Thursday, October 27, 2016

Friendships are Hard Work

Here's a quick update before I get going this morning. I've given up political commentary, and I've been driving out to Carmine every day this week to get ready for the arrival of a cabin! Yep. After crunching numbers and lots of discussion, we decided to buy a cute, red, portable cabin. It will arrive in 5 hours!

This week, a longtime friend has been helping me clean up the cedar trees we'll eventually use for our own construction wood. Meg was in a band with me in the 90's. Her career is Assistant Director in the film business, and that sounds glamorous. However, she's informed me it's extremely hard work. She brought that hard work ethic to the country, and man! Those 30 foot cedar logs are ready for the sawmill! Three days of working with a chainsaw, and in her words, she's become a chainsaw expert.

Two musicians* walk into a pasture...

Here's what you need to know. Christy and Tammy are musicians who get stuff done. Meg, is a musician. It seems counter intuitive, but musician friendships can net some serious results. Maybe it's a holdover from our years in a band together; loading equipment, setting up shows, and hours and hours of time together practicing, but I can set a plan and not worry one bit that it will happen. In this case, I handed over my chainsaw, and went off to start building an outdoor kitchen. I took occasional breaks to drag away cedar debris into a burn pile that we thought we would burn, but common sense took over and told us we weren't equipped for a fire that big.*

Tammy and I are taking on the "off the grid" challenge to see if  we can master it. I started working on an outdoor kitchen. I built a rocket stove out of cinder blocks, bricks and an old oven grate.

A rocket stove works like a fire place. I put kindling and small bits of wood in one of the lower chambers. The back of the stove is built like a chimney, so the fire is pulled from the chamber up one of the chimney stacks. Viola! A two burner stove! The top cinder block's upward facing chambers act as warming spaces. It doesn't get super hot, but it will warm tortillas or keep something warm after cooking. 

Next I started a fire ring. This can be used for a dutch oven or foil meals.

I'll finish up the fire ring today. We'll also buy a barbecue pit. That's really all we need. Tammy and I will figure out how to fashion the logs in the background into a bench of some sort. We'll test out the kitchen Saturday night. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Right now, I've got to get going. Stay tuned for the arrival of the little red cabin.

* - I had an awesome earth sign reference going with this blog. My premise was that earth signs get stuff done. Tammy and I are Capricorns. I thought Meg was a Virgo, but she corrected me real fast. She's a Leo. The odds of a Capricorn and Leo accomplishing something smoothly is probably 50/50. With those kinds of odds, I honestly thought my Leo pal was a solid Virgo.  Anyway. I had to rewrite a paragraph because dare not misrepresent a Leo.

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