July, Third Week of


Jaison (yes, we learned this is how his name is spelt) is on a hiatus of some sort. They worked Saturday, which was remarkably kind, in order to maximize our progress while the man-lift was here. It was due to be collected Monday, and in fact left this morning.

They had to make all sorts of elaborate deals with their respective spouses to do commercial work on the weekend, and Jaison’s bargain was to stay home early this week and finish renovating his own bathroom so his family could stop using a porta-potty. I did not begrudge him this.

On our end, we enjoyed a visit from Marsh’s parents yesterday, and they brought with them our nephew Ian, who is spending about a week, living in his tent, and more than willingly pitching in on all of our demolition, construction, hauling, organizing, animal-care, yard-and-garden, and other activities. He’s great company and was a huge help today.

His presence makes it easier for us to visit my sister Down East tomorrow, as he’ll dog-sit.

So we’ve had a couple of days without contractors to let things gestate, clean up debris piles, write lists, and gather strength for the next push. We’ve taken time to appreciate the metal work now wrapping our eaves and rake fasciae (picture above). Marsh’s parents also brought our two angora rabbits (Hazel and Pipkin) which made the hand-off from Buxton, where they’ve been since we left there, along with Ian.

They aren’t visible in this picture, but what you see is the new pen we knocked together so we can juggle the rabbits and the cat, at least until we get the rabbits’ hutch, and while the weather is hot.


We’ve created a bit of a conundrum for ourselves with multiple animal populations who can’t integrate (or who aren’t yet integrated) — Basenjis, a cat, rabbits, Homer — and not yet being in the house means our space is cramped and options limited. We would even give up the cat (somewhat reluctantly) if we could find a really good re-home… she’s SUPER (as in annoyingly) friendly. Spayed. All shots. (Let us know if you know someone in Maine central coast who might be interested.)

Anyway… we’re managing. There are days when I wish it were a little simpler, but in due course we’ll have a larger fenced-in run for the Basenjis, possibly an invisible fence for Homer, and a well-thought-out yard with hutch(es) for bunnies and hopefully 4-8 chickens for eggs. In case you’re wondering, the rabbits are for fiber, which Marsh is learning to spin for her crochet projects.

There are still raspberries aplenty:


The begonia, which was not supposed to bloom the first year:


And so much else to be thankful for: an early Christmas present from Marsh’s parents of their underused celestial telescope, which I’m beside myself over; the peas in the garden are booming, and promise a harvest sufficient for (at least) one meal; the man-lift — though it was useful while here — was picked up and is no longer cluttering our drive; we filled the latest dumpster and had IT pulled away; we took delivery of a new load of rough-sawn framing lumber…

…and today we made a big dent in the final demolition of the porch, getting the wall that’s in common with the house down to the bare studs:


We found rot and more rot — worse again than we knew, but honestly not worse than we expected, and partly because we were three of us working as a team it felt super-productive and positive. Having the first floor virtually completely open to the porch is revelatory — there is so much more light and air in what will be the living room and kitchen — so we’re thinking through again our plan for that wall, and considering ways to leave it as open as possible while preserving its load-bearing function.

The decayed studs at the top of the northeast end.

The bottom of the same studs in the picture above. The first floor sill-plate is rotted right at the corner — until I pull it out, I won’t know if the wood below that (on the foundation) also has to be replaced.

The bottom reach of the second-floor studs, and the second-floor sill-plate, as seen from the upper part of the porch wall (the rake of the porch roof is such that it “attaches” (for some value of “attach”) above the dividing line between floors. Also, hence much of the rot, since the roof edge was not flashed properly.

But it’s all deal-with-able. And so it goes. Meanwhile a very welcome day off beckons for tomorrow and time with my sis and her family, and hopefully Jaison will be back Thursday to put in a couple of days.