Monday, June 8, 2015

The Fort

    Life is so busy. I am working rabidly on several projects that have nothing to do with business, writing, or self employment. Well, not really anyway. My current pet project that is absorbing all my time is The Fort. My Fort. My Fortress of Solitude. It has many names, and many driving factors behind it. What is this glorious structure that has captivated my every waking thought? It is the 10' by 20' outbuilding on the southeast corner of my property. A storage shed, with a gambrelled roof. What, until a few months ago, was a a repository for a bunch of junk that had sat in there collecting dust, cobwebs, and mice droppings every since I moved in three years ago. Much of it was remnants from a past life, random things that I would never use again, and knew needed to just go away. And now, they have... gone away, that is. I cleared the space, gave away a mountain of gear, and hauled a truckload to the dump. It was cathartic. And motivating.
    Strangely, what started the whole process was when I noticed that the bottom 24" of siding on the south end of the building was water damaged and needed replacing. At some point, some brainiac decided to insulate the back section of the building, poorly, trapping moisture against the siding and contributing to the rot. All evidence pointed to a pot growing operation, including fragments of foil tacked to the walls. What this meant was that in order to repair the siding, before more damage could occur, I needed to remove the insulation. I had known from the moment I saw the insulation that it needed to be torn down, but shuddered at the thought of such an onerous task. But, it had to be done. And I finally felt I had the time to do it. And yes, it was as gross, or grosser, than I had imagined, with mice nests and food stashes throughout.
    Okay, all that being said, once the space was cleared of junk, and the insulation removed, I could see the space for what it could be; a comfortable, livable, viable space. A guest house, cabin, playhouse (for me, not kids), studio, Fort. And it would be mine, all mine. And yes, I have done all the work myself, by myself, for myself. And am loving every minute of it, well, almost every minute.
    I will not bore you with the details of all the onerous tasks of reflooring (I put my foot through the floor in one section), stringing wiring and outlets for electricity, properly insulating and hanging a vapor barrier, installing the first of many windows, resealed the skylight. I will say, that slithering about, on my back underneath a building with 12" of clearance (I was so glad I am slender) while installing support stringers between floor joists, in the company of spiders and centipedes, was every bit as much fun as it sounds.
    I have glorious plans for multiple windows to let in natural light. There will be small "kitchen" counter that will be tiled with hand glazed tile, have a small sink, and a convenient GFI outlet for a coffee pot. A small closet will hide the composting bucket toilet. It will be well lit, snug, and relatively self contained. A perfect studio space.
    I did realize, as I was sweating away stapling roofing felt to the ceiling, that this is like a "Sampler House." The perfect place for me to practice a variety of skills in a no pressure situation. I have hung several windows, learned the basics of wiring, notched OSB for a tight fitting floor, crawled around underneath a building adding support, and reacquainted myself with insulation. Soon I will be sheathing walls, installing rigid insulation on the ceiling, framing and building my closet/toilet, building and tiling my "kitchen", and laying commercial tile on the floor. I am getting to teach myself new skills, and practice existing skills. It is an adventure all unto itself. And I am proud of my progress.
   My Fort. My Fortress of Solitude.


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