Over the first few days things got done.
Not everything, mind you, and I struggled to keep my cool in a messy environment, with so many obvious things to do. Between establishing a routine for the kids, all the manual things that are necessary at the cabin, (things that will be solved and simplified after the projects are complete,) it took me longer to find my calm than the kids.
Breakfast, the first morning. Notice the lovely shelves and the kitchen counter installed the night before.
One of the annoying tasks, no longer necessary after running the water lines, was fetching water for washing of people and dishes. Those 30 gallon jugs are heavy.
Despite the mess, that was driving me bonkers, (think of the zen place we live in MS, the Blue House as the kids refer to it,) the kids have been happily playing from the moment we arrived.
Bath time. The mess does go away very soon.
My big sister came down for a day of visiting. She brought with her PRESENTS, and her biggest present to me was sitting with the kids for what seemed like hours, reading them some of the 100+ books she brought for them. It bought me time to work on the porch railing, and it was really nice to see the kids spending time with their auntie Caitlin. (Caspian's birthday present was a cool glow in the dark tarp that you can write on with a flashlight shaped like a spray can, and the writing glows, graffiti style. Since the kids have been going to bed before the sun is fully down, I've been having a ball with it.)
Child proofing the loft became a priority. The kids were not settling down in the middle of the downstairs, and their beds were getting to be a pain in the butt to set up, break down, and generally trip over. The netting took a while to set up, a 100 ft long piece of climbing rope tied in various knots, again a huge help that Caitlin was reading to the kids on the porch. If the kids climb over that and jump, they're not long for this world anyway.
Now the loft is our cool sleeping pad. After one of the air mattresses completely gave up the ghost, (I have never had a good air mattress,) I've been feeling spartan and sleeping on a feather bed that is more underlying boards than feathery softness. I feel righteous and healthy in the morning.
Cluttered porch, with the railing and the chalkboards up.
The second wave of visitors came on Saturday, with my little sister and brother in law, (there's a story there,) being the first to arrive, with PRESENTS! Check out that awesome picnic table.
The brother in law grabbed my chainsaw and started on one of the projects listed ont he chalkboard: clearing the view to the mountains. We didn't see him for a couple hours. At one point he was taking down a dead pine tre with lots of widow-makers left on it. I yelled down to be careful, he smiled, said if anything should happen I would know he dies happy, and fired up the saw.
Natalie had the kids playing in their tent-fort, (a brilliant idea I had, to give them a dedicated space to organize and stuff with toys,) so I made progress on the porch ballisters.
The camera wouldn't focus through the tree tops, but that wash of white above the trees is our newly visible rolling mountains. The view is generalyl invisible until the winter months after the leaves have all fallen.
Thank you William.
Natalie managed, after hours playing in the loft with the kids, to get them to fall asleep despite the running generator, the running chainsaw, and the sound of me cutting and screwing things together ont he porch. She came out looking to help, and dove right into putting in stone steps down the hill to the outhouse.
My parents arrived with freshly baked bread, a fresh strawberry-rhubard pie, and conversation topics. Best father quote of the day, that had Natalie and me laughing pretty hard, "I'll skip the usual criticism, and just say I like the railing."
The little driveway of the cabin in the woods got pretty crowded. Uncle Harry showed up and lent a hand on the stone steps, a second set heading down the ill in the opposite direction.
(As I sit here in my lovely little cabin, a week advanced, with painted trim and shelves and clean wood smell, with the propane lights glowing brightly and the kids snoring upstairs, there is a massive moth outside the window in front of me, easily 4 inches across.)
The kids were, and are, having a blast.They are constantly someone's center of attention, and because I have the Cats in the Cradle on permanent replay in the back of my mind, if there isn't someone else to distract them, I'm going to set whatever I'm doing aside if they want to draw/play catch/read a story, or the most common, "help" with whatever I'm doing.
The much more direct path down the new stairs, through the newly thinned forest, to the outhouse.
Railing mostly done. A couple verticals will go between each supporting post for the screen to attach to. Just finished that today.
Natalie brought a jar of tiny beads, and super-fine wire to string them on. I never would have guessed at that as a young children activity, but Caspian and Annaliese took to it and stuck with it. Especially Caspian, who referred to it as his work, and had to be pried away from his ever growing string of beads for things like meals and walking to the pond. That tongue just screams concentration.
Dinner was a smorgasbord, including anything that could be put on a stick and cooked over the fire.
Annaliese is very comfortable with her grandfather.
So is Caspian.
That's someone else's beer in that chair, no matter what Caspian's face says.
I can;t stress enough how awesome it is to see the kids chilling with their family. Footstools, camp-style.
Natalie brought the makings for s'mores.
A good day.