Wednesday, August 31, 2005

list of recently worked on stuff

all the 20 or so holes dug for the fence
trench started for sink & bath leach line
garden tilled & sewed with turnips & chard
15 or so of mikes cows caught, moved, doctored & released
half of the closet has shelves
the electric oven is installed in the summer kitchen(the breezeway) in lew of huberts oven thermostat getting fixed (temporary solution)
the huge pile of wood & tree mess cleaned and stacked
all screen doors installed.
quad outlet installed in kitchen for kitchen-aid & friends (the washer and drier tagged along too) with new 20amp circuit from main.

mud bath

we had a chicken killed in the road yesterday and the urgency to get our fence up went to code red. this means plenty of fence holes. the drought in the area has rendered the clay and stone ground almost un-diggable. plenty of water is necessary to soften the area which naturally encouraged the kids to get involved. they loved it only moderately fighting over the largest hole. the fence should be great. it is this old time wire fence with fancy wire work. we plan to paint it white and it should be very cool. tomorrow we'll pick up the chaff quarry stone for the cement work and set the posts. we should have a fence in the matter of a few days.

there is still plenty of work on the house to do. the tile still need some final grouting. the phone line needs to be permanently installed. the front room still needs carpet. the front porch could use a screen. gutters and a wash system would be nice for our cistern. yellow paint in the bathroom and general trim work throughout the house. the other half of the closet needs shelves.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

fallen tree

the tree fell on our house and missed all critical hazards. the regulator to the propane tank, the connection from the tank to the gas line, all the windows and even tabithas clothes line survived. the roof is fine minor shingle scuffing and thats all.
thank God for such a lucky catastrophie. we had moved the portable chicken coop a few hours eairlier. we noticed one of the roots had given away after a heavy rain and probably wouldn't survive any heavy winds.

mike and i cut stacked and cleaned the tree off the yard in a couple of hours this morning. that big cement square just to the right (top photo) of the propane tank is the entrance to the cistern. it is huge probably holds 2000+ gallons of water. we are going to collect rain water to use for our garden. the chickens promptly made roost on the branch above the propane tank where their coop was located the day before.
once this heat wave (this fall) is over we plan to work on the exterior of the house. it is just too bloody hot out there and the interior still needs so much work.
we got a break on our chimney flue. the local masonery heater expert, after a chat, explained in detail what i need to do and will sell us the necessary stuff at contractor prices. this is going to save us over $700 from our next option. i'd really like to make friends with him. he is extreemely nice and is considered the regional (midwest) masonery expert. i read about this guy on the internet months before we decided to move. i'd possibly like to work for him and extract some of his expertise. who knows?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

bull doze it off

our house was officially a lost cause and scheduled for the bull dozer. the foundation under the back half of the house was gone. lord knows what was holding it together.

tabitha’s father mike and i dug out the old rotting floor joists and most of the flooring. we put in new cement piers & pressure treated floor joist. this was no easy job since it meant slithering around on our stomachs and backs in previously spider infested nether regions. We worked 12-14 hour days for three weeks straight jacking up the entire house and repairing the foundation.

we were so proud of our new floor that we decided to put tile down. Ttabitha and i both love tile flooring and we were lobbying for it heavily. house repairs have progressed quickly and it doesn’t seem like the same place. new life is breathed into this old girl and we now love her.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


the drive from s.f. to missouri was crazy--never again. the trailer was the worst part. any time i would travel above 45 mph and have a semi pass me it would suck the trailer to the left and then it'd sweep back to the right initiating "the high speed wobble" jerking my overloaded truck back and forth. the first time this occurred it was on the downside of a pass. as i wobbled back and forth across three lanes i was saying to my self "this is it" luckily cars slowed behind me and cleared the way for my eminent death. eventually i down-shifted and braked and got the thing under control.
so my trip was to take much longer than expected at a max speed of 45mph.

sixty miles or so past santa fe, nm i blew a tire (the trailer again). with thirty miles to the next (gas) exit i unloaded the kia (our car) and drove toward it. with lightning spiking the ground in the desert ahead of me i looked for signs of the city lights ahead. it was completely black. my low gas light was the brightest beacon in view. as weariness turned to fear a blackened town popped up before me. it was creepy-dark like some post-catastrophe horror flick. i found a phone (sheer luck) in the headlights of my car. and called penske truck service. after providing them with the little information i knew--not able to read most of the road signs. they patched me through to the local tire repair man. after disclosing that the lightning had knocked out the power he said he be there shortly. i mentioned that i was past empty and could not follow as requested. given that gas pumps need electricity to function--he said he might have some gas in a can somewhere around. i offered to purchase the gas, the can and any fumes therein.

my messiah (the tire dude) took a while to get there (being the 4th of july). meanwhile, i met his father-in-law, in some strange twist of the cosmos, hanging out next to his apartment building and pay-phone. as tony/messiah drove up he said "that's my son-in-law." wierd! tony was great and literally saved me! a few hours of driving/repair/reloading and i was on my way again. the city lights ahead were back on and i drove through town and this 30mph construction zone which would have been my undoing if i had been allowed to attempt it in the previously darkened condition.

the flat tire was a blessing....

more later

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