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November 29, 2009
Joss’ guests

Two families share dinner the day after Thanksgiving

There are several reasons why we have held onto our 12-year-old van, even though it is constantly on the verge of breaking down. One reason is, of course, to haul stuff up to our mountain home construction site. Another reason is so that our two sons could bring friends up to the property as well.

Cameron and Joss have invited friends less often than we thought they would. On the other hand, for the past two years Joss has wanted to bring his girlfriend Rachel to the property. There have been several objections from both sets of parents. Would it be appropriate? What if she got bored? What if they got into a disagreement?

With our mountain home becoming increasingly more civilized, we decided to revisit the situation. We invited Rachel’s entire family up for the weekend beginning after Thanksgiving. They agreed to come up Friday for one night. Ultimately we ended up without hot water for the weekend, but that was not a showstopper. Cameron’s bedroom is now usable as an actual bedroom; Cameron consented to bunk with Joss so it could used as a guest room.

The four kids had a lot of fun for two days. They used the tree swings and trampoline, hiked, had stick fights, played guitar, boardgames and air soft pellet guns. Joss and Rachel hung crystals in front of the windows to catch the sunlight. Cameron and Rachel spent some of the time doing homework, which gave Rachel’s younger brother an opportunity to monopolize Joss’ time.

Joss plays guitar early Saturday morning (unfortunately, it was a little too early for some of the folk who were trying to sleep in);
Yes, that is a gorgeous fog out the window behind Joss!

The adults enjoyed themselves as well, chatting and visiting. Gail made a sincere effort to relax this weekend, and to an extent she succeeded. While she didn’t do any more drywalling, she did take a Sawz-All to the kitchen sink to chop the cabinet down in size.

Gail uses one of her favorite tools – a Sawz-All that she bought and paid for herself years ago


The kitchen cabinets, before and after.
By cutting down the sink, Gail is able to fit a larger cabinet onto the space-constrained wall.

Russell also got some work in. He began work on a second flight of stairs – the upper flight. He lost some time when he make an erroneous cut and had to patch a stringer with some extra LVL board.

The second set of stair stringers. These five steps will connect the upper landing to the new LVL joist on the second floor.

With everyone feeling comfortable, Rachel decided to stay a second night after the rest of her family departed. Joss continued to be a gentlemanly host (although we suspect Rachel really stayed because we got her addicted to the “Chuck” television show).

After an initial night of rain, we had clear but brisk weather. We had five portable heaters running continuously. The wind outside was terrific, often changing 180 degrees within a matter of moments.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend. Joss finally got to show Rachel our mountain home. Hopefully she will visit again, with or without the rest of her family. Best of all, Cameron finally got to sleep in his own bedroom.

For the very first time, Cameron got so sleep (and do homework) in his own bedroom!


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