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high desert. small house.

Days 35-40 – More Sanding, More Storms

Writing ‘days 35-40’ is a relief because I feel as if we’re on day 100.  Last week felt long but did not result in very much house progress.  But seeing as how we’ve only been at it for a little more than a month, maybe we’re not in such bad shape.

Wednesday

  • I got home, made dinner and cut up dog meat.  Then I took a moment to rest my eyes and Brian found me asleep an hour later.  Having greatly reduced our evening work time, the only task we were able to complete was finalizing the inverter connection cables.

Thursday

  • Realized that the sanding was not going to be done in a lickety split.  While we did a pretty good job knocking the seams down over the weekend, we still had high points that caused the level to teeter-totter.
  • We had our first real work session where we plugged the inverter up to the car and powered the sander.  Time to squat, shuffle and sand.  Go team go!
  • I left Brian sanding and went to bed around 9pm.  He came home around midnight.  *yawn*
Brian sanding - the box represents the corner of the kitchen counter, which will be up against the bathroom wall.  Look how much space we have!

Brian sanding – the boxes represent the corner of the kitchen counter, which will be up against the bathroom wall. Look how much space we have!  Against the bathroom wall, facing Brian, will go the piano.  The rest of the space, between the piano and arched wall, will be open.

Here is the fake kitchen counter corner again.  The space between the "counter" and doorway is the kitchen.  The fridge will go in the back corner.

Here is the fake kitchen counter corner again. The space between the “counter” and doorway is the kitchen. The fridge will go in the back corner.

Last shot of the kitchen relative to the rest of the house.

Last shot of the kitchen relative to the rest of the house. (Weird lightning trick on the outside of the house.)

Friday

  • We convinced ourselves that we would make excellent progress on the house Friday night and Saturday night and be ready to install the second layer of subfloor on Sunday.  Since our hardware store only delivers Monday through Friday, we decided to take delivery of our subfloor plywood on Friday and be ready to install it over the weekend
  • The hardware store has been bombarding our inbox with sale flyers, none of which have contained anything of interest.  However, the one that arrived this week included a tarp, which seemed kind of good.  On an impulse, Brian went and purchased the tarp.
  • While sanding away, the sky became very dark, very suddenly.  Being Friday night and all, we decided it wasn’t too terrible to assume it was going to rain and quit for the night.  We used the tarp (good thinking Brian!) to cover our stack of plywood and reattached our pseudo-door.  During these preparations, the storm began to look a little like it had the weekend before (the one where the pre-tornado funnel formed in the sky 3 miles east of us).  The rain body that extended from the clouds to the ground was moving much faster than just a regular thunderstorm.  We couldn’t see the eastern part of the city at all, which had been entirely illuminated and visible just a few minutes before.  The air got still and water started falling.
  • We had already returned the dogs home, thank goodness, because the storm came with a fury.  After the brief preamble, the wind, rain, hail, sleet and flying cows all arrived en mass.  We were glad to have boarded up the house in time and be protected in the car.  We stayed at the property for about 20 minutes to watch the tarp and make sure it clung to the boards through the somewhat fearsome winds.
Lumber delivery - stacked on pallet

Plywood delivery – stacked on pallet

Monsoon thunderstorm - We were guarding the plywood from inside the car.

Monsoon thunderstorm – We were guarding the plywood from inside the car.

The building pad has a few zones where water pools.

The building pad has a few zones where water pools.

Saturday

  • Long day at work, followed by some progress at the house.  More sanding with some breaks for carb-day snacks.
  • Around 7pm, Brian ran home to grab something and I stayed at the property.  There was some lightning in the distance but nothing too bad.  You can probably see where this is going.  The weather took a very serious turn.  The lightning and thunder increased in frequency until it was striking (in the distance) every minute.  The rain body appeared in the east.  This happened over the course of 5-6 minutes.  I texted Brian and told him to get his butt back to the house ASAP.  As he arrived, the rain started.  We barely got the tarp on the plywood in time.
  • We did not get the door attached before the rain became torrential.  We briefly considered doing it, but this storm was the worst yet.  Our only concern quickly became getting into the house.  It all happened so fast!  It was as if we were in the center of a bowl and the storm was dancing on the rim.  There was lightning striking on all sides and thunder so loud and strong that the house shook.  The lightning/thunder strikes started coming every 20 seconds or so.  Sixty mph winds and relentless rain.  The hail came and then went; returning to big, fat raindrops.
  • We were trapped in the house for an hour.  The storm never let off.  Constant wind, lightning, thunder and rain.  The wind knocked the ladder over, which we had abandoned outside.  Once again, thank goodness the dogs were at home.
  • The rain abated enough so we were able to get out of the house, attach the plywood and get in the car.  We went home around 8:15, checked on dogs, grabbed food and watched The Professional.
The sky darkens...

The sky darkens in the north/northeast…

The rain body appears...(sun still shining near us)

The rain body appears…(sun still shining near us)

We are now able to recognize these serious storms.  They're 3D, they're loud and they can travel very quickly.  This is another shot of the rain body in all its glory, eating up the town to the east.

We are now able to recognize these serious storms. They’re 3D, they’re loud and they can travel very quickly. This is another shot of the rain body in all its glory, eating up the town to the east of us.

Strong wind redirecting storm - You can see the rain body getting pushed to the right (south-ish).  When we saw this, we thought it was going to miss us.  That was not the case.  The gyre effect took place, hence the feeling of being in the basin of a bowl.

Strong wind redirecting storm – You can see the rain body getting pushed to the right (south-ish). When we saw this, we thought it was going to miss us. That was not the case. The gyre effect took place, hence the feeling of being in the basin of a bowl.

Sunday

  • While we had made some progress with the floor on Friday and Saturday, we really decided on our game plan Sunday morning.  We are using a straight 8′ piece of aluminum to determine flatness.  We had been confused how to consistently measure flatness prior to Sunday.  It isn’t worth getting too far into, but the new plan was to make sure the aluminum beam did not teeter totter on anything and double-check with the big level here and there.  Yup, super scientific.
  • I also started stuffing the foam closure pieces under the metal roofing.  I’ll add a picture to the next post so you know what I’m talking about.
  • I dug a very impressive trench, if I do say so myself.  The water has been flowing around the house for the most part but it seems to be digging out a narrow path on the edge of our building pad and then running down the hill toward Richard’s house.  We really like Richard and don’t want to wash him away.  So we dug a diversion ditch from where the water tends to pool on the top of the pad and away from Richard’s house; it now runs down our hill toward the cholla garden.
  • We also squeezed in errands, dog duty and showers prior to our dinner and game night with friends.
  • Speaking of dinner – if you visit Silver, do not count on anything being open on Sunday night.  There are places…but you have to know which ones.  It took us 20-30 minutes of calling around to find a place open.  [Also, 1/30 restaurants have a website, so good luck just ‘checking online’.]
  • Speaking of Silver City, there seems to be a style of driving that evolved in this isolated town and is now considered the norm.  One example of this ‘style’ is turning left at an intersection.  If you don’t have a green arrow (which, green arrows usually give you the right of way), you still kind of have the right away.  Oncoming traffic stops when you creep into the intersection to prepare for your left.  Brian has aptly named it the ‘reverse game of chicken.’  You creep into the intersection, oncoming traffic immediately slows down, including cars in the right hand turn lane, you hesitate, thinking ‘what?!’, move forward a little, oncoming traffic stops, you stop, they’re wondering why you haven’t turned, you’re wondering why they haven’t moved….mysterious.  Also, turn signals – completely optional.
  • Also, it should be noted – none of these crazy storms have been in the forecast.  The Saturday torrential monsoon was completely unpredicted.  We even checked the forecast online prior to sending Brian home.  Nada…it all changed in 5 minutes.
Sunday morning - sorting for donation.  In moving stuff around to find the games for the evening, I came across too many things that hadn't been handled since we arrived in Silver.  Out with the junk!

Sunday morning – sorting for donation. In moving stuff around to find the games for the evening, I came across too many things that hadn’t been handled since we arrived in Silver. Out with the junk!  [Trooper is wearing his cone because he won’t strop biting at his knee.  We think it was hit with a cactus spine.]

More disposal of stuff - Supplements that have sat around, old bathing suits, etc.  No more junk!

More disposal of stuff – Supplements that have sat around, old bathing suits, etc. No more junk!

These bugs have made their home in the bushes near our apartment.

These bugs have made their home in the bushes near our apartment.

Big green cicada on the FIt

Big green katydid on the FIt

For a full summary of our experience with Arched Cabins, please read Arched Cabin Summary.

One Comment

  1. CHEL, YOU HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR!

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