cedar Crest Finished

First picture is fireplace(creates atmosphere), second picture wood burning stove(creates heat), third picture wood shed, and last picture Cedar Crest.
From 1991 log:
July 4th
Ken, Arlon, Butch and Low put in side windows was raining all day, had crab cakes, fried potatoes, pepper cabbage. Showered went to Frank Bering camp to sleep.
July 5th All 6 guys started cementing between logs got side towards Cedar Run finished about 7:30. Ate supper took our baths at Lee Pines. We pitched horsehoes and went to bed darn tired.

My summary of the rest of building:
By the end of July all the chinking(cement between logs was done). In August they concentrated on finishing work inside cabin. Slate floors were done. Bunk beds assembled. Appliances installed and the wood stove installed. On Labor day weekend the first shower was taken inside the camp. They declared the camp complete on Sept 8th and got back to doing what they have always done at camp, fishing, hunting, and telling stories.

Hopefully, in the future I will get some of the in process pictures. But this is truly a story of taking a bad circumstance and turning it around into a special memory to share with generations to come of the summer Cedar Crest came back from the ashes. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spring hopes eternal for Cedar Crest work continues

4th Blog in series about Cedar Crest
As typical with weather in the Spring here in Leetonia, Cedar Crest had the on and off again battle with rain hindering progress. I decided to compress the work during the month of April as much was repetitive.

 April 7th-April 29th. Chimney work started. A lot of rock moving, rain and it appears a few people not feeling too well. Most of this time spent getting walls up and preparing logs for floor joists. 

May 5th-May 31st.
Stone work continues on stairway and back side of cabin. During the month the floor joists are put on and the decking finished. The cabin second floor is framed up and logs put between sections. By the end of May they are now battle with black flies and humidity.

June 8,1991 Actual log:
Ron, BJ & Bob  Got in about 1:00am Arlon and Josh in after 3am up at 8 am.
Unloaded both trucks of Aspenite then started cutting rafters and setting Joists got rafters set by 1:00 PM ate Lunch and back to work. First, filled Gables with aspenite and pulled roof level. Put Braces on then finish gables with rough Pine boards. Took down boom and pine tree that held it. Bob, BJ & Ron finished around 9:00pm…..—Arlon—

*My understanding is that the pine tree that held the boom became part of the ridge pole for the building.

Cedar Crest gets a roof.
June 16th, 1991
Guys rallied and worked hard getting ¾ of roof on cabin looks real good. Filled in logs in the top front and back.
June 17th, 1991 finished all the roof today also did the floor up stairs and started the front porch roof.
June 18th, 1991
Finished porch roof with boards. Will put roll roofing on at end of week. Put log strips over 2x4 plates. Started filling in behind old chimney and started putting up new chimney. Sanded some on aspenite floor. Dug up pump and took it to Germania to be checked. Put in 2 more stair steps(Their stairs are all stone so each step took a quite a bit of time).
The rest of June they got the chimney fixed, the pump working, put in a shower, finished railing on stairs. By the end of June things were definitely getting tightened up and weather-proofed.

All things considered they did a great job getting this work done only on weekends. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cedar Crest rebuild continues weekend 2

Third blog in series about Cedar Crest
For anyone who dreams of building a log cabin, I am betting none of your dreams have rain and mud in them.

 Friday March 22 1991
Second Weekend Clean up (It rain all weekend)
Bob B.J Ron Ken

Left my house about 2:30PM Friday afternoon. Stopped in Allenwood for gas arrived at Lee Pines Camp at about 6:30. Had trouble with cook stove finding the damper. So the cabin got filled with smoke after 1 ½ hours the smoke cleared and Ron started his world famous chile. The cooking takes very little time (Ha Ha) only 3 hours. After eating Kenny went to bed Ron and Bob took all of B.J.'s money.
The next Day everyone was up and working on the final clean up of the cabin. Ron saw 2 big Jake Turkeys on the way over to out camp. Have one large load before breakfast. Got back and had a great breakfast took a nap. Went back and loaded up the final load of scrap. Bob and Kenny took the load over while Ron & B.J. dug a trench to put up the new staircase wall…… Mud, Mud, Mud , Mud. ----Ken---

Weekend of March 28th – 30th (condensed )

Butch, Ken, Dennis, Ron, Bj, Paul, Paul Jr. Dave, and Arlow. All stayed at Lee Pines while working that weekend.
Friday, March 29th 1991 Went to work on Cedar Crest at 8:00 am. Put temp service  pole in set up cribs and started masonry. Got most of wall on east side of camp laid up and part of back wall. Put plates in the front wall to start logs. Hauled rocks to face block but still need more. Weather held but they want 100% chance of rain tonight and temp to drop to 20’s. Ken La Gree let us eat breakfast at 2PM. We had lunch at 8:30PM the men decided to just skip the 4:00am supper.—Arlon—
Saturday March 30,1991 Arlon got up abt 1am to go to bathroom and saw Wallies place on fire. Arlon, Paul Mogel, and Sons had fire under control til fire dept arrived. The body got up late Sat morn. ABT 9:00 am ate Late Breakfast and late start. Got down to camp ABT 10:30 am finished back wall masonry---Dennis---
Sun March 31, 1991Up at 7:30am ate breakfast then off to work. Dennis, Paul and Butch cleaned camp Ken go measurements fo 1st logs then started figuring out for windows and getting tools together. The rest went to set logs. Arlon measured, Ron cut and the coolies(B.J., Paul Jr & Dave) loaded. All in all, great weekend. Got lots done. ---Arlon---

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cedar Crest Reconstructing

Second blog in series about Cedar Crest
I am leaving words and grammar alone as much as possible to maintain the authenticity of this log.

March 9,1991

Sat March 9, 1991
The roads finally thawed enough to allow entry to camp. No one has been there since Dennis and Linda were up Christmas Day. Although, someone made it in far enough to steal our lawnmower.
We talked with Don Harris in Marshlands about the logs for camp: Cost $325 per truck load. We then went to see Bravo Buttons to get a building permit. He lives about 3 miles from Don. The permit cost $7.50. It was $5.00 for first thousand and .50 for each additional thousand and we valued construction at $6000. We then went to see Jack House of Morris who owns a sawmill. He already had the lumber cut that Daddy ordered. We couldn’t have gotten a nicer lumber for twice the money and he was cheaper than any mill I’ve seen down home. He also helped us by letting us get rid of the junk and debris from camp.
-Amber & Ken

Day One March 16th, 1991
Left house at 7:00 am on Sat. 16th of March to clean up ruble from burned camp. Ron and B.J. went in Ron’s Jeep. Bob and myself went in 67 Chev Truck.
Stopped to eat in Jersey Shore; arrived at Camp about noon. What a mess loaded the large junk in the truck, Bob and I took the junk to Jack House’s sawmill. Paid Jack for lumber and unloaded the junk. We brought some lumber alone back to camp.
Went to Lebo Camp to spend the night. Heated up the bean soup went to bed in a feather bag. 10degrees when we got up at 6am. Had bacon and eggs, that Bob made. Went back to camp filled the truck with more junk. Ron and BJ had everything clean in front of foundation. Bob Overholtier was the first man to drive thru the driveway(So what) We all went to unload it at the sawmill. We got gas in Morris. Unloaded the truck and loaded some scrap wood. Stopped at Morris Hotel for hamburger went back to camp. Put up cables at driveway. Made deer steaks over fire. Packed up left about 5:00pm Sun. March 17th for home. ---Ken—

And the fun is just beginning. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

From the ashes Cedar Crest

The picture is not Cedar Crest is a stock picture of burnt cabin. In the late 1980's- 1990, Leetonia was plagued  by a series of theft and arson. This is the story of one camp's journey in their own words back from the ashes. 

Although most logs start at the beginning, it is with sorrow that this log shall begin at the end:

On December 23, 1990 the crazies, who were on the loose for several weeks in Leetonia pillaging the camp, climaxed by burning Cedar Crest and six other camps in the area.

Although they destroyed thousands of dollars worth of property, they accomplished little for there was more to Cedar Crest than the building where we slept. The spirit of the camp can not be destroyed by fire, or flood, or the crazies themselves, so long as we have our memories.
Some day I will be telling my grand children how my grandpa died on Fahneystock Mt. and how my father took me fishing at Rattlesnake Rock, and Joe Benardo’s son Tony will be telling his kids how he shot his first buck in the dam hollow across from camp.
But now is the time for change, and like the legendary Pheonix, Cedar Crest shall rise from the ashes. No Cedar Crest has not been destroyed it’s just gone through some major changes and this is the story of those changes and the memories not yet made.

(Signed) A.R.S.

I will continue to post this journey each day as recorded by Cedar Crest members. I remember the fear these few drug crazy people introduced into our town and am glad its time is past. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Commuting to work Leetonia style

Picture one shows you the vehicle must have to make my commute. When it rains like it has all this week it is covered in mud. When its dry dust is inside and out. When it snows...well you get the picture. You also have to carry at least one tool a nice fold-up pruning saw(shown in second picture). This saw will cut up to a 6" limb easily maybe 12" if you are desperate. After a windstorm I take my chainsaw, but don't like smelling all the fumes daily so this little saw works great. In fact, this morning, I sawed a 4" limb that crossed the road completely at 4 foot above the road. Now you may say, why didn't I just move it. Well the four inch part continued another 30' to a much larger limb impossible to move by hand. Once trimmed it easily moved it off the road.
We are having torrential rains this week, Pine Creek bounced off 6.2 this morning. The rain makes the fall leaves drop and the dirt roads more slippery than you expect. The last picture is the last road I had to travel to reach the non-electric camp I was working on. The road is not flat where you see that water it dips down about 3' and is half full of water from the storm. Splish, splash, and a mud bath. Thank goodness for 27" water clearance with this Cruiser.
Most of you have stop lights, traffic, noise and pollution and might welcome my commute.  When Ido this every day, I  have to remind myself of how lucky I am. My vehicle repair costs are twice what they are in the city. Ten-ply tires are required here to withstand the rocks and cost over $200 a piece.  So if you want to trade commutes;  you don't care if your car is clean; you like high vehicle maintenance costs, and you don't need to make a lot of money. Leetonia is the place for you to live.
Still some crazy part of me loves every bit of it. Not hard to figure out if you hear the mountain calling you. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off and scraping the mud from my boots.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Simple Remembering

Sometimes it's something simple that takes you back 40 years in a flash. This knife on it's own is meaningless to anyone but me. My mother just gave it to me when she found it in some of my grandfathers old stuff.  My grandfather  bought this farmhouse in the middle of the woods back in the 1940's  and always wore it when he was up here. 
 This knife scaled fish, gutted deer and probably opened more than its fair share of cans when a can opener couldn't be found. This was a mountain knife. It was never worn at home in the city only when he came here. This knife transformed my grandfather into a mountain man. It made he feel like a pioneer providing for his family in the middle of no where; no electric, no phone just him and the woods.
The knife is a bit rusty, the sheath a bit worn, but it is still sharp as sharp as memories of seeing him wear it as a kid following him in the mountains of Pa. I did not know as a child  I would come to live on this ground and share his passion for this very special place. This post is for my Grandfather, a strong, stubborn, Irish man, who worked hard all his life and loved this place. By the way Grandpa we not only have a phone now...we got internet! Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Progress on Narrows Construction

1st picture from North side of Narrows project looking South
2nd picture at bottom South side of Narrows project looking North
3rd picture South of Retaining wall forms looking North
4th picture North side of Narrows looking at finished part of retaining wall looking South
* This project is larger than it appears in these pictures!

If any of you have been as curious as me about the progress on narrows construction this is the blog post for you. I walked up to construction site today from the North side to see what they have been doing. From the creek it has been difficult to see much except some forms. Wow was I surprised. 
The project is much more involved than it appeared from a distance. The first picture is taken looking the same direction the creek flows to South. They have dug down at least sixteen feet to find something to attach a footing to that was solid. At this point they poured a large footing like slab at least 16" thick and extends from the edge of the drop to creek back to the mountain. This huge slab runs the entire distance which I estimate at around 100 yards.
They formed a thick  retaining wall on top the edge of this footing which you can see in next 3 pictures. This wall has the guard rail post attached to the top of it and drains on the side facing creek. After this wall is finished they will  back fill the entire hole to make the to roads reconnect. If you notice how much they have dug out on the first picture you can see how much they need to fill.
Although, I am impressed with how much they have done on this project. I see a lot more wall to be made. the retaining wall appears about a third done. Hopefully, this last part of pouring this wall to meet the other side of road will go faster than it looks so we can have our road back before winter. At this point I really doubt they will be done in November as promised. Let's just hope I am wrong and the weather stays good enough through December for the job to get done.  Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

After and Before

Well, I just finished Tom Finkbinder's repairs from the storm damage on Memorial Weekend. Insurance issues delayed a start to the project until just recently, but it is all done. The tree took out 3 roof rafters, 2 ceiling rafters and broke the double plate in the wall. the tree had amazing force hitting their house. Their bedroom is right under where the  tree hit so they have been living with a lovely blue tarp ceiling for most of the summer. I know they are glad to have it done.
Unfortunately, the newly painted log siding makes the old siding cry out for its paint. I made a strong case for it but economic concerns are putting it off until next year. The tourism business has been very slow this year for the Valley. Most of the businesses are hurting. It wouldn't be too bad if it weren't for the fact this isn't the first slow year. It is hard to watch people who work so hard suffer, but we are all in the same leaky boat. Prices keep going up and earnings keep going is sturdy folk for sure that don't give up.

Today started cool and cloudy, but now it has turned into a beautiful day. I am off to scrap paint and get some of my last painting jobs done. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

First Frost...First Fire

Well today we got down to 31 overnight and with the second day of highs only in the mid 60's, I broke down and started a fire. It has been 62 inside and it is great when you are moving around,but a bit cold sitting and doing paperwork. It was dry today and a perfect day to get outside work done.
The race to get everything done before it starts snowing is on. It always seems that summer goes so fast and winter so slow. Still have one or two hummingbirds hanging around, but most are gone. Bears still dumping in the road and eating apples like mad. 
So I will enjoy a small fire tonight, cause if I gets it too hot Lee will open all the windows. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do bears Sh*t in the Woods?

 I think I have answered that question with this picture. A bear left this in front of my neighbors camp and often I see piles right in the middle of the road. There must be a half dozen piles on my lane back to pond. I start to wonder if they ever use the woods. There are lots of bears out eating everything in sight bulking up for the winter. One walked down the road in front of house last night and got all the dogs upset...even the chihuahua.

 On a brighter note I saw a little sun today as you can see from second picture. At least enough to cast a shadow off the trees. Some of the leaves are starting to drop and you can see some trees getting a little yellow. Everything is so green from the rain and now I have to push mow the grass cause I snapped the belt on the riding lawn mower. Hopefully, I can get it done before it rains again. Mountain girl, logging out(and cleaning up after bears)!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

No Flooding here!

So many of you have been calling and emailing thought I would post conditions. We stayed just to the west of the line of storms that have caused all the flooding. Pine Creek only went to 5 yesterday and is back down below 3. I know it would have been worse had we not of been so dry for so long. The ground is now very saturated and if we get anymore big storms it will certainly drive the creek up. The worst result of rain is people cancelling their trips up and the gloomy weather makes you want to stay in bed. It isn't too bad for kayaking the creek if you can avoid some of the debri that was stirred up by the storm. I will post if things change. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Just got this link from Jan Sager now I see why everyone is calling: Flood in Pa

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ElderBerries and weather change

Well, today it is only 56 degrees at 2 pm quite a change from the near 90 degree weather over the weekend. We have had a lot of rain last couple days and it threatens to continue. I think we have finally reached ground saturation so Pine creek is slowly rising. 

I posted this picture of a batch of Elderberries cause they always remind me of my grandmother who loved to make jelly from them. I have heard they make a nice wine as well. I wouldn't suggest eating them from the plant however, they are quite bitter. I am surprised these have lasted so long usually the bears take them down as fast as they ripen. But, we have a lot of apples this year so maybe they prefer them over the sour elderberries.

Hummingbirds have slowed to a trickle. Only putting out half gallon in three feeders instead of four gallons in 16 feeders. Soon they will all be gone until May next year.

All the work I have to finish is outside so the weather is pushing me indoors to do housework, not my favorite thing! 
But without Lee here stuff doesn't stay as clean. Also decided it was a good time to sort through some old clothes and throw out some badly worn and stain work clothes. 
Had steamed-Maine-clams at a friends yesterday. I think I overdid it is 50 clams too much? I felt like my ribs were being moved out of place for a few hours. I think next time I won't go over 40! 
Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend. The weather change reminded me its not long before a good frost here. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Aniversary Grubes! Plus narrow work

First I want to say Happy 54th anniversary to John and JoAnn Grube of the Bear Mountain Camp. They kindly shared their anniversary with me and feed me a delicious meal: roast beef, green beans, noodles, gravy and pickled beets with eggs. I will have to say the only thing better than the food was the company and conversation.
The evening reminded me so much of how my grandparents would entertain others at their home. I fear this kind of conversation and fun may be a lost art with the advent of computers, cell phones and texting. We talked about animals, hunting and weather. The three big topics here.
Most might think this is boring, but I never tire of hearing people's stories. John shared one about seeing a hawk attack a turkey while he spotted for deer through binoculars. John said the turkey got a terrible blow at the base of his neck, but turned to defend himself against the hawk and succeeded in scaring the hawk off. John watched the turkey go to roost that night badly injured. Then he saw it come off the roost in the morning to once again walk through the woods. He asked if I had seen many bears and on the way home one ran across the road in front of me as if to say off course she sees bears.

The travel to work this morning was blocked in two spots as I headed to Blackwell. The first being just after I turned on 414 headed north over the bridge at Cedar Run. They were fixing some axel breaking holes on the road and I waited. The next is the work they started on the narrows a month ago. They diverted people down the bike trail(15mph). They are pouring concrete to shore up the side as you can see in second picture. As I got closer a backhoe worked a hundred feet above me(3rd picture) and they blocked the road as rocks fell to the bike trail. The flagperson said she had seen rocks fly all the way into the creek. In the last picture you can see how steep and rocky the cliff is behind the flagger were rocks dropped as I waited. The road is limited to 7' wide which excludes my construction trailer. This makes it difficult to get materials to the Blackwell area as going around adds about 50 miles and another hour. But it will all be worth it to see the narrows fixed. They don't expect to be done any before November.
Thanks again to the Grubes for a great night, great food and great company. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene

Last night I went to bed wondering how much wind and rain we would get from Hurricane Irene. As I went to sleep in the silence of the forest I could hear the sound of Giants footsteps through the woods. Was the storm coming so soon? I strained to listen... Sure enough the rhythmic beat of large feet coming through the woods could be heard. My heart beat just a little faster. I could imagine the wind tearing trees down like on the memorial day storms. I could imagine water tearing through the dam and bridges like during hurricane Agnes in the 70's.
I tried to silence my own breathe to listen closer and realized my giant slept at the foot of my bed, LEO! Breathing slow low breaths that sounded like footsteps. Mystery solved I went to bed to see what morning would bring.
As the sun rose or should I say it got a bit was raining. It rained on and off most of the morning and the wind gusted at times but never enough to drop the forest to its knees. By late afternoon the clouds disappeared and the air went cool like autumn is supposed to be. I took this picture of the apple tree in our front yard around 6pm. Although, it is difficult to see, there are many small apples on the tree. In fact, there is an abundance of apples this year, which should make the bears and deer quite happy soon.
The male hummingbirds have all left, but due to an abundance of babies this year I am still feeding quite a few of them. I did take down 3 quart feeders so now there are only 13 up. By the end of tomorrow I should know if I can take anymore down. They won't completely be gone until the end of September. Lee always keeps a few up for travelers coming through on their migration south.
Lee is still with my mom. This is the beginning of week four alone in the woods. I will have to say I will be happy when she is home so I can have someone to talk to besides the dogs. Mom's surgery went well and we will know by Thursday how soon Lee can leave. I think she is anxious to be home too. There is no place like Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging off.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hummingbirds still at it....

Rain has eluded us for the most part, but when it does start a storm the hummingbirds go crazy. The above video is just one on the 16 feeders surrounded by anxious hummingbirds. I haven't noticed much of a drop in the amount of food they are eating. I keep expecting the males to start leaving and the amount of food to drop. The roads have been dusty and it is still hot working if you aren't in the shade. I did the corner of a storm damaged roof for Tom Finkbinder and it was not the week to be up on a roof. His house is in the direct sun. It got to 89 degrees and the roof was hot enough to burn your skin if you knelled on it or touched it with bare skin.
I keep hoping for rain, since when it rains I get a day off. So far not many days off in August. The creeks are bone dry. I happened to meet some bicyclists coming up Leetonia road and they asked me where the falls was. I had to tell them it was dried up. For some reason they thought all the snow we had would have stuck around long enough to make the falls nice for them in August...go figure.
I can hear the sound of thunder outside and it is starting to rain the plants will be very happy tonight. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ruins Camp for sale

All good things come to an end and it seems the members of the Ruins Camp are all getting older and decided to sell. This camp has three acres and at least a couple hundred feet on it are right on Cedar Run Creek.
They put a kitchen addition on a few years ago...which is very nice. The rest of the camp needs some work. The water comes from a spring and I am not sure what the septic system is.
The camp has 4 bedrooms, one of which holds to bunk bed units(one is 3 bunks high..the room is tall in bunk room).
There is an old barn on the place which had a new metal roof put on it last year. The back side near
creek needs some foundation work.
The creek view from the deck is unmatched. There is a solid rock bottom to creek that runs at least the length of the cabin and makes for great body sledding down the stream. You can always see trout swimming just outside the back door.
For someone not afraid of a little work this place has a lot of potential. They have made me in charge of showing it to people and are taking offers. Contact me at if you are interested.
The hummingbirds are still at it strong and it seems all I do is fill feeders when I am not working. I am down to my last ten pounds of
40lbs I bought just a week ago. For such small birds they can sure eat a lot. If you are in the area come sit on our porch in the evening or morning it is quite a treat. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hummingbirds are at their Peak

The hummingbird babies have hatched and are feeding vigorously. Lee has 15 feeders around the house and while she is gone helping my mother I am in charge of keeping them full. The first day they went through 4 gallons of fluid. That is ten pounds of sugar to make the 4 gallons. Every feeder was emptied by the hungry birds. Looks like I will be running to the store for more sugar. The feeders were again half-empty this morning.
We only have a couple weeks of heavy use by the birds then the males will start leaving around the end of the month. Even with fifteen feeders you can often see 8 to 10 birds around each feeder in the evening. We truly live in a humming bird hive. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Last Day of July

Last day of July today and I finished shingling a shed I am building at a leased camp in the middle of no where. Without electricity building takes a bit longer. You have to use a generator and the sound of the generator running pretty much ruins the solitude. Today however, the shingles just needed a utility knife, hammer and nails. The building is going to be vinyl sided and the soffits covered with aluminum.
Scooter goes with me most times to work when the weather isn't too hot for him. He loves watching for intruders and making sure I don't work too long past his dinner time.
We are down to three dogs now. I returned Thor our three-legger to the girl who gave him to me. It had become too much to feed and care for all three large ones. She has his sister so after his sister told him she is in charge they got along great. Funny how you can have so many and still miss one when he is gone. I keep expecting to see him laying in his favorite spot on the front porch.
Lee is going to spend some time with my mother in Iowa to help her out. Her husband passed last week after a short intense battle with cancer. Now that she is older it is harder for her to cope with the loss. 2011 has been a year of dealing with many family issues, which still find you even living in the middle of the woods of Leetonia. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat Continues

When it gets in the 90's back here it is hot. Fortunately, this doesn't happen too much, but when it does it is hard on animal and human alike.
The rattlesnakes have been on the move in hot weather seeking the cool of the creeks.
I saw this black Timber Rattler today in front of Red Rock Camp. I saw a larger yellow one crossing Francis Leetonia road yesterday.
If you don't know what they look like you might think the black ones are sticks on the road until you look a bit closer.
Caution should be used swimming in the creeks to make sure you look out for your fellow snakes looking to cool themselves as well. Timber Rattlers aren't real aggressive but they will bite if you get too close or step on them. You are safe if you stay the length of the snake away and don't bother them. Most of the snake bites are people trying to pick them up or mess with them. Cool weather isn't in sight so keep hydrated or best yet sit in a cold stream. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hot and humid

The last month has made up for all the rain we had early this Spring. The creek is now low and everything is turning brown. Hot and humid in the woods so much so you feel like you are in a terrarium.
The Eagle at Cedar Run had a baby who is flying and complaining a lot lately. I think the parents are teaching him to fish. He sat in a tree today just at the end of Cedar Run hoping for something to eat. I was working close to there and heard his cries going unanswered by his parents. Growing up is tough even for eagles.
The road going through the narrows will be closed probably by tomorrow and traffic diverted onto the bike path. The have limited the width down to 7', which makes it impossible to haul my utility trailer through there. Don't know how long this will take, but I am guessing we will be lucky if it is finished before winter.
Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

log time

Well anyone who read the last blog noticed I was working on staining a log cabin when I discovered rotten logs.
It ended up the whole bottom log was rotten for about seven feet including the bottom plate. The log was eight inch high red pine and since I was unable to find any kiln dry pine that large, I cut one on my property to match.
You can see I then split the log in half as I built the back of the log up with treated lumber to the half way point. The first log isn't visible from the inside of house since it is under the floor or I would have needed to put in an entire log or log side both sides.
Since these logs are very green I am trying to fast dry them on the south side of my house under a plastic sheet. I figure in 2-4 weeks I can get quite a bit of the moisture out. The rest of the drying will need to take place on the cabin after they are installed. I am hoping for them to be dry enough to take on some preservative. Of course the preservative will need to be put on again toward the end of next summer when they are drier.
Once I get them in place I will post them again. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Robin transplant and log cabin

Good news for this baby robin. I was working to power wash a log cabin for painting and there was a robin nest with 3 eggs in the way. I decided to see if I could move it to a bush a few feet away. I wasn't sure mother would find it. But she did and hatched at least one of the three eggs. The baby is hungry all the time and hopefully it will survive and fly.
Anyone who loves the woods loves the sight of a little log cabin nestled among the trees. Such is the cabin I am working on now a little 20 foot by 22 foot cabin with a loft. A new owner bought it and wanted it stained. While power washing it I noticed it had an infestation of powder post
beetles. You can see the holes about the size of pencil lead in the logs especially in one corner. Unfortunately, this has gone on too long. Previous owners stacked firewood and other wood under and near the cabin. The wood rotted and brought the pests. The have eaten through about 10 feet of this bottom log and as you can see eaten the plate board it was sitting on.
The log will have to be replaced along with the plate. Wood cabins must be stained every five years now with the changes in safer paint(shorter lasting paint). If you want the beauty of logs consider the work of maintaining them and never stack firewood near any wood camp during summer months when bugs are active. It will be a lot of work to fix the damage on this place. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Mountain Blanket

Mountain Laurel blankets the sides of Cedar Mountain with hues of white and pink flowers. If you have never seen the mountain covered in this flower this week is the time to see it. Soon the blossoms will fall and the forest will be green until fall color season.
Last week was the Mountain Laurel festival in Wellsboro. I ended up working through the weekend and didn't get a chance to go. But I get to see the flower daily that give the festival its name.
I count myself lucky to live up here even though the work is hard. My typical drive to work through the green forest watching the animals
cross the road is never disappointing.
During the weekdays I encounter few other cars. I saw Turkey, deer, grouse, and one very large bear.
Seems to be quite a few bear in Leetonia looking for a free handout from camp owners. I had to stop feeding the birds years ago when the number of bear in my yard day or night became a problem for my dogs. I never opened the door without looking first to make sure one of the bruins wasn't walking outside. They can be hard to see in the dark and they are amazingly quiet for such large animals. Fencing an area for the dogs to go at night is keeping my dog/bear emergencies to a minimum. Living with nature is a joy but also an adaptation to how you think about daily activities. Weather plays a big role all year. Any plans you make can be quickly changed by rain, wind, ice or snow. Respect for what the weather can do is essential to living as accident free as possible. Watching the sides of the road for the sudden deer or bear appearance keeps your vehicle dent free. Surviving the gravel roads effect on your car or truck is unavoidable. Tires, suspension, paint last half as long. Three ply tires last just about as long as it takes you to change them. I changed the first one on my Cruiser I picked up a month ago. A stone the size and shape of my index finger pierced the tire beyond a plug fix. I expect by the end of summer to have four upgraded tires as they all gradually are destroyed by the roads. Knowing how to change a tire is a basic necessity as well as having a good spare. In an average summer I fix about four tires between the two vehicles. Getting help could take you most the day. But I have noticed the vehicles I am getting keep having bigger and bigger tires. Lifting these on and off the vehicle is less and less fun. Course I could live somewhere with instant cell coverage and it is worth the trade. I still love it in the mountains of Leetonia and I know I always will. Mountain girl, Paula, logging out.