Gribbler in the Woods.

Upstate New York, the frozen forest. It is staggeringly, intoxicatingly lovely, but cold as a dead Eskimo. Dressed up like a Teddy bear it is bearable, even enjoyable.

The yard and new shed put up to hold the stuff from the house whilst I am rebuilding. Beasty truck has no doors or floor but it runs and dumps. I put chains on all four tires for the winter months. Old dozer goes too when coaxed.

View from the house. I never get tired of it. The water is Lake George, 34 miles long but only a mile or two wide for the most part.

I chainsawed a bunch of beams from the straightest trees around my 38 acres, mostly Eastern Hemlocks (a kind of “shitty pine” as someone called it, and White Pine which is better quality. Now I am attempting to rebuild my grotto with them.

Ridge beam going up. 6x8 inches, 42 feet long, about a thousand pounds in weight. Cranes are cheating, so we are doing it with pulleys and fear, using the old roof as a scaffold.

Ladybugs hibernate beneath the siding of the house. Must have found at least a hundred thousand of them by now.

Hauling beamage upslope.

Ridge beam complete. (It is two beams lag-screwed together, and is silly strong. Norbert says that civic centers have smaller beams).

Once the beams and posts are all up I shall take down the old roof.

This is my good friend Norbert "Bitch" Ender, who is valiantly helping me raise the heavy stuff at the weekends. He's a girly with ropes but is ingenious and a master with a steel bar and sledgehammer, an irriesistible force that meets immovable objects, and the objects always lose. I don't even have to pay him. He is very dangerous though and does in fact work with his eyes closed.

Rocky wears a radio tracking and shock collar at times due to his habit of running off and getting himself impounded. I made the steps 4 inches thick so they might support Americans.


The above picture is from early December before the serious work began. I have been outdoors all daylight hours the whole winter. I am strangely contented.

Rocky earns his keep pulling loads in from the road about a third of a mile away. He'll haul up to about 80lbs before he starts needing a bit of help on the hills. He is from Mexico, short-haired but is amazingly tolerant of the cold, hanging around outdoors with me and even sleeping outside down to well below freezing, even though he is free to go inside by the woodstove at any time.

Norbert pretending to work upstairs.

That’s all folks.


2 thoughts on “Gribbler in the Woods.

  1. Fabulouso!
    Tears in my eyes..
    the good kind – as in ‘ears’ not ‘airs’
    (Building) Site for sore eyes – what a view.. HUGE!! Very beautiful 😀 btw: love the stairs gag hehe!! + Nice to see a photo of yourself! 🙂
    (Silly strong) + (Pulleys AND Fear) = one helluva build.. Norbert sounds as mad as you! But what for a beam – feck mate – 6″ x 8″ by 42 ft and using the old roof as scaffold. What flaw to I see in this??! Using the old roof, (which presumably needed replacing..) as scaff; to pulley up the new spine, support, central, integral ridge beam; – sounds more hair-raising than barn raising – regardless of the type of pine you used!! Sorry, but reminds me a bit of Bluebottle standing on Eccles’ shoulders while being in ‘the tent upstairs’. Not downright dangerous, simply surreal..
    But heck, sure it will be a fine job and probably then, last as long as the lake.
    Woof to Rocky who seems a strong part of the team & waggy licks to all.
    Take care, good luck & hope to hear the next thrilling installment soon – glad that you’ll have a roof on for next Winter 🙂 All the best from a decidedly spring-like Brissle (I’ve ben taking roofs away, not adding them.. well, putting velux window & re-walling / cupboarding a room upstairs – kind of like what your doing but at 1:80 scale!)
    Laters Godzilla Grilla xx

  2. Wow, I’m impressed! The 16″ for insulation seems a bit excessive, but you never were known for doing things halfway. As for structural integrity, this place could form an integral part of the Maginot Line; shells would just bounce off the roof!


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