We're about to get cooler weather, so I've spent as much time as possible at "Project Cottage" to get things done before the ground freezes again. (Frustrating, but it's technically still winter.)
I've taken a bunch of tiny trees down - everything that can be cut with the lopper and doesn't require a saw - started raking up an inch or so of dead leaves, nearly completed the excavation of the stairs, and the door can now be closed. Progress!
I will soon be able to sit on the top step with a cup of coffee.
And, I'm excited - I'm getting unexpected assistance. I think I mentioned the cottage is part of a huge forest lot? I'm guessing the land owners didn't really expect me to do anything, and apparently they were over here during the weekend and noticed things are happening. They're going to have someone come work on the forest and asked if I'd like the crew to take down all the shrubs here while they're at it.
I hate sawing down trees - it feels like murder. I'm not particularly good at it either, so it takes a long time. I've counted two weeks for it in my planning, but professionals who have the right tools will probably clear it all in an hour.
This will be super helpful. It's close to the top on my to-do list too - it will be a lot easier to work on the house when it's easier to reach, and it will send a clear signal that things are happening and the place is no longer abandoned.