Chchchch Changes

Greetings from a very beautiful Keweenaw! I tried my best to write last week, but life has been crazy busy for the past several weeks. That’s what happens when you already have a lot to do and then get sidelined for 3+ weeks! I am slowly catching up on my list and thanks to Nora and Gracie, a lot of the work that had to be done to get our stuff out of the old house is also done. While I was lounging around in the hospital, Nora was busy not only holding the fort down, but also getting things from the old house packed up and put in storage. 

I would say that we are probably 90-95% of the way towards and empty house and only have around 2-3 hours of work left to get that number to 100%. It’s just been hard to go inside there and do that work while it is so beautiful outside. We have at least a month or two, maybe more before the house will be taken down, so there really is no big rush, but Nora and I also would like to have that work behind us. So I guess we’ll see which one wins out in the next week, enjoying the weather or getting that work done. I have a feeling I know already, the weather. However, Grace has something going on after school almost every day of the week, except Friday’s so Nora and I (mostly Nora) are pretty tied up until late in the evening most week days.

Even though the weather is not feeling like winter is close at all, Grace and I have really gotten the bug to ride the sleds and Grace wants to do some big air jumping this winter, so we built a nice ramp for her to hit and work on her Supermans, heel clickers and maybe even a backflip if we modify the ramp a bit. All we need to do now is clear some of the trees in the landing zone. We did realize that the take off runway would not be long enough to get going fast enough to maximize her jumps, so we decided to remove the garage of the house. Now she can take off from the road, go up the driveway, through the backyard and hit the ramp at full speed.

Now, if you believe all of that, I have a bridge I can sell you… on the moon! Hopefully all of you figured that some work for the new home and some demolition of the old house has already begun. On October 17th, a pair of machines were dropped off and the first thing that they did was to connect the apartment to the well that was feeding the old house. That was a wonderful thing for us, as we had been using what we call a crock well. It’s basically an old hand-dug well that taps into water that is sitting around 8-10 feet below the surface. I guess it was the source of water for a lot of the homes in Jake back in the day, but we did not trust it to be free of pathogens, so we only used it for things like the toilet, shower and washing the dishes (with a rinse bath of treated water). Now we have full use of the water that is coming out of the faucets!

After bringing the water line over, they scraped the topsoil off most of the backyard to get down to firm ground to place the foundation on. That is where the big pile of dirt came from. Since that picture was taken, they dug trenches for the footings and put in the forms and rebar for the footings. The plan is to pour the footings on Tuesday and then put a few courses of block on the footings. We are actually doing a slab foundation, but for some reason the inspector wanted the slab to be tied into footings that would be below the frost line. This one puzzles me because the slab will be heated and even though there will be insulation underneath the slab, it will still bleed enough heat to the ground to keep it from freezing and causing any heaving of the slab. Plus the slab would otherwise sit on about 2+ feet of sand that extends several feet out from it. The sand would not hold enough moisture that could freeze and cause the slab to heave. However, he’s the inspector and what he says goes!

One of the reasons I wanted to write last week was to talk about the snow that fell in the UP. We did not get any accumulation here in Jacobsville, but an inch or two coated most other areas of the Keweenaw, with a few more inches than that in the highest of terrain. Other areas like from Ironwood to Lake Gogebic and the higher terrain of eastern Baraga and western Marquette counties saw 12-15″+. I’m REALLY glad we did not get those big totals here. October snow never lasts and just makes a mess of everything for at least a few days. My brother bought a new place in late summer and he is in the higher terrain south of Houghton and did pick up a few inches. I was dropping something off at his place a bit after it had started to accumulate on the 17th.

In addition to the warm temps, we have had loads of sunshine too. The combination has made it almost too good to be true for this time of the year. It’s not that odd to have a day or two of weather like that, but in the past 10 days, we have only had 2 where the high temp did not reach 60 degrees and it looks like we could extend that out to this Thursday before temps drop into the 40’s and low 50’s. The sunrises and sunsets have been spectacular the past week or so as well. Here is a shot I took of the sunrise on Tuesday morning. Don’t worry, I did not have to get up exceptionally early for that shot, it was taken around 8:30 in the morning!

Today we went to some friends place on the lake for a visit. They too are building a new place and have demolished most of the old home. As we walked around and looked at the new place under construction, it just did not seem like November was two days away! We sat and took in the lake, chatting and it really felt like it was sometime in the first two weeks of September. I was kind of bummed I missed almost the whole month of September up here, as the weather is usually so nice. Looks like I did miss that weather afterall! Funny thing how everything seems to work out…if you just let it!

Good Night from the Keweenaw..