Pages Navigation Menu

high desert. small house.

Day 369: Finishing up the Kitchen Stuff & Stairs

Sunday, 7/17
What an intense day!  We took care of domestic stuff in the morning and arrived at the house around 11am.  I started digging and Brian started inside the kitchen.

2016-07-17 11.03.06

When we arrived at the house, this lizard was crawling all over our blocks. Every couple of seconds, he would stop and do “lizard push-ups”. According to the internet, this motion is used to communicate to neighboring lizards that the territory (and any female lizards within) belong to the (dancing) male lizard.  [You can see my first two rows of blocks complete in the background.]

2016-07-17 11.05.04

After jumping and crawling all over the blocks in the front of the house, the lizard jumped off, ran alongside the west arched wall and then climbed atop the other pile of blocks. What is with this guy and blocks!?

2016-07-17 12.19.41

Used Polyseamseal Tub & Tile to adhere the endsplash to the formica countertop.

2016-07-17 12.40.53

Got some silicone on the threads when placing the drain basket but managed to wipe most of it off.

2016-07-17 13.07.44

Perfect tailpiece alignment on this one.

2016-07-17 16.11.55

Delta Windemere faucet in place.  Had this at a previous residence and liked it a lot.

2016-07-16 18.16.33

I’m taking a break here by sitting on my recently laid blocks. Trooper and Sydney stayed with us the entire day.  Can you see why Australian Shepherds are nicknamed ‘velcro dogs’?

2016-07-17 17.10.41

After an incredible amount of work, I finally reached the point where I could fill in the first row of blocks. Those ‘rocks’ to the left of the blocks are chips of rock that I had to cut off of larger rocks while digging out the level base. At this point, Sydney was attached to my side so that I could protect her from the Mexican Thunder Boss.

2016-07-17 13.25.07

Trooper, on the other hand, snoozed the day away under the house, immediately adjacent to where I was flinging dirt. Look – more rock shards near Trooper.

2016-07-17 17.24.20

First layer with caps done! 6′ long and 3′ wide. Shoes are dirty.

2016-07-17 17.00.56

Water heater is mounted & level.

2016-07-17 17.44.00

Two layers done! I put down the first 18″x18″ cap on this second layer and then decided I needed a break or else was going to pass out from heat stroke. Brian set the rest of the caps and Sydney helped test them out.

2016-07-17 18.03.20

All done! I did all of it except the row of caps Brian helped with.  Go lady power!  Neither dog really understood how to use them at first. They are more familiar with having to execute a mega leap to get in the house. Even after I got them to actually use the steps, they still acted weird. Trooper jumped up each step with each pair of legs acting together (like a rabbit) and Sydney crawled up with her toenails (like a lizard).

2016-07-17 13.45.58

View of the house and stair progress at some point in the day. We thought that this storm was going to come our way and cool down the day….not so. We got drizzled on for a few moments but nothing satisfying.

2016-07-17 18.38.01

After collapsing at the end of the day and begging to go home (yes, I occasionally complain), Brian claimed that we couldn’t leave until we had built the mini-split platform. So while he was twiddling with the kitchen stuff, I hauled the rest of the blocks around to the back, planted a length of PVC pipe scrap in the drainage ditch, leveled the ground and stacked the blocks. Brian took this photo – Trooper is staring at his favorite person in the world, me.

2016-07-17 18.59.36

Here’s the under-sink cutoff switch for the water heater. It’s a Siemens 60 amp model.  Notice anything a little….wrong?  No? I didn’t either.  [Brian is the ‘I’ here.]

2016-07-17 19.07.11

Turns out the previous picture showed how to wire it if you want to do a main breaker trip test; it’s exactly like putting a piece of metal between the two hot bus bars on the main panel.  Click!  This picture shows the correct way to wire it if you want to power something.

2016-07-17 19.18.03

As we were leaving the property (at 7:30pm), a massive quail party started sprinting across our driveway. The male on the corner post seemed to be waiting until all the babies made it to safety. How many can you count in this shot? We counted about 25 by the time they all crossed. The male was one of the last to make the leap. What a good bird parent!

2016-07-17 20.09.46

Beautiful and strange clouds as we drove home from the grocery store.


  1. no plastic bushing on your threaded pvc on your HW disconnect, and is it legal to be under a sink?

    • Thank you for pointing that out. Brian initially thought so too but we checked with the inspector and confirmed that bushings aren’t required unless conductors are 4 gauge or larger. And yes, the heater is designed for under-sink use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *