Sunday, December 30, 2007


I started to go with Hank Williams Sr.'s (one of the few country artists that I will listen to) "Cold, Cold Heart" but then remembered this song by Annie Lennox. Wonderful, haunting song. Well, things are going fine living in my house! It is taking some getting used to as far as all the windows and space. I have to fight the urge to just get up in the middle of the night and take a hot shower. This is the refrigerator that I finally decided on and am glad I did. It is a Whirlpool 22 cubic foot standard model. It is an Energy Star model and only uses $41 per year to operate. So they say. I like it and even the BFA liked it. I plan on having all stainless appliances. And no, I don't normally keep the top of the fridge junked up like that but I am a little short of storage space right now. I don't know why I really thought I wanted a big side by side fridge; I don't need all that space. I have really tried to keep the idea of real necessity in mind while building this house. I think often times we are convinced that we really need this or that, that giant house or 50" TV etc. and you know, there is a lot that we really don't need and actually would not miss if we didn't have it. Maintenance of all that stuff is the really big issue too. The more you have, the more effort you have to put into taking care of it. Now, I think most of you know I am by no means lazy but I had much rather spend my day doing some gardening or art rather than spending half the day cleaning around a bunch of junk I don't need or working to pay the power bill to run $3,000 worth of entertainment electronics. I read a survey not to long ago that said that like 70% of women had rather have a clean house than make love.....??? what?? Excuse me??? That's just crazy talk. Well, if we would cut down on having so much junk maybe we could do both!!
Anyway, one really cool thing about my fridge is this magic box in the freezer portion! It was empty when I first plugged the fridge in but only a few hours later, it was full of ice cubes!! My God! What sorcery! And if I come and get a bunch of these ice cubes out and then go away for just a little while, it is full again when I come back! Is technology not wonderful? I love this thing! And I don't have to do anything to make it make ice! I'm tempted to just throw some of the ice out the window just to see it make some more! AHH, hahahahaha! Iced tea, anyone? Unsweet, of course. I was talking to one of the guys at work who is about my age and he was telling me how his daughters had never seen ice cube trays before until they found some over at their grandmother's house in the garage. You remember the old metal kind with the lever you pulled up. And we were talking about how we used to make Kool-Aid popsicles with them. Oh well, damn those things I'll keep my magic ice maker.
I have not done much work on the house since moving in. We had Christmas off but have had to work 10's since to make up and I have had some other stuff going on. I'm not sure what my next project will be. Siding probably and some more exterior work.
Hope you all had great holidays and I wish you all the best for the new year coming.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'll Be Home For Christmas

I spent my first night in the house last night (the 23rd). It was wonderful. I did have a little trouble going to sleep at first. Maybe excitement; maybe that moon was so full and bright, I kept wanting to get up and look outside. I'm not used to so many windows.
I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas time. May your households be filled with joy.
Merry Christmas Philip, I hope you do receive a book or two or other special treat.
Thanks for the Christmas card Karen and Regina. Sorry I did not send any out this year. I just couldn't swing it.
I'm going to go put my tree up now and get ready to cook a good Christmas breakfast in the morning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Heat Is On

Sorry about the poor quality photo but the house is quite warm and comfy! Got to get just a few more things cleaned up and cleared out. Should be moving in soon.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Come Together

Sorry to have been absent for a while. I've been working a lot at night down at the house and just haven't felt much like blogging really. My stress level is pretty high right now. I want so bad to move into the house before Christmas and it is really coming down to the wire. All I lack to be able to stay there is heat. I finished the shower completely, I hung and finished the sheetrock in the back of the closet that I had open for the shower valves etc. I just need to paint that now. I took the humongous scaffolding down!! I have room in the living room now! All of the filter media etc. finally came and we got that running. That is what these photos show.
The filter is this giant thing that has a gravel-like medium in the bottom (about 10") and then on top of that is this "Micro Z" stuff. Which is a natural mineral that is mined and ground up to resemble coarse sand, fired in a kiln and sifted. It is supposed to filter down to 5 microns, which is pretty fine. It may have been overkill (regular sand will go down to 20 microns) but I'm not taking any chances any more. It took all day to run the filter through the stages and flush out all the dust in the media. I was surprised at that. You would think they would wash the stuff or something before they send it to you. It took about 3 hours of running water to flush everything and get it working but it is great now. The water is sooo clear! I have the filter set to backwash itself every 3 days I believe. This cycle takes about 50 minutes. It washes out through the septic system so it has to tied into a drain line somewhere. I am very pleased with the system so far and the company that I ordered from which was Excel Water Technologies. They were very fast to answer questions and call me back when the media stuff did not show up. I would really recommend these people if you are looking for a filter.

I bought a Christmas tree. It is sitting out in the yard. I am waiting until I can move in to put it up. I have always thought it was funny that a holiday could bring about a state of mind where it is considered normal to drag the biggest tree you can get into your house and stand it up. Any other time people would think you were mad. It would be the best Christmas I ever had if I were able to wake up in my house on Christmas morning this year. The gas lines are almost all run. I have to work all weekend but Allen is going to put in the last of the lines tomorrow. I couldn't do that anyway but I am going refrigerator shopping after I get off work tomorrow. I think I finally found what I want. The gas company said they would be at the house Monday morning to set the tank so I could have heat by Monday night. Not sure when I'll be back but I'll let ya'll know if it looks like I'll make it in before the 24th.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


That title doesn't have anything to do with the photo here; I'll get around to the photo in a minute. I am in kind of a "hurry up and wait" situation now with the house. I am just waiting on the filter media to arrive. The shipping company called today and said it would be here tomorrow. I am just waiting on the propane company to come set the tank so I can then hook up to the house and have heat. Of course, I have plenty of other stuff to do. Those are just the last two things I need to move in. Well, technically I need handrails on the deck but I can do that right after moving in. The insurance company only needs to see them when they come out to inspect the house. I did receive the very last of my shower tile that I had to reorder so I can finish that completely. Turns out I was able to order only what I needed, not a whole new box so that was very good. Lots more painting to do this weekend and maybe put up a couple of small, temporary kitchen counters. I also really need to go ahead and purchase my refrigerator and get it in the house. I am having another panic attack over that one. I would really like to have a side by side but I am supposed to be building a "green" house. Living a more sustainable life, you know, and side by sides use a good bit more energy than a regular fridge. Now, having a side by side might allow me enough storage in the freezer that I would not need another, smaller freezer which I had thought about purchasing. I would like to be able to put up some veggies from my garden and stuff like that. Of course, I have looked at the Energy Star side by sides but I know you can get even more efficient fridges. The real kicker is that the one that I found that I really, really, really like is a side by side and not even a Energy Star! But it only uses $8 a year more energy than Energy Star of equal size. If I buy it I'll feel like a hypocrite. Allen just rolls his eyes at me. Am I being too.........nutso?
Well, on other subjects, the photo shows some of the many rafter tails that I have had to cut in around. I love that detail but it is a pain in the butt to do. I did learn one trick to painting close to something like that though. I have several areas in the house where drywall butts up to wood or steel and it never seems to finish nice right on the edge. It's always got a ragged little crack and you just can't make a straight paint line there, or I can't anyway. So, what I learned to do was, after I had sanded the sheetrock as best I could, I ran a small bead of clear, siliconized acrylic caulk down this joint, making it very smooth. After the caulk dries (clear, it will be white before dry) you can cut in a very smooth paint line against the wood and if any caulk gets on the wood or steel, you don't see it.

Well, I am afraid I made a butthole comment on Florida Cracker's site about his little talking Christmas tree and my wanting to smack it with a stick. I hope I did not offend him; I was really just joking. I wouldn't really hurt it but those things like that kind of give me the willies. Oh well, sorry.

Monday, December 03, 2007

So, What's On Your Coffee Table?

I normally have many more books stacked here and on the floor under the table too but I tidied up the other day. I try to keep a very clean space but I love books! Now, most all of my books are instructional or art books, cookbooks and the like. I don't read a lot of fiction. I do like some science fiction and some mystery books though. Of course, lately I have been pouring over house books for ideas. What color for the outside of the house, tile work, interior colors etc. etc. The 3 books on the left are some very nice ceramic art books. Wonderful work there! On the other side I have some of my catalogs (another indulgence) from seed companies, hardware suppliers etc. Oh, and that new one on stone work in gardens. The glass candy dish was my aunt Corinne's. It is sadly devoid of any chocolate. The little square dish in the middle is a raku ceramic piece made by a fairly well known artist, Richard Hirsh. Back when I was in college he did a workshop at our department and I was one of two student assistants. He made the dishes as part of his demo and gave me this one. In that dish is a pocket knife Allen have me years ago and a smooth stone I found down on my property. The little book is "The Art of Wordly Wisdom". I believe it was written over 400 years ago. Great book; still very relevant. The bottle with the white cap is some great hand salve made by an electrician that we know. I think it is mostly just beeswax and olive oil. Works wonders on winter dry hands. There is also a piece of square quartz I found on the job and some roofing nails. I often come home with nails in my pockets.
Well, the house is progressing. Allen hooked up the new water filter but they did not ship the filter media so the filter is just bypassed for now. It is always something. I am still trying to find out where the media is and what is going on. I painted both living room walls and cleaned and waxed the steel truss. It looks great and now I can take the scaffold down! I will be so happy to get that out of the house. It looks like it will still be Dec. 12th, 13th before my propane tank is delivered and hooked up so no permanent heat yet. There are so many little things to do such as window trim all around, I need to finish the pantry walls. I still have just a little tile work in the shower yet and a small area of slate to install in the bathroom. I thought at first I was going to have a built in shelving unit there but changed my mind. I need to build the bathroom vanity and install the sink. I can also install the speakers in the living room now. Hey, but we got the ceiling fans working properly! We found a transformer type controller that had high enough amperage to run both fans but low enough that there is actually a definite difference in the speeds. I was given one controller but the amperage was so high that there was essentially no difference in speeds. It was just on (and very fast) or off. Electrical things confound me so I did not realize these fans could pose such a problem. I'll try to get some more photos soon. I want to get straighten out some so I can throw soon. I would like to make some pottery for Christmas gifts but am being very cautious about actually having time. Oh, yeah, I painted the front door but you can't see it until I am completely done and it is decorated for Christmas! I have become so frustrated with not having time to work on the outside of the house that I actually dreamed the other night that I just started painting the Tyvek. I couldn't stand looking at that white paper anymore. Allen asked me what I was doing and I just told him to go away and let me do it. After I move in, I think the next big project is going to be the siding.