Loss Time

Time is like a river in which we stand facing down-stream. Time washes around us and carries life away. We are much more certain of what has happened than of what will.

We have but limited ability to sense what is coming toward us – and when it has passed, we are left wondering how we failed to notice. Some are things that are all but mathematically certain. Knowing this, they still manage to take us stupidly by surprise and we stand speechless, both at the event and at our own amaze: Obviously this would happen, why am I so surprised? Continue reading

Winter Days and Roof Rakes

You may have heard — you may even have noticed personally — that this has been quite the winter for snow in the northeastern United States, where we live.  For most of the past two months, it has also been routinely 20-30 degrees below freezing during the day and colder at night.


A winter’s snow, mid-February. That’s the end of the first floor deck, the surface of which is about four-and-a-half feet off the ground. I reckon that’s about four feet of snow and ice perched atop it. And we’ve had a few storms since.

That has meant a very busy and happy time at the day job, but it has caused work on the cottage to cease, as noted.  Beyond the inconvenience, there have been added challenges.  Continue reading


It’s been pretty quiet in our small wood, lately.

Our Thanksgiving travels and other obligations have kept us from the work for a while now. It has snowed and rained and melted and snowed again, and rained again in that time. The wall isn’t standing yet, and there is a snowstorm predicted for this Tuesday and Wednesday. Continue reading

Forward Into Winter

Winter is upon us.

If you live in southwestern New York, you know this already. But even in the comparatively soft and gentle lands of New England we’ve noticed the cold. When I arrived at the site last week, the muddy ground had turned to rimey crust, hard to the foot – if not quite to the wheel. A skim of ice coated the work of the week before. Continue reading

Joist by Joist, row by row…

Apologies if I’ve put a corny 60s song in your head.

I was able to devote four nearly full days to the work this past week and although much was done, it wasn’t the kind of work that yields stunning process photography. Nor was my mood the kind that yielded much in the way of philosophic reflection. Sometimes things go slower than you’d like them to and sometimes that’s all there is to it.

Looking back at last week’s post, though, I have to say that we’ve gotten along. When I left Vermont the last time, I’d set up the frame for the first deck and measured out a pile of joists to cut. And that was it.

Today we have all of the joists in place, all of the blocking completed, almost all of the sub-bracing done, and half of the floor decked over. I’ll let the pictures tell the tale this time. Continue reading