Tag Archives: plattsburgh

The Hot Head

Sorry for the radio silence, friends. Long few days.

You know those few areas in your life that you take way too seriously? Oh, yeah. I totally ran into one of those this week. Long story short – We need to heat the cabin/studio, we discovered the propane heater was going to be inadequate and way too expensive, and I wanted a woodstove. Who knew a woodstove could cause such angst?!

I found a helluva deal at Tractor Supply – a very nice cast iron box stove that can accomodate 23 inch logs. Small, nice looking, perfect. Even has a cooktop … tea on the woodstove in the cabin! And on super-sale for $149, which is unheard of.

I allowed myself to get way too excited about it. I understand why – a woodstove is sort of a heart’s-desire thing with me. And I didn’t think. All my neighbors’ stovepipes go out through their walls. I planned the same. And crashed and burned. $500-something additional bucks to run the pipe through the wall, up the outside, and above the roof. Well, there’s just no way. I don’t care if wood heat is free – we can’t lay out almost $700 to heat a cabin. It would take two or three years to recoup that.

Then, in the way that these things always happen, a friend who also has an Amish-built cabin took issue with my estimates, and explained his rig – with the stovepipe going through the ceiling. Duh. My estimates were sky high because I was foolishly running most of the length outside, where you need to use expensive insulated stovepipe. (Safety, and codes besides – both of which I respect.)

I made new plans to run the pipe through the ceiling, called Tractor Supply to see if they had the Metalbestos thimble/chimney/cap/stuff I needed, and found that I could do the whole thing for $390. Including the stove. Tight, but doable. Especially considering that we won’t be paying the estimated $90 per month for propane in the cabin. And two neighbors have already offered as much free wood as I want. Oh, and that woodstove pictured above? By Sunday evening, it will be sitting in the corner pictured here. They only had one left, so I paid for the everything over the phone.

Quite literally – Over the river and through the woods, to Tractor Supply we go.




Filed under adirondacks

An Honest Man, At Last

We’re here!

Aw, yeah! Today … we’re Adirondack Residents. Today we unpacked the van, did a huge load of laundry, and took a trip to the storage unit in Plattsburgh.  And we even made the cabin look less like like a garden-tools-and-antiques warehouse and more like … well, something. All in good time.

The neighbors have been (predictably) wonderful, and we all went up to the tree nursery West of Malone together yesterday. So cool! We have some dinners together, a BBQ, and movie nights planned. And a game night. And a trip to the waterfall. And Bloomingdale Field Day. And some of us hung out with beers in the backyard today. And my immediate neighbor spent an hour walking me around his land and showing what would be good trees to transplant over to our place. We’re hoppin’ around here!

Seems like storage is not much a of a problem yet. Things are a little buried, but they’re stored. Do I have to have my wooly drawers immediately available to qualify as an Adk resident? I hope not.

I was a little worried about the change, but all is good – no curture shock or weirdness or anything. I’ve mostly been out digging in the dirt and planting for three days. Today I put in five trees and a bunch of perennials, and I hauled two wheelbarrows full of big road over to edge the bed. Been nice to have things to do while I wait for the electric to be put in and I can start tearing the old house down. Meanwhile, the generator and a new RV battery are holding us in good stead.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s awesome. I am sitting out back in front of my new trees with my laptop in a comfy garden chair. Super cool. Speaking of, it’s getting chilly. I’m going to go in. I’ll get some pics of all the new trees and plants tomorrow. Time being, here are a few snaps from around the old place today.


My very own Apple Tree!


I like my garden hoses neat and tidy. That’s our well.I tossed a sump down down into it and I plug it into the generator for water.


Dog on the Go


An Adirondack Sunset


Filed under adirondacks

Stories from the Road

Well, it wasn’t pretty, but it’s done.

The giant (and I mean giant) pile of junk behind the house is gone. It was muddy, smelly, dirty, wet, heavy, and disgusting. And it filled a 15 yard construction dumpster, plus 10 contractor bags. We started working Saturday when the rain cleared. And then it started again. By that time I was already wet, so I decided I didn’t care, and kept going. At sundown it was still raining, it was cold, and I was covered in mud.

We totally bugged out to the Microtel in Plattsburgh. There are times when you simply deserve electric light and a hot shower. This was one of them. (On a side note – When you’re on Route 3 in front of the Microtel, there’s a good view of both the Adirondack Mountains to the West, and the Green Mounatains to the East.)

But the real weekend war stories came from the food battlefield.

We ate at “99” twice. I don’t know why we like it so much there, but we do. Luckily, we dodged the waiter that I absolutely cannot stand because he thinks he’s a comedian. This guy bothers me so much, we would probably get up and leave if we were put at a table of his. (Better than saying, “Oh, I’m sorry. Can we move to another table? I hate you.”) But, we had two nice times at 99. We considered an Indian restaurant called Karma, but as I mentioned to TourPro, it sounded too much like a dare. I kept thinking, “You’ll get what you deserve if you eat at Karma.”

Also learned not to go to the more westerly Dunkin’ Donuts at 8pm. Total donut penal colony. They had three maple cake donuts, a jelly stick (whatever that is), and a single vanilla frosted. We hightailed it to the more easterly DD. Boston Cream. Glazed. Old Fashioned. Chocolate Cake. What a difference a mile makes.

In other amusing food news – On the way home, we stopped at the Target in Glens Falls, and I wanted some popcorn. I step up to that mini-food-court sort of thing they have, and I see that my server’s badge says, “New Team Member.” And she’s alone. “Well,” I figured, “How badly could someone screw up scooping popcorn into a bag?” So, she rings it up, I give her my $1, and she puts it in the register. And then the drawer opens again, and she stares at the thing for a full two minutes. Silently. She then disappears into the back for a while … clanging, things being dropped … comes back out, and (again, silently) walks right past me.

My travel partner comes by, wondering where I am, and asks me what’s going on. “I have absolutely no idea.” Five minutes go by. I look her way, and she says, “It will be right out.” The fact begins to dawn on me – This all sounds a little grandiose for a bag of popcorn. I start giggling to myself, and I am totally going to wait this out to see how it turns out. More crashes and banging from the back. She comes back out. “It’s almost ready.” At this point, I realize that there is a popcorn popper, with popcorn in it, right behind the counter. I seriously consider that maybe they pop the real popcorn in the back, and this is just propcorn.

By this time, fifteen or twenty minutes have easily gone by. More crashing and banging. I see shadows. I see a reflection in the stainless steel. She’s coming this way. She rounds the corner and she’s back. Well, guess what? She made me a pizza.

She smiles and holds out the pizza box and says, “Sorry for the wait.” And I hardly have the heart, but I reply. “I just wanted a bag of popcorn.” I’ve never seen someone this horrified in my life. Ever. I’ve destroyed this girl. She stares, mortified, for another full minute, and keeps repeating, “Of course. I’m so sorry,” as if she dropped the Thanksgiving turkey or something. There’s a good possibility she may cry. But she doesn’t. And I get my Thirty-Minute Popcorn.

And I have to admit, the moments of road humor more than make up for the trash pile. Saturday, I was wallowing in mud; but today I am wallowing in a job well done and an amusing weekend. I took lots of pics! I’ll post the play-by-play photos tomorrow, but in the time being, here’s a few fun ones.


Being able to climb the junk like a mountain is a sign that you should probably do something about it.


Found this old sign in the pile. I’m told that RH Lyon was a building contractor in Bloomingdale. I put it up over the back door for the afternoon.


This is underneath the back of the house. They built the back porch/shed thing right over the old steps! Would it have been that hard to take the thirty seconds to kick them out of the way?


Old, rusted-out kerosene tank. Yep. Even to the salvage guy, some things really are completely worthless.


Filed under Uncategorized