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May 1, 2010
The end of May

Gail adds drywall mud to the upstairs living room wall

This entry should actually be called “The end of the end of May.” For several months, Gail had set a target date for a major milestone of our mountain home construction. If we could earn our occupancy permit by May 21, it would be exactly five years since we bought the property. For the past several months we have been aiming for this goal: Gail has been drywalling; Russell has been installing the stairs.

Within the past couple of weeks, it has become obvious that we are not going to meet this milestone. First, the work has taken longer than we had hoped. Second, Gail discovered through conversations with our inspector that the requirements for an occupancy permit are more than she had originally thought. Not only must all of the walls be drywalled, but the ceilings as well. And not only must the finished stairs be installed, but all railings and banisters as well.

With our calendars getting busier, Gail decided not to stress us out. Instead, she has decided that we will continue working at the same pace and finish when we finish. The “end of May” milestone is off the calendar. Now she is aiming for the end of summer.

Nevertheless, Gail remains eager to go up to the mountain and do more work whenever possible. She had availability on Monday through Wednesday, April 26-28, and drove up by herself. (In the past, Gail had been afraid to be up on the mountain overnight alone. She has gotten over that.)

With the rough drywall now past inspection, Gail was eager to begin mudding and taping. She spent her time working on the upstairs living room, and got several walls finished. In between, she did more rough drywalling on other areas of the house.

Before and after: Gail mudded the drywall in the upstairs living room

Gail returned home on Wednesday and Russell departed for the mountain on Thursday. Russell had promised his friend Steve one more work trip before the end of April. When Russell’s Sunday filled up, he decided to take a day off of work and go up Thursday through Saturday instead.

Some initial rain gave way to a beautifully sunny weekend. As usual, Steve worked outside the entire time. He is eager to run burn piles and the chain saw for as long as he can before the weather gets too hot. This trip, he was able to get to one of Gail’s longtime requests: cutting down some Douglas fir trees that have been blocking the southern view.

Before and after: Steve cleared out some Douglas firs (and other brush) that were beginning to block the southern view (there's one more on the right that he is saving for a future trip)

As usual, Russell worked inside on the stairs. His task this time was to put the finished risers and skirtboards on the lowest flight. First, though, he had to finish off the sides of the rough stairs for future drywalling. In the end, he ran out of MDF boards before he could finish the final risers.


Before, during and after: Russell finished the sides of the lowest stair flight, then installed finished risers and skirtboards (he is also saving one more riser for a future trip)

As the weather gets warmer, our schedules are getting busier. We believe that we have now seen the last of the rain for the season. Steve especially is anxious to get back up again as soon as possible, in the hopes that he can get some more burning and chainsawing in.

We end with a beautiful picture that Steve took (with his phone) of a rainbow over the southern panorama, after what may be the last rain of the season


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