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December 20, 2008
Wet and dry

Joss with the remnants of the previous snowfall

December 2008 broke some weather records in the Bay Area. We are still in a drought with rainfall well below normal, but there have been some unseasonably cold days and nights. On the weekend of December 12 there was rare snow up on our mountain, but we weren’t able to go there due to scheduling conflicts.

The weather forecast snow again on Friday December 19, so we made plans to go. We even talked both of our sons into joining us; Cameron was already home from college and Joss was out of school after Thursday morning. Unfortunately, as we got nearer to the date, the forecast changed from “snow” to “rain.” Gail wanted to go up anyway and the boys didn’t mind.

We ended up traveling in two vehicles. Gail and Cameron drove up in the van, specifically so that Gail could buy some drywall. Her electrical work is pretty much at a standstill; our electrician step-brother Jim is still out with pneumonia. However, Gail can go ahead and begin drywalling one side of the walls without interfering with future inspections.

While Gail came up to work, the three guys had come up to relax and play. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. The guys spent much of the time hauling drywall in from the van and up the stairs. Nevertheless, Gail worked the lion’s share, not only installing the sheets but cutting and stuffing insulation where necessary.

The guys unload drywall from the van.
We used our usual rope trick to get the drywall up the stairs.

When we arrived on Thursday afternoon, the inside of the house was 40º. Six hours and three heaters later, we got the temperature up to 60º and it stayed at that level for the rest of the weekend.

While Gail worked on Friday, Russell ended up driving into town to buy even more drywall, taking advantage of the empty van. Lowe’s hardware store kept giving him $10 coupons every time he made a purchase, so he kept going back in and making more purchases. All told, we bought nine sheets of 5/8” drywall (for the bathroom/utility room walls) and 19 sheets of 1/2” drywall (where we won’t need as much soundproofing). The van was so heavy that it took Russell three tries to drive up the last hill to the house.

Russell and Cam hold a sheet of drywall in place while Gail fastens it to the stud.
Joss gets creative taking photos.

We never did get to see snow, although it rained Friday and the ground was constantly covered with frost. By Saturday the weather was sunny and clear again. In the meantime, Gail was able to install seven sheets on four walls, and she can’t wait to do more – as soon as her hands and arms are no longer sore.

Gail installed drywall on four walls

(1) The utility room/living room

(2) The master bathroom/living room

(3) The hall bathroom/Joss’ bedroom

(4) The master bathroom/master bedroom


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