Monday, July 13, 2015

The more things change: cottage edition

Hello from your intrepid knitting cottager!  If you ever wanted to know how long the drive is from home to our cottage, the answer is, as long as you need to polish off two sock toes.

We had various sad discoveries when we arrived for the first time this year, like the mound of cinder block pieces lying on the ground between our (very heavy) picnic bench and the entrance to the deck, all of which had to be moved before we could put it back in place on said deck, which was rebuilt last fall.  Pete gradually moved all the blocks and got the bench up on his own when I wasn't looking, and that is frankly amazing because did I say Heavy?  It's one of those recycled plastic things and weighs a ton on top of being unwieldy.  I still don't know how he pulled that off.

But then, the deck itself is a miracle to me even though I know Mike does great work:

It's huge, but also: so pretty.

And, bonus! It meets current building code standards, right down to the double handrail on the stairs.

The new stairs are even wide enough for some people to sit on them while others use them to go up or down, which I'm sure will totally happen on some future date when there are no mosquitoes or blackflies in residence.

The next sad discovery was that I really should have called the local friend who cleans the cottage for us every spring to confirm we were coming up when I said I thought we would, because it was pretty icky inside when we unlocked the door.  Mice, you know.

Also, some plumbing got done last fall that led to mud in the bathroom and the shower head being broken, and some electrical work got done over the past few weeks that led to the stereo no longer being hooked up and wire bits on the floor.  The water never got turned on either because of the earlier electrical problem, and since the plumbing update changed the system for that, there was a bit of delay on that front which delayed my cleaning efforts.

When Pete figured out which pump and heater switches work how, he also discovered leaks in the pipe under the building.  I lost count after the first four, being preoccupied with wiping down every interior surface with Lysol, but eventually he got them all sorted out except for one you can only access by wriggling under the very middle of the cottage on your belly - a T joint that was mended by duct tape some years previously.

In good news, the scary leaning tree is still leaning!

We had the tree man in to look at it two years ago and he said it should stand for some time to come, but given its size and potential to destroy the fire pit next door, I think I should call him in again.

Pete ran out of duct tape trying to do a temporary fix for the T joint leak, so he went off into the nearest town with a hardware store for more of that and a new shower head too while I pulled things out of hibernation.

The ducks did fine over the winter, and the bench cushion wrinkles will fall out eventually I expect.

Bonus: Toffee was happy with the floral bedding after all.

That there is a very vintage paperback copy of Pride and Prejudice on my bedside stool - I make a point of reading it every summer.

Unfortunately the new shower head leaked worse than the T joint - it was the only one in the store, and incredibly cheap, for good reason as it turned out.  Also, the T joint did not like the new duct tape and kept spurting out more and more water, until Pete worried it might not just empty our well but also damage the cottage footings.  So he started turning off the water until we absolutely needed it, which made it a good time to give up and go to the dock to watch a plane take off from the water.

We see at least one of these every year... we think their passengers are a real estate agent and client, and the idea makes me laugh and laugh because, well, if you read this far, you know why.

After midnight a large group of teenagers on the point decided to go into the lake, and since sound carries so well over water we had to relive our youth vicariously through them for about an hour.  (to be fair, this particular lake is known for being incredibly quiet, so one night is not a big deal... actually it was kind of funny, had they but known.)  For another hour after that, Pete and I discussed what on earth we were thinking, taking all this on with such limited skills, and even more limited time to spend up north.

We will not be calling the real estate agent with the plane.  But we did decide to come home a day early and get a plumber in so we can settle in properly next weekend.

On the upside: we did get into the water for a swim that evening, and I managed not to get a single mosquito bite in spite of many attempts on my blood supply... until we stopped at a chip wagon for lunch on our way back to the city.  The wagon was parked beside a marsh, sigh.  Great french fries though!

After all that, I was reminded by my socks that none of it matters in the big picture, completely leaving aside the fact that we are very lucky to have such problems.  Take a look at the way these stripes match up:

A little longer on one side, and then on the other, and by the time I finished the toes the colour change was at exactly the same point for both.

Yep, everything works out in the end.  Hopefully next weekend will be easier!

Hope the start of your week is easy too, and I will see you tomorrow.

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