Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The long and winding road....

It has been a month since an update, possibly more. I have excuses, and only a little regret. It has been cold. It has been dirty. It has been restless, uncompromising, anxiety-ridden. It has been harder than any other feat I have ever set my mind on. And as usual, it has paid off.

Dain and I finished the tire walls, the roof, the front facing windows, the attic insulation, all in the past few weeks. We woke at sun rise. Made breakfast while it was too cold to eat it, sometimes it would freeze before we could eat it, and than went to work. Non-stop, sunrise to sunset, every day. The cold got us going, but at times was painful. The day light here is so limited that we did all the work we could before the sun went down, and were restless and cold in the evenings.

Needless to say, it was all worth it. Every freezing cold minute of it. It was getting down to ten degrees or so at night. We were bundled up in a tent covered that was covered in blankets, us under even more blankets, and the cat on top of us, trying to keep warm for herself. It was cramped and not the slightest bit enjoyable.

Here is a picture of Dain, one of our last nights in the tent. Notice the jacket he is sleeping in.

I will go in chronological order, from the last blog post until now. Even though these days of hard work are over for the next week or so.. (we are officially on vacation)..

First we made a form out of cans in order to pour our bond beam across the roof. This took about eight hours of insane labor. Our neighbor friend came over and was more than a help. It would have taken us three days without him, instead it was just one HARD, LONG, long day. We were able to collect enough water to mix our cement, and were able to borrow a cement mixer as well. It was an awesome amount of work, but it paid off.
The last picture is from above. It is where the cement was poured. All our work was so constant and happening so fast, that I was unable to take a few extremely important pictures. BUT, i will have other pictures, of other rooms in the future, so no worries. That said, there is no picture of the bond beam. Just picture that can wall full of cement. It also had brackets and bolts put in it, which is how we connected our trusses to the bond beam.

A birds eye view of the bond beam with the wood bolted to it, and a bracket (where we will eventually attach our posts for the attic). >

Than we started building trusses. Each truss ended up costing only the price of the screws we used. These were built from scrap wood from a local saw mill. We have used a lot of this wood so far, and are getting good at making it work for us. These trusses hold 20 inches of fiberglass insulation (another thing that never got photographed because it happened so fast).
Almost done building them.. it took about a full days work to make three of these. We were going at it non stop. Skipping lunch, skipping breaks. It was insanity and joy. Sweat and tears. Blah, blah and blah.
From And finally, it became a room!

The cat was the only one enjoying herself. She loved this jungle gym we were building her..

We finished the trusses and quickly went and spent a small fortune on cedar lumber for the front face (window frames) of our room. We built this wall in about seven days, the other three walls.. well, they took over five months.. (they are the tires, of course).

And in about three days we had all of our glass cut, doubled up, and put into it's frames.. whew..

Here is a picture of our current unfinished ceiling. It is simply holding the insulation in right now. Later I am going to do some wood work, and put in some tin tiles. And possibly a chandelier... of the DIY sort.. of course, who do you think you're reading?
The current "roof" is just wood, with three layers of thick plastic on it. It will probably be there for about the next three or four months, until we get the hallway/greenhouse built, which is going in front of this room.

And thar she blows:
And moving in hasn't been as fast as it was the when we moved into the cabin, but it has been more than satisfying. It is about 70 degrees inside of this thing all day, already, even though it's only half buried so far. And it hasn't gotten below 40 degrees yet. This is a COMPLETELY UNFINISHED ROOM! We are SO going to have a constant PERFECT temperature, all for the price of A MILLION HOURS OF MANUAL LABOR! Unbeatable in the long run. >

It's like a studio apartment in the middle of nowhere. Or, heaven. It is so amazing. I feel so accomplished. And now, time to get a job!

I am cutting this "short". I need to get off the computer, out of the library, and back to my slightly temperate, slightly temporary home.

PS- Please send me your address, that way I can send you a lovely card.