Monday, December 31, 2007

What a way to begin the day!

Sunrise on Mt Jefferson - what a view from the hot tubDean's favorite time of the day - the sun just hitting the canyon walls. If you look carefully, you can see Mt Bachelor on the far left of the frame. In the center is South Sister, Middle and North are to her right, Broken Top to her left.
It will be a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Sunday, December 30, 2007

We had a White Christmas - sort of........

I didn't get a picture of the snow on Christmas - I thought it would last longer than it did so I put off taking the photo. I should have known better...... It has been snowing a little in the morning, then evaporating. I took this photo this morning as we were coming back from our morning walk. Abby was loving it! Right now, it is partly cloudy, the sun is shining and it is snowing. Go figure.
Aahhhh - life in the High Desert!I'm getting ready for our "famous" New Years Eve party - Kansas style - those of you at FUMC know what that means! We'll be thinking of you.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Little Break From the House Building Blog

It's that time of the year, folks, so we wanted to take the time to wish EVERYONE a Happy Holiday Season. Take a few moments and check out our holiday message: here
It was another lovely day here in the High Desert - it sprinkled a little bit, the weatherperson keeps saying we might have snow, but it has yet to materialize. I saw a 51 on the thermometer today, so it doesn't look like we'll have a white Christmas. Shucks!
Our stockings are hung - somewhere - and we have 1 present under the tree - no, wait - we have no tree this year..... but here is the new nativity - made in the Holy Lands from olive wood:

I spent days baking and we delivered to a couple of good friends today and had some good conversation. Thinking of y'all in the valley and wishing we could be with you - maybe next year!

A New Year’s Prayer
May God make your year a happy one!
Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;
Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;
Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;
Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;
Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.
God’s love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

More cold..........

So - you get the idea that it was REALLY cold. This is the view from under the awning on the tent trailer.Then - - - the snow melted and, guess what! All the water ran down the driveway..... What a mess we had!!!!
and the rain and snow melt came through the roof which doesn't yet have shingles.............. I counted 12 different containers collecting drips, spaced throughout the house. We either shop-vac'd the water, or caught it in containers, or swept it out the door. That shop vac holds a lot of water and it didn't take long to fill it - and empty it - and fill it - and empty it..... This happens to be the bedroom/master bath area. On the right, you'll notice the ductwork -- the furnace was being installed.
This is Dean up on the roof during the rain and wind - notice the bright yellow rainsuit jacket - installing tarps to keep out some of the water. By the time he was finished, the roof was covered in black and blue tarps. Very attractive! The white you see below the wood panels of the house is the foundation - go back a few posts for more info. The dark grey is where we had sealed some of the Styrofoam.
Back to the inside work - too wet outside - well, inside, too, as a matter of fact! We put in the stone surround in back of where the woodstove was to be installed. I laid out the stones by size and handed them to Dean as he needed them. See the yellow bucket to the left - yup - it's catching water..........
Guess what??????? The shingles are being installed!!!!!!! YeaaShingles to the left - blue tarp being removed.We're really moving along now. The deck is being installed. Notice the triangle shape on the left? We sent a template of the window showing inside and outside - and they sent totally the wrong window. We reordered, and they sent it wrong again! Backwards - the drain holes on the wrong side. So, we said, whatever - we're not sending it back again!The deck from the master bedroom doorway...The house is all wrapped up (too late for Christmas...) and Dean is painting trim so the guys can put on the gutters. This photo is way out of order - I could move it, but, oh well...... So, guess what this is? Our HOT tub!Lucky for us, the crew that did our deck, siding, and gutters was here and helped carry it around the house.....and..........ever so carefully.....hoist it up onto the deckover Mr Lennox cardboard so as not to harm the new deck........or the new hot tub!into place.........
ahhhhhhh - success! Now, if we only had electricity and water to fill it! This lovely day was February 7th - at 4pmStay tuned for further updates

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And the cold weather arrives with a vengence!!

This photo should have gone with the last bunch, but I was tired and just kinda ended it.......
This is the view of the crane from down below, placing a panel over the dining room area. That was a REALLY big crane!!Well, this is what we woke up to on December 1st. Remember, this was 2005 - we have barely had ANY snow since then, of course........ The first few days, it was really pretty.
One of our little friends is standing in the driveway - a little hard to see. We shoveled the whole driveway - 3 times, I think - with the help of neighbors, Bill and Joyce. We would shovel out theirs, then do ours, then down the street and do some other neighbors. It wasn't cold - during the day when the sun was warming us.
So, you can see that on the 15th, some of the snow was melting in the sun and things are looking pretty nice.
Then, on the 19th, it did it again!!!
This is our poor "home" - this is the end of the tent trailer that we slept in - the heat from our bodies momentarily melted the snow/ice, then froze again - well, that's my story anyway - but we had icicles hanging from all the corners of the trailer off the canvas. It is really amazing that we did so well in there. You could see in previous photos that we placed straw bales around the "foundation" (ha!) of the trailer to try to hold some of the heat in underneath so the water lines wouldn't freeze. We also had a small heater under there for the cold nights - they all were, though! It didn't always work, but none of the water lines burst. We had to wait for it to warm up some days and there was often an icicle hanging from the faucet.
Well, all this talk of cold is depressing me, so I think I will go down and make a cup of tea. Saga to be continued................

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Coming Along Nicely........

Well, the weather cleared up a little so we can proceed. We rented a crane for a week to get the beams in place and "fly" the roof panels. This is the beam in the great room being placed.This is how it looked from below - to the west. You can see the beam sticking out in the highest part above the 2 windows.
The roof panels are being assembled in the garage-to-be. From left to right is Bill, Dean, contractor Ray-Ray and Jim. They are putting 3 panels together - 2 x 6's between and headers and footers. All blue glued and blue screwed together.
Then the put-together panels are "flown" to a pile, waiting for all to be completed.
Then, each completed panel group is "flown" to it's place as the roof. Here, Dean is "guiding"

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Construction Begins

All of this would not be possible without the folks at U Buildit in Redmond - Tom helped in so many ways that I don't know where to begin. They held our hands and kept us on track. They understood our frustrations and kept us on track. They were all great. We had so many great contractors that so much of the hard stuff just floated by without problems. We would have been totally LOST without them.
The first panel is up! Thanks to Dan, Esteban and Duane from Friends of the Carpenter for coming over for a weekend to help out.And this is the first wallWhen we came to the big tall wall, it was time to call a contractor for some help. Good thing we did, huh?Beginning to actually look something like a house, isn't it?Now it is November 8th - that's 2005 - and it is turning a bit nippy. A warming fire is nice in the morning
This is where Abby was laying in the frost. She is enjoying the cold weather a lot more than we are, I think.......... The shiny stuff you see in the photo below is ICE!!! We had to chip it away to walk in the house.
This will be it for today's post - more tomorrow, Gordy! And, you should be able to comment now - I hope. Let us know if you can't, OK?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

So - to really begin.......

We spent a weekend doing some clearing on the property - this is the pile that the fire department came and mulched.
Janet and I spent a few nights under the stars - Dean greeted us with a fresh cup of coffee.

These are photos of the foundation - styrofoam which will be filled with cement.

This is how they looked when delivered
There is the tent trailer in the background - Home Sweet Home!
Contractors laid out the ICF's - Integrated Concrete Forms
Then, Dean and Jim built the "pony walls" for the "basement" and then put in the sub floor. If we had known how deep it was going to be, we would have put in a REAL basement.........

Then one of those nice rains came through But, the next day.................... Breakfast in the future great room

These are the storage sheds we rented which held all of our belongings while we were building. It was nice to have them right on the property - but we couldn't get to much of our "stuff". Good thing we had a guard on duty!
Here is the truck delivering our walls. To be continued................