Wednesday, June 29, 2022

An Advocate of Baby Advancement


Nancy, ever the advocate of baby advancement, was sure that once this child got his balance, he would take off walking. She was training him to walk, actually, instead of waiting for him to do it on his own. 

I really did not know what I was going to do with these two. The baby was learning how to "goof off" from Nancy. He got a look on his face when he saw her that meant: "Come get me and let's do something adventurous." He had it in his baby head that somehow he could do anything when he was with her. If he got a glimpse of her during mid-week study at church, he knew he could get a seat on her lap, eat her keys freely and wriggle around at will. It was more fun sitting with Nancy than sitting with Mommy (and abiding by my strict church-house rules). During VBS Nancy was zooming him around the fellowship room on an empty food-cart, teaching him to love race-car driving. The howls coming out of that child when it was time to go home! 
 I wondered what it would be like when this child hit the "terrible twos" with Nancy. Would they both have to be taken out during church? 

Nancy came out twice to babysit while we worked up at the house on the drywall. Though we felt capable of hanging drywall ourselves, we called in PROS to do the taping and mudding. We learned a lot of tips from the pros to make our part easier, too. 
Putting screws in drywall was something most of us could do. 
In the meantime, Nancy was apparently not trusting my idea of PB&J for lunches, and she brought a full home-made meal of hot food (main and side dishes) and dessert to our little RV both times she came out. That was such a treat!

 After work on one of those days we took Nancy on a memorable hike out behind our hill. She put the baby on her back and set out across the hilly terrain towards the old stagecoach road. She actually remembered some of this scenery from a time when she had been out driving on country and back roads a lot, alone. That was during a terrible time in her life and it was the first time I had heard the story from her. I won't go into details, but just say that when we think we "have it bad" in life, we really don't compared to what others have been through.  Anyway, she wound up the story by saying that she begged God to take her, but He wouldn't do it. So she said "Lord, if you won't take me, then I'll do whatever you put in front of me." Then in characteristic Nancy fashion, she bubbled up and laughed and told us brightly, "It was like He said, 'Nancy I was just WAITING for you to say that!'"
And as we headed back up the hill to home, Nancy, ever the advocate of baby advancement, unloaded the baby and set him right down in the dirt. It was time that he learned to play in it while she took a rest. You can imagine how thrilled he was at that!

Monday, June 27, 2022

More drywall, losing a worker, and a Cubby


It was a good thing that the work was split into doing two things at once. This kind of upper work my husband did wasn't really a group sort of thing! Can you imagine coming home after an hour commute (you already spent another hour getting to work, too) and a day at the office, knowing that you will have to get on the roof and measure, cut, nail, caulk, and paint siding at the tiniest top of the roofline? He must have dreaded it. 
The front siding work must have felt like a piece of cake!

Meanwhile indoors, sheetrock went up on the walls. It seemed like so much progress, surely the end must be near!
However, we lost a full-time worker that Autumn. Yes, we lost him to a paying job. Can you imagine? And it wasn't a construction job, either (he was careful to avoid that sector). Now our second most capable worker was gone all day, and furthermore he was the only other driver (besides me) available for afternoon hardware store runs. There was this annoying concept called "getting on with life" (related to that ever-running concept of "time") that didn't have anything to do with waiting until this house was finished. Some people. Now we had two evening-and-weekend workers, but at least there were things coming in the interior construction that amateurs could do during the day. 

I can't remember if I showed this already, but my son built a little reading nook at the top of the stairs. This was along the wall of my daughter's closet, back to back with the stair wall. Instead of having the closet go across the entire 7.5' wall, we had a corner that was kind of awkward. There was a heater on that funny corner on the bedroom side, and above that another deep, tall space. My daughter and I thought this upper space would make a neat built-in dollhouse. You should have seen (and heard) the reaction to this. There was absolute refusal by the builders to turn that space into such an item, but in the end the dollhouse won! The under-space behind the heater became the "cubby" with some between-stud spaces left to fashion a bookshelf of sorts. The "dollhouse" was granted a couple of  scrap "floors." 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Interior Insulation


Local nomadic neighbors watching our building show.

We had to wait a while to go in our house after the insulation was done, but it was very exciting to see the "reveal" the next day!
It was SO BRIGHT! It was SO QUIET! 

The ultra-quietness made you think you were up in an airplane and needed to pop your ears. The echo was absolutely gone. Everything we said sounded quiet. If only we could have kept a bit of that nice sound dampening once the wallboard went up!

I also LOVED the half-timbered effect. I don't know how we could have imitated it but I was entertaining the idea... regular walls are boring sometimes, don't you think?

The insulation crew obeyed all the signs. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Insulation Prep

And now we come to October's Bright Blue Weather

This particular time we made big leaps of progress on the house.
Careful measurements and pictures were taken of every wall in the house, so we could record wiring and pipe placement. I know we had done this before but we kept doing it until our picture files were full of ugly pictures like this:

And guess what? It's never enough. No, there is always that one spot that was just out of the camera that is THE spot that you need to find out about months later. We should have done those fancy "virtual tour" photographs that go round the room. 
After measuring, the place was all cleaned up for the insulation guys. 

I always say "it will never be this clean again." 

The morning of the insulation delivery, we went up to the house and wrote all over the walls. This was the only chance my children had at graffiti. 

The truck arrived, the noise started, the crew stayed all day.
 Of course we spent a l-o-n-g time researching this part of the housebuilding because we didn't want to chemicals to be encased in the walls, we didn't want ineffective insulation and we wanted to have stuff that would last. So no foam made entirely of chemicals, no iffy batt insulation with gaps, nothing that would settle in a short time. In the end, we chose a "Blown-in-Blanket" system. The crew went in and stapled something that looked like interfacing to the studs, Then they cut little holes in the cloth and blew in fiberglass wool in each section. The fiberglass had some sort of sticky element (something approved by picky people like us, of course) to it that keeps it from settling.

We were quite happy with our choice. Next post will be the "after" photos!

Monday, June 20, 2022

And the Front

And then it was the Front's turn for insulation. 

These insulation & siding posts are fast-forwarding what took two summer months of after-work hours and weekends to do. 

 Here is was in coffee-cup white and ready for siding!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Some Goings-On

 We had some other things going on back then besides siding. Here's a little "round up."

We aren't always late to church because of this, but it makes a neat excuse. 

For some reason the trash pickup was the highlight of the week for certain little folks. I wonder if the trashman ever noticed that he was being watched?

One of our construction crew became interested in flying planes. So we bought him a "discovery flight" from a local school.

 He got to fly the plane once it was in the air. That sealed it: he was going to be a pilot.

Since Costco was in the area, I popped in to get some groceries and was smitten by the little pilot outfits that just so happened to be on sale. What a coincidence! I bought a couple for my youngest boys to commemorate their brother's first flight. 

Baby wasn't exactly thrilled. 

We went to Nancy's to use her oven and her Very Big Pan. We loaded it for a veggie roast. It seemed like a good idea until we tried to lift it! 

Nancy told us that she had studied to be a pilot years ago, but the cost of flight time was too prohibitive and she had to let that dream go. I got this idea in my head that for Christmas I would get her a "discovery flight." I spent many pleasant times imagining her on the flight, taking the controls and telling the instructor in her Nancy-way: "OH LOOK AT THAT! LOOK OVER THERE! ISN'T THAT BEAUTIFUL! OH ISN'T GOD GOOD!" and then her classic, "OH LORD TAKE ME NOW I'M READY TO GO!!!"

Yes, it was quite amusing to think about the poor flight instructor! 

But that was a long way off and I tucked it in my mental Christmas list. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Other Side


Scaffolding moved, the other side in progress. 
Insulated already, siding started!

The other side was bound to go faster since the crew had had all that practice. Plus there were not as many windows on this side. 

Friday, June 10, 2022

Impressionist Clouds

I have been blessed to live in three different regions of Oregon. The Coast, the Valley, and the High Desert. 

This particular sunset reminded me of some of the colors of the Coastal sunsets (when you can catch it on a clear day, that is).

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Two Things at Once?

We were plodding along as usual the end of one summer, then suddenly realized that we could be doing two things at once!

Well, okay, it wasn't that simple really. 

We only had after-work and weekend building happening, and focusing on getting the house sided before winter was very important. But we were so focused on that one thing, that we forgot that we could hire someone to do something that we couldn't DIY. Or so I thought.

I was praying about the house one day and when that idea came that we could get the interior insulation done while the outside insulation was going on, I excitedly related it to the crew boss. Of course there were many reasons why we were not ready to do anything of the sort (all of which I had handily forgotten). However, he got to thinking about it and it turned out that tying up a few loose ends would not take so long after all, and would not hinder the siding work. We were so excited-- who do you know who gets excited about insulation? Maybe we were a bit crazed by then. Anyway we were able to call around for interior insulation bids and get our slot scheduled for the very next month! 

I marvel now to think of how swiftly we could get construction bids and appointments back then (minus electricians). It wasn't like contractors were sitting around waiting for work, but they sure didn't tell you it would be in a year or two like they do now! We could even get a plumber (in what would now be record time).

Friday, June 3, 2022

Some Glamour Shots

 Before we leave this side of the house, can I just say that in modern middle-class neighborhood  construction there is a shocking lack of exterior trim?

We were not going to let that happen to this house. Our inspiration was the bungalows of early last century. The wider the trim, the better. And as you can tell, I never get tired of looking at it!

May I also point out how beeaauuttiiffuully blue the sky is in early Autumn when there is no smoke? I was tempted to paint the front door just that blue.

(Alas! the glamour effect kinda went away when the camera backed up...)