Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Warm fuzzies

Here's one of the stacks of insulation delivered to our house yesterday. As the installers sealed the windows and filled the cracks, I just smiled. I think I drove the crew crazy pointing out places they missed with the expanding foam, but hey, it's my house and my dime, so it had better be done right. Right? After a winter of freezing in this old uninsulated farm house, I am so ready to move into one that will be warm. I felt warm and fuzzy today just seeing those lovely R-38 batts go into the ceiling.

The drywall will be delivered on Thursday and the siding contractor tells me he will be done on Friday, so we're moving along. The biggest problem is that we still don't have power to the house because the power company can't put it in until all the snow is melted and the mud has dried out. So if everyone could pray for an unusually warm dry spell early in March, I'd appreciate it. I still haven't figured out how to control the weather;) But maybe the Lord will bless us with a cooperative forecast.

I learned something new about garages last week. Standard eight foot garage door openings don't work for large pick up trucks (like Jeff's) or large SUV's like the Sequoia we're hoping to trade our van in for.


I had someone come out and give me bid to install our garage doors and after seeing me bounce up the gravel drive in Jeff's truck, he told me it wouldn't fit in the garage. So I measured, and yep, sure enough, Jeff's truck measured 7'11" from mirror to mirror and the garage door opening was 8'. So Saturday and Monday Jeff and I had the dubious pleasure of removing the header, cutting the foundation and enlarging the garage door openings. It was an absolute pain, but I figure in the long run, it will be worth it. Otherwise, we (okay, probably me) would've smashed a lot of side mirrors. But at least we found out before the siding was finished. It would've been worse to fix later.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hoofing the Roof

Here's a shot Lindsey took of me standing on the roof while I spoke with our roofing contractor. As you can see, I wasn't wearing the most practical footwear. I was wearing a skirt too so it was really interesting climbing out of the window and back in again. But despite further snow delays, the roof is completely done. YAY!

Below the finished roof, you can see the scaffolding that was used to install the siding. The installer has moved to the south side of the house now and I hope the weather will cooperate so it can be completed soon. The insulators will come sometime between the 16th and 20th. After the insulation is inspected, we'll start the sheetrock. And when I say we, I mean that quite literally. We will hire some additional help for the vaulted ceilings, but for the most part, Jeff and Trevor will be hanging it and Jeff and I will be taping. Sounds fun huh?

Because there is so little work in the construction sector, I get calls all the time from people wondering if I'm hiring. Unfortunately, labor costs have not dropped and may have actually risen since people are trying to make ends meet. I understand that problem. Really I do. But why anyone thinks we're any different is beyond me. It's only in the government and business sectors where people can write themselves huge raises, and even then, usually only the upper echelons. Well, I'd like a raise. I think it's high time that the government recognized the contribution that stay-at-home mothers give to society and offer some compensation. I mean, moms who work outside their homes get to deduct day care expenses. Why not offer a set allowance, say $6,000, for every child four and younger and then families can choose whether to offset their household expenses or pay that money to a day care provider? Ah yes, that's right, the government is too busy handing out money to greedy bank executives who don't know how they'll manage without their million dollar bonus this year.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox.

Yesterday we took the kids ice fishing at a local reservoir. The Idaho Dept of Fish and Game hosted an ice fishing tournament. We left with three fish, two ice fishing rods the kids won at raffle prizes and a bluebird box. It was fun, but I have to admit I was REALLY nervous walking out on that ice. I could see huge cracks running in the ice and the top was slushy. Then as I watched Jeff auger through a solid foot of ice, I realized that the cracks must have happened months ago and then frozen in place. The ice didn't even groan yesterday, despite a hundred kids thundering across it's surface as they ran around enjoying the sunshine, not to mention the perforations every fifteen feet or so from hopeful anglers. However, I have new appreciation for the courage it must have taken those pioneers to step onto the ice and walk across the Mississipi river without a sure knowledge of how thick the ice in that middle section might or might not be.

Trevor didn't join us yesterday because of his wrestling tournament. He injured his shoulder and needs at least a week to heal. He can't be out of commission too long because he has sheetrock to hang. However, Jeff says its just a Grade II strain so it should only take a week to heal.