Cabin Trip Report

Tori and I got down to the cabin for a bit this week.  This was our long planned “spring break” trip.  Tori hinted that she did not want to spend the bulk of the trip sitting about the cabin watching me work,  so we planned for only some minor “work” to be completed.  With the weather not cooperating later in the week…she played the lets leave early card.  Since it is her birthday week, of course I complied.

On the short list was a paint upgrade for the exterior. Both of us did not like the way the “terra cotta” ( the actual name on the color chip from Ace)  turned out.  It was too pale and reminded us of the ugly boring beige that is common in many communities.  We nick named it HOA beige as is looks a lot like the color in the ex’s and girls neighborhood…sorry that whole themed lifestyle is not for us.

The new color is called “popcorn kernel” and is much closer to what we had in mind.  My target was to mimic the colors of the buildings located in the Taos Pueblo somewhat.

Taos Pueblo Colors

The color of our “dirt” at the cabin is very close to this, and we used an actual dirt sample to select the grout for the tile last year.  We are pretty close with the new look.

We headed down on Tuesday under warm sunny skies and Wednesday we got the siding on the south and west sides painted. Two coats in just a few hours, if more of the cabin was sided we could have easily done some more.  The beauty of building small is it is much quicker to paint.

New "pueblo" like color covering the HOA beige

Thursday we made a trip into Taos to get some new trim paint as well.  The existing blue was a Benjamin Moore color called “surf blue” that Tasha picked out last spring…the new blue color is also a BM color but “Caribbean blue” , just a touch less green.

Second Coat of "Popcorn Kernel"

Thursday found our weather a bit cooler and quite a bit windy, not so great for painting.  On the “work” list was grouting the black granite and border behind the wood stove.

New grout and cedar trim around stove tile

We had some rain late on Wednesday too,  a little thunder and a rainbow.  The Thunder was the first for the season for me, today( sat)  back home we had just a bit as well ..but today’s occurred during a snow shower..not rain.

Rainbow at Moontree Ranch

About an hour after our Rainbow the weather had cleared (in prep for Thursdays winds) and we had a decent evening.

an Hour after the rainbow

Friday morning I tried out the new blue trim color…we both like it a lot better. I got the first coat on the south side trim and will get the second coat and west window on the next trip.  Facia and soffit painting are on that list too.

Me working ( shot with Toris iphone)

Thursday we also had a canine visitor, who ended up spending the night.  It turns out he was a lost dog reported MIA by his family (5 days earlier)  We found this out after we dropped him off at the shelter in Taos on our way home. They called while we were driving back and left a message on our home machine.  So in addition to having some peaceful time at the ranch we saved a dogs life.  Poor guy was half starved and THIRSTY.

We named him “buddy” but his real name was “Worcester”  perhaps his family was originally from MA.

The cabin another baby step closer…

As we left..Friday.

Tori and I discussed the “next ” steps.  She is gung ho on a separate “biffy house” for the sawduster ( our composting toilet) not that it is stinky or anything but currently it lives in the “wood shed” and that building was hastily built from scraps and is not chipmunk -proof.  We have a good mess of squirrel / munk poo in there.  We decided it would be simplest and easiest to “add” a room to the side of the wood shed that can be a nicely finished with windows, tile mirror etc…those things that Tori and the girls will greatly appreciate.  Tori is also gung ho on the “bigger / better” deck…for starts 10′ wide along the entire south or front of the cabin.  I’m eager to get the east and North walls sided / painted and complete the “exterior” while the weather is summer…I can continue with more inside trim as the fall approaches.

Just more time and money eh? …I hope to get back down for a  “real” work season around memorial day or some time in June…with or with out the Woman folk…without I can get a lot done…after all I completed the bulk of the dry in in only a week or so.


Wednesday morning

Ah…the perils of mountain living.  A couple of weeks ago we got 3 1/2 feet of snow after weeks of nasty wind.  We had a minor break from the wind but then Whamo..60 to 80 mph all night Tuesday.  I spent 5 hours over three stretches getting the drive cleared.  Then Tuesday night we parked about half way down the drive as more wind was forecast.  Wednesday morning the “parking spots” were very drifted.  Where Tori normally parks it was about 3 1/2 feet deep and so windblown you could walk on it. Today after last nights 6″ or so…when I got back up the hill…I pulled out the blower to take care of some of the fresh.  But then got out the garden shovel to start working my way through the heavy drifts.

The process goes a bit like this….Chisel down some chunks with the garden shovel….then scoop and toss with the snow shovel…repeat about 868 times.  After about 2 1/2 hours, I have a 3 to 4 foot wide path out to where we can park…it will be many more days before I can get the parking spots cleared.

Looking out my office window

That pile of chunks on top of the 3 foot high drift is normally where Tori parks…lets just say we may be juggling cars these next few days / weeks.


Apollo...from the mission wolf site

I saw a link on Facebook today about government sanctioned “Hits” on Americas wildlife.

Proposals to “shoot on sight” wolves in national parks, on forest service land and other places. Some even from the air.  This is just plain stupid, countless studies have shown that the re-introduction of top predators into ecosystems actually improve the entire ecosystem.

We have a great wolf rescue organization here in Colorado, and a while back I posted about it.

Take a few minutes out of your day to help those in need.


I took the girls down to the cabin between Christmas and New Years.  I had a load of the Blue Stain pine T&G to install and we opted for a little quiet down time.  Tori stayed home and had some quiet time of her own.  She actually roughed it a bit, as we did,  because just before I left we discovered the water heater was leaking, and I had to shut it down….I replaced it on New Years Day when I got back ( but that will be another post in itself).

The Snowy driveway

My main goal of this trip was to add some more of the siding, In this case on the back wall.  I brought down (20) 12 foot lengths, some 1x for the closet wall end, and a few bits of the cove molding.  Another side project was the “speaker” shelf.  Here I joined some blue stain 1 x 6 into a shelf for holding the iPod speaker sound system in the dining / sleeping nook.

We got down to the cabin a bit after sunset and the cabin’s passive solar was once again doing its thing.  Temps were in the low teens, but it was a balmy 48 inside when we opened her up.

Sunsets at the ranch

Thursday morning I promptly got on the siding and was pretty pleased with my progress, Friday I combined some cove trim with the last of the siding and got a temporary shelf up on the new brackets I installed Thursday moring.  I was still adding some poly to the shelf so that did not get fully installed until just before we left.

Thursday morning...Maybelle resting in the truck

Siding start on the back wall

steady progress

Totally Cool Wood grain

We got a small hike in on Friday, despite the snow and Tasha’s crappy footwear, when will the Ex and a 12 year old learn that Fashion does not beat usability.

Taking a break hiking

Shoe drying in the middle of the night


Speaker Shelf taking shape

In addition to the siding and shelving and cove mold, I did cut in two more windows.  These are the pair that flank the chimney pipe and provide main level viewing to the north.  The blue tarp is still in place on the north wall, so the views are not quite there…but it looks better than storing all of my nails and bits in the old window  holes.  I have just one more window to instal in the loft.  To store the nails out of site and use up some of the small siding bits I boxed in the below the seating area  in the dining / sleeping nook.

Two new windows installed


seat bases boxed in


Miss Maybelle had a good time on our hike too.


Our sparkling snow dog




North Butte Mining Company Stock Certificate from 1914

What?  you say,  never heard of it.  I did not until a few years ago when my buddy passed away.  In the collection of stuff I recovered from his storage locker was some old papers and Mining Memorabilia.    After doing some research I discovered that Scripophily is the study and collection of stock and bond certificates,  a specialized field of  numismatics  Scripophily is an interesting area of collecting due to both the inherent beauty of some historical documents as well as the interesting historical context of each document. Some of these stock certificates are excellent examples of engraving.

I purchased some additional sets on ebay and was  thinking I would “get into it” …I bought a few hundred at various times and resold some others.  Yesterday, I was doing some deeper cleaning of my desk and dug out the stuff that I had squirreled away years ago.  As I am continuing to pare down my belongings, I spent some time yesterday and today putting some of these up for sale on Ebay as well as Esty.  The really fine examples I have listed on Etsy and a big lot of 75 on ebay. 

Railroad stock

If you looking for a new artistic hobby You should check it out.

One of the common themes in many of these engravings are half naked men (gods) with laurel head bands, industrial hammers, anvils, factories etc.  The one from ITT International Telephone and Telegraph features a dude holding a vacuum tube with “atomic” swirls around it, in the back ground building with Rockets launching from them…its so 60’s is it not?

Dawning of the atomic age?

1950’s era Steamship company Serving my old stomping grounds of the Great lakes.

Stock formerly owned by Goldman Sachs & CO

A visit from Rocky

Rocky the Raccoon

A couple of days ago I was chopping some of the little branches off of our Christmas tree to feed the wood stove when I peeked up on the roof.  Hanging out in the spot he likes was Rocky Raccoon.  We had not heard any of his scratching that tipped us off last year.  Because he is not damaging anything, we let him spent the night.  The girls were cooing at how cute he is.  The next day he was still there so I lightly tossed a snow ball at him to let him know he is not welcome for any “long term lease”.  Today he was gone and hopefully burrowed in a nice hole in the ground somewhere.  I think he prefers the high ground as it keeps him out of Maybelle’s reach…and we all know what she can do to a much faster and elusive bunny.

Name in the newspaper...woo hoo

I got a message today from my brother that one of my articles was published in the Denver post. (Thanks Bro) …Not simply there but one of the cover stories in the Lifestyle section.

Here is the link for the online version


I have not subscribed to a newspaper in about 8 years or so, and then is was mostly for the paper itself to be used as a fire starter for the wood stove. These days we use the little wax starter blocks. So with today news I actually purchased a hard copy…who knows it could be scrap booked for future generations.