Friday, October 28, 2011

Closing up for the winter

Oct. 23

The last two months have passed without any rain. This made every day a work day without a break and it has taken its toll. I am looking forward to the end of the outdoor work season so that I might collect my thoughts and catch my breath. We have all the block walls and window openings up and in place for the first floor, waiting for its stone facing. Better still we have had 10 truckloads of dirt fill delivered and spread bringing the work yard up to its final height in reference to the house. The result has been quite spectacular in that it makes the house stand out on what now appears to be a point of land high above the street. When the second floor and the cupola are added it will dominate the street and ought to be quite an attraction.

In addition to the dirt, Tom brought us about 60 tons of granite erratic for the terraces and landscaping south of the house. We will have to wait until next spring when the ground is settled to start laying them. Their colors are quite nice ranging from the purple of Sioux quartzite Ely greenstone and black basalt. Sam has already started to think of the gardens and trees he will plant. This week we also got a free load of brick from an old chimney that we will need to clean and stack for use next year in building the chimney for the furnace and water heater. We also beefed-up the footings inside the house that will serve as supports for the interior structure, staircase and cupola. Friend John ,who has more experience with structural matters convinced us that we needed just a little more heft on the footing to be sure that there would be no settling later. Better safe than sorry.
Sam has decided to take a week’s break over Thanksgiving to go east for a visit and a much needed change of venue. Hopefully he will come back renewed and ready for all the work that the winter holds for him. I’m going to turn to some much needed repairs/work here at home as I prepare for the great push next spring to get the rest of the house up and roofed!  Jim

I think I will have nightmares of mixing cement tonight. There is a lot of work to be done as we wrap up for the winter. Today consisted of starting the capping off of the block walls. There is still limestone to be trimmed, woodwork to be stripped, on and on and on. I cannot complain about this busy day. An investment of time is one way to look at this project so far, but it is much more. I hesitantly look forward to winter, and having the chance to get away for awhile.  Sam