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  • Writer's pictureLisha

Construction Journal November 2004

It has rained and rained and rained. I think someone forgot to tell the weather that we are a DRY desert. It started raining the last week of October and just keeps coming. We spent the first week of the month moving out of the rental. Brandon had 5 of his friends spend the night Friday and Becca had a football game to go to. We rented a U-Haul for Saturday morning and moved out all of the big stuff. Spent Saturday night in the trailer and then returned Sunday for my plants. It took all of Sunday and then Monday & Tuesday evening to get all of my plants moved. Wednesday the 10th we were officially homeless.

The plaster had to be rescheduled because of the rain and we finally got the first coat on by mid-month. They decided to wait a week to do the second coat since the first had to be put on so thick. The week has turned into a few weeks. Mark & I were awoken at 1:58 AM the Sunday morning that they were coming back to finish, to what else but rain. We ran outside to cover the bags of concrete that we had just uncovered preparing for them to come the next day. Everyone was really caught by surprise with this storm. It was not in the forecast and was so cold. We had snow all around us! It poured all day and we just stayed in our cozy straw bale house and worked. It really does seem to be true what they say about the insulation. It has been freezing outside and we were very comfortable inside working. Mark has spent the month stuccoing the inside and I have been texturing. As we go we are figuring out better and easier ways. The inside walls are being completely troweled by hand, but we have found it is easier to water down the plaster and spray it on with a hopper gun, then trowel behind it on the straw walls. By the 21st the kid’s rooms have been stuccoed, textured, sanded, and painted. Their closet organizers are complete and in B’s room, the ceiling fan has been installed. On Monday night (22nd) we lathed the kid’s bathroom. Mark kept putting it off since he really does not like to work in small spaces. The room that their tub and toilet are in is a 7x5 room. But it is time to stucco and texture it so we can put in their tub & toilet. Becca keeps dreaming of taking her first bath in their Jacuzzi tub (I think B is waiting for his turn too). I bought the reed for Becca’s ceiling on Monday and hope to have her room finished this weekend (27-28). Becca got out of school on Tuesday until January, so she is totally ready to finish her room. Wednesday night Andy called saying that the plasterers wanted to work Thanksgiving and that the forecast called for possible rain again this weekend. We figured if they wanted to work, then who were we to stop them. All the guys show up at 6:50 AM Thanksgiving morning and the machine would not start. We sat around with everyone taking turns trying to figure out what was wrong and cranking on the thing until around 11 o’clock.

After they all finally gave up, Mark & I worked on cleaning up the house. We had just been shoving stuff out of our way for the past month and it had become a mess. Mark put the turkey on the smoker at noon and the kids rode their dirt bikes and played baseball with a golf ball. Why a golf ball instead of a baseball, I have no idea. Mark’s parents came over at 4:30 and we had our traditional Thanksgiving dinner in our house. We said a year ago that we would have Thanksgiving in the new house; we just did not specify that it would be finished!

Today (Friday after T-Day) the kids are finishing cleaning the plaster off their floor and I am texturing the kid’s bath & vanity. Our goal is to have the family room/kitchen area finished, painted, everything so that we can get our Christmas tree on the 4th after the parade.

The weekend of the 27th & 28th we put up the reed for Bec’s ceiling and it looks really cool. It gave it a very warm and cozy feeling. I purchased basic 6x15 reed fencing at Lowe’s and attached it with staples to the trusses. The texture in the family room is almost complete. We have first coated the straw wall, which is really the hardest. The mud we water down to the consistency of pancake batter and then Mark sprays it on with the hopper gun. I then come behind him with the trowel. The first coat is just smushing it into the low spots. The second coat is what gives you the texture and that should come by Wednesday. Today (Monday) I have to sand the walls we have completed already so that we can do any touchups. And then it is primer and paint. I think I can actually make this goal!

2020: This seems to be the last journal entry I did. It makes sense I guess. We were now living here so the rhythm I had of journaling was gone. Plus the main construction was finished. Now everything was finish work. I took a ton of photos though so I'll try to recreate what we did and finish to March 2005 when we had our final inspection.

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