Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Remember that parody about the 12 days of Christmas? Well that's how I am feeling about the snow. Thank God I don't live someplace like Minnesota.
The first 6" of snow was a treat.. very beautiful, and a welcome sight.
The next 3" made me a little concerned about an elderly neighbor, so I went to check on her and used the only clear day (December 19th) to do another grocery run before the real storm hit.
At 18" I thought my 4x4 Jeep would just go out the garage and through the snow. Wrong. A neighbor came down, beat the snow down along the driveway a bit and backed my jeep into the garage so I would only have to go forward, as that is easier than going backward.
My 4x4 John Deere Gator also doesn't clear 18" of snow, and once I got it stuck, it took two hours to dig it free so I could back it the 5' I made forward , back into the barn.
Saturday afternoon Ed was supposed to fly home as per usual. Both Alaska Air and Southwest Air apparently felt that Portland Airport was a no-go , and cancelled all their flights, leaving thousands of holiday travellers stranded. After Ed waited all day at the airport, hoping for a make-up flight, Sunday was also a no-go.
Monday morning, with 4" more, I thought I'd better keep that driveway clear, so I tried to drive the jeep back and forth, like my neighbor did, to clear it. I don't back up well under normal circumstances, and I failed to factor that into the equation. After re-evaluating the situation, I thought I'd just park the jeep out near the road instead.Trees were breaking and falling everywhere, and it sounded like cannonfire. After watching several tree limbs drop like soldiers at Gettysburg, I reconsidered, and backed up (!) far enough to clear most of the trees, and left the rest to luck.
Ten more inches of snow for Christmas.
By Christmas day, I'd gone past the point of reasonableness, and called Ed in tears, which is not my norm. He managed to get some emergency time off, and thank goodness, the airlines were finally flying again.
Friday morning Ed flew home with my daughter and granddaughter. Thank goodness, because I wouldn't have been able to get out of the driveway. It started to rain Friday night.
Now, four days later, the snow is down by about half, the driveway is marginally passable, and it's supposed to rain quite a bit in the next week. I can hardly wait.
Ed spent his entire days off using the tractor to clear snow out of the driveway. He goes back to work tomorrow morning...if I let him leave. We learned several things:
1. 4x4 isn't the end all and be all of traction.
2. We need different tires on the truck and the jeep.
3. I need to learn to drive the tractor, even if it's scary.
4. I'm not as independent as I thought I was.
5. Snow is really pretty on postcards, or from inside the ski lodge.
It goes without saying that Ed didn't get as much done as he would have liked on the building project. He is still working on rough plumbing.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Ed finished the interior framing this weekend. Man, that bedroom is tiny! It's about 10'x10', more or less, which is about the same size as our guest bedrooms now. It will be livable, but only just. We had friends that lived in a cab-over camper for a year while their place was being built, and they had a toddler! We only have a dog and three cats. We can do this.
This is the kitchen. The refrigerator will be first along the left wall, then counter space. The double sink will be under the double window, then the counter will run to the right to the wall (bedroom wall) , turning into desk under the large window. We'll have an island, about 4'x6' that will have the stovetop and oven, and an eating counter. Can you see it?
Ed spent most of Tuesday morning finishing up and cleaning up for the rough framing inspection. The building department here has been pleasant, helpful and easy to work with. But having an inspection is like having your teeth cleaned. They don't hurt you, but you hate it anyway. All went well, of course. Ed is pretty precise about his projects. It was a milestone though. One baby step down, 150 baby steps to go!
Windows and exterior doors come Monday. Of course, it's supposed to start raining this week, and we won't see the sun for a while.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It was fun to see all the stuff though. Go figure..I zeroed in on the cute little faucet that was only $850. That's a water faucet...not a champagne faucet! We'll be skipping that one!
We did manage to get the Mustang pushed back into the garage. That's a good thing because winter is right around the corner. Ed hooked a big old tire to the front of the tractor and pushed the car ever slow slowly while I sat inside and steered..which I hate. I was scared to death I'd steer it right into one of those pillars we just put in. But we managed to get it in there without hitting anything!
This last weekend Ed's hand was much better so he was back at it. Unfortunately all the stuff he did was not camera-friendly so I don't have any pictures. He put in more blocking, nailed off the rest of the hurricane clips and finished nailing off the plywood.
Finally on Tuesday he started framing the interior walls. By next weekend he should have the majority of the interior walls framed in. Once he is done with that....(drumroll please) we can call for the framing inspection!
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Sunday Ed put up the scaffolding on the east side of the project. He'll probably leave it up for the duration, since he will need it to put in windows and shingles and stuff. Just getting the scaffolding up took the better half of the day.
Monday he started hanging the plywood for that side. He nailed up some blocks along the wall and lifted the plywood, set it on blocks, lifted the plywood set it on blocks, moved to the next tier of scaffolding, and started over. Lifted the plywood, set it..well you get the picture. After doing that all day, he got the Big-Boy-Backrub.
After fighting the rain through half of August, it feels good to get the roof complete and the walls up. It looks really different from inside. I spent some time topside, laying rope and electrical cords on the floor where the kitchen cabinets and interior walls will be, trying to fix in my mind how the rooms will feel, besides small, which is a given.
Those are the views...west, east, south and north.
We're due for rain next week too, so Tuesday Ed wrapped the chimney with roofing paper, and tarped the door opening. Windows and doors have to go in before the real winter stuff hits, but for this storm, we're calling it good. The rest of Tuesday was spent cleaning up the jobsite and doing a few pre-season chores like tarping the part of the woodpile not covered already, and cleaning out the woodstove chimney flue. Did you know that if a little bat gets trapped in your chimney in the summer, the little bat-mummy just doesn't weigh anything at all! Poor thing...and HOW does a lizard get up on the roof and inside there? Ed vacuumed out two dead bats, three mummified lizards, and rescued one live lizard (after a brief E ticket ride through the shop vac).
I'm pretty sure Ed will be framing interior walls next week. WoHoo!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Friday is the day we have been waiting for! The roofers showed up bright and early to start the shingles. I can't tell you how glad I am that Ed's not doing that job, and he just wants it done before it starts to rain again. Ed roofed the barn, and when you're doing it by yourself and you only have a few days a week to work on it..well..it takes forever.
This is where having the right tools for the job makes all the difference in the world. That lift truck was just too cool. I wonder where you get one of those..by the end of Friday they had most of the roof covered with shingles, and the rest covered with roofing paper. We knew we would be getting rain over the weekend, so we were just happy that it was more or less water tight. What a huge relief. They'll come back Monday and finish.
Over the weekend, Ed worked on the interior. He installed ceiling joists, and more blocking for plywood and drywall. He filled up the truck with another load to the dump, and took down the staging front and back. Sunday he put up truss blocking and hurricane clips..and before you say it, no we don't have hurricanes. We do have 90 mph+ winds several times each winter, but since they don't spin, they just blow, it's just wind.
Monday the roofers returned and finished up. Isn't it pretty? A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Actually, they are 30 year shingles, but at our age, that's close enough to forever. We are so happy to have it finished.
Monday Ed started working hanging the plywood on the west wall. It's just really hard by himself, and after a few false starts and some scary moments, he decided to build scaffolding on the side of the house and work from there. Much better! He had to put it up, take it down and move it around a bit, but well worth the effort. Trial and error ate most of the morning but once the scaffolding was up, things went a lot faster.
By the end of Tuesday, he had the west wall done. Considering how much time out of the last two weeks he had to spend taking care of me, he got a lot done, and things are shaping up nicely.
Ed went back to work this morning, and rain is expected this week. Of course it is! It rains here all the time!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Tuesday he was my driver again in the morning, so didn't get to start building until about noon. By the end of the day he had both end walls framed, door to the west and windows to the east.