Construction Diary

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Hi there! I'm Merry, married to Husband for 39 years, 2 grown daughters, 1 dog and 3 cats, living on a little acreage in the Midwest. I am a Christian and like writing Inspirational Christian romance (I have several books out) travel, reading, history, archaeology and writing.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Saturday April 22, 2006

Mom and I went to the city-wide garage sales today. They had a total of 94 and I think we hit most of them! I scored a Waterford crystal ornament for $4 and some hardback books I've wanted for ages for 25 cents each. Mom found plenty of stuff for 25 and 50 cents, too. We bought Pa a box of old tools for 50 cents. There were some fancy-headed screw drivers (looked like Phillips but he says they're not) that he's gonna refurbish. We also found this big bent corkscrew looking thing made out of iron with an iron ring attached. We bought it for him for 50 cents. Turns out that it WAS bent...and its a stake-out peg for ground-hitching a horse! Pa figures he can use it as a tie-down for something...or to stake Echo out in the yard!

We walked up to Echo Ridge to check out what Pa had done. Echo and Flint are supremely uninterested in the fact that Pa is putting the final ridge cap in place!

Pa walks in the treetops on the roof for a final inspection.

I'm opening and shutting the garage door so one can see that its on track and works like it should. (Not that I expected otherwise - Pa would take it apart and re-do it if it didn't work right!)

An inside view with real walls and real roof...That's Mom, too. She'd just swept some of the wood shavings outside.

I take a quiet moment with Echo and Flint.

Before settling for a nap, Flint decides a roll in the leaves is just the thing for scratching his own back!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Thursday - April 20, 2006

Pa is now putting the siding on. Here are several views. Mom, Becky and I went into town for the day. We had a lot of fun shopping and had lunch at one of the little tea rooms in town. We came home to find Pa finishing up to here.



Back side.

Mom and Pa looking at the future shed garage door.

Echo scopes out the new shed.

Flint, naturally, has to settle down for a nap. However, he did find a raccoon skull off in the woods and brought it back to gnaw on. I took it away as I'm not certain how the raccoon may have died and don't want him catching diseases, parasites or other nasties!

Wednesday - April 19, 2006

I'm actually posting a few days after these pictures were taken. Pa worked on getting the front and back siding on.

This is Pa's helping hands! Actually, he didn't want to scratch the new steel walls as he put them up so he covered the ladder rails with gloves and taped them in place.

Richard's truck fits perfectly in the nearly finished shed.

Flint walked up the hill with us and decided it was too hot to even sniff around. He collapsed on the concrete by the truck and took a nice nap.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tuesday - April 18, 2006

Mom and I really worked today rather than just being the step-and-fetch folk.

I am helping Mom paint the picket fence Pa built.

Another photo, this one close-up. Mom says I look like Grandma Babe (her mother) in this picture.

Mom paints her part of the fence.

Pa is working on hanging the shed's garage door.

Mom is spraying the brush to quell insects and I am using the tiger saw to cut small limbs off the trees Pa cut down. All will become firewood for our fireplace/woodburning stove.

Echo keeps watch over mine and Mom's woodpile.

Flint's strenuous workout of nosing in the leaves for five minutes takes its toll. He settles in the shade for a nap.

Later in the evening, Mom and I went to Yvonne's home and then on up to Tish's house for a night of quilting and dessert! We quilted some, talked a lot and sampled several goodies. It was fun! This is me, Mom and Yvonne left to right.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday - April 17, 2006

Pa went up early this morning to begin putting the steel roof onto the shed. He worked steadily while Mom and I drove into town to do shopping. Today we had to fill the gas cans for the lawn mower/tiller/tractor, get water for coffee (the well water tastes GREAT, but makes terrible coffee for some reason) and sugar for the hummingbird feeders. Yes, the hummers are back. At least 2 males and 1 female at this time.

Pa finished most of the roof by this afternoon.

Mom takes a break and watches Pa up on the roof.

I'm standing in front of my now-roofed shed.

A look on the inside, straight up.

Pa spent the morning moving around the back and sides of the shed. This afternoon when Mom and I came up to visit I brought Flint and Echo. I tied Echo to the trailer and let Flint nose around as he usually does. At the back of the shed, he suddenly snorted and began rooting in the leaves. Pa was standing off to one side and went over to see what he was fussing about. There in the leaves was a tiny baby rabbit. Its eyes weren't even opened yet! Pa picked it up and it tried to jump out of his hands! We searched for more but there were none. Pa had stomped all over the area all morning and the rabbit wasn't there before. A little more searching revealed an exposed and empty rabbit hole (the soft fur around the edges clued us in). Pa stuck his hand down the hole but felt nothing - no other rabbits. We put the baby back in the hole and covered it with a branch, then piled leaves on the branch to hide it. Afterwards, Pa said he realized that he stuck his down the hole without thinking - what if the predator had been a snake and was still down there???

I set up the game cam on the stump next to the hole. We are praying the mother rabbit will come back and take her baby. We're hoping to capture pictures of her returning. Either that...or we'll get pictures of the predator that disturbed the nest in the first place (Gulp! Not sure I want to view that). If the baby is still there tomorrow, I'm not sure what we'll do. I know one can raise a wild animal but this baby is so very young, not sure if he'll live or not. Maybe I can find a wild animal person at the Conservation Corps. We'll see.

Echo had alerted to something in the road but just as I snapped the photo, she looked away.

Flint takes a break from his hard work of today.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sunday - April 16, 2006

I thought I'd show the pictures of my temporary home. I am currently living in my parents' home, but I actually sleep in their camper pop-up trailer. It has two beds, a stove, a microwave, 2 seating areas and is quite roomy, even with the two dogs. Mom and Pa are living temporary, too. The trailer behind the pop-up is their home until they get their house built.

Even with the dogs inside, we have plenty of room in the pop-up. Echo sleeps on the smaller bed and Flint sleeps at the foot of my bed.

Pa built the temporary fence around the pop-up and the porch so the dogs would have a safe place to spend the day when we aren't around.

This is the yard and the pop-up. Behind it is Mom and Pa's trailer.

Pa tilled up the soil on the inside of the fence so I could have a little garden. Tomorrow I will plant my 2 tomato plants and bell peppers in the garden.

Sunday - April 16, 2006

Today we decided to take a day off and do whatever we wanted. I read part of my book, napped and played on the computer with a CAD program I can't figure out.

Pa decided to build Mom's picket fence and then till up the soil to plant her passion flowers and honeysuckle. They will grow up over the fence.

Pa is tilling up the ground while Mom works the soil.

I get to try my hand at the tiller. Notice that I'm still in my jammies. Being a leisurely day, I didn't take my shower until afternoon.

The picket fence. Pa made the pickets from a cedar tree he cut down last year. Mom will paint it white and eventually, as the passion flowers and honeysuckle grow they will engulf the fence and use it for support. The location is to be the edge of their backyard after the house is built. The current ditch you see will be re-routed in the forefront of the fence, rather than behind it. The ditch is a natural drain-off from the front of their property up by the road. Pa has slowly done dirt-work to re-route it so that it will water their future backyard naturally.

Echo expresses her disapproval about her current situation of being on the leash. See the laid back ears and the sulky look on her face? I let her off the leash for a short time to run around and roll in the grass. She obeyed all her commands and even followed me back to the house when I drove the tractor back to get buckets of water. I tried to get her and Flint to ride in the cart but they didn't want anything to do with that!

Flint takes a break and rolls in the grass.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

April 15, 2005

Its been very hot these past few days, much hotter than the weatherman predicted. Also, my oak trees have not sprouted leaves yet. Pa works only in the mornings to finish putting the cross-beam "stringers" on the rafters. Afternoons are just too hot.

The cross beam stringers are done!

After our busy morning and lazy afternoon, we decided to drive down to the bald eagle's nest in the sycamore tree to see if we could see babies. Naturally, we did - we still think there may be two babies! We also discovered the cormorants are back. On the way home, I made Pa stop the car so I could take this photo. Pa thought it'd be a better shot by the black snake's sunning rock. Mom and Pa walked down this way a lot and there's a 6 foot snake that likes to sun on the rocks on one side of the road. Well, by then, the sun was almost down, but it was still a pretty shot of the sun, the rolling hills and the road home.

Here is a view on the other side of the shed frame with rafters completed.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The 5th Day - Wednesday - April 12, 2006

Pa finished hanging the rafters today...

And inside view of the truss work...

Pa "tops out" the rafters with an evergreen cedar tree. Pa calls it the wetting bush and says that it is a tradition to "top out" when woodbuilding or hanging steel is done. He believes the tradition of the wetting bush is to ask the Higher Power for rain to wet the wood and let it shrink properly before applying the final roof. The tradition is mentioned in THE GOLDEN BOUGH By James Frazer - "It was common practice in spring or early summer for the people to go into the woods and cut branches and fasten them to every house. The intention of these customs is to bring home to the village, and to each house, the blessings which the tree-spirit has in its power to bestow."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The 4th Day - Tuesday - April 11, 2006

Pa is building scaffolding so not much happened to the frame today (He did get one rafter up). I'll take photos tomorrow of the rafters being hung.

This old, rusty barbeque has been on our property for years before we bought it. I opened it up a few days ago and discovered this nest. At first we thought it was a bird, but upon peeking in the wee entrance hole - its a mouse and her babies.

Echo is doing time on a 20 foot lead. She is so excited to be outside in the open that she simply wants to run off and explore. In rural country, loose dogs are sometimes feral. Rural folk view them with suspicion and tend to shoot first and ask questions later. Yesterday she disappeared in the bush and I finally found her on the next property...where the property owner nicely warned me that hunting season for turkey starts next week and after that, more seasons for other animals. And hunters tend to shoot at moving targets. Hence, Echo is now leashed at all times.

Pa keeps the tools in the truck bed for mobility. Whenever he leaves the site, he simply starts the truck and goes, no need to worry where all the tools are upon leaving. Here, the truck is parked in the curved part of the future driveway. To the right of the truck is the proposed site for the garage apartment.

Flint likes to run around for a little bit, staying in sight and obeying his commands to stay and stop (unlike a certain Princess Echo). Once he's done exploring its NAPTIME. He curled up in the leaves and was obviously cold, so Mom covered him with Pa's cast-off sweatshirt. Flint nosed into the leaves and went to sleep, warm and content.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The 3rd Day - Monday - April 10, 2005

Pa and Mom are putting braces up to hold the frame together should it get windy overnight. Everything fits together plumb - which means Pa is a serious master carpenter. If he is so much as an eighth of an inch off, he takes it apart and fixes any non-plumb joints.

Echo explores the front part of our property closest to the road...

Flint takes a moment to check out the leaves...