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September 13, 2009
Two people, one arm

Gail with Russell, post-accident. Between the two of us, we have one uninjured arm!

At the end of July this year, Gail was diagnosed with tendonitis in her elbows and shoulders. She was advised to stop doing any heavy lifting or manipulation work for the foreseeable future. On September 11, Russell was involved in a biking accident that resulted in a sprained left knee and four stitches in his left elbow. As our son Cameron remarked, “Between the two of you, you only have one good arm.”

Unfortunately, we were due to go up to our mountain home construction site that same day. It would be difficult to cancel the trip, as our friend Dirk had already arrived and our friend Steve was already en route. So we went anyway.

Dirk and Steve were very gracious and understanding, offering to do all of the heavy lifting for the weekend. This included offloading all of the lumber that Russell had bought for stair construction. It also included a huge and heavy double-sink vanity that Gail had picked up for the master bathroom. While the lumber would be stored downstairs, the vanity had to be brought upstairs and down the narrow hallway to the far side of the house.

Steve and Dirk carry the double sink (hard) and heavy vanity (harder) up the stairs

Dirk and Steve did a terrific job. Even better, the vanity fits just about perfectly into the space in the master bathroom. Gail was thrilled.

The master bathroom vanity in place. A perfect fit!

Russell’s original plan for the weekend had been to continue building stairs. With his physical limitations, he would not be able to cut and measure stringers. However, he decided that he could still work on bolting the landing posts to the concrete floor.

Russell, bolting the posts to the concrete floor. He tried keeping his left knee extended to minimize further injury. It didn't work.

Frustrated at not being able to get more work done, Russell also spent a few hours limping around the property spraying poison oak. He came to regret this. By Saturday evening his left knee had swollen to half again its normal size. Russell spent the rest of the weekend lying on the sofa.

The rest of the work crew was much more productive. Steve, as usual, spent the entire weekend outdoors tending the grounds. He continued clearing the overgrowth on the main road, taking four trailer loads to the dump.

Steve brought up another ladder to reach the overgrowth on the main road

Dirk and Gail finished wiring the upstairs parapet. Even better, they did the whole thing with wire left over from previous work. We had perfect working weather, including a dry lightning storm (in the far distance) and even a few minutes of rain.

By Sunday morning, Gail and Russell decided that they were in no physical condition to do any further work, so we departed early. Dirk and Steve stayed on to continue work – Dirk in particular wanted to finish wiring Joss’ bedroom closet.

Our next inspection is due in mid-October, and we really want to have a lot to show for it.

The two stair landings, completely finished


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