Sunday, July 28, 2013

Leave no rock . . .

For weeks I have looked at every rock on our property - oh, there's a beautiful one! - and carted many of them to the house for inclusion in the splash-back.

On the afternoon of Sunday, July 21st, 2013 I laid the LAST rock! I can not begin to tell you how happy that made me! That was a job that, frankly, I thought would go on forever when in truth it only took three weeks! But now it's done! (So I can stop looking at rocks, right?)

As you can see in these pictures, most of the doors and windows are also installed! The difference this makes is amazing. All of a sudden we can see our views, open doors and windows for ventilation and start to get a feel for what our house is going to be like.
This is the living room.  The big window has blinds inside the glass! No dusting! And they make the room really dark. Too cool! (One of our great auction finds.)

There are still two windows left to install. They're windows I got at Habitat and need some restoration so that's what Rick is currently working on. We lucked out and found what we think is the right weather stripping to replace what's on the windows now and once that arrives, the windows will go in and THAT phase will be done!


In the meantime, it's on to plastering for me.  I've spent the last couple of days doing prep work: holes that need filling with straw, etc. I also had to go around the whole house and make sure the chicken wire right under the roof was well attached. I discovered when I did my first plastering under the roof line at the battery shed that if the wire wasn't attached to the soffits it sagged really badly so armed with hammer and nails and loose straw for filling in holes I worked my way around the house. Nasty job! Got almost as much straw in my mouth and ears as I did behind the chicken wire! But it finally got done!

To the left and right of a couple of windows were spaces that needed filling. Lose straw would just fall out and the spaces were not big enough to actually tie up straw so I'm using burlap to hold it all together.
This is a shot from outside. I stapled a piece of burlap to the post.

Then pulled the burlap to the inside of the window. I was then able to stuff flakes of straw into the space. The burlap kept it from falling to the outside.

I could then wrap the burlap over the straw flakes . . .

and attach it to the bales with landscape stakes. The hope is that the slip will adhere to the burlap making for a good base onto which I can plaster. It also helps me to cove the window. 

This is the view from outside. I can now stuff cob and slip over the burlap, thus filling the gap. 

I was e-mailing a friend yesterday and telling her about our progress and all of a sudden I realized that I really LOVE our house! It's even starting to feel like a home! One of the main reasons I have always wanted to build our own home is that I had this fantasy we could build a place that would be warm and welcoming and would give one a sense of peace and tranquility upon entering.  Well, guess what! It has worked! Even at this stage - with exposed straw and framed walls - there is a quiet and calmness present. Sometimes I go over just to walk around. We've taken some folding chairs over so we can spend some time just sitting and looking out at our views.

The realization that our vision is being manifested is incentive to work to get it livable!

So - once I've figured out the steps to the plastering process I will put out the word for help. This is a fun job and with the help of friends it will be more fun!

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NOTE: In the last post I wrote about plastering the battery shed. I got the slip and one coat (the discovery cote) on with the hope that it would be enough to protect the walls from any rain we might get. Since then, the monsoon season has begun and we've had a couple of good storms.  Most of the rain has come from the NE which is not the usual direction, and hit the east side of the shed. I can report that even though the plaster isn't very thick it has held up well! Thank Goodness!

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