Wednesday, July 6, 2016

(Jul 4) Let Independence Ring!

Well, we've had an interesting couple of weeks. As many know, I had a pretty rough May/June this year. In May, my wife and I were hit by a truck on the way to work and our car was totaled. Luckily, neither of us (Kim was driving) was hurt badly. While dealing with that, I was cut by some metal flashing at Home Depot last month which severed a tendon on my left hand. I'm doing OK after surgery but really hate being in a cast! I can't decide which is worse, the itching or the smell. I don't know how they expect me to build a tiny house in this thing! LOL! (By the way - large zip ties work great for sliding into your cast to get those hard to reach itchy spots!)

Working on attaching rake to roof

Cast with FiberFix patch kit installed after I broke it. A lot like the original cast material. :)

This week, I upgraded to a version that I can get wet - swim, shower, sweat! It cost me a little extra out of pocket but I think it will be worth it over the next couple of weeks that I'm stuck in this thing. Kim won't let me post pics of the cut or surgery. Hmmmph! Anyway, I did get a new cast on today (after a week) as I broke the other one (cast, not hand) on Friday working on the roof. So here's a pic of where I'm at so far.

New waterproof cast

Pretty excited to get another phase of our water catchment system completed. My hand is still only about 10% back in action after surgery so we set a light work schedule. Well, that was the plan!  I wanted to get the gutter up and draining into our cistern to start rinsing and measuring what we get with the next couple of rains. We headed to Home Depot for supplies. I must admit, I walked by the section of flashing that had attacked me several weeks before with a bit of glare in my eye and a low growl. lol

As in everything we do, there was some good news and some bad news. The good news – there were some gutter pieces that were lightly damaged, enough for our project. We got those at 70% off. The bad news – they didn't have everything we needed. We would still have to go to another store. People are still amazed that we can fit 10' pieces of lumber and gutter inside our Hyundai Elantra and still shut the trunk. It's been really handy for transporting materials although I'm sure I got a couple of dirty looks as I stood by and watched my wife load the car. Not quite as obvious that my hand is out of commission since I had the bandages and splint off before I got my cast. :)

Gutter installed on south roof

Gutter draining into cistern

We'll work on a 1st Catch diverter in coming weeks to eliminate the debris washing off the roof. This will be absolutely necessary after seeing what accumulates up there. This week, while installing additional roofing components, I found a sizeable pile of raccoon feces as well as a pretty good splattering of dried blood that had dripped from a branch above. I'm guessing it was from an owl or hawk eating a little woodland snack. We're planning a 20 gallon 1st Catch system. Basically, a large diameter pipe standing beside the building that will give us a rinse when it starts raining. After it fills, the rest of the rainwater will continue on to the cistern. It still won't be perfectly clean but it'll be better than what comes off before.

I'm so blessed that Kim is both capable and enthusiastic about this life-changing journey we're on. It really makes it a blessing to have a goal that manifests itself into a hobby we both really enjoy doing together. :) You're the best!

Other projects we've been working on have kept us pretty busy. We got rake (overlapping flashing) on both the east and west sides of the roof. Kim made me get off the roof after I broke my cast. Probably should have waited 'til I had some help up there. Thus the dents from dropping it. Hoping to finish the north side next week. :)

West side rake on roof finally!

We also got a grey water drain pipe in place for our sink. There's plenty of adjustment available to extend the down pipe when we're ready to bury it. We just wanted to get it into place and confirm all was working well before we did so. I caulked the hole good around the pipe while we were working on it. This replaces the heavy and incredibly smelly horse trough that we were using before. Now this just drains downhill to the dry creek bed behind the house. The pee trap under the sink should keep out any smells and critters. We used double elbows to allow the pipe to follow the slope if the land. The 1st elbow lets us point the pipe in the direction we needed to go to avoid trees and such. The 2nd allowed the pipe to angle down at the right pitch. I had to beat them on to the pipe so I won't bother cementing them in place until we're ready to bury them.

Since last time, we also completed the soffit under the north side cantilever roof. The birds will sure miss nesting under here! In addition, we got the outside lights wired and installed a switch for them. Raccoons be warned. I'm going to be watching you now! lol

Hardi soffit installed above north wall

The sliding barn door also got some attention this weekend. It was dragging along the floor just a bit so we pulled it down and shaved some off the bottom. It glides really smoothly now.  :)

View of bath & kitchen area from living room

Our replacement of painted trim and baseboards also completed on the Monday holiday. We were pretty excited to have it done. I liked the gray we originally used but I think it looks much better in the natural pine tone. It really brightened up the room. The Plinth blocks really worked out well. They let me (with my very limited carpentry skills) smoothly transition the ceiling trim pieces together at corners with varying pitch and angles.

Trim work at northwest corner

Trim work at southwest corner

Living area trim completed. We are really loving the new ceiling fan!!

Kitchen trim completed

South kitchen wall trim replaced

Detail of Plinth block along ceiling

I must say, after looking at all of the projects we've completed over these couple of weeks, I'm pretty pleased. Especially considering I've been reduced to one good hand. Kim has really pulled more than her weight lately. Love you, Honey, and thanks for putting up with me!

Next week, we try once more to complete the roof flashing. We'll also make a run at getting the toilet project advanced. We have to cut out the hole in the top deck, attach the seat/lid, attach the urine diverter, lay out the drain pipe and pee trap (literally) as well as install a vent duct and fan. We'll see. I'm guessing it will take a couple of trips out here to complete but I'll be excited with any progress.

While I was cooking some steaks over an open fire this holiday weekend and listening to the Cicadas and newly hatched frogs, I was reminded that the woods are warm, sometimes muggy and full of bugs and wildlife. I absolutely love it here! I love the deer, the squirrels, the raccoons and the multitude of wild birds. Everything about it here! I truly hope everyone had a great weekend and holiday!!

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