This morning I woke up to the patter or rain on the roof. It was just cool enough to need a fire in the house. I made coffee and waited for James to wake up. We read out of Watership Down then went for a walk.
The rain was little more than mist by then but as both of us enjoy the rain it made the walk ever more enjoyable.
More and more little flowers are popping up and starting to open. The weather has been cooler than last few days but they seem to like the cool spring weather as much as I do.
The mountain side are now full of little birds as well as little flowers.
The bird song echo off the mountain as they endlessly call back and forth to each other. One has made it his endless task to try and get in through the window, tapping and tapping at the glass to find passage.
He is a fast little thing and made taking the picture difficult but I snapped few.
The soil is in. It is the native soil that will need some amendments over time to keep it rich enough for a raised bed, but with a little peat moss added in and a bit of potting soil to lighten it up, the SOIL is IN! I went ahead and planted a few herbs I had picked up in the live herb section at the grocery store. I am not sure they will be able to make the adjustment but no harm in trying.
I dropped in a celery that had been cut off. I have grown several in a bit of water but never tried it putting them directly into soil. Its an experiment.
James went ahead and planted the seeds for peas, collards, spinach and radish in the bed. From the inside this looks to be the grandest window box ever. There is nothing like getting your hands in the soil and putting those little seeds in.
You know spring has truly arrived when the Tamaracks bud out. yesterday green appeared. Along this draw we get to enjoy a far wider variety of trees than much of this part of Montana. We have everything from the very common Ponderosa Pine to Cedar, Cottonwoods to Tamaracks. The shades of green are every shifting through out the year with splashes of orange and yellow flashing out in the fall. I love to watch the changes but spring with the soft tips on the Blue Spruce, the glossy shine on the cedar and the budding Tamaracks are is my favorite time of year.
Montana weather is known to change suddenly and extremely. That is very true in the spring when you live up in the mountains. You can go from t-shirt weather back to coat and gloves in a matter of moments and back again just as fast. This April has not disappointed on that level.
The snow was surprisingly deep when we got up in the morning but by the time I had coffee and headed out with the camera most of it had melted off. It was still definitely cool enough to need a fire in the house.
To days later the sky has cleared and the sun came out. Not only was it t-shirt weather it was tank top weather!
With the weather feeling like spring, robins out and about, James and I took advantage and went for a hike behind the Little Cabin.
It was a very steep hike but the view is rather impressive from up there. We made it about half way up and could begin to see hints of the weather to come.
Just after sunset the snow began to come down and the temperature dropped.
Sunrise revealed that winter had returned. It was about 8 inches that had arrived and with just enough melt before it froze that once again the car is at the bottom of the drive and the hiking up and down returns. It looks like the weather will begin to warm back up again for another round of remarkably early spring weather.
Getting the most necessary windows in place made for decent enough air flow made it comfortable enough really get some work done. Step one was the main kitchen counter top.
Again, this is a purchase from the resource store. It took a number of trips to make it there on a day to find a counter top I liked and was of a size and shape I could work with. Into the counter line up went the stove that was salvaged from an old 5th wheel that had been crushed by a tree. Getting a lay out that will work with both the propane line stove will need as well as the water lines, (water in, both hot and cold, as well as grey water out) dictated a lot of how the kitchen floor plan needed to work. With the counter in place and stove set in the sink was the next task. I couldn’t find the smaller size I had hoped for but for the whooping price of $15 I picked up a stainless steel sink. There are a few tricks to cutting into counter tops.
1. always use a sharp blade with fine teeth or you get chipping.2. use painters tape to edge your cut to help not only keep a clean line but to further prevent chipping damage. 3. be sure that you measure in enough to leave a lip for the sink to rest on but far enough out the brackets fit into your hole. (if you buy a new sink you will get a template to work with making this slightly more simple)
4. Once you cut half way around screw a board, that spans the entire sink are, to the center piece. This will hold the strain off the counter top and keep it in place until you lift it out.
With the sink in and the stove set in place the next tasks before shelves or doors can go in the walls need to be insulated and the lines for water and propane put in place. There is always a great feeling when at the days end you can see what you have done. It is a feeling so few know and yet we all need. Building a tiny off grid cabin in the mountain is not for everyone but a sense of accomplishment is. Volunteer at a habitat for humanity, at a community garden, or offer to hep a neighbour with some task on their “to do” list. You may be surprised at how therapeutic it can be.