Friday, June 1, 2012
I’ve made some progress on the wood shed last weekend. It still needs some bracing and roofing. As soon as the sheeting was installed, Erika began stacking our precious firewood. She has developed a talent for this. Here’s my theory about this: The person that complains the most about how cold it is, is the person that values the firewood the most. She cares for the wood more than she cares about me! Anyway, the wood needs to be stacked before the torrential rains start in June.
We often had people take the road to our home by mistake. They were in search of a restaurant, berries, plants, or something. I had to hang a chain across the road with a “no trespassing” sign attached to it. I also had to build and install a mailbox post at the entrance to our property. This was important since we didn’t want any trespassers while we were away on business. At a later date, the “tourist” traffic will be welcomed guests at our B&B. Tip: If you don’t want to use (or have) pressure treated wood, then install the untreated post directly into the ground. Don’t use concrete as this traps and draws moisture to the wood. Substitute coarse gravel for concrete and pound it around the post in the hole. The post will be as rigid as concrete, but the gravel provides drainage away from the wooden post. This method won’t work very well if the soil is heavy clay.
In other building news, the BBQ area is almost done. It’s nothing fancy and most of the bricklaying was done by the previous owner. It’s easy to tell that they had no idea what they were doing. Rather than waste those bricks, I decided to make the best of what I had. I’ll install benches within the next couple of weeks. One note of interest is that in Japan they like to use charcoal to BBQ (Yakiniku) with. The charcoal in the U.S. comes in bags and is soaked in some sort of starter fluid. In Japan, the charcoal looks like small chunks of burnt wood which comes in various shapes. I watched my brother-in-law (Yoshikun) start a fire with the stuff. The work (fanning) involved to get a flame going was ridiculously more involved than I ever imagined. I broke out in a sweat just watching him try to fan the charcoal into a fire. I decided after that experience that I would use the good old American camping method…a fire pit with chopped wood. It takes longer to get a fire that’s tame enough to cook on, but it’s a lot less work. Besides, when we (Erika) are done cooking, we (George) can roast marshmallows and sit by the fire. Humm…where can I buy marshmallows? Beer, BBQ ribs and my volcano…life doesn’t get any better.