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June 21, 2010
Nine hands

Cameron, Joss and Gail use their combined personpower (and a drywall lift) to install a sheet of drywall on the downstairs ceiling

Our past few weekends have been taken up by a couple of graduations for nephews, as well as by the end of the school year for our sons. With both Cameron and Joss now home for the summer, we decided to go up to our mountain home construction site for Fatherís Day. We were joined by Jossí girlfriend, Rachel.

Russell has been getting increasingly distressing news regarding his frozen shoulder. The normal prognosis is 18 months for recovery, but Russellís physical therapist told him he was getting worse, not better. She referred him back to the orthopedic surgeon, who told Russell that if he didnít show improvement within a month, he would be getting a cortisone shot. Furthermore, if a cortisone shot didnít work, the next step would be surgery.

Russell took the news seriously. He is now back on Motrin. Gail is helping him with his physical therapy exercises twice a day. He has also committed not to lift anything at all with his left arm.

It was under this new regime that Russell and the family drove back up to the mountain on Friday, June 18. With a crew of ten people minus Russellís injured shoulder, we would have nine capable hands to make progress.

Joss, with his physical limitations, did more taping and mudding on the interior walls. Rachel painted the upstairs bathroom floor. (Our occupancy permit requires a non-permeable floor, which is usually accomplished as simply as by putting latex enamel paint on the OSB subflor).

Balancing acts: Joss tapes his bedroom wall; Gail tapes the upstairs bathroom wall

Rachel paints the upstairs bathroom floor

The upstairs bathroom floor: OSB subfloor, primer, and acrylic enamel paint

Gail did everything from taping to mudding to installing more drywall on the downstairs ceiling. Once again, she enlisted Cameronís help lifting the sheets of drywall. After several labor-intensive efforts of manually lifting quarter-inch sheets of 4í x 8í drywall up to the 10-foot ceiling, they finally used the mechanical drywall lift. The tool made the work much easier.

Lifting drywall: the hard way and the easy way

Russell finished the last remaining piece of major framing. The upstairs master bathroom and the adjacent laundry room share a closet space. The upper part of the space will serve as a linen closet for the bathroom; the lower part will serve as a storage area for the laundry room.

Building a false floor to separate the two spaces has been a low priority. But Russell is not able to make further progress on the stairs, so he tackled this project instead. Once again, Cameron served as his arms, helping to measure and cut the joists and OSB necessary to fit the odd pentagon-shaped space.

Russell working single-handedly

A false floor was built to separate this odd pentagon-shaped space into a linen closet for the master bathroom upper half) and a storage closet for the laundry room (lower half)

We celebrated Fatherís Day on Saturday, as the boys cooked a gourmet dinner of sausage-stuffed portabella mushrooms. This enabled Russell to drive back home on Sunday in time for the work week. Gail and the young folk stayed on until Monday.

The summer has just begun, but it already seems to be passing swiftly by. We have already lost the first half of June with school-related events. We will lose the second half of the month when we take a two-week family vacation. Gail is still hoping that we can get our occupancy permit by the end of summer, but that depends on the scheduleÖ and Russellís arm.

Our new camera captured this closest-ever photo of a young male deer (one of two brothers) walking by the house


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