Saturday, May 29, 2010

This week @ three eighty-eight

We've taken to referring to our place as simply "388".

Cathy:  "What are your plans for today?"
Dean:  "I'm working at 388."

Cathy:  "I will pack a lunch and meet you at 388"

Cathy:  "How were things at 388 today?"

So here's what's been going on this week at 388...  Since we had no rainy weather, the focus has been on the exterior.  So that means shingling! and other stuff, and it means flooring is on hold (my aching back is thankful for the reprieve)

Featured guest

On Sunday, Matt stopped by to see what we are up to, and to spend some time commiserating about poor workmanship by hired contractors.

Foundation painting

I painted three sides of the foundation a dark charcoal gray.  We wanted to get this done because our excavator is getting ready to start setting some stone walls which will butt up against the foundation in several places.  On the west side of the house, I was painting the blue Styrofoam that insulates the foundation - the gray is much nicer to look at, and I think that it will push into the background once the other structures are in place.


We are making forward progress, but it sure is slow. 

The straight runs go pretty quickly, but weaving the corners, and working on the bump outs, and around the ledger boards and other obstacles, slows the process way down...

On Tuesday, I worked for several hours on this straight run on the west side of the house in the hot afternoon sun, and at the end of the day, as the sun was dipping behind the trees, this was what had been accomplished.

On Wednesday, I finally figured out that I should work on the west side of the house in the morning when it is in shade, rather than the blazing hot sun of late afternoon!  I was able to finish these rows of shingles quickly, but then ran into the porch, and it slowed down again.

I am a uni-directional hammerer, so to get to these shingles under the door, I have to turn my upper body upside down to get the right angle.

In the meantime, Dean works on the more technical stuff - like weaving the corners. 

And we are finally putting Genie to use!

Turns out, Genie is somewhat of a beast to move and get positioned correctly. 

We have to hook her up to a trailer hitch on either the truck or the backhoe to move her into position near the house.  She does not have unlimited reach, and because it is a pretty big project to move her, we want to get it just right.  Once we have the right position to access the area we want to work on, we have to lower the four big feet, and start turning these cranks (by hand) to level the whole unit, and raise the wheels off the ground.

Once she is all set up, she works great!

Here's another view of how a corner section looks.

Dean started work on one of the bump outs this week.

We are using bead board to close in the bottom of the bump out.  We will also use this bead board to close in the roof soffits.

And here is what the bump out looks like partially dressed up in her shingles.

And at the end of the day on Friday, the east side of the house looks like this:

We are leaning toward a green palate for the final color on the body of the house, but it will not be this "girl scout green" that I am priming the bead board with.  We think it will be more of a sage, or grayish green, or perhaps an olive green.  The window frames are already a sort of dark "British Racing green".

The Natural World

In the natural world, spring is rapidly progressing toward summer.

The wild blackberries are in bloom.

The mountain laurel is just starting to bust out.  I love how the buds are pink, and then open into white flowers.

And a pair of Phoebes is raising a brood in a nest under the eaves in the gable of the south wall.  Really, from the moment the roof was on, they were checking out the real estate.

I rode the Genie up to get this shot, but startled the adult in the process.  It is going to be quite a challenge working around them as we go to close in the section.  Our experience with Phoebes at our old house is that they do launch go from nest, to eggs, to launching the fledglings within a few weeks time.  But we will have to be quick, because no sooner have they launched one brood, then they start on the next.

Internal Clock

We are always amazed by Pumpernickel's ability to tell time.  She has an amazingly accurate internal clock. 

After sleeping under the porch all day, at about 4:30 PM, plus or minus 2-3 min, she comes to find us where ever we are working, to let us know she is ready to go home.  Seriously, she is never off by more than a few minutes of 4:30!

Anyway, she gives us the look that says "are you guys ready to drag up. because I am?"

But now that the days are long, we have been taking advantage of the daylight and working later...  Oh well, Pumps, cocktails will have to wait!


  1. nice! excited to see you guys at the end of the month! xxoo -P

  2. I like the primer brown color of the shingles!

  3. It's looking great! Everything is easier from here, just takes time, right? Wishing you great weather and that every nail and tack goes straight and true the first shot!

  4. Speaking of 388 and primer...The number 388 followed by 388 sevens is a prime number.

    Nice shingling job and use of inversion and changing levels on that hammering, Cat!

    That east side photo really shows how much of a house 388 has become. Exciting!

    Pumpernickel is a good dog!