Saturday, September 24, 2016

You Know You're Taking Too Long to Build Your House When...

...you're starting to have to replace tools because they're wearing out and dying. It was one thing when I decided to buy some new chisels because I had sharpened the old ones so many times I felt I couldn't get a true edge on them any more. The other day, though, my air compressor died. I had set everything up to start installing another row of shingles. Just at the moment that the compressor should have been fully pressurized and turned itself off, I heard a loud "PFFFFFTT" instead. The compressor just suddenly stopped being able to regulate itself. The pressure would build and build and build until the relief valve blew. Nothing I tried worked. Pretty quickly, I decided to take the compressor for repair. I looked through my records for when I had had the lower relief valve replaced on the unit--and it turns out it was two years ago! I have owned this compressor for five years. Of course, I expect my tools to last forever. Just doesn't work that way.

The repair guy said the repair would cost $110. A new compressor costs $130. So...
I bought a new compressor yesterday. Today I'm back installing shingles.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Proudly Non-compliant

A few weeks ago, I had a doctor call me a "non-compliant patient." (He wanted to repeat a diagnostic screening that I've had a gazillion times already and find to be a waste of time and not very helpful, so I declined it.) He was trying to label me non-compliant in a somewhat humorous way, in order to lighten the exchange, but the obvious implication was that to be non-compliant is a "bad" thing. I've thought a lot about this exchange since then...

I would hate to think that anyone would ever say about me--either now or when my life is over: "She was always compliant." Phooey on that! I really can't see the point of mindlessly going along to get along. When it comes to my own life and health, I form my own opinions and I set my own goals. If something does not make sense to me, I really don't care how many other people have done the conventional/common/routine thing. I'll chart my own course, thank you very much. When I conceived of a plan to build a wooden raft and live on it in the Kennebec River with my son as a way of having an adventurous summer vacation, and others expressed all kinds of doubts and concerns, I didn't give up the dream. Instead, I doubled-down on the planning. (We had so much fun, we repeated the adventure four additional summers before he went off to college!) When I excitedly told a man I was dating that I was going to build my own house, and he replied with "You can't do that!," I didn't fold and accept his opinion. (I saw it as a huge red flag that that relationship was not going to last.) When others thought it was foolish of me to walk away from a job that was using me up (and I thought was going to be the end of me) at my advanced age :-) and without another job all lined up, I did what I needed to do anyway. (Best decision! I've been so much healthier in all kinds of ways since.) It's that same part of me that is building the JayBee--even though this is not the conventional way of acquiring a new home, even though it is hard work, even though I have to figure out what I'm doing each step of the way. I wouldn't have it any other way. I am quite proudly non-compliant!

...

For those who are interested in life on the river...

Here is a photo of me on a walk looking back up my driveway. Can't see anything?


Here; I'll zoom in. George may be too lazy to walk with me, but he is still keeping watch from the driveway.


I picked up a stick to help me get safely down the banking to the river's edge. Once I was down the hillside, I realized the stick had been gnawed off by a beaver. A beaver stick!


An early sign of autumn.


Late summer/fall flowers along the river.




Various late summer and early fall river shots...












This may look like a simple river shot...


Zoomed in, though: See the soaring bald eagle I was watching?


Here's another shot.


And zoomed in.


One more.


Zoomed in; two eagles dancing.


Back from my walk that one day...and George is still on lookout duty.




A rare moment of peace between these two.


George--all done in.

Siding (North Wall) 11

Well, I lost momentum there for awhile...busy work weeks, rain making the north hillside wet, visiting with family over Labor Day weekend, blah, blah, blah...

I did spend a bunch of time doing things that were important to the house project, but not very photo-worthy--bending over hundreds of staples on the inside of the house, caulking around the exterior of windows (a job I loathe), etc.

Finally, I returned to shingling the north side of the house. By constantly moving ladders around and...


...using some makeshift staging...


I got another row of shingles installed.




And, then, another one.



It's wet out there again, so I'm back to working on other things!

Also see:
Siding (North Wall) 1
Siding (North Wall) 2
Siding (North Wall) 3
Siding (North Wall) 4
Siding (North Wall) 5
Siding (North Wall) 6
Siding (North Wall) 7
Siding (North Wall) 8
Siding (North Wall) 9
Siding (North Wall) 10


A couple of days ago, my eyes were drawn to this patch of bright fluorescent orange/pink on the grass to the east of the JayBee. It looked like someone had spray-painted a spot on the grass. Since I had done no such thing, I was puzzled. When I touched it with my foot, I realized it wasn't paint.


When I turned around, I discovered that somehow light was refracting through this reflector and onto the ground. If you look closely, you can see the spot on the grass, even from this angle. Odd.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Siding (North Wall) 10

I managed to get one more row of shingles up--without using a ladder. I really should have captured a picture of me with my feet wedged against the hillside and holding my weight, a couple shingles, and the staple gun against the wall of the JayBee. Given my lack of arm strength and my hand and wrist issues, it was exhausting!




Also see:
Siding (North Wall) 1
Siding (North Wall) 2
Siding (North Wall) 3
Siding (North Wall) 4
Siding (North Wall) 5
Siding (North Wall) 6
Siding (North Wall) 7
Siding (North Wall) 8
Siding (North Wall) 9


Hours after Bear was traumatized by his annual wellness appointment with the vet, I realized I hadn't seen him in quite some time, so I went looking for him. Found him hiding indoors in my closet.


Meanwhile, George slept. Nothing bothering him!