Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lowering the (Final) Beam

I have to apologize for not writing much lately.

Late in January I was worried that I had another stress fracture in my left foot. It swelled up and was very painful to walk on, but I had been through that experience a year or two or three ago, and so I didn't worry unduly, nor seek any medical attention for it. I knew that in most cases, the only prescription was rest.

I rested it, and sure enough it improved rapidly after an initial period of pain and disability.

As it improved, my ankle instead began to ache. I attributed this to the fact that I was walking on it strangely all during the problem with my nearby foot.

My ankle didn't improve though. As February went on, I found myself continuing to limp, but now it was from pain in the ankle.

March marked it getting worse, and last week when Kenny and I flew back to Kitchener to visit, I found it very difficult to get around.

I still managed to visit my dojo, and was really tickled to see so many familiar faces on an unannounced, Saturday morning visit. V! was in great form, clearly ready for his yudansha test this Saturday. M!, K! and C! were giving him excellent guidance, and I could see that everyone managed to survive, and even thrive, with my absence.

It was a little disappointing that my Sensei wasn't there, having injured himself earlier in the morning in a freak weapons accident. Also, D! was working on nesting in a new home purchase, so I wasn't able to touch base there either.

I would have loved to have stepped on the mat, if not for the fact that I'd certainly be screaming with each step.

Meanwhile, back on the homestead, I still had a little over a dozen large logs lined up to process on the LT-10. Once the tractor had been dragged to the roadside, harvesting of new logs had obviously ceased. At the mill there were still many logs assembled, but I had managed to struggle through them before I left for the tropical south that is Kitchener-Waterloo.

These fourteen remaining logs were ones that I had piled up off to the side, and then, using a combination of the winch and brute force, dragged onto my skidway and alined with the sawmill.

The first day back from Kitchener, I managed to plough through eight of them. It was a bit slower going, as there were several logs in the 14" diameter range that I was able to cut down into multiple beams. I know that one should strive for a single beam per log, but I just don't have the time or willpower to cut down something that large into a single beam and a pile of boards and planks.

My ankle was on fire that evening.

The next day, I tried stuffing a sock into my instep to keep pressure off my heel. I think this helped a fair bit. The real help came in the form of Kenny and Donna. Kenny arrived to investigate my nearby snowbank, and Donna cut my milling time in half by grabbing the planks directly as they came off the mill, saving me a long walk to my pile and back.

With Donna's assistance, I was able to complete the beam pile and finish all my available logs. This was an awesome moment! Kenny helped to celebrate by climbing onto our stack. As always, the unsung photographer was there to capture the moment.

Now we will pick out the number and type of windows and doors for the cabin, and see if between those natural breaks in the walls, and my available beams, we have enough to complete the cabin to our specifications. If not, I suppose I will have to consult with some more local suppliers of logs and/or beams to gather a few more.

I'll try to keep everyone posted!

 

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