She Works Down at The Snake Farm

What a busy, busy weekend in Benezette! The 50th Annual Snake Hunt at the Sinnemahoning Sportsmen’s Club was going on all weekend long so we checked that out on Saturday. Then, we headed over to the Elk Country Visitor Center to check out the arts & craft festival.

Then it was back to the cabin for official cabin business. For me, that’s finishing touches. I’ve gotten most of the art on the walls, made the beds and started putting away the pots and pans and dishes!

Living Room

Bedrooms

Kitchen & Bath

The husband has been fighting with digging the final power line for the sewer system. Two weeks ago he busted the scoop off of the bracket that holds it to the skid steer. He got that welded back on but now the hydraulics are acting up. He finally broke down and rented a little Ditch Witch (which, come on, how fun is that to say!) and got it dug and the lines run. We’ll see if she powers up this weekend.

It’s almost rental time folks! If you haven’t yet, join our mailing list so you’re in the know!

Finally – we saw quite a bit of wildlife on our escapades.

Walk on the Ocean

When you decide to build a cabin in Benezette, you might forget that there’s work to be done on the outside too.

We’ve got quite a bit of landscaping that needs to be done. And by landscaping, I mean pushing around a lot of dirt that appeared when the husband dug the sewer and water lines. Additionally, things like planting grass seed after said dirt has been pushed around and maybe even an elk resistant posy or two, are on the agenda.

While the husband set to work on fencing new apple trees, I was in charge of burning some trees we’d previously knocked down.

Benezette Landscaping
I wish I had taken a picture of these getting knocked down!

While I was hauling limbs, I glanced in the puddle where the roots to this tree had previously been. And I saw something gross.

See that trail of what might be intestines, or poo or I’m not sure what else, but it looks really gross? That’s Eastern American Toad eggs. And you’re about to get a lesson! The internet (also, fun fact, we aren’t capitalizing internet anymore. Haven’t been since 2016. I didn’t know.) tells me that they lay between 4,000 and 8,000 eggs that hatch into tadpoles in 3-12 days. That gross string of eggs could be between 20 and 60 feet long. (ew!) The tadpoles will mature into toads in 40-70 days. I’ll let you know what I find on Saturday.

Anyway. Apple trees are all installed and are really quite happy. The new guys have a few little green buds peeking through, the trees we planned last spring look great and the ones from the year before that are very happy!

There’s more rain in the forecast this weekend, so it’s unlikely the dirt pushing and grass planting will happen! Stay tuned!

Hard Day’s Night

Hey you guys! Did you miss me? I missed you too! The past few weekends have seen some very busy days in our Benezette cabin, The Sapling! I’m thinking pretty soon, she’ll be ready for renting!

In addition to lots of progress, Mother Nature has been hard on Western Pennsylvania with weather this year! With lows in the negative numbers and then a few days of highs in the 60s, you never know what you’re going to get! Our last trip to the spring was an icy mess!

In The Sticks Cabins
This water is cold on a warm day! Today, ICE cold!

So, since we last spoke we’ve moved on to projects that seem to be going much more quickly than the past few weeks. The main living space and bedrooms are getting wood floors installed and we found tile that looks like wood planks for in the bathroom. The husband has gotten the wood up on the lower quarter of the walls.

He’s also gotten some of the interior doors and framing installed. I am so happy with how the doors turned out. Shout out to my sister for her patience in helping get a satin smooth finish on these months ago!

I love the knots in the wood. They give it so much character! (Fun Fact: Knots appear in the trunk when branches die and fall off the trees. Then, new living wood grows around them.)

Lastly, we’ve (read: the husband) started placing the cabinets and installing the lighting in the kitchen!

And, since I know you really only come for the elk updates, let me tell you this. They are back in the neighborhood in force! I’ve seen them every day for the past few weeks! Enjoy these photos until next time!


Shelter from the Storm…

Due to the snow and ice from last weekend, the husband did not have Friday off and we got to head to Benezette together on Friday night. We got a late start, and when we got in at 11 that night, it was only 32 degrees in the camper. BRRRRR. It was 9 outside, so, I guess 32 wasn’t so bad. The forecast called for more snow on Saturday night.

On Saturday morning, the ground was a sheet of ice, covered in a half inch of snow, covered by a thin layer of ice. Slippery, but it looked beautiful! We drove through town on our way to get water from the spring, but there were no elk to be found. As we headed back up Winslow Hill, I looked out over the field at the Winslow Hill Viewing Area and I found ALL of the elk!

I think they found some grass that wasn’t covered in an inch of snow & ice!

The weather men got it right, because Saturday night the snow moved in and stuck around until well after lunch on Sunday. The husband estimates there was about 4 inches of snow by the time it was all said and done. We very carefully trekked up to the cabin to finish the painting while the wind whipped the snow around us.

I was not in charge of cutting in the wall paint in the living room and kitchen area (Hallelujah!). The paint that we’re using is great, it goes on smooth and dries quickly, so we were able to get two coats done! That meant it was time to finally put some of that stained wood up on the walls! It. Looks. AMA. ZING.

Turns out I owe you some pictures from last week too. The bathroom is painted, and some of the electrical devices are in. Plus, the husband started to trim out the windows!

With the polar vortex settling in, the forecast in Benezette is saying wind chills will be between -20 and -35 on Wednesday and Thursday. Hope it’s warmer where you are!

Technicolor Dreams

This weekend they were calling for QUITE a bit of snow in Benezette. In fact, our special guest this week, the MIL, almost didn’t come because she was afraid we’d get snowed in! That said – come heck or 18″ of snow – I would be putting paint on the walls in this cabin!

We’d already painted the ceilings in both bedrooms and the bathroom had primer on the walls and a coat of white on the ceiling (thank you husband). So the MIL and I just had some walls to slap paint on. I woke up early on Saturday and the MIL had discovered a herd of elk next door. Outside, in my jammies, with no coffee, I went.

Well, good morning….everybody!

After I got some coffee, breakfast and not plaid, flannel pants on – I headed back outside. The elk were still there! I don’t think I spooked them, but I did slip and yell and roughly about the same time, they all took off in the opposite direction.

Ok, bye elk!

The MIL volunteered to cut in the wall color, and I was super glad for that. Patience, not my thing. But as luck would have it, she was too short even standing on the work platform. Turns out, patience AND cutting in paint with no tape are not my thing. I got better as the coats went on, but the husband did a good bit of cleaning up after me.

The paint dried pretty quickly so we were able to get two coats finished in the bedrooms as the snow really started to fall Saturday evening. The walk back to the camper, in the dark, with the fresh, beautiful, shimmery (slippery, cold, dangerous) snow was treacherous. The MIL let me lead the way, since I (theoretically) know the ground the best. She was wrong. I fell twice (so, on second thought, I suppose she was right to let me lead).

Just a snowy Benezette night.

On Sunday, we woke up to a beautiful, winter wonderland. But I assure you, there was NOT 18″ of snow. I was sad. I like snow. It was still super pretty, and also, super cold. I think the high was 20. The temperature dropped throughout the day. Luckily, it’s warm in the cabin! The husband tackled electrical devices in the bedrooms while I painted the bathroom.

Next week – more painting! Stay tuned!