Friday, December 23, 2011

Another day ... another $500 in nails.

I am sore, blistered, and just generally exhausted. Dennis is beginning to drag along and even Forerunner is showing signs of exhaustion. The pace we've set is murderous, but we're closing in on this and for the first time in days I'm not wringing my hands with worry over whether or not we're going to finish in time. We're close enough now that all of the major work will be done by the 30th and there'll be nothing that I don't know how to do myself from here on out. Praise God!

North Side of the Cabin
Here's where we were this morning. Now we've got plywood almost all the way around. It's the devil trying to get the plywood up to the third layer, but once it's up there then it's there for good. Ringshanks!

Same Side Later
Here's the same side later in the day. It's not really going to be one giant plywood box. The doors and windows are all framed up but we're just nailing plywood over everything for now. I'll come back later and cut out the doors and windows with a saw when time permits. All of the windows I ordered aren't going to be in until after Christmas anyway so I wanted the place to be weatherproof until then.

Plywood goes up the wall
We exhausted our supply of plywood today. I had to order 26 more sheets which will be here tomorrow morning. I think the guy down at the lumberyard is going to send me a Christmas card. When we first went in there they sort of looked at us like "filthy hillbillies ... keep an eye on them." Now they meet us at the door, call us by name, and make special deliveries on Christmas Eve. $5000+ in building materials certainly changes attitudes. Their eyebrows sort of went up a little when I paid for it all in bills. We've been upgraded to "filthy hillbillies who pay cash".

Still Got Coffee
Making coffee has become too time consuming. Now I'm just taking in my giganto thermos and filling it up at the gas station. It would never occur to us to do without coffee.

Got My Eye On You
"What? You think these boards are going to stand up by themselves?"

Everything is a nail
Forerunner is meticulous about everything. Don't leave a millimeter of nail sticking up or you'll find him redoing your work. That starts to get embarassing after the 437th time. I can't believe how many nails are in this structure. There's a great, growing pile of empty nail boxes out behind the cabin and I've got receipts for almost $300 in nails alone stacked up on the counter.

Sugar and Caffeine
I guess you could say that soda is bad for you, but when you're probably burning 4000 calories from dawn to dusk then I don't know that it's still an issue. This is Kat's brother Dennis who has come to help us. He's in a hard spot right now having recently been released from prison. His work ethic is not at fault; if there's a job that needs doing then you just about have to race Dennis to it if you want to do it. Whenever Forerunner needs a board held, hefted, or carried then Dennis is right there to do it. I've never seen someone move so quick and without need of instruction. He's a natural to this sort of work. If this man had a homestead of his own then he'd never run out of useful work to do and most likely stay out of any degree of trouble. It's leisure time he has trouble filling. I wonder how many more people are out there like him ... cut off from productivity by a corporate-industrial system that doesn't value the individual and thus marginalized. I believe their time is coming.

Living off-grid has been an experience so far. If you want water, you've got to carry it. If you want to get rid of water, you've got to carry it. When someone poops, someone has got to carry it. If you think you might want enough electricity to light a light bulb then you've got to start up the generator or make sure the batteries are fully charged. I bought a second marine deep cycle battery to extend our electrical storage time, but until we're fully up on solar then power continues to be an issue.

Still, it's the process that is very liberating. I don't mind hauling the water. I don't mind hauling the poop bucket. We have a sizable compost pile going already with carbon materials gathered from the creek where some flood overflow had stacked up. It soaks up 50+ gallons of water without any overflow at all. If I had 4 more compost piles that size then I'd be able to easily consume all of the waste water (grey and black both) that the household could ever produce. And do it in a way that honors God instead of honoring the county's septic ordinances!

We're getting by. We're stabilizing now with everyone finding their niche and a sense of normalcy now setting in. Still ain't seen my outside cat but I guess that's what comes of a move like this. It was a risk ever letting him out of the crate but you can't keep an outdoor cat where an outdoor cat doesn't want to be.

Tomorrow it's supposed to rain pretty heavily which will bring almost all work to a complete standstill. We're a little ahead of schedule and making good time so this isn't all bad. We'll all take the time to rest and resume work with a passion on Christmas Day.

1 comment:

OD from HT said...

Glad to hear you new "normal" is settling in and you are starting to hum. Don't burn yourself out...take this rain as God's way of assisting you in resting and giving your bodies a break.