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End of Day Three: Glam Shots

Friday, November 3, 2023

I started my day with a Curtis walk around the property, as we always do, rain or shine. The blackberries are just--chef's kiss, so fabulous. All I want to do is paint little birds in blackberry foliage in October. But I don't, because there's this thing going on at my house right now. I cannot tell you how all-consuming it is to have this going on around me. It keeps me here and dealing with all the change.

I have considerable fear of missing out on the fall foliage display here in my favorite places in Ohio--I yearn to drive through Amish country right now! But my bonsais do their best to placate me. This one is on fire in three colors. Wow, what a beauty!

By the end of the third day, the doors went on. Oh are they wonderful. They're full-size professional looking doors, self-closing with hydraulics. You could get a garden cart through them. I'm already wishing they had a screen option on the top half. I'm worried that if I leave them propped open to ventilate in spring and summer, the squirrels and rabbits will just walk in and destroy my plants, as they did in the Groanhouse. What a shock to walk into your greenhouse and find your geraniums and hibiscus in rubble on the floor. I'm going to have to figure out something for that--maybe a sturdy screened insert for one. No idea how to pull it off, but I'll be thinking about what I can do.

Yes, I intend to grow in here year round, if I can, and if it doesn't get too hot. 
To that end, there are three panes at the apex of the ceiling that are connected to an electric motor.
That motor will hook up to a thermostat, and it will automatically raise the three louvers about 6" when the heat builds to a certain temperature. I'm sure that, coupled with the fan in the rafters, that will cool it down quickly. 
I've found an electrician who will come and wire this in for me, and put another outlet or two in for the inevitable twinkle lights, laptops, sound system...whatever. I'm in total womancave space here. He just left after assessing the project and it sounds like he can suspend the light cords from magnetic anchors (because there is absolutely nothing that can be attached to on this frame). Then he can wire my little lights so I can flip a switch and turn them on! 

Below is the suspended fan, and a nice interior shot. There are crank out windows on either side, but they only open about 6". Wish they cranked all the way out! Maybe I won't have to worry too much about it getting too hot in here. The solarium is on the west side of the house, and it is shielded from direct sun by the tower above until pretty late in the afternoon (say 2:00 on). There are also birch clumps to shade it. I knew if I put a greenhouse on the east or south side, it would cook everything, louvers or no, because that's unobstructed full blasting sun from dawn until 1 or 2 pm. So the west side was the obvious choice. The things I grow don't need that much sun!

I got to see what Curtis was up to on lunch break...begging shamelessly, and scoring, too. That dog. 

The McCollisters discovered that two of the louver panes were the wrong size, so they were becalmed until two that were the right size could be airlifted from Florian Glass in South Carolina. They got a chance to clean up the yard and haul all the trash into the garage (burnables) or out to the road for pickup. 

While they did that, I cooked a meal of gratitude: homemade chicken pot pie and a custard pie with graham cracker crust, topped with persimmons I'd foraged on Tuesday from my favorite trees in Marietta. I picked up 10 lb. which worked out to 5 1/2 lb of pulp.  If I say so myself, it was delicious. Even if persimmons were a hard sell for this particular crowd. From the moment I met this crew, I knew I wanted to make them a nice meal. So that kept me busy all afternoon, and out of their hair. 

Then it was time for some victory laps!

and a glamour shot! So good of that Japanese maple to be deep maroon right now! Isn't she a beauty?

Now all I had to do was find an electrician for the louver motor, and a gas technician to hook up a space heater. Chip Ditchendorf rescued me on the electrician, but it took seven calls to find someone to help with the gas hookup. Lord have mercy. Gotta say I'm weary of fighting my way upstream here, but these are the times. Anyone who does house repair/installation/renovation work is booked up to their eyeballs. 
I finally called my friend Walter Dean, who also helps me mow and burn, and he came through, bigtime!
However the gas hookup was not to be a smooth ride, as you will see in subsequent posts.

Mr. Murphy and his Law are my constant companions. 

So it was out to the meadow we went, to gaze at the colors and breathe and try to calm down and know that all would happen in its time.

And the house was lit afire by the setting sun, in a field of burning sumac. 



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