Week 18: Kicking the North Wind out of the bedroom

This week we finally tore into the north wall of our home – the 1953 travel trailer / deer hunting shack.

We’ve wanted to do something about it for years – it was in rough shape, and when the frigid North Wind came blasting across the barrens, you could feel it whispering into our bed. The lack of insulation meant condensation and decay where our hard-earned wood heat passed through the wood sheathing – and we knew it wasn’t structurally sound by the way it would shimmy and shake when we’d bang on it in vain efforts to silence the chewing, acorn-dropping mice within.

With another winter looming, and the Fishhouse vacant, we decided to finally make our move – dismantling our 2×4 bedframe and packing for a few nights “downstairs.”

Of course, this coincided with the coldest few nights around, so we made heavy use of the little sheet metal wood stove that had come with the free structure (an ice-fishing shack that breaks down into a nice flat pile of 4×8 panels for trailering out onto lakes).

Upstairs, the work went quickly; I tore out (and burned) the rotten wood paneling and the small amount of remaining insulation – just a few sad, soggy inches fallen to the floor. One old panel had been done in a quick and dirty spraypaint impression of a camouflage pattern by the deer hunters who’d come before us – nifty for historical context, but pretty fugly too. Most all of the wall consisted of only an empty air space (mouse space?) between the interior paneling and the thin metal exterior skin. The studs had mouse tunnels from section to section, and one spot was completely disintegrated.

While I finished gutting the wall, Grandpa Jim rebuilt the rotten framing. Steffan & Britney had given us some 1″ insulation from their wedding keg cooler – perfect to make our insulation upgrade happen. I cut out the requisite odd shapes to fill each void, and Jim cut new plywood to fit around the walls and windows. Another friend had donated dozens of bottles of Great Stuff foam that had been … although they’d expired in 2008, many were still perfectly functional, perfect for sealing up remaining gaps and cracks.

Uncle Tom had given us some pretty 2-foot carpet squares, which completed the bedroom refresh. I don’t really have many pictures to share, but how much do you really care about this project, really? Sorry about that, but hey – that’s what happened this week! And for us, it was pretty sweet.

Hrrmm, what else … more frosts, even colder than before. More field clean-up. Visited Brandon & Nora’s new baby / Bear’s brother, Jaden. And the town’s soybean farmers harvested their crops, rendering millions of lady beetles homeless … ugh, we’d hoped this year just wasn’t going to feature the standard annual plague, but no such luck!

Beats locusts, anyway.

Inside the Final Box

some lucky person got this whimsical tater
  • Brussels Sprouts – Micro cabbages! If you eat bacon, these pair great with it. And onions. You can roast, pan-fry, or eat em rrrraw.
  • Butternut SquashMake a squash soup with the sage perhaps!
  • Kale (Curly Blue, Scarlet, & Dino) – Might be great together with your sprouts, ie https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-brussels-sprout-salad-368295
  • Sage – adds great flavor to stews, classic seasoning in stuffing. You can easily dry it if you want to use it later.
  • Onions – there will be bulk boxes of these available in the after season if you’re interested!
  • Purple Potatoes be like

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