Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

It’s Mud Season, and I’m Blogging in the Tower

March 20, 2020 New England has, as they say, five seasons – Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Mud Season. It’s not quite spring yet, but winter is definitely on the outs…. daytime temps are warm enough to melt the snow, but the ground is still frozen enough that the water cannot soak in, so it becomes a muddy mess on the surface, which semi-freezes at night and thaws during the day. Lee, NH has only two dirt roads and Sheep Road is one of them. Those living on the road have told us stories of ruts deep enough to get stuck up to your axles, but this year was not too bad (It is worse on the other end). Yes, the cars get muddy but the good news is that traffic is greatly reduced – to just residents and the Amazon and UPS guys! We all feel lucky we don’t live in upper Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, where the ruts are twice as deep, and the season lasts twice as long!

Since I am here on my own this trip, I can make my own schedule. While it might be in the 40’s outside, up in the tower, the thermometer reads into the 70’s on a sunny afternoon. Quite pleasant to hang out in my folding chair with the laptop, well, in my lap. 🙂 If it gets too warm, I open the door to the “porch”, and if it gets a bit chilly, I shut it. The wifi reception (the modem is in a closet way down in the garage) is very good, and so is the Verizon cell signal, and with a beverage in hand, I am all set!

This room was the scene of lots of construction activity last summer, fall and into the winter, and even though it was swept and is essentially empty, the room is basically just filthy, just like the rest of the house. I know I need to clean it, but somehow it hasn’t gotten done yet…. there are so many more parts of this enormous house that need cleaning much worse!!! The one question I always get is…. how will you clean the outside of the windows??? Ummmm, I dunno? 🙂

There is one thing that I can and should do, and that is fix the ladder. It has been in the down position since last fall when the “pull down loop” for the pole with the hook had snapped off, probably due to age and cold weather since it is only made of plastic (not especially well designed considered the weight of the ladder!). It is a funky design called a Rainbow ladder, and comes in different colors (natch), and cool as it is, the view will be improved when it is up in the ceiling! I called the number on the label (still stuck to the ladder, thankfully) and after explaining what I wanted to several people, I finally got ahold of someone who said, “Oh yeah, what is your address? We’ll send you one for free…” which leads me to believe this is not the first plastic hook that has broken!

The part arrived in two days, which was unexpected for something that broke after 15 years, and was being replaced for free! It screwed right in, and I was in business. In the meantime, I had been to Walmart for a few amenities. Due to the warm weather, sling chairs were actually almost sold out, but I snagged the last inexpensive “it’s going in a dirty tower” chair, and promptly spent my savings and more on a clever, lightweight aluminum folding table designed for backpacking. I thought it was appropriate for our aluminum tower theme! With these small improvements, I could enjoy the tower even more. 🙂 Panorama photo attempted.

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