so over due for a post -- also, so tired right now -- but if i don't post right this minute, I'll never get this up and i wanted to capture what a great day today was!
I took a bunch of photos, but I'll upload them tomorrow, it's just too late to mess with the camera tonight.
Kelly woke me up at the crack of "are you serious?" so we could get an early start today. One thing about living here that i'm not handling well is how much more i sleep. I could sleep until noon every day, no matter what time i go to bed. You also have to know that I dislike the very idea of sleeping, because there's always so much to be done, so I'm suffering a weird dichotomy of stay-in-my-amazing-warm-cozy-bed vs. carpe-diem-and-build/grow-stuff-already!
Also, according to Mr. Sunshine, i wake up grumpy, so he tries to wake me up gently, and I try to remember that he's not intentionally being evil by waking me up in the first place.
We have coffee, collect things to eat during the day and load up the car with tools, food, drinking water and cookware. We often listen to "The Naked Scientists" podcasts during the drive. I try to stay awake and keep Kelly company, but once in a while, I have "car-colepsy" (i love neologisms like that!) and doze off.
After the 90 minute drive, we arrive at the homesite. I have to awaken all over again. We unload the car and start arranging stuff for our day's work. Today's plan was to finish the greenhouse attachment to the shed. Last week, we leveled the ground and built a perimeter, and a 4" thick concrete floor was poured Monday. It cured Tuesday while we went to the dentist for routine exams & cleanings (Once again, I have no cavities!)and then we took advantage of the lovely weather to have lunch outside at Cafe Coco in the Vanderbilt University neighborhood.
So today, Wednesday, we are greeted by a surprisingly shiny and gloriously FLAT concrete pad. I must have stared at it for 15 minutes, just admiring how nicely it turned out. I'd never worked with concrete before, but it was kind of like frosting a cake without first using a crumb-coat: HUGE rocks are trying to pop to the surface all over the place, but if you fuss with it and smooth it carefully, you can get a relatively clear, flat layer. So imagine frosting a cake that's 15' by 10', sitting directly on the floor, with a garden hoe and a putty knife, and not using a crumb-coat.
We had to be there early today as we were expecting the delivery of our house-building wood. While we waited, I start painting primer on 20 2x4s as Kelly put together the saw horses. The weather was lovely, but as the day became warmer, these enormous, reddish-brown pterodactyl-wasps seemed to be attracted to the white paint. Gratefully, they dissipated in the afternoon, although I'm not sure if it was because i switched to the purple paint or if they were just done with being out. During this time, 2 of the 3 batches of lumber and other wood products were delivered. Kelly dealt with all that.
We had planted some bolts in the wet concrete, to anchor 2x4s to the pad's perimeter in order to build the frame for the greenhouse. Since we couldn't be precise in placing them, we had to drill holes to match the bolts. the first two sides, we marked with a pencil, the third side, i had the bright idea of trying to let the bolts do their own marking, and i dabbed some lip gloss on the bolts before setting the plank of wood down on it.
We opted to NOT have electricity installed at the shed, so everything there is hand tools or the electric drill. Kelly didn't charge the drill, so we didn't even have that. We measured, we re-measured, we checked, we double-checked... and then loaded the wood and Kelly's new bad-ass drill in the car to take it all up to where the Temporary Service Pole is. Once again i serve as a human sawhorse, holding one side of the wood, while the other end is balanced on the tailgate of the Element. He likes his new drill. :-)
So we go down to the shed again, and try to match up the holes with the bolts. Side 1 goes on pretty well, with a minimum of hammering into place, if you put the wood on upside-down from the way we marked it. (ROFL) The short end, which was the 2nd piece, was off by a full 1/2" in the middle, and a near-miss at one end. The board marked with the lipgloss technique was spot on. (go me!!) Clearly, that 2nd piece had to be re-drilled. Instead of loading it back into the car and going back to where the power was, Kelly tried to use the power converter i keep in my car for charging my computer and all the other electronics i use. He assured me that the drill wouldn't short it, but it did, instantly, and he still had to drive the truck back up to the top of the hill and re-drill it. Now I'm without my awesome Targus Mobile Power Inverter, just in time for me to not be able to use it on the plane when i go back to L.A. Grr!
BTW, I'm flying back to L.A. to fulfill a cooking-lesson gift certificate in early April. So far my only plan (besides the lesson) is to go to Golden Farms in Glendale to buy all the nuts and dried fruit i can carry...so if you want to get together, let me know.
Kelly was painting primer on the shed door while I made dinner, and after we ate, he did the last bits of painting while I held a light for him. We loaded up the car, made (yet another) Home Depot run, and headed for home. Kelly said he doesn't mind that i fall asleep in the car, but i try to stay awake and watch for deer until we get on the interstate.
We managed to get a lot done, but alas, we didn't finish the greenhouse. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, but with luck we'll still get it done, and on Friday i can bring all my seedlings and get them into more dirt and keep them outside.
Right now, though, technically, it IS tomorrow, so I'm going to rest up and try not to have nightmares about sparrow-sized wasps.
P. S. today, for the first time ever, a salesman discussing building/planning/purchasing with us shook MY hand as well as Kelly's! Usually i don't even get eye contact from the guy in question, but Joey the Window Guy from Home Depot spoke to both of us, and offered a handshake to BOTH of us as we left. I was flummoxed!
Today I learned: Not knowing the 'right' way to do something allows you to be be inventive and try something new. Because of this, i discovered that lipgloss can be an effective way to mark holes to be drilled.