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.