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September 30, 2007
Men at work

Cameron takes advantage of the newly-cleaned downstairs floor to engage in his favorite pastime – reading – in the passive solar heat of the panoramic window walls

The weekend of September 29, 2007 was the first weekend that our two sons, Cameron and Joss, were able to join us at our mountain home building site in more than two months. Joss even invited a friend, Tandré, to join us for the first time.

This weekend was also the second trip in a row that our friend Steve was able to join us. As a result, Gail had five strong and able-bodied men to work on the many tasks that need to be done, and she came equipped with a hearty to-do list.

Russell drove up separately and early on Friday, September 28, taking a half-day off of work so that he could arrive on the mountain by dinnertime. He took advantage of the extra time to begin re-arranging and consolidating the dwindling lumber piles on the lower floor. Because it was a school day, Gail and the teens drove up after dinner, arriving at 9:30 pm. Steve, coming off of play rehearsal once again, didn’t arrive until 11:30 pm. No sooner had Steve stepped out of his truck than it began pouring rain. The storm continued all night.

By the time we woke up on Saturday morning, the storm had passed, the weather was clear, and it was a gorgeous sunny day with no clouds in sight. We would enjoy blue skies for the entire weekend.

Before coming up, we had decided that we would not push the boys to too much work, especially since Joss was hosting a friend for his first visit. When they arrived, the boys were impressed with all of the interior walls, and Joss and Tandré immediately climbed up into the rafters to check them out.

Tandré and Joss play a board game up in the rafters

Still, Gail found time to commit the three teens to a number of work projects. With winter around the corner, Gail had purchased two 25-foot wattles – long snake-like rolls of straw for preventing erosion on hillsides. She had the teens stake the wattles onto one of the particularly steep hillsides that abutted the approach road.

Three men and a wattle

As a second project, Gail had the teens use scrap wood to build a stand for an old sink that she had acquired on freecycle.org. While the sink would not be plumbed at this point, it would still make things easier when using the outside faucet.

Tandré, Joss, Cameron and Gail build a sink stand

The teens were assigned dishwashing duty using the sink stand they had just built

While the teens alternately worked on these projects and entertained themselves, the adults were also hard at work. Steve and Gail continued the work of re-arranging and consolidating the lumber piles that covered the downstairs floor. When this was done, Steve went back to staining the exterior walls.


The downstairs floor, before and after cleaning
The extra floor space allowed us to set up a private area for Steve's hammock

Meanwhile, Russell continued installing joists. Gail tacked plastic sheeting to the vaulted ceiling so that Russell could extend the walls farther upward.

Russell installs yet more joists cut at strange and wondrous angles
Gail and Cameron re-staple a plastic vapor barrier to the vaulted ceiling

The ceiling-high extended wall frame between the living room and master bathroom

It was a busy and productive Saturday. It had to be, because Gail departed with the three teens early Sunday morning (Joss had to get back home by late morning for another obligation).

Russell and Steve stayed at the building site Sunday morning, making more wall/joist measurements and continuing to stain until the cans ran dry. Happily, the timing gave them an excuse to go back to their favorite all-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant for the first time in a long while.

We will not see Steve again until at least December, due to his many theater commitments. With the end of September, this weekend also marks the end of our “every weekend” building schedule, and we can surely use a break.

But we’ll be back again soon. Russell estimates that it will take at least three more weekends until enough walls are installed to begin either the plumbing or the electrical wiring. And at least one of those has to be finished before our next inspection in January.

Men no longer at work


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