Grump Central Archive: Week of 3 November 2019

Saturday, 9 November 2019

I continue to struggle with the oppressive County Health Department issue, which seems to be getting worse by the week. The septic engineer is doing her very best to deal with this on my behalf, which is both reassuring and worrisome—what will it all cost? The septic system was completed in 2015, back when the Health Department approval requirements were different, whereas I'm applying for final approval in 2019. Which rules apply, the ones from 2015, or the ones from 2019? Their decision (which arrived, once again, on a Friday afternoon): the 2019 rules shall apply. Which means I must pay for the two new tests—and if they fail, I may need to have the system rebuilt. Then, just to pile it on, I also learned on Friday afternoon that the well record (submitted six months ago) was rejected by the State DEP; the well driller must correct and re-submit the well record. It Never. Freaking. Ends.

"Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake coming down from the trees in the first place, and some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no-one should ever have left the oceans." —Douglas Adams

On the plus side, I discovered some wonderful "healing" music by a sadly now-deceased Japanese composer, Hiroshi Yoshimura—in particular, Four Post Cards, released posthumously. I wish he was still alive so I could thank him for his lovely gifts.

Friday, 8 November 2019

One year ago today, who'd have thought this could become a habitable space? Of course, I fully expected it to be, yet to be honest, I had a rather different mental image of how it would look versus today's reality; all the same, I'm thankful I've achieved what I have, although I'll confess I was ready to throw in the towel more than a couple of times. Lately my resolve is being tested by the County Health Department. I know that no one there has a vendetta against me—let alone even knows me—so it's irrational to think there's a plot to prevent me from finishing... but it sure feels that way at times.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

An architect friend of mine recently visited, and consistently referred to my home as a "cabin." I'd not thought of my home that way, so I looked up the definition of the word. And, as it happens, it's quite close: "a small shelter or house, made of wood and situated in a wild or remote area." So, welcome to my cabin.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Curious how one thing leads to another, and the outcome is sometimes better than what was originally anticipated. The wood stove platform—itself something of an impromptu whim—has resulted in a small but nevertheless not insignificant aesthetic change to the main living space, and the process has been quite enjoyable. (Hint: Look along the bottoms of the windows, and compare this image to yesterday's.)

Tuesday, 5 November 2019

A perfect distraction came along by way of a good news/bad news situation. Bad news: as I was searching for the best price, I discovered the wood stove I'd chosen—which would have been a challenge to purchase—got surprisingly poor reviews. Good news: one of the highest-rated wood stoves I could find was less than half the cost. Although it didn't have the same visual style that made the first stove so appealing, it presented an opportunity to compensate by building a pedestal for it, which solved three problems simultaneously: functionality, aesthetics, and logistics. The stove would be higher off the floor, so it would be easier to operate; the pedestal would have angled corners similar to the original stove; and I wouldn't need to choose, buy and lay any floor tile prior to installing it. Best of all, because of its lower price, I'll be able to buy it this month, just in time for the onset of cold weather. So it's been a surprisingly big win on multiple fronts, all because I couldn't get the stove I'd wanted. Incidentally, as an added bonus, the platform is clad in natural slate, a material I've wanted to use somewhere in my home but hadn't yet found an opportunity.

Monday, 4 November 2019

A year ago today, the house was still a shell with no roof, although it was days away from getting one. Lots of other things were happing, too: electric service was just turned on, windows and doors were going in, and insulation would soon be delivered. Exciting times—tempered by the fact that it would take six months to make the house habitable. Today I feel as though things are crawling along by fractions of an inch, especially with respect to the Country Health Department approval. Useless factoid: This marks the 100th week of Grump Reports.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Last night was a good test for the heat pump. It did fine keeping the place comfortable while the temperature outside just kissed the freezing mark; however, I could tell that the system probably couldn't handle a long, deep cold spell—I'll definitely need a wood stove to supplement it. So, I'll have to save up enough pennies (that's a lot of them) for the unit I've chosen. And in order to install the wood stove, I must select and start laying floor tile in the main living area. Everything is always part of a giant puzzle to solve.

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