APRIL - MAY 2006
APRIL 1, 2006
Ever since we began this project, we've needed to pull off and take some time to reorganize, go through files, check out websites, and basically get our ducks in a row. That was an impossibility while we had our contractor on the job. So now we've decided to take a couple of weeks to catch up. The "to do" list has grown to pages and pages, but it's something that must be done. Not only will it save us time in the end, it will save us money....and, it will help to make sure all of our ideas are incorporated.
Speaking of ideas; from the very beginning stages when this was all just an idea in our heads, we've made notes. Notes for everything. Room sizes and layout, paint colors, finish carpentry, furniture design, where and how to display our collectibles, electrical outlets and plumbing requirements. You name it, we made notes for it. Notes are great...but they don't do any good if you have no time to look them over. So this is what the next two weeks will be about.
I've made a document for every room which includes information on various aspects such as decor, design, display, furnishings, lighting, etc etc. Last week I edited all the documents and during this reorganization, I'll print out a copy and tack up the print outs to the studs in each room.
From the beginning, we've created a database with all the prepurchased materials. It's been two years since we began this odyssey, and there are hundreds of items we've purchased. We couldn't begin to remember them all, not to mention where they've been stored. So our database will help us with that task and help to eliminate duplication - an easy thing to do with a project of this scope and duration.
As for decor, I've subscribed to about ten interior design magazines. When I see something interesting, I rip out the pages and put them in my files; one for each room. But I keep the magazines, because you never know what you'll be researching next and they're a great source of inspiration not to mention product information.
APRIL 5, 2006
Today we met with our waterfall team to sign the contract. They began to dig out the shape. I have an idea of what it will look like, but there's no way of knowing for sure until it's done - it's really a work of art. They'll be using logs and boulders we've either found on the property or that my excavator brought to me months and months ago. Each boulder, each log is individually placed according to the eye of the installer - a work in progress. It should take them two to three weeks to complete. I'm so looking forward to the wildlife that will be drawn to the water.
As for our laborer, Justin, Greg has him busy today beginning to cover up the drain which will lead water away from the foundation. This was something Greg had installed during the framing/foundation stage and somehow it got buried and almost forgotten. Greg had our excavator come back and disassemble the rock retaining wall nearby to find it. Now Justin will cover it with small rocks and we'll have the retaining wall put back together.
APRIL 7, 2006
We save again with Ebay. Greg needs a planer for constructing doorjambs. Nowadays, you can buy pre-made doorjambs - but, of course, they're expensive. And Greg's used to making them himself. Since most of our doors are oversized (generally 8' tall by 3' wide) and he'll be making our one-of-a-kind gothic arch front door, the planer is a necessity and a new one runs in the $400+ range. On Ebay he was able to buy a used one for about $100. It's beat up, but it works.
APRIL 8, 2006
Although the majority of our property hasn't been disturbed by the construction, there are vast areas around the house that now are nothing but dirt or just plain weeds. I went to our local nurseryman who specializes in native plants and had him make me up a mix of wildflower seeds. Hopefully, there'll be enough showers to get them germinated.
APRIL 9, 2006
This bears repeating:
Since this is an ongoing diary and I don't have time to go back and see if I'm repeating myself (let alone go marketing, clean house, and pay bills!), and since this is the anniversary of our breaking ground (Yes, an entire year has passed and you can see for yourself the progress we've made and the amount of time it's taking considering we're doing this on a shoestring and, hence, can't afford to hire a team which would move things along so much faster. Whew! I do go on!), I'd like to take the time to talk about relationships with respect to a momentous project such as building (or remodeling) a house.
Greg and I are very very lucky indeed. We've been together a quarter of a century, we're still in love, and most importantly when it comes to , we're both on the same page. Our tastes are very similar, and if a certain detail is a "must have", Greg is kind (or smart!) enough to let me run with it. Greg has a master's degree in fine art photography, so he definitely has a point of view when it comes to art; and I've honed my own aesthetic over the years, especially since we've been together and been exposed to his work in the mansions of Beverly Hills.
But some people haven't been able to work out the kinks when it comes to delving into such an endeavor. When friends of ours would ask to pick Greg's brain about remodeling and building, I would always chime in to suggest they add the cost of a year's worth of marriage counseling to the home loan. They would laugh but really it's no laughing matter. Ask any interior designer or builder and they'll tell you how many times they've returned to a home they worked on to photograph for their portfolio or whatever, only to find the couple is in the midst of a divorce.
Building a house is one of the most stressful events you'll ever get involved with so....
Just a word to the wise.....
APRIL 11, 2006
They continue to work on the waterfall and it's starting to take shape. And those huge boulders that we collected over a year ago are about to become the main attraction.
For a slight change, Greg stayed home yesterday and today to continue with some much needed research - while I went off to work to supervise the waterfall installation.
I can only take so much sitting around. My eye starts to wander and I see a dozen things that I could be working on. So while they toil away on the waterfall, I work on grooming the natural vegetation that surrounds the house. I can work for hours pruning trees to open a view through the low growth, occasionally uncovering a old stump covered years ago by the salal (this area's version of ivy) - now covered in layers of moss. People pay a lot of money to purchase decorative boulders and stumps. So when you find one, it's definitely worth the work to feature it in the landscape.
APRIL 13, 2006
Yesterday and today they completed the work on our propane tank. It's been sitting in a huge hole in the ground waiting for dryer weather before we can bury it. And before we can do that, there are gas lines to the house to install. This we decided to leave to the propane company to do - Greg's efforts can be better used elsewhere.
For instance, in order to prep for the stone mason's work, Greg must complete and install the door frame to our massive front door. It's a complicated process requiring milling strips of lumber, gluing them with epoxy or some other type of bonding material, and clamping them to a template to bend and harden into shape.
APRIL 14, 2006
This morning Greg tested the gas line and we're all ready to call for inspection for Monday. It's been raining and so work on the waterfall has been called. The heavy equipment they need to move the boulders just tears up the muddy slop.
But that hasn't stopped Greg from working. We're going to be burying the propane, septic, and gutter run off tanks pretty soon now - as soon as we get a few dry sunny days to make sure the earth is dry. And Greg has so many irons in the fire that pulling off to drill through the concrete to connect the two thousand-gallon tanks that comprise the gutter run-off system has been difficult. But today's the day. You should always wear a mask whenever there's a chance of breathing in dust particles. Cement dust is definitely one to avoid. But I've found that even sweeping up inside the house kicks up all kinds of dirt and if I'm not careful, it's easy for me to get a sinus infection. A mask is a must.
APRIL 15, 2006
I was able to save several hundred dollars today. It's kinda like when a woman buys an expensive dress for half price and tells her husband, "Look how much money I saved today!" But really, this purchase was a necessity. Really!
Looking ahead, there are several interior design items I'm working on. One is replicating a chaise lounge for the livingroom. Most people have couches...we like chaise lounges. We've set up our livingroom/TV viewing this way for years and it works for us. But our chaises are tired and I finally found a more sophisticated design. Problem is, the company doesn't make a "mirror image" companion piece. The lounges have an arm on one side and if we're to park two together, one needs the armrest on the left, the other on the right. So, the simplest thing to do is have Greg work with an upholsterer to build the frame - the upholsterer can make it look just like the picture I'll bring him. I've been keeping my eye out for some fabric knowing that if I were to wait until nearer the time of need, Murphy's Law would make sure I couldn't find what I want. So every time I'm near bulk fabric, I take a look. While at our local craft store, I noticed they had several special order samples and I found just what I was looking for. Originally I was going to upholster these chairs in green - the same color as the livingroom walls. My accent color for moulding and other accents is copper. And here was some wonderful fabric in coppertone. I hadn't even thought of going this way, but it was meant to be I guess. Anyway, the fabric was on the expensive side so I just made a mental note of it.
What luck - I stopped at the craft store today for something else and found out the fabric was 50% off. Great buy.
APRIL 17, 2006
We passed the gas line inspection. Work on the waterfall continues. I busy myself with organizing some supplies and working on the grounds.
APRIL 18, 2006
Fun with a pressure washer.
Our waterfall installers use this piece of equipment to make the rocks and boulders stand out when the project is just about complete. I borrowed theirs to clean off our basalt retaining wall. Rocks are interesting and beautiful and when they're wet all their colors come out. These boulders are burgundy. I think I might use a cement sealer on these to bring that out.
Making lemonade out of lemons: right next to the waterfall is a tree...a dead tree. It had started out as a beautiful Grand Fir and almost overnight turned a deep burgundy and died. I was going to remove it but thought better of it. Dead trees, or snags, are important for wildlife in the environment. This particular tree isn't very big but still...
Anyway, one of the large pieces of equipment being used by the waterfall installers broke the top third of the tree and now it dangled sadly to the side. I'm sure he meant it as a joke, but Jeff (our installer) suggested the break point was perfect for an eagle's nest. I jumped right on that one; bought some moss, a metal frame and stuck some twigs in for good measure and voila - a nest is born!
APRIL 19, 2006
A small milestone.
We bought most of the doors for our house from the local salvage yard months before we began to build and saved a great deal of money. We've been keeping them at a storage facility - until today. It'll still be months and months until they're ready to be installed, but it's still exciting to see them on the property and think of what they'll look like when the time comes. The door on the left is destined for Greg's office, and the door with the cathedral design will go to the "vanity room" located in our master bath. This is one of those custom elements we have the luxury of including. I am so tired of the dust created from applying make up and powders not to mention the overspray from hairspray that I wanted a separate room just to avoid the mess.
The beautiful big Doug Firs on the mountain view side of the house are making the snow capped mountains a bit difficult to see. Rather than remove them, or heavenforbid "top" them (just lopping off the top of the tree), I'm having some tree trimmers come by to bid some minor pruning called "window paning". This technique strategically removes branches to open the view a bit. The first bid was very reasonable, but the second bid was less than half - and this guy had the right aesthetic for the job. He'll call me in a couple of weeks to set a day, but the weather has to cooperate. The view of the mountains must be clear so we can take out just the right branches.
Before the gutter runoff tank is buried, Greg wanted to make a visual record of the piping just in case we'd ever need to locate it for a repair. The excavator will push dirt over the pipes and the tanks. To make sure the heavy dirt doesn't dislodge the pipe or loosen any of the connections, he protected the pipes by capping over them with some left over tubing as well as backfilling under them with sand to give them some support.
Meanwhile, work continues on the waterfall.
APRIL 22, 2006
Today we determined the placement of most of the electrical outlets and light switches in preparation for two big "discount" shopping trips to Lowe's and Home Depot. Thinking through exactly what your lighting and electrical needs are for each room is time consuming and requires lots of prep work to know where furniture and lamps are going, where best to situate light switches, and what ceiling fixtures you'll be using. This is something most homeowners never get the chance to do. If you've bought into a development where you choose certain floorplans and models, you only get so much say so when it comes to such details. And any additions or changes add immeasurably to the final cost.
We walked through each room and discussed what electrical devices we'd be using and where best to place them for maximum efficiency and ease of use. When it came to where to put the light switches, we wanted to avoid placing them where they would catch the eye if possible. We also discussed where we'll need three-way switches. We have several rooms where you can enter from two directions. A three-way switch allows you to turn the lights on or off from either doorway. We'll also be using lots of dimmers - everywhere. But for now, we only need the approximate placement and number. Greg used index cards and drew in the common construction symbols for switches and receptacles, then stapled them to the nearest stud.
We have two more 10% discount coupons, one from Lowe's for up to $10,000 in purchases, and another one from Home Depot for up to $2,000. We've found that there are instances where Home Depot's price is lower than Lowe's and sometimes vice versa. So we've been working on our shopping lists for a couple of weeks and will do some price comparisons beforehand.
When Greg begins working on the electrical wiring, he'll make decisions as to what outlets go on what circuit. This is an important element. Our current rental house kitchen wasn't thought out very well and every time we run the microwave and the toaster oven, we blow a fuse. We definitely want to avoid this hassle. Greg also plans to run conduit in areas where we may want to add wiring at some point in the future. Conduit is fairly inexpensive and this will make any changes or additions much easier. Planning out different groupings for circuits will also help when the inevitable power outage occurs. That way we can make sure our generator (also purchased with a discount card) can run only what's necessary (refrigerator, microwave, stove, certain lights, television, etc) to get us through.
What is it with ladybugs? It happened at our rental house last year, and now it's happened at . Hordes of ladybugs have invaded the house - an easy accomplishment at this stage of construction - and gather at the windows. It's not a big problem, just a nuisance. But earlier this year, we had an infestation of flies! They must have laid eggs on some building product and when the temperature was right, they all hatched at once. I'm not exaggerating when I say there were hundreds flying at all the windows. Hanging heavy-duty fly strips ended the problem. Now I need to get the shop vac and clean up every window sill.
APRIL 24, 2006
In between supervising the creation of our waterfall, I'm back at grooming the natural vegetation. It's a lot of work - removing years of debris from the underbrush. Although this is an important element for insects and other animals, removing just a little from those areas nearest the house won't make much of a dent in the overall scheme of things. So, today I worked for several hours in two different areas. I uncovered two beautiful moss covered logs in one, and revealed some interesting twists and turns to a cedar trunk in another. I also removed old branches from a young big leaf maple tree, a huckleberry bush, and some prickly gooseberry.
APRIL 25, 2006
Greg spent the early part of the day picking up custom-milled cedar for our exterior from a local family-run lumber mill. While he was there, the owner showed him cedar trunks we can use to build a snake fence on one side of our driveway. It's difficult to explain if you haven't seen one, so I'll definitely be posting pictures when we begin to construct it - in the next month or so.
When Greg returned in the late afternoon, our excavator, Les was just beginning to bury the propane, septic, and gutter run off tanks. I was beginning to think this day would never come, but finally today is the day we get rid of three giant gaping holes surrounding the house. Now you see them - now you don't. What a luxury it is not to be worried about falling into a hole or twisting an ankle!
After Les buried the tanks, he was able to take dirt from our dwindling dirt mountain - created when they dug out for our septic drainage field months ago - and create mounds on the front yard to be smoothed out into a rolling landscape by our waterfall designers.
APRIL 26, 2006
We're positively bushed.
Today was our Lowe's shopping spree day. It took Greg hours to make the shopping list...and it took six hours at the store to gather up the items! I don't know how those employees do it, standing on concrete floors for hours at a time. Towards the end of our expedition, I just had to get one of those motorized seats to ride around on - my back and feet were killing me. Between four hours driving up and back, it was a long long day.
APRIL 28, 2006
Today was our Home Depot shopping day. And we ended up not having to use our 10% off /$2000 coupon to be saved for another time. Luck was with us once more - they were having a 10% discount for contractors sale with no purchase limit...and so another long day was spent pulling items from all over the store.
MAY 4, 2006
As Greg says, "some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue." At some point this afternoon I was definitely the statue.
Today was the day the tree trimmer came to open up our mountain views.
There were two workers and I had my attention focused on the one climbing the big trees outside our livingroom window. He would shake a big branch and I would give him a yes or a no as to which one would clear the view. While I was busy with him, the other worker was to take down one of the trees on our neighbor's property and windowpane another. Unfortunately, my neighbor was gone for the day. As I'm working with the guy in the tree, I hear the chain saw, see the top of a tall Fir sway...and then....the wrong tree goes down!
I felt just terrible and so did the workers. It was all a big miscommunication. If only, if only... Worst of all, I was afraid my neighbor would think I "engineered" the wrong tree coming down because I had asked if I could remove that particular one. And now that it's gone, I wish it were still there. Of course, the property is dense with trees there and I'm sure in a couple of years it will all fill in, but what a fiasco. I immediately left a phone message for my neighbor, but then I had to leave for an appointment and I was hoping they wouldn't return to see the misake before I could talk to them in person. On my way down the road, I ran into the Mrs. and she took it very well. But as soon as I got back from my appointment, I raced over to talk to the Mr. He was very gracious and understanding, but still....
At any rate, the view has been vastly expanded...at least for a couple of years. Trees grow, and these trees are known to grow fast. So it will be a continual challenge to maintain our mountain views.
MAY 5, 2006
Lots going on today.
It was hit the ground running racing out the door early this morning to catch up with the delivery truck from a landscaping supply yard two hours from here.
This is where pinching all those pennies hopefully pays off.
While on one of our out-of-the-area forays a couple of months ago, I saw a wonderful landscaping yard off the highway. I had seen it before but we didn't have the time to stop. This time we made the time. And that's when I got into trouble.
Almost ready to go on our way, I noticed a crushed gravel I had never seen before: like green granite. And there must be granite in there because...well, I don't want to tell you what this stuff cost. And the cost went up several hundred dollars from the time we visited the yard - due to the gas price crisis.
It'll be a while, but I plan to use this gravel up against the exterior base of the house to mimic a dry creek bed. Putting gravel up against the exterior will help to divert moisture away from the foundation.
And...."ding dong the bin is gone"! Our huge construction bin which served us well this past year - as an office and secure storage area - is now history. That will save us about $100 a month. And the other bonus is seeing the house for the first time without an obstructed view.
Letting go of the construction bin required more organization. We spent most of April reviewing research and organizing files and notes. Not much physically has been done on the house, but this was a necessary task. To empty the bin, we had to find other places for its contents. Instead of a ragtag makeshif office in the bin, I now have a pseudo-office in my actual office in the house. Greg is now using our trailer that we've been taking on our big shopping sprees as a small storage bin. He's even created a "false wall" in the house to store some expensive items. And tomorrow we plan to organize several hundred dollars worth of returns to Home Depot and Lowe's - items we bought months ago and either ended up not using at all or overbought. Home Depot and Lowe's will let you return items without a receipt - within limits - for a store credit. But I've meticulously filed away every receipt from day one, so we should be able to locate what we need for most items.
MAY 12, 2006
Work continues on the waterfall.
I'm purposely not showing pictures as the work progresses. I'd rather wait and show you the finished "ta da" (both waterfall & pond) and then include construction process photos.
Greg obsesses (I mean that in a good way!) about water/moisture/drainage. Because of the work he did on the Beverly Hills mega-mansions, he's seen firsthand what water collecting in the wrong place can do. In fact, we were just watching some cable TV program about a family who became terribly ill and all due to unseen toxic mold caused by water leaks behind the walls.
With so many things going on at once - especially
when there are other workers or trades on the job, it's surprising how easily things
can get away from you. Case in point: compacting the ground surrounding the house.
It would have been preferable to be done in the foundation phase. Shoulda, woulda,
coulda! I'm sure we'll need to do more in the future, but Greg rented a "riding"
compactor and also one that works like
to start the process.
What was that I was saying about the pigeon and the statue??? While using the big equipment to construct our waterfeature, the boys accidentally ran over a can of spray paint. Boom! My beautiful burgundy basalt rocks are now sporting a different look. Of course, I'm heartbroken, but they swear to me they can salvage them. I hope they're right. I tried pressure washing...nada. Muriatic acid might do it, and according to my Google research, is environmentally friendly. We'll see...
MAY 13, 2006
Well, I nearly lost us the house! Or at least the grounds surrounding it.
Friday they worked on the pond - it's nearly finished - which included filling it up with the hose. When we left at the end of the day, I remembered to turn off the hose. Trouble is, I'm left handed, and although I was repeating to myself (outloud no less), "righty tighty - lefty loosey"...I actually turned the water on full bore. When we got there this morning...there was a deluge cutting a swath through the backyard. In addition to turning the uncompacted ground to mush, it eroded a two foot deep groove into the hillside going down the ravine. Greg immediately went to the bottom of the ravine to see what damage was done...and nothing, nada, no water there. After investigating, he saw all the water had poured into a mountain beaver hole - like water going down a drain. A mountain beaver is a large rodent. I've never seen one in person, but I can tell you the holes are all over the place. Gawd knows what the domino effect will be from all that. Thank goodness it's warm sunshine - we're hoping the ground dries out quickly. I tell ya, if it isn't one thing.....
Because the waterfall and pond use pumps and lighting, the electrical needs to be inspected. If this were an existing home and we were adding the waterfeature, an inspection probably wouldn't have been necessary (although it still would be prudent). But since we'll be having inspectors coming around for a long time, we would rather be safe than sorry. However, waiting for the inspector would have slowed up work. So Greg gave him a call and got permission to photograph certain elements, and we were good to go.
MAY 16, 2006
As I mentioned before, all those boulders and logs and stumps are being used to create our waterfall and pond. But our designer is also using these decorative elements in the general landscaping. We found a huge log at the back of the property and, I don't know how he did it with such a modest sized excavator, but Jeff performed a miracle by delivering this monster to our front yard.
MAY 17, 2006
Boy, this is turning out to be one unusual abode. Nothing in, on, or around this house is what you'd expect. Our waterfeature guru, Jeff, created a series of berms to create the topography of the frontyard landscape. To me, it looks like a scaled-down version of the nearby Olympic Mountain range with a generous peppering of logs and stumps, with that one huge 6 ton chunk of granite as the centerpiece. It looks like a barren beach right now, but over time the plants and groundcover will fill in and make all those elements look like they've been there for a thousand years. I purchased just a few shrubs. And until I have the time, focus, and budget to hone this project, for now I plan to blanket the entire area with wildflower seeds.
MAY 20, 2006
The big reveal:
The waterfall and pond are "done"! In this case, I must say a picture is not worth a thousand words. You can't get a sense of the scale from this photo. The two elements, the waterfall on the right and the pond on the left are approximately 70 feet wide and 40 feet from front to back - practically a necessity when you take in the size of the boulders and logs. You also can't see the intricacies of the water flow cascading over rocks and logs. And in the case of the pond, water actually flows through the center of that stump on the right side. Although it looks like one big installation, it is actually two. The waterfall is filtered while the pond is not. We wanted the water from the falls to be as clear as possible. Whereas we want to keep the pond bio-friendly. So the pond water is aereated by the falling water which will help to control mosquitos. I can't wait until the wildlife moves in...and that too will work to reduce the stinging pest population.
Okay, now that you've seen the finished product, I can tell you a bit about the construction. Here's what we started with. A blank slate. Then the big equipment shapes the earth to support the boulders and rocks which create the falls. In the meantime, they've begun digging out the shape of the pond. And as usual, I run ahead of the excavator to harvest my precious rocks. At 25 cents a pound, why buy it when it's right here? The process was virtually the same for both the falls and the pond. After the shape is created, they rototill the ground to remove any sharp objects that might perforate the heavy liner. Next a thick cloth lines the bottom to further protect the liner. Next, the rubber liner goes in. This looks deceptively easy. That liner is incredibly heavy, bulky, and awkward to work with. It took four of us to lug it over to the area, and then the expertise of Jeff to figure out what corner to pull in which direction to unfurl it and move it into position. It was like working on a Viking ship where everyone must pull together on the beat. Then the large boulders were placed and then smaller boulders and rocks are placed by hand to cover exposed liner as well as detail the natural effect caused by water over time. Then the fine tuning begins. Smaller logs are placed and landscaping is introduced. Although Jeff added a couple of small trees and shrubs, Jeff and I made use of the native plants here on our property and harvested sword ferns, moss, and bull rush. Lastly, Jeff used his chain saw and blow torch to age some of the logs. And then I just had to get into the act with a pressure washer to tidy up and wash off what is probably hundreds, if not thousands, of years of dirt from the boulders. Just like the front yard, it will take time for plants and groundcover to fill in all the blanks.
It was quite a process watching the pond and waterfall come together, especially using such large "building blocks". I took the time to study Jeff placing a huge boulder he was working into the backyard landscape. He moves the earth with his excavator to prop up the boulder while he maneuvers it to just the right position.
My interest in attracting wildlife ended up being a cost-saving endeavor. Birds need cover for nesting and refuge from predators. My friend Melissa created a brush pile out of cedar branches. Cedar is best to use because it will last the longest. Indians made canoes and clothing using cedar. At the back of the pond there was a large area of exposed liner. A heftier budget would have taken care of that, but instead we created a brush pile. As the branches die, the greenery will fall away, so over time I'll have to keep adding to this feature.
Last October, Jeff and I discussed the design of our waterfeature and he made a quick sketch on the plywood of our deck. We were both surprised to find that his final design was so close to his "off the top of his head" vision.
Anyone can build a pond or waterfall...at least when it comes to the mechanics. But it is an art to visualize the way water will fall off a rock or log and create something that becomes part of the landscape. We were lucky indeed to have found Jeff.
MAY 25, 2006
It's still raining, so the roof waits. But our "gutter guy" showed up and was able to complete our roof gutter system. At least that's done.
MAY 26, 2006
For several weeks, Greg's been working on the jamb surround for our large gothic-arch front door. The stone work will butt right up to the jamb, so this needs to be done before the stone mason begins. Creating the peaked arch required cutting thin strips of wood, gluing them together, and then bending them around a template with clamps. Today he installed the upper arch, by himself, using a block & tackle technique which allows you to hoist heavy objects without assistance. The arch is approximately nine inches wide and weighs approximately 150 lbs. Greg bought the wood he'll use to build the door from a local salvage yard. The thick tongue and groove planks were rescued from the roof of the local college and date back to the 1940s. We've already bought large thick pieces of steel to fashion into oversized hinges that will span across the front of the door.
When this is complete, the massive door will look like it was rescued from an ancient monastery.
MAY 27, 2006
Today is Greg's birthday. But it's just another work day for him. After a birthday breakfast, Greg spent the rest of the day honing the gutter system to divert all this rainwater. I didn't serve him dinner until 10 p.m.
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