Soffits and Other Trivia

Well, we finally won the marten war.  We managed to get the soffits (shiny black material located in the eaves in the above photo) installed in and around weeks of rain.  Mr. (or Mrs.) marten has been around, checking out our work, and has deemed the cabin completely marten proof.

It’s been a busy year.  As the days grow shorter and the rains set in, I am just beginning to slow down.  The soffits were only one of several late fall projects that we’ve been hard at work on.  The barnacles have been productive this year, and both boats needed to be hauled out and scraped.  As this can only be done on certain tides, we ended up doing both of them during the first two weeks of November.  We are happy with our work (and our gas bill will be much improved), but are a couple of tired critters!

We’ve still been working on a microhydro concept for our place.  Now that the days are shorter and cloudier, our solar panels are not quite able to keep pace with our needs.  As luck would have it, we were able to salvage a bunch of 4″ and 6″ poly pipe earlier this fall, which we needed for the water pipeline, and this encouraged us to get back at work on this project again.  However, the fall rains were late and started out light, and our creek has only begun to flow in the past few days – the middle of November instead of the beginning of September, as it has the last couple years.  Thus, we are re-evaluating microhydro …. maybe a small wind turbine will be a better and more cost effective addition to our system.

Ken built a dryer rack over the stove a while back, and now that we are running the stove regularly for heat, I’m using the rack to dry much of the fall harvest – apples, kale, and various herbs.  It feels good to see our abundance show itself in rows of jars filled with the products of our labors!

And then there’s my “work”.  I’m two-thirds of the way through my first novel, and hope to finish it this winter.  This has turned out to be something that I have enjoyed immensely, and I hope that writing becomes a regular part of my life.  In addition, I’ve taken on a small consulting contract for the winter, in order to earn a bit of “money” (you know, the stuff you use to buy groceries and fuel).  So, all in all, I can see that my state of business looks like it will continue into the winter!

5 thoughts on “Soffits and Other Trivia”

  1. I went back to reread your marten posts. We’ve had a visitor this fall. It first came during the day and we got a few fleeting looks at it. It has since come twice during the night. We got out the guide books but don’t know if it is a mink or marten. Could also be a weasel I guess, but the chest wasn’t lighter than the back. One night it got on the roof and made a terrible racket, but with the recent rains it disappeared. Our live trap isn’t large enough so we hope it will stay away. I just finished the first half of my consulting job, writing a community assessment for a school district preschool grant. I do it every year so it is a fairly easy thing to do, and since it is due in November the timing is good, not competing with lots of summer activities. The extra funds make a nice addition to our retirement money. – Margy

    1. Hi Margy:
      Sounds like your visitor may be a marten. Generally, martens don’t swim (they dislike salt water) and minks don’t climb. If you get a good look at the critter, see if you can spot ears and a fluffy tail. These are identifying features of martens. The light chest patch may only be visible when the stand on their hind legs.

      Gotta love those little contracts that help to ease the “fixed income” problem.

  2. I used to love those little contracts until I got so rusty that I was no longer any good at what I used to do. That just made the work hard as I tried to make up for it. Way, way easier not to entertain the damn things at all. Easier to just say, “Sorry, I am no longer any good at that. Don’t hire me. Money’d be wasted. I’d waste it.”
    Nowadays, I am kinda wondering, ‘Money? What’s that? You say it’s related to fuel and food?’ It’s not like I don’t know…jus’ forgettin’ much about the world-of-money more and more. And it’s forgettin’ about me. Who knew septuagenarians were the real cause of most petty crime?
    Your house is lookin’ good. Food gathering is also very good. I KNOW the boat is good.
    And with Sci-fi looming in book form, it sounds like you got it all goin’ on. Good for you!

    1. Hi David:
      I think it won’t be many more years before I will be in the same place as you are with contracts. Right now, I still have a little bit of relevancy and some in depth knowledge in a very few select areas that keeps the odd contract showing up at my door. Hopefully enough for another couple years … then I can retire for real, instead of just playing at it!

      Wish I could forget about money too. Do you think the day will come when I can just drive up to a gas station, fill up my truck, and walk away without paying???

      Certainly lots going on … maybe too much. But isn’t that life. If its going to rain, then it will surely pour!


      1. I doubt free gasoline. That is like going to the devil for charity. But you will find that more and more local people will drop out of the money-chase whenever they can. Sometimes they just have to do. Mostly they want to. But barter, pay-it-forward, pay-it-back, give generously and receive graciously is far more common out here than it ever was (IF ever) in the city. You, you sci-fi freak……think Star Trek, Roddenberry. Only the Ferengi cared about Latinum.

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