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.