Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

March 3, 2011

The Report from Days 65-72: The Whetting Bush

The house is moving along much faster these days. Partly it’s because of the warmer weather and longer days. Partly because there are more guys working and fewer other jobs. And partly it’s because the spring rains are coming and the house needs a roof. And solid walls.

This week’s project is the attic and roof. For now the space in the attic will be one, long play and storage room with a fantastic view! Eventually we might be able to add a bathroom, a bedroom or an office.

It is very, very high, as Cora reminds me every time we arrive.

Yesterday Evan nailed an evergreen bough, traditionally called a whetting bush, to the highest rafter in celebration of a fully framed house. This is a centuries old tradition that most builders adhere to, even if none know it’s true significance. Some say it’s in thanksgiving to the forest for the raw materials. Some say it’s to wish the family good luck in their new home. Often it’s simply a ceremony to witness the passing from one stage to another and appreciate a job well done. I suppose it’s really some of all the above.

I’m thankful that we’ve gotten this far without serious problem or injury. May the blessing continue.

It is really, very high up there.

First rafters

Inside the attic

All the rafters up

The whetting bush

March 3, 2011

The Report from Days 45-64: The second floor

Early February saw the second floor, starting with the joists and then a plywood floor again. Then we needed a way to get up there, so we put in the stairs. Cora loved the stairs, but being so high without walls really freaked her out. Not to mention the fact that it was very cold and windy up there, this being February after all. Unfortunately, Evan and I had lots of decisions to make about the upstairs bathroom so we had to stand there a lot. But Bapa (“Grandpa”, for those who don’t speak Cora) was readily available for baby walks and talks.

The bathroom was indeed a bit of a bother and our first real taste of how frustrating all this house stuff can be. I find I’m often torn between wanting to control everything (which isn’t even possible) to wanting nothing to do with the process, just-give-me-the-keys-when-it’s-time-to-move-in-thanks-very-much (which also, isn’t really possible). In trying to strike a balance the only thing I’m really adamant about is a tub. I want a real tub. A real big tub. If I’m having any more kiddlets then by golly I’m having a deep soaking tub for my big ole’ sore pregnant self (or laboring self, I might add). We picked out a lovely, deep, $$$$, beautiful tub. It is deep. So deep that the sides are 24 inches from the floor. As we measured it, when I sit in this tub the sides will come up to my eyeballs. For some reason this filled me with a sense of claustrophobia — not what you’re looking for in a relaxing soak. I was now worried about our tub because if I wasn’t comfortable in it then I wasn’t going to use it. If I wasn’t going to use it then we shouldn’t get it.  I wanted to sit in this tub, or one like it, to see how I’d feel. Of course, nobody has one of these bad boys just laying around. And if we have a tub that deep will it be hard to use it as a shower? (Perhaps) Is there room for a separate shower too? (Yes) What about bathing kids in a tub that deep? (We’ll find out) Do we need/want a master bath? (Not particularly) Is there even room? (Not really) Can we have only one showering space in the house since the downstairs bathroom is only a toilet? (…um…)

Evan was good as coming up with solutions, but I didn’t always understand what he was saying, resulting in all kinds of misunderstandings. Some people got angry (mostly me) and some feelings got hurt (mostly Evan’s, see above re: angry) and so we’re planning a trip to a bath showroom (who even knew they existed?) to give a deep tub a trail run and find out if I’m just crazy (probably). But for now, we think we’ve got it mostly figured out.

After the bathroom was squared away they raised the walls.

Cora already knows which one is her bedroom, and which one is ours. If you ask, she will tell you that her’s is *arms outstretched* very big. Bapa nailed scrap plywood to the walls so she could run around in there safely, after which the room quickly lost it’s appeal.

Plywood for the second floor


Second story walls, waiting to be raised

How big?

Second floor finished

March 3, 2011

The Report from days 38-44: The First Floor

I’ll admit it. I’ve been cheating. I’ve been posting photos of the house on Facebook without writing posts. Now that we seems to have the photo uploading issues figured out these posts shouldn’t so sporadic. That being said, I’ve got a LOT of ground to cover. First up: the first floor.

While the snow was still on the ground in the second half of January the first floor was laid and the walls put up. It was fun to run around the plywood and watch as the lines chalked out on the floor became walls and rooms. The spaces (namely the downstairs bathroom) that seemed awkward and unusable as chalk lines morphed into perfectly delightful spaces (as much as any bathroom is delightful) once the walls were put in place. The undefinable “space” that is our house’s foot print finally makes sense to me. The windows are huge. The main room is light and airy. The library is large but cozy. And the mudroom is too good to be true.

When it was still to cold and snowy to play much outside I would take Cora to the house and chase her around the maze of hollow walls to let off some steam. She still often asks to go “home running”.

Plywood first floor

Front and rear walls

Posing for Daddy

Raising the walls

All the room are accounted for

Cora and Evan