Monday, November 27, 2006

Confessions of a different kind

It's been nearly thirty days since my last, blog post, and I truly repent. The month of November has been a hectic one for both of our jobs, so we've had very little "free" time for all of our little extras like blogging. We've worked away steadily on the house, but not for the long hours we had in the previous weeks. Even our dogs are frustrated with the current state of affairs, but we all look forward to Saturday morning [late morning, I should add], when we head down to our straw bale home for the weekend. The dogs have come to anticipate it so much that they pace back and forth all morning until we finally leave our old cottage and hit the road for KV.

Some jobs [the not-so-fun jobs] take longer than we anticipate. Take tarping, for example. It took up most of four of our weekend days this month, it cost several hundred dollars and it was rather a tricky affair high up in the air at the gable ends. God bless my father for being so brave on the extension ladders while I fussed and farted around beneath him worrying about his safety. Cleaning and organizing takes hours each weekend, but a clean site, is indeed a safer and better working site, so it's worth it (and we both actually enjoy cleaning).

OK, so onto the real progress notes. Whenever we start to feel a bit downtrodden about delays and problems, some new milestone is reached and we feel good about the house all over again. A few of our recent highlights:
~We finished putting in bales and stuffing under the porch roof.
~My parents managed to get the first coat of mud on the straw that was exposed under the porch. It's now done for the winter. (Had we known the weather would stay *so* mild, we might have put the fill coat on!).
~The insulation and interior straw flakes have been put in place on the south side of the house over the top plate, winterizing that end of the house.
~The electrical panel has been installed and now we're just waiting for the power commission to switch us from the temporary to our permanent meter.
~A lot of interior wiring has progressed.
~The exterior staining of the porch and fascia is complete.
~The garden doors on the south side have been installed (after a full day of bad words and grunting).
~The clay and sand has been brought inside.
~The interior walls have been prepped for mudding (we gave them hair cuts with the whipper snipper, rounded the corners of the window areas, pinned the strapping back and stuffed major holes).
~Our nichos have been carved in the walls (little shelves carved into the wall with a hedgetrimmer).
~The propane fireplace has been installed, though it's not hooked up yet.
~The final touch ups on the roofs are complete.
~The exterior grounds have been cleaned up for the winter, with scrap wood off to friends and family, and general debris disposed of.

and, finally, the jewel. The piece de resistance:

~The loft floor installation is complete. It's gorgeous, though our pictures aren't very clear yet (more to come). Dave and I both can't resist just hanging out up there. It's an amazing retreat space. I'm looking forward to sanding and treating it, but we're going to wait until after we're done mudding. For now, we're covering the floors up to protect them from water and clay stains.

We've actually missed having our hands in the plaster. It's such enjoyable, meditative work. We're looking forward to getting started on the inside plaster this weekend. We've moved many, many, *many* buckets of clay and sand inside to do so!

Next posting, I'll include pics of the new fireplace and our little nichos (wall carvings). I hope to also include pics of the stairs since those are underway this week as well.

This last little photo is of our new traffic-stopping snow family, made by my folks. They greet you as you drive up toward our home. I say "traffic-stopping", not just because they're so sweet, but because we nearly stopped a lot of traffic with one of them! These suckers are seriously heavy, and when my Dad tried to haul one of them up our steep bank with a dolly, she rolled off and down the driveway at high speed....thunk thunk tee thunk thunk thunk....I've never seen my Dad move so fast! Fortunately, she swerved at the last moment with the curve of the driveway and landed in the ditch! Holy snow, batman, it was a close call.

Less than one month before the big day...I think I know what I'm getting for Christmas...

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