End of the 2014 Cottage season

The end of the 2014 cottaging season quickly approaches, about a month earlier this year than other years. The weather this year has been cold and wet, and I while I've spent a lot of time working on the cottage, I haven't really done much.

This year, the big project was the dock. After the ice busted up our old dock, twenty years or so ago, Mom never was able to put in a real replacement. She had a variety of hand-me-down floating docks, and spent much of her time constructing a "spit" of land that she hoped would serve as a dock, but nothing ever really worked.

My intention this year was to build a new, permanent dock with two rock cribs, in a design similar to the original dock. I'm not the woodsman and carpenter that my father was, and this dock would be built out of dimensional lumber, trucked in. With that lumber, I would use power tools to build two large cribs, position them in the lake, connect them with a lumber "bridge", and fill them with rocks. Once sufficiently anchored, I would plank the bridge, making it into the deck of a permanent dock. That was the plan.

But, the plan went awry. The weather didn't co-operate, and the overly frequent rain prevented me from using power tools (no on wants to work in the rain, especially if they might get electrocuted by their tools). Add to that a lack of lumber (no one sells untreated 6x6 spruce posts; they are either pressure treated with arsenic, or made of expensive cedar). Not wanting to poison the lake with the arsenic from pressure-treated wood, and lacking the funds to build support structures out of expensive cedar, I elected to cut and dress my own posts from the trees on the property. That took time out of my schedule, and delayed me further.

But, with all the delays, the weather, and the materials, I built and properly weighted down one of the two cribs. The other, I guess, will have to wait for 2015.

I didn't have any other "big" projects around the cottage. Instead, I took care of a handful of medium-sized projects.

I planted a Lilac bush on the property, in honour of my mother. Lilac was her favourite flowering bush, and she always wanted one. Now, she has one all of her own.

Someone has shot holes in two of the back bedroom windows. I spent some time replacing the broken panes, and cleaning up the windows. Now the back bedroom has solid windows, and new window coverings. The loft window also got new window coverings, just to complete the look.

The boathouse had 6 broken windows; five had been shot out, and the sixth had cracked. I replaced these as well. But, the boathouse will need a lot more attention; carpenter ants have made swiss-cheese out of the foundation and the beams. The boathouse should last for a few years yet, but I will have to either rip it down or repair it.

The old floating docks finally came apart this spring, and I rescued the wood. There's now a neat pile of waterlogged planks resting under the trees by the shore. I'll have to move these up to the woodpile, and see if they will dry out enough to be useful as firewood.

I replaced the cheap chandelier over the table with a suspended Tiffany-style lamp. This took some (small) demolition to remove the old lamp, and some rewiring to position the electrical for the new lamp. But, it looks great, and gives the cottage a bit more of a classy look.

Finally, I felled some dead trees on the property, and filled the wood crib with enough Maple logs to keep the fire going for spring and fall next year.

Soon, I will close the cottage for 2014. I'm already looking forward to the spring of 2015, and opening the cottage again.


Over this past weekend, I closed the cottage with Rob Adamson's help.

The weather was cold and rainy; we stayed overnight and took care of the basics before returning home on the Sunday afternoon. The cottage is now ready to survive another fall/winter/spring cycle, and I look forward, even at this early time, to the 2015 opening.

So, what did I accomplish this year?

Well, I
  • brought up a calking gun
  • replenished mouse poison (wafarin, etc)
  • provided snorkle, fins, mask
  • provided a tripod for the sighting scope
  • provided a new, covered, garbage container
  • serviced the outboard motor
  • rehung white-framed mirror
  • hung new solar-powered lanterns
  • cleared leaves, junk wood from beside boathouse, moved sawhorses
  • provided additional water jug
  • cleaned ceiling of cobwebs, spiderwebs, washed some parts of ceiling
  • installed Mike's "boat" above kitchen window
  • Replaced two broken window panes in back bedroom
  • Sewed and installed two sets of curtains for back bedroom back windows
  • installed new rug in back bedroom
  • purchased and planted lilac bush
  • repaired pump for water buckets
  • Demolished annd cleared floating dock;removed nails and stacked planks
  • Built and installed inner crib for new dock, loaded with ballast
  • brought up more long-term food supplies and dry goods
  • replaced shaving brush
  • lined pantry shelf with shelving paper
  • supplied two Indoor thermometers, dish brush, zip-lock bags and plastic wrap
  • provided 6V lantern cell and 3 D cell batteries for flashlights
  • provided hand lotion
  • supplied wood clamps and 2nd tape measure
  • provided needlenose pliers, bent-nose pliers
  • provided 2 rubber spatulas
  • provided additional glazier's putty
  • felled dead maple for firewood, cut into 4 6' logs, cut into billets
  • provided new blades for 2 (of 3) bucksaws
  • provided 2 axe handle wedge kits
  • provided roll window screen for new screening
  • supplied 3 pkgs of mosquito coils
  • supplied bookmarks
  • replenished propane (one 20 lb tank)
  • installed new screen on back window
  • replaced kitchen clock with perpetual calendar clock
  • Rewired and replaced dining-area chandelier with suspended Tiffany-style lamp
  • injected ant killer into carpenter ant holes
  • repaired fuel line on Hyundai generator
  • installed extendable shaving/makeup mirror
  • provided new nail brush
  • provided thumbtacks to mark carpenter ant holes for insecticide
  • provided chainsaw sharpening kit
  • provided 2 felling wedges
  • supplied chisel set
  • supplied heat-driven fan for wood stove
  • brought up fire pit and cover
  • Replaced window panes in all 6 boathouse windows
  • Demolished old fire pit/bbq, use rubble in BBQ stand
  • painted exposed interior wood in cabin
  • put extra lumber into boathouse
  • felled ten metre Maple tree, cut into logs, then into billets, and stacked in firewood rack
  • sewed and installed curtains and rod on loft window
  • Cleaned creosote from stovepipe
  • changed oil on both generators
  • provided new 12x50 binoculars
  • installed a new tarp on the boat shelter

And, that was enough.