Thursday, September 29, 2005

Heat, Light and Other Decisions

We wanted to have a warm and cozy feeling, so to heat the cabin during the fall, winter and spring months, we selected an "Avalon" wood burning metal stove. The stove door has a large glass window to view the fire. When no one is enjoying the cabin during the cold weather, there is no heat in the building. When we visit the cabin during the winter months, the stove is fired up and we sit around in our jackets for several hours until the cabin is sufficiently warm. Our Avalon stove does a remarkable job in heating the entire cabin. Two large ceiling fans circulate the air. Sometimes the loft gets over heated and the stove heat must be "throttled" back.

"Arroyo Craftsman" and "Troy" lighting was chosen for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and porch. Other lighting fixtures were picked for the dining room, loft and great room. Strip flourescent fixtures were planned in the "great room" at the top of the log walls, casting light upward to the vaulted ceiling to enhance the volume of "great room" space.

"Marvin" double hung windows were chosen as they are very energy efficient and have a traditional appearance that fits with the architecture. We wanted the mullins added to recall the "old" cabin windows.

The kitchen cabinets selected are knotty pine with a red "Nevamar" countertop. The bathroom would have the usual fixtures: a stool and bathtub with shower. The vanity was planned to be in the hall separated from the stool and tub "a la" a motel layout.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Water "Witching"

After accepting the builder's bid and locating the cabin on the property, we decided to locate the spot where the well was to be drilled.

A"witching" man or water diviner was suggested by the builder. The water diviner showed up with a "Y" shaped willow stick. He grasped each side of the stick and held it in a horizontal position and walked slowly around the property near the location of the cabin.

Suddenly, the willow stick turned down, not being twisted by the diviner, but by a strange unknown force. The diviner asked that we mark that location.

The water diviner continued walking slowly and found yet another location which he thought was a stronger force. Here another marker was driven into the ground. The diviner gave the depth to water as 90 feet. After a short discussion the second location was suggested as the location the well driller should drill to locate our water.

The water diviner raised a certain amount of skepticism as he would not guarantee the results nor accept any fee. The diviner came with a good reputation and told a number of stories of the well locations he had found. We accepted his findings on pure faith.

Some months later when the well driller arrived, we indicated that the well should be drilled on the spot the diviner had located. They drilled the well, and found water at about 90 feet, but went down to 215 feet as the water flow was more sufficient.

The drilled hole was cased with a 6 inch diameter pipe and an expensive submergeable pump was placed at the bottom, which pumped water into a pressure tank and then into the cabin water system. The water has been tested and meets our state's standards. It is good water, always very cold and with excellent taste.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Difficult Task

A college class of surveying proved valuable in locating the cabin on the property. I had to find the section corners of the property. A quick call to the county surveyor was helpful as one of the section corners was quickly found. The other section corner was more of a challenge.

The section corner is a permanent monument with a brass cap on the top indicating which section corner it is. The brass cap is secured to a stone or concrete pier set into the ground and should be visable. Our guess was that the monument is located in the woods near a home. After a careful search, the monument could not be found. We approached the residents of the house asking if they knew where the section corner was. The adults were most cordial, but didn't know where the monument was located.

As I described the monument, the 6 year old son said he knew its location. The young man walked right up to it in the woods near their front yard. I was delighted with his information and thought he deserved a treat. He was pleased when I gave him a couple bucks for an ice cream cone.
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