Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back at it, with less crazyness

Figured it was time for an update.

We've slowed down for winter and it would seem winter has decided to settle in and hunker down for a spell.

During this week? Our plumber Jan got the boiler working, it was a stuck plunger in the gas valve and the system needed a bit more in the way of set up such as setting incoming pressures and bleeding air and setting fan speeds and all that stuff the fancy new electronic thingys need to get done. We set up one kitchen cabinet and I cut down a used counter top for temp till I get my walll built. Crystal has been moving stuff from her storage space out to the house to clear it all out and get everything settled. I helped a buddy with some wiring and such, and we've even had some company here and there.

Since all the major system level stuff is done we get to slow down and pick away at the edges without deadlines or looming dangers like freezing to death.

I like this better.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Breakfast at the 4th st diner and bakery in saguache. It was yummy and mellow. Warm quiet atmosphere... I recommend it!

And they have wireless :D

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Good morning winter...

All the sudden it looks like winter out there. I am thankful to be home, warm and safe. Denny is at work but he thinks it won't be much longer. This is the first quiet moment alone that I have had out here... it's calm and unhurried. I like it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wood flooring is going down!

Yesterday we started on the 600 sq feet of 3/4 t&g pine flooring in the front of the house. Crys uploaded a pic that was taken part way through yesterday. The one here is from this morning before we start back to work. Since I haven't posted in a while and am too lazy to go back and see where I left off.....

highlights from this week....

This week was all about boilers and flooring and a bit of cleanup.

On Tuesday the boiler arrived that I'd ordered online the previous Friday. It's a Slantfin Bobcat 120K modulating condensing 93% efficient one. Also the flooring we'd ordered from Lumber Liquidators got here. The boiler was easy, just 135 pounds and the delivery guy remembered us and that we're easy to work with so he dumped it right where I wanted without us having to be here.

The flooring was another story all together.

That came by FedEx freight shipment and was delivered by a very stressed man who was a bit leery of dirt roads. We have Crystal as a contact because if I'm here I'm working and don't hear the phone most of the time. SO, the poor guy didn't take direction well and it was getting toward dark and he was out in the middle of no where on dirt roads in a semi and wanted desperately to get out of here and was freaking out. Finally Crys got through to me and I went to meet Mr. Nervous. As he rolled down the window I said, "don't you hate delivering fright up a freakin dirt road"? You could see him visibly start to relax then. So he followed me to our well set up unloading zone by the house and I helped him get the double pallet turned and off the truck, where upon he again had stress... "this pallet jack won't turn on the dirt..."
SO I went and got a sheet of 3/4 plywood and laid it down to make his life easy. This pleased Mr. Nervous. And we dumped the pallet and got him on his way. After that all I had to do was move the 1350 pounds of flooring into the house. :D

Piece of cake. I'd already put the boiler in and chopped wood that night.

Thursday we prepped the house for the plumbers who installed the boiler and part of the baseboards. They'll finish Monday when the wood floor is down in the front of the house. The new boiler is beautiful, we will be very happy to get the heat backup there so that we aren't so tied to making it back to the house so regularly to keep the fire going.

Friday was a play at ASC, the Little Match Girl. They did a great job.

Yesterday we prepped the floor and put down a good bit of the pine flooring. We're guessing over a third and less than half. :D BUT we got all the set up done so it'll go faster today even though today is when we go around the major obstacles.

Updates as conditions warrant. :D

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We got LOTS done this weekend...

Inching closer

We're inching closer to finishing up the inside of the house.

Flooring should be there on Tuesday. So this weekend we were prepping.

Crystal go the last two walls in the house painted, and did a bunch of caulking too. While that was going on she was doing a pile of laundry, I got the gas dryer hooked up this morning first thing. Crys also got both entry ways grouted for the final touch on them and did a bunch of prep cleaning in advance of the flooring getting here. Oh and she made us breakfast on the new stove that I got hooked up a day or two ago.

I started out getting some wood chopped and the dryer hooked up. Then I got going on hanging the upper kitchen cabinets. Our friend Deni came out this morning and was quite helpful when putting up the cabinets. Then I got started on the doors we got on Friday. The guest bath, and the bedrooms now have doors.

Now we're in town to watch Dexter. We love that show. We're beginning to see that this project might soon be over. My gosh that'll be a good thing. Oh and with everything going on today we used twice the power we usually do in a day. Seemed like it all worked just fine.

Oh and the boiler is ordered, the plumber is gonna install it as soon as we get the boiler here and he gave us a killer bid too. :D

(J. Smith plumbing from Del Norte, if you're looking for a plumber)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We finally had our first showers in the house. Last night Denny finished most of the electrical and helped me drill through tile to put up the shower curtain. I also put up the tp holder, towel bar, and towel ring. that room is done except for trim....... and a door.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wiring and caulking

We started out today visiting a friend and then went to breakfast. All work and no play means you pretty much grind to a halt.

Then we got to work like every other day since April.

We're now taking our Sunday evening break at our friends house in Monte, catching up on Dexter. We love that show.

At the end of today's workday Crys had done the caulking in all the wet rooms and I got a good bit of wiring done. I got the last two bedrooms to get trimmed on electrical and a little bit of the living room. The propane fridge is now also fired up. Not really a whole lot of different stuff to go over. Just gutting it all out.

The flooring should be there in a week or ten days, we hope to have lots of the other stuff outta the way by then.

Reckon we'll see how we do.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

East Range shopping

Today we went shopping.

Our first goal was flooring. We went to 'Springs where Crys' father in law gets a discount. We looked around and were amazed that at Lumber Liquidators they don't really stock much of what they sell. Who Knew? So we settled on ordering our 620 square feet of 5" t&g heart pine, 3/4 thick. They'll ship it to us which only costs slightly more than driving back to 'Springs again.

Then it was on to Home Depot with our list and a nice selection of gift cards courtesy of our friend Sam who said he never gets around to using them so we might as well. They came in handy, as did Crys' new Home Depot card which gave us a 10% discount. We shopped our asses off. We had a list a mile long and it covered a lot of ground, from finishing up electrical stuff to bathroom trip and a whole pile of stuff in between. Only took one extra trip to customer service to get our 10% discount after they forgot to ring it up as we purchased the pile of stuff. The customer service woman was great and it didn't take too awfully long.

Then we went to dinner at the Olive Garden which I like when we're in Pueblo. Our waiter was also rebuilding his house. Tyler says it's nice to have a tub while doing it and we had to agree.

Lowe's next. Another pile of stuff. They are the most helpful home products store I've ever come across, the check out guy even managed to give us some money off when we discovered our coupon for 10% off was expired. (He rebuilt his house too). The most fun person was the lighting guy who helped us search through the inventory and open boxes to get to the ceiling fans we wanted.

Coming home we nearly hit 2 deer, miles and miles apart from each other. Both bucks with nice racks.

No it's not the same kinda rack as what you're thinking, get your head outta the gutter.

Home now. Dropping off to sleep. Lots to do tomorrow. Hope it all goes well. Today did.

OH, and total savings today...... $150 from the father in law discount at Lumber Liquidators; $125 at Home Depot from gift cards and the 10% discount; and $10 at Lowes from the nice salesman. So see? You can make money rebuilding your home if you shop carefully. :D

I must be really tired to believe that......

Friday, November 26, 2010

Plodding forward

Yesterday was the feast day and we day tripped to Thanksgiving.

Today Crystal was setting things to rights around the place and I was wiring. I started in the back of the house and worked toward the front following the north side. So now the bedroom, both bathrooms, boiler room, pantry, and part of the kitchen are final wired. We have lights on both ends of the house and Crystal's closet light works great.

Tomorrow we're gonna run to 'Springs and pick up the wood flooring for the front of the house. We'll make it a day trip and probably get a good meal or two along the way. Then tomorrow I'll keep working on the electrical. We'll start the flooring through the week, and I got cabinets to hang and washer/dryer, fridge, stove to install.

In my spare time. :D

Wednesday, November 24, 2010



Today was the day all that happened. It's funny, you work towards something for months and months and then in one day it kinda all comes together.

This morning our plumber, Jan, showed up with the regulators for the house and shed to reduce the high pressure from the big tank down to useable household pressure. While he was doing that I finished up the generator wiring (I've been working on that for the last 3 days). We were both running our asses off because the inspector for the plumbing final was due to arrive today.

The generator was a bit of a saga. Propane gets turned on so I have the battery installed and it's ready to go. Start up screen on its digital display pops up and as I'm selecting the language Jan called me and it some how ended up in French. Freakin FRENCH! And nothing I do will reset the display so I can get back to english. So I figured out how to do it in french. I got everything right but the day of the week. I don't know those in French.

So the generator is started.


I had to go to a website to activate it so that it would power up. Web site failed. ( I found out later that it was because the serial number on the digital display had 3 zeros in it and that locked up the web site). Crystal bailed me out by dialing 1-888-activate.

Still no power.

There was one connector box that wasn't connected. I hooked that up and there it is. :D 120/240 all day long. So I went to fire up the well pump, hit the breaker, nothing happened. I had forgotten to connect the wires to the load side of the breakers. Did that, fired it up, water went everywhere. There was an open valve. So we closed that and everything was fine.

Went into the house and there was no water. Jan crawled under the house and disconnected the incoming fittings and it chunked out so I raced for the shed to shut it down. Reconnected it all. Fired back up. That's when the junk in the lines plugged up every faucet, shut off, aerator, and tub in the house. Plugged up so bad they had to be taken apart under pressure to blow it all out.

This involved me standing by the front door to run like hell when the water broke loose, shut it down and then fire it back up when the valve was reassembled. This took a while.

And this.... BTW..... involved there being lots of water lofted and mud tracked. I hope I'm not in too much trouble for the mess.

While that was going on (in my spare time) I kept wiring in the solar panels and battery bank. Nothing happened until I connected the final battery connection on the series/parallel 48 volt battery bank. Then a lone light was blinking on the interior of the power conditioning box/inverter/battery charger. So I grabbed the control for it and noticed that there was a light blinking next to "Inverter On/Off". I touched the button.

And it sounded like the whole damed building was going to levitate when the contacts closed in. I've plugged high voltage over head fuses that weren't that freakin loud. I jumped through my own ass and nearly ran into the door getting away from it.

When I tentatively inched back.... the inverter was on. One more switch and the battery charger started charging the batteries. This is what we call success. There is now officially a light at the end of the tunnel.

The inspector came and we passed the final inspection on the plumbing. This means we never see them again. I'm thrilled. We also need that to officially move in with the county records dept.

After that I did clean up, and brought in the new washer and dryer, they're still in their boxes.

We painted almost the whole front of the house last night. That Crystal is an amazing house painter. :D

And I'm hoping she doesn't mind too much the mud removal job that is waiting at home following our nightly trip to town to watch Survivor.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Delicious Breakfast...

Thanks to nancy we came home to a wonderful gift of her homemade pumpkin granola. This morning I decided to serve it with Greek yogurt and just a touch of honey. Now I'm feeling just a little more content to be at work on this Monday morning.

It's odd to be back at work after vacation. I'm glad it's a short week. There's a lot to do, but there aren't very many students on campus this week.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Blue Man Group

...very fun...

Do not take photos during the show..... this one must just be magic :D

This was a really great show. I've loved this group for quite a while and they were everything I hoped they'd be. They were fun, and interactive, and musically wonderful. For anyone that has never enjoyed the thrill of an almost entirely percussive show ... you really should get to see Blue Man Group if they ever come within a couple hundred miles of your town. Crys bought a CD so that we can get a little bit more of their music to have around later on.

Other than that...... today? Well since you asked......

We did a bit of inter-netting, and then went to breakfast at the Hash House. Since it's Saturday the wait for a table was pretty long, but the food was as good as yesterday so all worked out well. We ate quickly and caught a cab to the Palms to get into an IMAX Harry Potter show. We made it there with 10 minutes to spare. We watched the movie and walked back (in a drizzle) to the strip where we went through the Bellagio Hotel/Casion. It was great, see the post previous.

Then we took a little nap, and did some shopping and went to see the Blue Man Group (pictured above) and they were fantastic, as it says above:D Then it was back to the room, a late dinner of a leftover biscuit from breakfast and a shower and bed. We hope to do some shopping tomorrow before we leave town to get back to our projects.

This has been really fun, thanks Crystal

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Richard mcdonald sculpture at the Bellagio

The sculpture at that place was incredible. That guy, Richard McDonald does really nice work and the weight and balance of his stuff is amazing. Oddly the women are often nude but the men don't have bits......

I find that a "bit" odd :D

So much wonderful art in the Bellagio Hotel/Casino, there was also Chiluly glass and paintings and a water park/garden and the fabulous fountain show out front too.

Thumbs up

Noon breakfast...

and then Harry Potter at the IMAX Theater. we'll probably wander around and shop for a few hours, nap, and then tonight is Blue Man Group.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Priming in the house is DONE!

New paint... we finished priming before leaving this morning.

The pic is up from yesterday via Crystal's phone. We are currently abed in Las Vegas. It was a funny day yesterday.....

Got up, checked our email because we have found the spot in the house where if you magically put the Verizon MiFi in exactly the right spot in relationship to the cell phone booster you get the inter tubes..... Then we started getting ready to go. I got up to make coffee and the solar died during the brew cycle, but there was enough to drink (can't get the REAL solar up fast enough). Then we packed up our stuffins in our bags and did some getting the house ready to be checked on while we were out. Crystal made us burgers on the wood stove for breakfast and then at some point she decided we really should prime the whole front of the house including the ceiling before we left. :D

I love this woman

So we got out all the paints and rollers and went at it, good thing it was all still masked from the texturing experience. When we finished, all covered in paint, we decided it was once again time to take our friends Tim and Deni up on using their upstairs shower. I was COVERED in paint, guess I'm a roller all by myself.

So we did that, ran a fun errand on the way through Alamosa, and headed to Pueblo where I found out where we were going for my early birthday/rest trip.

Las Vegas baby.

Alligent Airlines had one of the most psycho loading policies I think I've ever seen but we ended up in seats together in the back after having to only move once. :D Seriously, they don't even understand how they're supposed to load their planes, it was hilarious.

Landed in Vegas, cab to hotel, wandered around a bit, had fries and chips and a margarita, showered and went to bed. Slept like the dead. Now it's morning and we're thinking about what to do today.... Crystal has a show (Zumaniti) set up for 10 tonight and I'll do my best to dress up, and it's Blue Man Group tomorrow night and we will not dress up.

Breakfast.... now that sounds good.

(When we get back on Sunday that'll be good too, and I have a frenetic schedule set up for finishing up some of the big stuff while I'm off next week... you know .... just in case anyone was wondering)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Warming up....

by the fire. It's a strange life we live. It's good and fairly quiet. We do our best.

The compressor isn't the only thing that blows

Texturing DONE!

Last night the last of the house got sanded, sponged, vacuumed, masked and textured. And yes, that really is as much work as it sounds like. We had a little celebration when we were done.... a peanut butter sammich and a half each and some beer to boot. All the while that was going on the wind was


When we got up in the morning: first thing was I had to use the porta potty... it was on it's side. So yes.... I had to stand up the shitter before I could go. UG; that's when I saw the sheet of 3/4 plywood lying in the driveway. It bounced off Crystal's car to get there leaving a pretty little dent on the left front fender; the collection of wood/boxes/buckets and such is scattered over an acre or so; and it was cold.

It howled nearly all night long, the fire didn't wanna burn right, when I went outside once the trees were all bent WAY over in the gale.

At the end of the day..... the damned texturing is DONE DONE DONE I couldn't be happier about that. We gotta get it primed and painted but that's the easy part of the job. It was fun in a way.... of course the sanding and sponging and all that crap was like "wax on wax off Mr Miaggai" for way too damned long and our arms felt like they were gonna fall off. But once we had it all masked and ready to go the texture shooting was good.

We left the masking up for our painting, and we might or might not get it primed in the morning. We're gonna go do a mini vacation that Crys set up for us. So we'll not work and play instead for a few days. That'll be good.

When we get back: the batteries and every thing are in to FINALLY wire in the solar. We "might" have gotten our gas inspection today (the inspectors are being all undependable about showing up and I really really really hate that). When we have the gas inspection they can get us all set for the final plumbing inspection.

Can you say....


Flush toilet?


warm sink of suds to wash dishes?

Kitchen stove?


Many of those we've lived without for over 7 months now. It kinda helps you appreciate what you got when you get it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mudding taping texture paint and a gun to the head

Today might "might" MIGHT be the day was pass our gas inspection and can fire up our own generator and the heat in the pump house so we can pass the water final next week. It all depends on the fella that does the state plumbing inspections for our part of Colorado. At last survey he is the least favorite of all the building/plumbing/electrical inspectors in this part of the state.

Our fingers are crossed.

Other than that? We think we've put the last mud on the seams of the drywall in the house. With any luck tonight will be the night we texture it all. Then we'll paint what we can before our vacation break this coming weekend. The break is all thanks to Crystal who is much smarter about the need to rest and recharge than I am. I'm more like the border collie that will play until its heart gives out because it's too dumb to stop and breathe :D

The kitties are working out, so far, and still wild as they can get but we're hopeful.

The batteries are in for the solar as are the rest of the cables to connect it all. Maybe early next week that'll all happen. I'm hopeful about that too. There is actually a foreseeable point at which there will be running water and power in the place.

This makes me VERY hopeful. :D As winter is about to land pretty darned hard around here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Denny adding finishing touches...

Just adding stuff because I don't always like moving the pictures down the page. :D

Today I worked on mudding drywall. I got the short seams in the ceilings (Pablo had already done the long seams) then I did the horizontal wall seams followed by the windows. Then I sanded the whole ceiling so we can see what needs a second shot. Man that damned drywall sanding is dirty assed job. We're hoping to get the texture applied on Monday or Tuesday, which means tomorrow will be a day of "up early, assholes and elbows and don't take too many breaks".

And now it's time after our friend Deni letting us shower at her house for us to drive home and go to sleep. As usual I'll be sleeping like a rock after a day like today.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


In the last three nights I've gotten in 18 hours of work. We've gotten the cabinets installed, a counter top made, tiled and grouted, the 2 bathrooms and the boiler room ready by getting the drywall sanded and sponged, texture applied, primer painted and the walls final painted.

Our friend Deni came out and helped us get all painted and ready. It's really wonderful when folks come out to help. She's done a lot of it lately. Practically indispensable.

one of the kitties was especially feral tonight. Took a hunk outta Crystal, but we ended up with them all settled down for the night.

Lots to do this weekend. Perhaps a gas inspection on Tuesday and we can fill the propane tank. And then the plumbing inspection.


Two small beasts...

Two feral babies for the property....

They both let me touch them, but not by much. They want to run, but they're not hissing or spitting at me. They didn't try to bite or scratch. I gave them some food that Christie brought, put a towel in there for comfort, and a little dish of water. I can see the little black kitty eating. We don't know what sex they are yet... but they have their first vet appointment set for November 27th. They'll get shots, and the vet will help us determine their approximate age. Then we can schedule spay/neuter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Every picture we take is almost immediately out dated. This is the counter denny built on monday night. Last night I tiled it. He sanded and sponged the walls in the wet rooms. We masked them off and hope that he can texture the rooms tonight.

We're calling out all the troops for this weekend. Anybody who can help in any way will be very much appreciated. From making meals, hauling water, mud/tape, installing plugs/switches, cleaning, painting, running, etc...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rolling back the time

The clock ticked back but the construction moves forward.

We're really really really hopeful that by the end of next weekend we'll have real power and running water. Yesterday Crystal kept working on the mudding and taping on the drywall (in the wet rooms for now) and I continued on with the setting up of the power/pump house. With a bit of help I got the generator transfer switch mounted and the heavy-assed inverter put up on the wall. Then, because it's now November, I spent some time cleaning up our piled stuff in the yard and moving it into a compact pile in the storage part of the pump house. Today I'll continue with that while Crys keeps putting mud up on the walls.

I went on a killing spree yesterday.... as I lifted up the plywood from our temp outdoor storage 5 mice went running everywhere. 4 have passed on to mouse heaven and the 5th was seen running south west like its ass was on fire. We just really can't have them setting up housekeeping in the new insulation in our walls. It smells a LOT and is noisy and degrades the insulation values. I despise killing cute little mice, I just wish they'd live elsewhere.

The plumbers started on the gas a week ago last Thursday and then didn't show up again. They swear they'll be there tomorrow to start the final trim work on the plumbing and get us set for a gas inspection so I can finally get that damned 500 gallon propane tank filled. No one will fill it without an inspectors blue tag on it, and we just keep watching the price go up day by day.

Man it will feel good to shower in a house and not under a tree...... it's getting chilly out there.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dinner was the last of summer. The last of the potaotes from the farmers market, the last of the tomatoes from our friends gardens, last summer squash... It turned out wonderful.

The weekend's work.

The old place got hit pretty hard this weekend. I worked outside, Crys worked inside.

I spent both days working on getting the pump/power house closer to done. Our friend Deni came out and helped today. I got the ceiling all rocked, and the tall North wall, most of the south wall and a little of the east. Shouldn't be too tough to finish covering up early this week. Gotta get the rest of the inside sheeting up, and get all the power equipment hung up. The plumbers got started on the gas lines on Thursday, I'm hoping they come back on Monday. :D Plumbers are sort of elusive creatures, difficult to track and capricious in their migratory patterns......

Crystal worked on tiling the entry ways, and on dry wall mudding. She kicked ass. And she had lots and lots of wonderful help, because the fabulous Pablo showed up and mudded the hell outta seams all over the place

We're trying to get everything as well as we can for the plumbers in the event they show up :D We're really really really hoping to have running water in a couple weeks.......

I could use a bath.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Omg. Finally done. Finished the grout last night. The only tile left to do is the entry ways. maybe I will finish those this weekend.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Our solar panels are up thanks to denny's hard work this weekend. he also installed my closet system. i LOVE having a place to put my clothes. I also love being able to get dressed in the morning with choices, instead of finding the least wrinkled shirt and whatever pants are clean. I will post a picture of the master bath tonight. Finally, the grouting will be finished and I can move on to other jobs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Night off

It is Survivor and hot bath night. We're moving ahead with construction but it's nice to have a night off. Where we're at:

Power/pump house has the major construction complete. The walls and roof are up and sheathed with OSB. The roof is quite recently shingled. Rough in electrical inspection was completed yesterday. Well pump and pressure tank are in and ready to go. The insulation folks will be there in the next few days to foam the whole building, and coax and LAN run from it into the house underground for communication and control.... communication with the outside world and control of the solar system.

Tomorrow night Crystal will put the last pieces of tile up in the bathrooms. The boiler room has been done for a while and she'll get to putting the grout down very soon, it's some special sexy grout and the thin set has to have 7 days to set before the grout goes down.

There is heat. The wood stove is all installed on the hearth that Crystal built from tile. First the chimney went in, some time later on the stove went onto the hearth and it took a while to get the double wall stove pipe in that is required for a mobile home. That stove kicks butt. We ran it a good bit of the weekend and at many points it was just too darned warm and we had to open some windows.

The place I got the solar from: is incredibly helpful. I wrote them yesterday with a question and they immediately emailed me a pdf file with installation instructions. They asked me to call them today and that resulted in more answers and the company owner offered to drop by on his way from Taos to Salida.

Gotta like that.

Back to work tomorrow. I'm hoping by the end of the weekend that I have some solar up. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

First fire... warm and toasty. there's a bit of a learning curve, but we're getting it :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tonight I'll lay the floor...

in the master bath. It should be fairly simple (here's hoping).

I'm tired of the work, but I love the home. We'll probably start our first fire in the new wood stove tonight or tomorrow night. I'm thinking maybe I'll cook on it soon. What a treat, to have heat and a way to cook dinner all in one.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tonights work... hopscotch layout of tile in our bathroom...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bits and pieces

The play was good.

Crystal finished the tile in the small bathroom and started on the next one.

I got the million holes drilled for the electric in the pump/power house. Got more spray foam put in. Started shingling the roof.

And for the life of me I can't remember what I did yesterday. Must be the age thing. :D

Tomorrow I'll get more stuff for the wiring and try to get that done. I'll shingle when I can't do that. Oh yeah.... yesterday we picked up shingles and tried to pick up our heater but Rocket wasn't home. Also laid in bed for a while in the morning. That was a rare treat. As was the internet. Sometimes ya get lucky.

Sleepy now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend round up

It's getting nipply out there. The wood stove is in and as soon as the double wall pipe gets in to go from it to the ceiling (triple wall is already in through the roof) we'll fire that baby up! The power/pump house is all closed in with OSB and last night I got the trap door covered. Pretty important to keep that from freezing hard since the pump and pressure tank are in there already.

This weekend?

Wiring for the power/pump house. That way it can be inspected this week and hopefully spray foamed in a few days solving the freezing problem. After the wiring will be roofing felt for the roof, house wrap for the walls and then shingles on top of the roofing felt. That should keep me busy.

For Crystal?

She's gonna work on tile. The picture below is already outta date as she only has a couple more pieces to put up in that bathroom to be done tiling it. Then she'll start on the master bath.

Tiling is hard work, I'm glad I only have to pound nails. :D

Also today we'll collect some materials. My buddy is selling me some shingles he has (saving us a hundred bucks or so); gotta get drip edge to put on the roof before the shingles; another friend of mine has a direct vent heater that he's selling me for 50 bucks (saving at least 400) and we'll pick that up in Alamosa as well. So that stuff has us getting a little bit less done on the house today but without that we'd end up doing stuff that's less pressing and not get it all dried in this weekend.

And tonight?

A play at ASC. It's called Two Rooms.

All work and no play.........

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The tile in the front bathroom is near done. i have the little wall on the left and about half of the wall on the right left to do. now I am too sleepy to think... so off to bed we go...

In the mornings light... the new building is so beautiful!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

This is how it looked when I started yesterday... with luck and hard work, I might finish the tile tonight or tomorrow night in this bathroom. can't grout it for 5-7 days so I'll still just keep tiling the next bathroom but I am so excited to see it getting done.

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

We're on our way to fresh water!

The pump is now installed... and the pump house is looking great.  Denny said he'll put up the east wall, then the roof/roof paper, then the house wrap... and then we'll wire and insulate.  Once all that is done, it's up to the plumber to plumb the house...

Oh good god... I have to finish the tile so we can shower indoors!! :D

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The building goes up...

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Morning shot of the shed <3 it's going up fast... and looks so pretty!

This message has been sent using the picture and Video service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit

Note: To play video messages sent to email, Quicktime@ 6.5 or higher is required.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Barn Raisin'

OK, so the bare details were in the last post. Tonight is Survivor night so we'll get a night off. All work and no play make it pretty damned hard to keep going when there's this much to get done.

The power/pump house; hereafter referred to as the shed. :D

I got started on Monday night. Since that first wall is only 4' tall I began there. Got my bottom plate laid out and marked off where to place the sole plate bolt holes, then nailed in all the studs. Then I stood it up and by then it was so dark and already so chilly for my shower-under-a-tree I quit for the night. Crystal got the floor tile laid in the guest bathroom that night. (IF I'm not mistaken).

Tuesday night I managed to get home and started over an hour sooner than Monday. That nights' wall is 10' high and the same 22.5' long as the short wall. So I got all laid out, and then my friend Tim showed up with his partner Dennie. We worked together on it for a while and part way through our friends Roger and Marian showed up. They mostly visited (which is fab) and Roger helped with some advice and a bit of lifting when we needed the help. It was after dark when we got both halves of that wall up and nailed and bolted into place. We set a couple temporary boards in to hold the wall in place. That should do it until tomorrow (Thursday) night.

Crystal got the base down for the wood stove and got some of the tile put in. She works really hard on the place and has the added difficulty factor of not getting off work till 5 PM or after in the town that's 45 minutes to an hour away. I don't know how she keeps motivated. .... but I'm glad she does.

SO, tonight is Survivor and soup night at Tim and Dennie's. They have graciously agreed to host us once a week for a night off for us and some grown up human interaction that is not about hammers and nails and cement board and tile and boards and sheet rock and wiring and plumbing and trying not to ice up while showering......

you get the idea......

It seems like it takes forever and yet every week we see progress towards our dream home. I even got insurance on the place this week. It felt like time. The mornings are getting chilly and when the sun goes down it cools off fast. We can't wait to have more power and some running water. It's been a long 5 months now. And yet it goes really fast.

Go figure.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Progress and stuff

We're still making progress.

This last weekend we got some nice used cabinets from SlingBlade's Mom. Seriously, we were a bit worried they'd try to kill and eat us before we got outta Westcliff but we made it.

Crystal has another floor tiled and ready for grout, the drywall is ALL DONE. I am started building the pumphouse. There is a chance there will be running water and more power than it takes to run our coffee pot once a day by the end of October. :D And, please dear god/dess let us be done with the dastardly plumbing inspector soon. May he burn in hell.

Updates will be longer when I have more time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Utility Room - Tiled!

Utility Room - Tiled!
Originally uploaded by polyartgirl
Finished this room up this week. We'll start on the guest bathroom tomorrow. Have the tile to do the floor (the same as this room) and bought tile to do the walls of the shower surround. I'm excited to try a few new things. I'm not sure how this all works, since usually I do a complete layout of tile before I set it... but :) I'm looking forward to learning something new!

Concrete progress

Today the concrete got poured for the power/pump house. I thought it would get done a week and a half ago but I'm pretty sure the guy I talked to about it was kinda...... drunk....... and kinda....... forgot.

SO, Thursday I called and ordered my 9 yards of concrete for this (Saturday) morning. They got here a bit after 9, and the driver was the bomb. He handled the truck and the concrete wonderfully.

Roger showed up to give us a hand and a darn good thing. Turned out every one else was a bit busy this weekend :D. SO we put the Southwest Concrete guy in the truck, Crystal on the chute, and Roger on one end of the scree 2X4. I took the other end, directed the driver, and shoveled concrete from one spot to the next. It didn't take too much shoveling since both Crystal and the driver guy were very good, attentive and careful.

I had gone through and framed up the power/pump house, the pad for the propane tank and hand dug 14 post holes for deck posts before the truck got here. The danged post hole digger cracked on the second hole but I speed taped it and it held together for me.

We ran outta concrete on the 1st pour for the power/pump house.

I've no idea how I underestimated that badly but I did. It wasn't too bad though. I only lacked a foot of concrete for the west end and that was just for outside storage anyway. I sloped the rock at the back and will bed dirt up against it, it'll look just fine. And I'll bring home bags to do the rest of the holes. We're doing the deck posts just so that they're settled before the ground freezes and if we feel like workin on a deck this winter we'll be able to do that. I had 6 holes left to dig after the truck left and wouldn't you know it the damned post hole digger busted on the 1st freakin hole :D

By this time Crystal had taken off to town to pick up some stuff and do another thing or two that needed done, and by the time I got to trying to get the whole 14X28 pad troweled it was starting to dry out pretty hard. Roger was spraying it and I was troweling until it got just too solid to work with. Then we covered it all with various tarps I had here to keep it from surface cracking from the sun today. (It was warm out there).

Then Roger and I sat in the shade for a bit and visited.

Following that? Well.... that's when I broke the post hole digger. Dirty bitch of a busted piece of CRAP!!!!!!!! And to tell the truth I started the day with my back hurting, then shoveled concrete and screed it, then tried to dig holes in the sun. SO I sat in my hammock for a bit, then took a shower, then Crys got home with some company.

Concrete wears me out. Must be gettin old. :D

Tomorrow I'll bust the forms off and help Crys get the board all up for tiling. Monday I'll order a pile of wood to build a shed with and call the well pump dude so he can get started.

In the last three days? $5,000. This crap is just not cheap. I'll be glad to get the necessary stuff done so we can rest. I love a challenge...... this is the part that's always hardest to walk through.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Phase 1

Time for an update..... a bit loathe to step on that lovely post Crystal made......

Update stats:

Drywall in the bedrooms and hallway is up, taped, textured, primed and painted.

Carpet is installed in the bedrooms and hallway. Crawlspace entry is now in the bedroom closet.

Plumbing rough in is done with the exception of the master-bath shower, which we have to replace with one that passes the ANSI drop standard per our lovely plumbing inspector (may he roast in hell)

CATV and LAN cables are run throughout the house and prepped to run to the pump/power house when it's ready.

Electrical rough in passed in the house.

Boiler room ready for drywall finishing and tile. Then the boiler/water heater etc.

Power/pump house formed for concrete (waiting on the truck to get here sometime this week)

Today we'll try to get more done on the drywall/tile end of things.

AND we have moved into the finished master bedroom. Did that yesterday, after Cindy and Jesse showed up with nephew David and laid all the carpet Friday night. They were amazing. We needed help with that, since neither of us has ever laid carpet. David was all pro about it, got all the nap headed in the same direction, seamed everything so that the whole install is one giant piece of carpet now. It looks fab. We then covered most of it with plastic (and no we're not your granny, we'll take the plastic off when the construction is done) but it's still pretty nice to have some flooring done and a soft thing to walk on. And the house is def warmer than the 5th wheel.

Gotta put in some plugs and wire a temp from the 5th wheels' inverter to the house until the real power is put in. Probably this week. It's all extension cords in there and I'm the one liable to trip and fall on my ass.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finding Home

Growing up, I spent a lot of time alone. Summers in the mountains, most of my friends were old people. I'd wander up to their cabins, visit a bit, drink lemonade or tea, and then wander back down alone. I played all over the mountains. On weekends kids my age would come into town and we'd explore together, but on the week days I spent a lot of time exploring the countryside alone. Solitude never equaled boredom. Books were my companions, and daydreams followed me everywhere I walked. On warm days I rolled up my pants, took off my shoes, and walked along the creek until the icy runoff chilled my legs to numbness. I know every deer path and walking trail within a couple miles of our cabin.

Winters in California were spent surrounded by people at all times. I was always the new kid because we moved around so much. Picked on by all the "cool" kids because I was a scrawny, knobby kneed, girl with a boys haircut, I felt alone and lonely. Solitude was not my friend while I was in school, but every summer I found my way into loving the quiet, the cool breezes, and mountain streams.

Something happened in the last 20 years. Somehow being around so many people all the time has made me forget how much I love being alone in the mountains. Now, every evening, I drive home watching the light gently fade from the beautiful landscape. Golds, greens, browns... the sky violet and pink... I breathe easier. I let all the people in my day fade away. All the tiny annoyances of people who blame me for their lack of planning, the noise of their stress and confusion, I let it all drift into the ether.

Sometimes in the evening Denny and I work together on our home, and sometimes we work on separate projects. We've had a good bit of help. In the evenings it's often just us up there, working on our dream, trying to do the best we can.

I have found my home all over again...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

So much dirt work done... I love the new yard.....

Denny moved a mountain of dirt... I think it looks amazing out there. Somehow this work made the house look even more like a home...


Lots of mudding and taping done!! Looks amazing...

We have to have all three bedrooms and the hallway taped/mudded, textured, and painted by the 10th. We're well on our way after this weekend. I really think we'll be able to finish on time now...

Dirt and mud and chaos day 2

Pablo went crazy with the mudding again today. He and Crystal and Christie worked in the house today. I spent another day on the skid steer. I'd call it a Bobcat because that's what most folks call 'em but this one was a Cat so it seems unfair to do that. I got all the basic dirt work done that I was interested in getting to so now while Crys keeps working on the inside dry wall finishing I'll be outside getting started on the pump/powerhouse.

Our plumber says that he'll be ready for the plumbing rough in inspection on Tuesday. If that happens we can finish putting up the drywall. All but one piece that's waiting on the insulation guy to finish up the re-install of the kitchen island vent hood.

As always, lots and lots to do. Hopefully there's time enough to get to it all.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dirt and mud and chaos

Pablo came out today and got a whopping load of drywall finishing done. He and Crystal worked on that. I went and borrowed a skid steer (bobcat, though this one is a catapillar brand) and got a good start on the dirt work. So lots of drywall got done, and lots of dirt got moved. I'm thinking tomorrow will be more of the same.

Funny story though.... sort of..... my friend Larry loaned me his trailer to go get the machine. So far so good... but then some of it shredded when I loaded the heavy bastard. I called him right away and he's not worried about it. Then driving home the tailgate fell OFF. I didn't notice and had to haul ass back to get it outta the road before someone crashed their brains out by running it over. Musta looked funny.... I parked the truck and trailer and ran like hell to my pickup to haul ass back to look for that tailgate. :D So it was a bit of a rocky start but it's turning out well.

AND the plumber showed up today AND he put in the propane line. I ran a couple spare 2" pipes in the ditch and covered the whole mess up. Hopefully I'll remember to get some pics tomorrow.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

a bit at a time

The plumber is working, perhaps an inspection by Tuesday. This weekend I hope to get some dirt work done. If my buddy comes through with the skid steer he offered a while back. :D I got one measly sheet of dry wall up last night and the spacers built for the ends of the tubs. Tonight? More drywall. That's pretty much it.

Getting a little weary. It would be nice to go home tonight and see the wood stove chimney in the right place......

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ups and downs

The good news today is all about folks coming to help with the carpet installation. That's a very wonderful thing. Especially since I've never done carpet and have no idea how to go about it.

On the other hand the plumber was absent yesterday and today. Oddly because he forgot to renew his license in June and just found out. :D So hopefully he's all reinstated and will be here tomorrow. This is good. He's currently holding up progress. I think plumbers get off on this.

And the other guy I hired put in the chimney today. Of course after having been shown twice before he actually installed it perfectly in the wrong fucking room. I'm hoping he's back tomorrow.

We'll see how tomorrow goes. Today was a bit rough.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Time vs space, the continuum

So I took these pics a week or two ago..... and then didn't get them uploaded from camera to internet. Then there was a birthday party and took a couple days to get those pics uploaded...... The ones of the worksite no longer apply. It doesn't look anything like them any more. Might have to take a few more today.

No plumber yesterday. He had family stuff come up and that always should come first.

We now have every sheet of drywall up that we can do until the plumbing, stove chimney and range hood are here and installed. Probably about a week for those things. Then we have about 25 sheets to hang which is an easy weekends work. In the meantime there will be massive amounts of mudding and taping. Today I'll work on finishing out the window frames (got 5 done yesterday after getting the rest of the drywall sheets up) and there are 8 to go. Two have to wait on the plumber putting the tubs in.

Had a couple visitors yesterday, old friends. It's nice to take a break and show folks around. It's even more nice when they recognize that there's work to do and say, "don't quit working, we can chat with you while you do that".

I'm getting a little weary. So is Crystal. And now we're just about to the point where NORMAL people start a project. Carpet, flooring and stuff like that. :D

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The plumber is in the building!!!!

It kinda took me making the show up or I have to find someone else phone call but Jan made it there at about 5 PM yesterday. He got started and got to drilling holes and figuring his layout. We can finish the hallway and it won't bug him so there's still dry wall to put up and he should be ready for the rough in inspection this week.

That means while Crys is at the Saturday showing of tuition and fees (pesky work thing) I'll be trying to finish the dry wall in the master bedroom and getting the hallway done if possible. We got 5 sheets up last night amongst final decisions on the plumbing and getting the wiring into the boxes for the LAN and TV stuff.

Once the last of the dry wall sheets are up the real rock work begins.... trimming out the windows and putting up corner bead and mudding and taping.

PLUS!!!! When the waterline and propane lines are in to their respective main service locations I can go ahead and backfill that damned trench that's been keeping me from getting the pump/power house up. Look for LOTS of dirt work over the labor day weekend while Crys is putting up tile and sponging mud. (I think I get the good part of this)

And by the way..... there is not way to spell tiling, tileing (the process of installing tile) that looks right so I reworded that part. OCD much?

And did you know that Jones Soda has commemorative Buffy the Vampire Slayer sodas? I'd already have some but their shipping is prohibitive.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pesky day job....

Made some good progress yesterday, still have the bedroom to finish. I got called out at 3 AM for a couple hours which always makes me a little weary, then went to work for my regular shift. Crystal had to go in frighteningly early today so we decided she should take a little break last night and get to bed early. I got a few sheets up, finished the bedroom ceiling and the South wall and got one sheet (of 4) up on the West Wall. Got cleaned up and got called in to work until this morning at 3 AM when I finally got done. Crawled into bed, Crys' alarm went off what seemed like seconds later and I slept in what I could.

I'm thinking tonight we'll both be pretty tired and that tends to impact productivity. :D Not that big a deal, I think we'll still make our goal of getting the drywall done in time for Crys' mom and Jesse to help us (show us... do it.....) put in the carpet.

And the plumber SWEARS he'll get started today.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Only 5 sheets today. Finished the TV room and we got most of the master bedroom ceiling up. Also put in boxes for LAN and TV based on Crystal's gentle reminder that we might want that. I figure I'll make a hub and TV switching location somewhere in the pantry. Plumber swears he'll start tomorrow and the guy doing the chimney says he'll be there in a week. I actually believe the second guy :D

Now if we can just nearly finish that bedroom tomorrow......

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another day another 8

It would appear that we get 8 sheets done a night during the week. :D Got 8 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and got another 8 today. We got 30 over the weekend but we spent a lot more time there hitting it. So we're getting there, slow but sure. Maybe not as slow as I think we are...... they are 12 foot sheets and nearly all have to be trimmed on at least one edge, most on two and then nearly every one has an outlet or light (or 2) in it.


It's getting done. And that's what really needed to happen. We're taking tomorrow off for some "stuff".

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Relaxing, perhaps some Choc Van Straw...

We got 30 sheets up this weekend. And 24 on the three week nights previous so that brings the total to 54. That leaves 59 to go. Got up all the lid I could in the open part of the house while Crystal did walls. So now 24 of the 35 can lights are cut in, and not too badly if I must say so myself. Had to leave a hole for the island range hood to go into and a space for the wood stove flue to be installed. The entire exterior wall on the North side is done, along with the same for the East side. Tomorrow night we'll work on the rest of the living/TV room, then it's on to the master bath while (cross your fingers) the plumber get us all set for the plumbing starting tomorrow.

And special thanks to Christie and Autum for coming out. Christie did the low expansion spray foam in every single window and door in the whole place. Priceless.

Gotta get backfilled and started building the oversize pump house...... It's the middle of August you know.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

plodding along

No new track record today. We got another 8 sheets up. And that officially makes us now under 100 to go. :D .... 97 to be exact. That's if I counted right when I planned and bought material. I think we'd have gotten more than 8 tonight but we did the closet. Closets are small and close in and a giant pain in the buttocks. So we finished the one bedroom, did all of the closet we could do until the plumber has finished, and got one sheet hung in the ceiling of the master bath. Tomorrow night we'll blow and go on the green board, one length across the ceilings and sheets down the outside wall all the way through to the dinning room.

We'll just have to see what tomorrow holds.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Full of Sheet

We are officially putting up 113 sheets of drywall as fast as humanly possible.

Tonight after work we got 8 up. Might be fun to keep a daily tally.

I tired

Friday, August 6, 2010


This isn't the clearest picture. You should see it in person... All the walls are filled in and we're warm and dry for winter!! The insulator guy will come back and put in the triple wall for the wood stove. The plumber starts on Monday.

The guys carried in 113 sheets of drywall yesterday!! I cleverly scheduled it all to happen while I was at work. ;) All I had to do was make the phone calls/texts to schedule everybody and then buy beer at the end of the day. I call that a win for me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


The ditches are dug, waiting for the plumber. The whole house is cleared out so that the insulation dudes can do their foamy stuff. All the stuff from in the house is under a heavy duty 16X20 tarp in the yard.

I'm beat.

At some point I'll get to fill the ditches, soon we start drywalling and I"ll have to start on the pump/power house.

I'm thinking we get to rest sometime near the end of September.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Service wire is in from the house to the pump/power shed. The ditch is dug for the waterline and a spare pipe. Gotta dig the rest of the ditch for the propane line tomorrow.

Called my plumber to see if it was OK to lay in a pipe sleeve for him or if the inspector needs to see the ditch and depth. (The inspector is a giant dick, and I'm betting I have to wait).

SO, tomorrow..... more dirt!

Hail dirt

Taking a break. Went and got the mini-excavator today. It's a Bobcat brand, works pretty well. I've used it a couple times before digging in sewer lines for myself and other folks. That dude is HEAVY behind little Red, but we made it here without incident. I get to put 8 hours on it this weekend before overage costs are applied, so I wrote down the hours from when I started :D.

I didn't get started digging until 10 'cause it takes a while to get rented, loaded, traveled and unloaded. Glad I get two days.....

Thus far? I got the pad site mostly leveled for the pump/power house. I did it by eyeball and then later got out some stakes, string and a string level. It's pretty close. Close enough for me to be happy with it in any case. I can get it finished up with my tractor at my leisure without having to use precious $26.75 hours on a rented machine.

Then I got the ditch dug for the electric. I'm putting the 1/0 triplex underground in 2" schedule 40 PVC because we have moles. That should make it last a whole lot longer, and I'm putting it in at 30" deep. I only need 18" by code if it's in pipe but I like to be a little safer than that.

Just as I was starting to get the electric pipe together the heavens opened up. It hailed for a while, then we had a frog strangler of a rain. Now I'm hangin out while it moves in and out. It was time for a chips & cheese break anyhow. Back to work soon..... I don't like to sit too long.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Well, it's easy to tell when we're busy and workin because not much gets posted. :D

On Tuesday we passed the electrical rough in inspection on the house. Pretty happy about that. Then we went to work putting up nailiers for the drywall to get attatched to. On Monday Sawyer Brothers will put the spray in foam insulation throughout the entire house, top to bottom and including the crawl space. We hope to have it sealed up really really well that way and save energy there for the rest of our lives. After Brian and his gang get done we'll go back to work if we can stand the smell then take off the next weekend and go to the Crestone Music Fest.

This weekend I'm 97% (Hee hee hee) sure I have a mini-excavator rented. I'll use it to trench for the lines from the house to the pump/power house and propane tank. Probably will put in a spare pipe or two. The construction rule is that you should put in everything you possibly can while you have a ditch open. I try to follow that one.

Now if I can just get the lead outta my ass and get started......

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yeah baby! Ready for inspection...

Finished almost all of the wiring this weekend. Tonight we'll finalize, clean up, and start with nailers. How freakin cool is that?!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Taking the night off

Tonight I'm taking the night off. Picked up some more "stuff" to get the electrical done today and that's a good thing. I keep finding out little tid bits here and there that I need and didn't know about before. It's a little maddening but good to know before I get too much done and have to back track.

Last night Crystal helped me install the bathroom fan vents through the roof and I got the hole drilled through the block for the 2" electrical service pipe. Also found out the rental rates on a mini excavator so I can get the site prepped for the power/pump house.

The roof vents went up between thunder storms. Nothing like being on a metal roof in the rain during a thunder storm. Heck I can only think of one thing better than that.....

Taking my solar shower under the trees while the lightning crashed and the rain threatened. It hurried me up a bit to say the least.

Best part of yesterday? Drying off in the 5th wheel and sitting down to a nice dinner while the rain came down like it was the end of days. There's something good every day if ya look for it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

If this goes any slower

I'm going to blow my brains out.

Called the driller/pump guy today. He'll do some checking and get back to me this week. The plumber says the high end of his estimate will be almost 7K and that doesn't include the heating. Why is it always the plumbing that breaks my back? Craziness.

Still working on the electrical. It's the slow tedious part of that. With any luck we get our inspection next week.

Early to bed tonight. I'm weary.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Step by step

It's that part of the job. The part where it looks like it'll never get done and it'll never and and you just spend day after day doing a bit here and a bit there and it never really looks like you're getting any more done. Today after work I picked away at the electrical some more. I put staples in the stuff in the roof for a good while (until I ran out of staples again, that's three boxes of 100 that I've used up). I measured to see how much pipe I'll be needing to run the service wire outside to what'll be the pump/power house. I put in the boxes and wire for the smoke/fire alarms.

We're gonna try our best to have it ready for the electrical inspection next week.

I gots to get a hold of the well driller and get them to put a pump in. Odd that they're the only people that can legally do it.

Very odd.

Might be going to get a propane tank this weekend too.

I think we need more to do.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Shopping day

Today we went to the sparking hell of Pueblo to get some stuff so that the plumbing could move forward. We got: 2 toilets; 2 vanities; a low 5' tub, posi-temp fixtures for the showers and the guest room tub; a shower base; venting for both fart fans; 100 feet of bell wire; and a laundry sink.

It took all damned day.

We used our Lowes 10% off card at Home Depot where we found almost everything, and had to pay mostly full price at Lowes on the stuff we couldn't really find at Home Depot. Of course we did find a $350 vanity for $89. Actually it was Crys that found it.

We got everything we needed except the master bathroom tub. We want a nice 6 footer and they all have to special order those in.

I am falling asleep in my chair, very tired. Tomorrow we'll get back to the electrical. Then on to the pumphouse. :D

Denman ........ OUT

Better quality - Same video

How it looked before we started...

Here's how it looked to start with... I'll upload a better quality video later.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Plumbing to begin

Met with the plumber this evening. Jan Smith is his name and plumbing is his game, I just like sayin that I know how dumb and cliche' it is :D

He was quite pleased that 10 years ago when I poured the pad for the trailer I installed a 1" water line and a 3" sewer line under the pad at the proper depths. And that I had found and dug them out when I had the floor out. Apparently his jobs aren't usually set up quite that well.

We went all through the place looking at where we've laid out the fixtures and where the walls and drains will go. It would appear that our layout is also satisfactory. I did put most of the walls on top of studs and that means a bit of finagling to get the vent stack in. We discussed boiler options and water heater options. We think we'll go with about a 90% efficiency boiler and an on demand water heater. Those both use piped outside combustion air and I like that better than having to have an open hole to the outside in the boiler/laundry room. That reminds me I have to go and hunt a 130K propane boiler on craigslist as well as a propane tank......

Apparently we have to call a well drilling outfit to get a pump put in our well (the first time). Colorado law. Yet another weird unexplainable law. I keep running across them. Like the faucets for the tubs and stuff have to have posi temp valves. You set them so that no one gets scalded. We'll be changing the one in the master bedroom right after the final inspection.

And tonight the mountain blue birds arrived.

They are


that I closed in the house.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chocolate mint is taking off... I almost killed it at first. Not enough water got to the roots through the peat pot. Now it's happy. I want to look down at it in 10 years and remember planting it this summer.
Today I am a little sad and a lot thankful. Life takes these little twists and turns... It's good though. Better than good. Perfect.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Today at the fest

At the San Luis Valley Folk Art and Fiber Fest today in Monte Vista. Tomorrow too. Yesterday I picked up my panel and breakers. I'll put 'em in Monday evening. That and a couple more little wires will take care of the electrical in side. THen to start on framing in nailers for the drywall ahead of the insulators and start on the pump house. :D

Maybe I need a hobby

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Last full day.

Today is the last full day I'll spend on the place for a while. I go back to the day job on Monday. It's sure been nice to have some time to dedicate to getting this project going though. I'm not complaining that's for sure.

Today I'll try to finish up installing the fixture boxes and such, and get the wires all stapled and start dressing them for inspection. I'll get the panel on Friday and wire that later on. It'll be nice to have the electrical done and get on to some other stuff.

***** Added later today ......

Got the outside light and outlet boxes mounted and wire pulled. Then got down in my back and have been just chilling the rest of the day. Shouldn't be too hard to finish the electrical now. Looks like we'll get to it next week. The fest is this weekend, so I'll do a little work tomorrow if I feel better, and then start back on Monday.

Monday, July 5, 2010

We worked like dogs all weekend. All three days. Tired. sore. Lots of the wiring is done and a whole lot of the cleanup is going well. I have a trailer load to dump in the morning and more wire to buy along with some other little bits and pieces of electrical stuff. And the weekend ended with a nice fire and a warm solar shower. :D Some days are pretty good.


Wired and pretty near ruined I'd say :D

Yesterday Crystal finished up the shit job of tearing off the bits of kibble all around the edge of the walls at the roof. It had to be done to do the insulating and drywall and was a nasty, dirty, crappy, unending task. She kept working at it, foot by foot, dirt raining down on her head, mouse shit bouncing on the floor, pounding a nail bar and slicing old ceiling board off at the edges until she'd worked her way all the way around the house.

All I did was work on the electrical yesterday. Got the 35 recessed fixtures up in the roof/ceiling and got a good bit of the wire pulled. Roger will be out today to give me a pre inspection and some advice before I do stuff I have to undo. :D We're hoping to have the biggest part of the wiring done before I go back to work on the 12th. Then we can get inspected, get the insulators in there and then the plumber. While they're working we'll work on insulating and water proofing the crawl space (from the outside) and getting a start on the perimeter dirt work and pump house location.

Christie showed up again today and "dressed" the electrical I had already pulled in to the boxes. Man are we ever gonna owe her....

And thanks to Pablo we have some temporary storage for the pile of crap we had in a room in the trailer. In his van is now a big group of our stuff.

Just 'cause you can't be working inside the place doesn't mean you can't keep working.

Today? More electrical and a good clean up.

Better get to it.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Too dark to document

Today was a good work day.

Thank you Christie for showing up to help out.

I put down 192 square feet of sub flooring. It looks good. When I got done with that I went to work on electrical. There's still a ways to go on that. But I went through several hundred feet of wire today. Christie helped cleaning up for drywalling . Then she went to work screwing down flooring I put down earlier in the week. Crystal did every thing. She worked her butt off.

There are no pics today because we quit as it was getting dark out.

More tomorrow.

I sleepy

Friday, July 2, 2010

Beautiful flowers coming up all around... And it's raining like crazy tonight so I expect all those wildflower seeds to start sprouting soon. I love how green everything gets after a good downpour. we have a couple drips in the roof... we'll tarp it later to help.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Floors. And Boxes.

Today was another good day. I like good days.

This morning I got all the wall boxes nailed up and ready to take some wire. Also went to South Fork and got another 11 sheets of 3/4 T&G plywood. Then I came back and changed the propane tanks because the fridge was outta gas. Then I did a little more rearranging of the box world in there and started tearing up flooring.

I'm tearing out four 8 X 12 sheets of slightly water damaged particle board. We coulda used the board that's there but it's covered in two nasty lays of vinyl flooring, it's pitted, the two sides of the house don't meet that well.....

You get the idea.

I got all but three feet of the flooring across the 16 foot width. So tomorrow I'll hammer and bar the glue off and then take the grinder to it. Thank goodness I have a spare grinding wheel since I've already gone through one of 'em. Then I'll start laying the tongue and groove alternating so X does not mark the spot (which is always bad). Once that's done and hopefully all done tomorrow I'll mark the joists for a liberal screwing by some help we hope to have this weekend.




Then this weekend we'll have a wiring party. I got 36 can lights to space out through the place so we can use low wattage lamps and still make it look well lit. About the only electrical part I don't have is the panel and a couple fart fans. :D Oh and those pesky $50 breakers. I think I'll try Home Depot or Lowes for the panel.... they're kinda pricy here.

Only another week before I return to my day job.

I think I'll welcome the rest.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More work.

Got the last of the walls up today. That felt good. Got the flooring overlay done in the bathrooms and boiler room and removed what I thought was the last of the tear out. OF course tonight we decided that it would actually be more workable to remove another 6 sheets of flooring and replace it with 3/4 T&G plywood. It's the old kitchen and the flooring there was a little water damaged but not too bad and the sticking point is the two lays of really crappy and impossible to remove flooring that live there.

So tomorrow I'll maybe place most of the electrical boxes and then go to South Fork for more flooring. I need 6 sheets of 3/4 and 3 sheets of 1/4. Hopefully THAT will mean I'm done with tear out and reframing this weekend. The walls really really are up.


I'll post a pic when I get to where there are actual internets, and not the limpy kind we got here in the 5th wheel.

Framing nearly done

Today I got a good long work day in. There now remains only one wall and one floor to put down. (I'll probably beef up some of the rest of the flooring but that's all easy stuff. :D So yesterday's total was the wall dividing the bathroom/closet, the closet door wall, and I got that hallway wall with the 2 doors put in place. The master bathroom and small bathroom got their new 3/4 plywood overlay on the floor too. It all came out pretty good. The small bathroom floor came out so tight I had to beat it into place :D. Oh and I got some nice flexible roof seals put on the spots that were leaking where the old vent stacks came out. Didn't need them all and some of the old ones were just leaky, so I did that and sealed all the seams on the roof. That oughta help.

I love beating shit.

Today I'll build the arched door to the master bath and put down the plywood overlay in the boiler room. Then I have to get to town to pay my house payment before the late fee :D . I'm a REAL 'merican, I pay everything dang thing at the last second.

The funny thing yesterday was upon my return from getting materials the whole place was fulla cows. The fellas were driving a herd from one place to another and since this place sat empty for so long they'd gotten used to watering up here. I told 'em that was all just fine and invited them to rest in the shade by the creek. They were real nice.

OK, must be time to get to work. I'll post a pic or two when I get to where there is a real internet connection. We're still fighting that one.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More walls

Fueled up the generator and got a couple more walls built today. One of them is even in place and done. The other one... Crys is gonna help me with it later on. It's a 14 foot preframed wall with two doorways in it. It's a little tough by myself, I got it hauled down the hall and ready to go but that's about the best I could do.

It's been 4 days of hammering walls into place now. I'm a little tired. My parts are a little sore.

I even forgot to get a picture today.

Maybe tomrorrow.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The walls are goin' up

Crys and I finished the wall Christie and I started yesterday. Then we got up two more small ones and a HUGE one. We did a bit of refiguring on the fly on the floor plan. It's a little bit more open and looks like we might even have found a place to put a closet into the bedroom. It's raining out there kinda regular these days so it's all green and pretty. Hard to keep working when the place is a wonderland all by itself.

I'll keep working on walls tomorrow, and we'll finish the floor plan idea and then hopefully Tuesday will be the last day for building walls. Then I can start on electrical. My favorite. :D

Hey, it's better than shoveling mouse shit.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

So there are Christie and Autum. They came out today and helped me put up walls. We got the load bearing walls up today which felt really good. Then we got the 2X6's cut for the wet walls in the bathrooms. We assembled on of them and I'll finish nailing it into place tomorrow. Maybe Anthony will make it out again, he's fun too.....

Had to wait till Crystal made it out to decide a couple things. You don't get to build a house every year so it's good to take the time and get it just like you want. Gotta decide where to put doors, how big to make the guest bathroom, left or right hand doors..... all time consuming decisions. I do see the end of removal of stuff in sight. Still pulling out a bit of wall or ceiling here and there because they're in my way.

So tomorrow Crystal and I will work on more wall stuff, Anthony might come out and I always like seeing Mr. Wonderful. We'll see how it goes. For tonight I'm tired.