Sunday, March 29, 2009

Three Weeks to Update

Gosh, I knew it had been at least two weeks since I've updated, but I didn't realize it had been three!!!

A lot of progress, actually.

In these pictures, the one on top is March 8 and the one on bottom is today, March 29. They are the same corner of the house, the southwest corner.

This is a wider version of the way it looks today

Adam has spent a lot of time on his own in the ever-growing evening light notching and stacking bales to the end that almost the entire west wall is now baled.

It is extremely time-consuming and back-breaking work for him.

This is a window on the west wall (in the master bedroom) that illustrates the technique Adam will be using on all the windows to flare the bales allowing more light through.

Most of the pictures above and to the right were taken on March 15.

Last weekend, the weekend of March 21, Adam got three friends (Aaron, Dwight and Slim) plus Andy out here to place the three big south-facing windows. It was quite a project, as Aurelia's pictures will attest.

On March 22 we had the strongest winds we have experienced since we moved to Flagstaff..with gusts as high as 75 mph. Spring is always windy here, but this is extreme!

We were very worried about the new windows! Fortunately, no debris came flying into them and they are still intact.

However, the kids' trampoline was the main casualty...taking a big bend in the face as well as the uprights.

In this picture, Aiken has climbed the tree to remove one of the net braces which got stuck there when the wind picked up the whole set-up and nearly tossed it into the trailer. (Adam and Aiken managed to fix the trampoline to the extent possible before this picture was taken.)

One of the reasons for the delay in updating the blog was due to Adam's wish to finish sheathing the wall around the new windows so it looked more "presentable".

Which brings us to this weekend, March 28 & 29. We hired a new assistant this week, Jonathan, who is very helpful and knowledgable. He helped Adam finish the clean up around the outside so some decent pictures could be taken.

They had to move at least 22 rotten bales out of the way, not to mention railroad ties, the remaining metal roofing (hips and ridgecaps, mostly). There are still many more non-usable bales still to moved. We will probably replace as many as 1/4 to 1/3 of the bales we had delivered last fall due to mold.

The upside is that Aiken has a really big new archery target to aim at, a wall of bales!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Corner Logs

Adam was all alone this weekend but he managed to get some massive logs moved into place in two corners.

We have decided to go with natural logs notched to fit the corner posts as the finished look on the corners. We didn't want to put earthen plaster on the posts directly and weren't sure how to finish them but Adam's helper, Andy, saw a show on television that recommended this method so we decided to give it a try. 

In the picture at right, you can see the stucco/plaster that the 3rd graders put up several months ago when they came out on a field trip. It's still there!

Adam had to use a series of "alternative" methods with "bearings" (aspen rounds) to roll the huge logs into place and then a come-along and strap to lift them into place. Techniques he learned while watching Brian Blandford build our first home in Alaska!

He also put up a temporary railing in the lofts but didn't take pictures of it (not permanent, just to stop exuberant kids from falling down) and moved the window frame from the "right hand" window pictured in the last update up a bit to fit with the top of the bales.

All in all, a very productive (and tiring) weekend for Adam, considering that it was supposed to bring a new round of wet weather (fortunately it was limited to some snow flurries for about an hour Saturday morning and that was it)! There's some rain in the forecast this week, but hopefully it will miss us again.

In case you're wondering, Therese spent Saturday at a First Communion/Confirmation retreat with Aurelia (who will make her first communion AND confirmation in late April) and Sunday at a CAbi show (one of her part-time jobs).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back to Work!


The weather finally cooperated enough to melt all the snow on the slab and dry up the standing water, so Adam and Andy were able to get some work done. It's been positively spring-like here this past week.

They got back to work this past weekend. They built some more interior walls (we should be down to less than ten walls remaining) and put a couple windows in.

These walls are upstairs in the loft area of the kids' bedrooms. Some folks thought the lofts were all going to be connected, now we can clearly see that the walls will separate them from each other.

Next they'll put in a temporary railing for the lofts so it's not so scary to have the kids up there playing around!

The windows were a bonus, and exciting to see! These are facing west, they kind of look like they're floating there, but they are secured in place. We'll have to move the southern-most one here up a little (the one on the right) because it's a little too low for the top of the second bale as it sits here.

Happy Day!