Some unforeseen time off for health issues allowed me an unscheduled visit to the lake; two weeks by myself with the dogs then joined for the final week by DS and DD.
Two weeks alone...absolutely wonderful. I missed DS terribly, but loved the solitude. I got out snowshoeing nearly every day, usually for an hour. Got more than 18" of snow in three days the first week. Snowblower and I do not get along. After repair of one part just recently, a whole new part broke during it's third go. At least the drive was quite negotiable by that time.
Weather was absolutely awesome during week 2 and 3: mild, and sunny. The snow would soften and compact during the day, and re-freeze overnight. When I would go out snowshoeing the next morning, it would be hard and I could walk pretty much anywhere I wanted without sinking in at all. The dogs loved it: the lake became one huge level, solid field on which to run and play.
Haven't seen the otter yet, but we did come across some tracks and scat that we believe are from a lynx that has been seen locally. Of course Duster had to roll in it :rolleyes: Good thing it was frozen.
Although I had a long list of little things I could do, I didn't have the energy/drive to do more than just take care of myself and the dogs until the very end of the second week. By then, I decided to tackle removing the box around the beam in the LR. It did take me three days to do it, even though it was something I ought to have been able to do in a few hours. The beam itself, at least the part that shows in the LR, is only about 8" x 8", but the box was 12"+ wide and jutted down almost as much. Because it was made of the shame ship-lap paneling as the walls, there were a lot of lines that made it look very busy, so visually, it was huge.
When DS arrived, we ran expanding foam along it on both sides to seal it. No more moist house air getting into the attic space, and no more mice getting from the attic to the living space. I'm fairly certain the spring water leakage has been from the house air forming frost and then melting, as there has been no problem at all this year, and it's the first year that the hole left by the fireplace has been sealed up and taped/mudded.
Now, the ceiling looks higher and the whole room airier.
The other thing I did was to remove the front wall on the large (8'+) closet in BR2, and move almost all of the tools into it. Our bedroom is now the size it ought to be. It feels so much better to sleep in there now. Almost the same as sleeping in the LR the first year. The shelves and rolling tool boxes/tables all fit into the width of the closet, and the shower curtains I was using to divide our room hides the tools. Perfect solution.