An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Rade and I began the foundation of the guest cabin last Saturday, and as weather permitted this week we have been working on it in the evenings. Clearly, bugs are going to be an "issue" for us around the farm in the evenings. Little critters like no-see-em's and mosquitoes harassed us on Monday, but a bit of rain or wind seems to keep them at bay. I'm actually looking forward to the arrival of the garden spiders which were so numerous when we moved in late last summer, I am guessing they really helped control the mosquito population.
Keeping things square and leveling the flooring supports has been time consuming, but we are surely seeing progress. Yesterday there was a lapse in the wet weather and without Rade I decided to refrain from the technical carpentry and so I set out to trim the cedars surrounding the job site. Many of their branches were too low and needed to be removed to make room for the roof of the cabin. The previous owners of the property left a long telescoping handsaw, which I assumed - due to its rusty state - was going to be useless. On the contrary it is one of the most effective tools for which I've never paid a penny. Strangely, I felt a little remorseful about sawing away at these beautiful trees (I'm very fond of our cedars), and so I apologized and afterwards shot a woodpecker to make amends. Not really...but I did have a little regret about the cedars.
As a semi-regular reader I thought I would share an old tool with you after reading of your problems leveling the framing of your outbuilding. When I first broke into carpentry around 30 years ago, the man that hired me used a water level for most of his small remodeling projects. It is an ancient, low-tech substitute for a builders level, or the time-honored level and 2x4 technique that can be tedious and difficult for one person. A water level consists of a 5-gallon plastic bucket and a 25 foot length of plastic tubing, 1/8 or 1/4 inch i.d., depending on how large you want the waterline inside the tube to be. Cut a hole at the top edge of the bucket big enough to pass the tube through, place the bucket at a convenient point relative to your project, and fill it with water. Stretch out the tube to its full length, suck on the free end of the plastic tube, and place it at some point below the level of the water in the bucket. The tube should start to fill with water. Watch until the entire tube is filled and the water begins to exit at the open end of the tube. Suspend the open end at a height above the level of the water in the bucket, and then wait for the water in the tube to stop moving. Walk the length of the tube looking for bubbles in the water column. If there are any bubbles, suck the end of the tube again and lower it below the water level in the bucket until all the bubbles in the water column have been passed, then suspend the end of tube again above the water level in the bucket. The abscissa of the water in the tube is now exactly level with the top of the water in the bucket. You now have a means of obtaining a reference mark to use in leveling any project that you are working on. You can put the bucket at any height relative to the finish level of your project, then stretch the tube to any point to set a level reference mark, then measure up or down to the finish level of your project. You may have to drive stakes, or set batter boards at the bubble height, to set your reference height. One of the great advantages of this tool is that it can be used by one person and is much less cumbersome than the level and 2x4 technique. You may have to recalibrate your marks from day to day, and the shade or the sun can be a problem if your bucket and tube is in either shade or sunlight. You may have to recalibrate at different times of the day. In any case, after reading your post and looking at the scale of your project, I thought I would pass this ancient method, which was used to build the pyramids, on to you.