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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

Once again, I wish I had huge news to report, but I don't. We're still in a bit of a holding pattern regarding big things happening up at the property. Still waiting for the well driller to show as well as the carpenter to build the garage. I'm getting fairly stressed about the latter because we need some sort of large weather-proof structure up there ASAP (namely, the garage). We have "a shipload of shiplap" ordered for the 4-season porch ceiling, kitchen ceiling, 2nd-story ceiling, 2nd-story floor, and downstairs ceiling. The shiplap for all the ceilings needs to go on right after the timberframe is up and BEFORE the SIPs are put on. So, time is of the essence. And, point being, I need to sand all of that wood. Hence the need for the enclosure. I am going to do everything in my power (when I call the carpenter tomorrow night) to see if I can't get him and his crew to start this week (as he'd said he hoped to).

I've almost got all the blueprints for the SIPs done. Now I'm just waiting to hear back from manufacturers on the rough opening sizes for 2 exterior doors and the French door that will be between the living room and 4-season porch. This past week has involved a lot of phone calls - many of them aggravating because as soon as you fall in love with a certain door, you find that no distributor can actually get them from the manufacturer! Arrrggh! Such are the joys of designing and building a house.

Due to the uncooperative weather conditions during which the house slab was poured, the "cream" on top has chipped in spots already. We headed up the other day with a diamond bit sander that our cement guy loaned us to sand out all the chipping. See, if you don't sand it out to solid cement, that spot will just continue chipping with use and over time. Now we have several shallow "scoops" in the floor which we were going to fill . . . but I've actually rather taken to them. Now that I see what it looks like, I realize that I've seen this done - on purpose - in restaurants and the like to imitate the wear and tear of an old stone floor in, say, an Italian villa. So, I think it gives the place more character! I was actually happy to find as many spots as I could that might - just might - chip in the future and so require sanding now!

The forest fire that is burning on the north border of the county (and into Canada) is about 1,000 acres in size now, last I heard. We were up at the property last night, and the hills to the west across the valley are hazy with the smoke - even though we're quite far from the fire. You can even smell the smoke down here now, but it's not pleasant. I thought a forest fire would/should smell like a campfire but it's kind of yucky. Actually smells like a couple of (sorry) animals got cooked in it. Ick. But, my husband claims that I have a super-sensitive nose, so maybe it's just me.

Tom and Maisy stayed overnight at the property last night after some friends came up to see the progress. When we were walking them to their truck - and then when Tom and I walked down to the building site in the moonlight - you could hear all this rustling along the driveway. There were TONS of toads out! Very cool to see. We thought Maisy would find them right away, but, fortunately, she was oblivious (as usual).

Tom is finishing clearing the path down to the river and also doing some cleaning up of log piles today. I'll head up soon and enjoy the hike down to the river (where we could skip a rock across to Canada).

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