February, 2011

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Monday, February 28th, 2011

Before we take a little hiatus from building, I thought I’d do a quick update on where we are.

It’s been an incredibly windy couple of weeks. We’ve been building walls and leaving them lying on the slab until the wind lets up enough to put the walls vertical. Sometimes that’s been several days later.

At any rate, we now have about two-thirds or so of the outside exterior walls up. (Remember that we are double-framing the exterior walls so there is still a lot to do.) The remaining outside exterior walls are the really tall ones. They will be so heavy that we will need a little help to stand them up.


We’ve also done of a few of the interior walls (of which there are very few). The bedroom and computer room walls are now up. Here’s a picture. Imagine the lovely double French doors!


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We would never have gotten so far so quickly without our trusty nailgun (which we didn’t have for the other house — though we had no outside wall framing to do for that house either). It has not only saved us a lot of time but also made the walls more solid.

On other fronts, we saw a premier of a great BBC nature special that was shot in our very own Horseshoe canyon. It was fabulous. When it airs, I’ll let you all know.

And best of all, this week, we finally got a final certificate of occupancy with the right address and the right date. It’s been 10 months since we passed our final inspection. Hard to believe the effort required to get the paperwork right, but we’re very glad it’s done!

Looking ahead

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

We had a good week this week. We got a couple more walls framed.


And yesterday, I did some work on the garden. The big freeze killed the last of my winter lettuce (but not the spinach, interestingly) so I worked on turning everything over and getting compost into the soil for spring. I took apart the worm bin and finally got a good load of compost (the first decent amount). The worms seem to be thriving, and I’ve put a few in the spinning composter and also the garden itself.


Our seedlings inside are also planted and coming up. So far we have eggplants and cilantro. The tomatoes (top) should be coming up any minute.


This week is the big fundraiser for our fire and rescue group, so I’ll be cooking — creamy roasted garlic soup, avocado soup (my favorite), walnut and rosemary bread, French bread, and oatmeal muffins. I better get started!

The big freeze

Monday, February 7th, 2011

So the talk at the Rodeo Cafe this week was all about the big freeze. It’s quite the topic of conversation. Apparently, no one in town took showers for a few days. There isĀ  statewide shortage of pressure pumps, and pipes are broken everywhere.

We got off pretty easy. Only one pipe actually broke, and it was a minor one (to the greenhouse). Brad did report that after thawing part of the tank with my hair dryer, we used a record amount of power. As for me, I still have wine bottles filled with water all over the house…just in case.

We changed the angle on the solar panels again today. That is a sign to me that spring is coming.


Friday, February 4th, 2011

It has been three days since I’ve had a shower.

It has been down to 5 degrees at night the last couple nights, and it hasn’t been over freezing for a couple days. We have no water in the house. At first we thought that it was because the pipes were frozen, despite our careful wrapping and insulating of them. Now it seems that the water in the tank is actually frozen. Not a big deal, but inconvenient.

At least it is sunny. And the house remains very warm. The temperature in the house in the morning has been in the low 60s (with no heat during the night).

I am mildly reassured by rumors that it has not been this cold here in 40 years and not at all reassured to know that everyone else’s pipes have frozen as well.

Postscript: Brad spent several hours de-icing the tank, and we have water again. We are hoping it warms up soon.