Days 44-47: Trim, Shims & Arachnids

I’m changing the naming structure going forward for the build posts; Posts will now be referred to as their day number and any interesting notes that describe recent events.

Thursday

  • Because we are without utility electricity and are instead using the inverter hooked up to the car, we are limited in how many devices we can power and how powerful those devices can be.  Since switching to the inverter, we haven’t been able to use our super shop vacuum.  As a result, we had to sweep the subfloor between sanding sessions.  That is only entertaining for about 19 seconds.
  • We bought a very small vacuum from Walmart that only draws 5 amps of electricity.  We also picked up ‘#30 roofing felt’ to fill in the low spots on the floor, trim screws and other such truck.   Take ‘#30 roofing felt’ with a grain of salt however – its present day incarnation weighs half as much and is made of paper rather than felt.
  • I vacuumed the floor while Brian went under the house (renamed the “Spider Den” as I recently witnessed two very large spiders go sprinting across the building pad in pursuit of a dark hiding spot) and added shims.  About a third of the floor joists were sitting up to an 1/8″ above the steel I-beams, so the floor feels much more solid post-shimming.
  • We also kinda sorta got started on the trim.  By that, I mean we took down 4 trim pieces, wiped them free of their sawdust layer, briefly discussed how to attach them and then decided it was too dark.
Mega spider that ran under the house at one point; and then later ran out into view.  Terrible, haunting creature....I mean, what a lovely beneficial house-insect-hunting animal.

Mega spider that ran under the house at one point; and then later ran out into view. Terrible, haunting creature….I mean, what a lovely beneficial house-insect-hunting animal.

Friday

  • I walked the dogs over as per the new dog exercise routine.  We now divide after work – Brian takes the dog food to the house, hooks up the inverter to the car and starts working.  I get home, leash up the dogs and walk them over.  After they are done eating, they get some free time and then we drive them home.
  • After driving the dogs back, we found ourselves not terribly motivated to go back outside in the heat.  We took the night off, watched a movie and fell asleep at the ‘late hour’ of 9:45pm.
Brian under the house, shimming the ____?

Brian under the house, shimming the floor joists.

Saturday

Part of our motivation in taking Friday off was to be refueled and recharged for the bigger work window of Saturday afternoon.  This was a great idea.  Feeling rested made it very easy to apply ourselves and get stuff done.

  • Brian finished the shimming under the house.
  • While he was playing with the spiders, I did the squat-creep-crouch manuever on the hillside, collecting garbage.  We cleaned up a LOT of broken glass and car parts when we first purchased the property, but more has appeared since then.  A large part of that is due to the soil being moved for the driveway excavation and then again for the water/sewer extension.
  • The hardest part of the garbage collection is not the constant bending and squat balancing, but the requirement to stick one’s hands in dark spaces.  The grass and cacti are healthy and tall right now, obscuring the glass and garbage resting spots underneath.  I wore heavy duty leather gloves to collect stuff, but it’s still a little unnerving knowing you may find yourself with a spider, scorpion, snake or sloth crawling up your arm [Note: Brian does not share these concerns].
  • We finished the evening by doing some minor organizing inside the house, preparing for the floor project.
Brian found a mouse nest under the house.  It appears he/she collected the string we initially used to mark the house outline.  Glad someone could reuse it.

Brian found a mouse nest under the house. It appears he/she collected the string we initially used to mark the house outline. Glad someone could reuse it.

Broken glass, bottles, trash and old car parts - Mix together with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 cup sugar, heat for an hour and serve promptly to Oscar the Grouch or whichever monster is living in your trash can.

Broken glass, beer cans, trash and old car parts – Mix together with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 cup sugar, heat for an hour and serve promptly to Oscar the Grouch or whichever monster is living in your trash can.

Carb day dinner - We ordered the red chili and an enchilada plate from Jalisco's in the downtown district.  This is our second meal there - we haven't been too terribly impressed by their food or service so we may broaden our Mexico food restaurant search to other parts of Silver.

Carb day lunch- We ordered the red chili and an enchilada plate from Jalisco’s in the downtown district. This is our second meal there – both were pretty good but maybe not our favorite Mexican food place.

Full moon

Full moon creeping out from behind the clouds, Saturday night.  We saw this beautiful sight while driving to get dinner.  Speaking of dinner – we grabbed burgers at The Red Barn.  The restaurant had a menu on the wall from 1979 which had a burger listed as $4.29 (highest burger price on the menu, made with steak).  The ones we purchased were $10.99 each.  So in 36 years, the value of the dollar has gone down by more than half?  Whoa nelly.

Sunday

  • What a productive day!  We woke early and took the dogs to the property with us.  They each worked away at a spare rib while we finished the foam closures.  We then took them home so they’d be inside during the hottest part of the day.
  • Upon arriving back at the property, we immediately set up a work surface outside on the sawhorses.  Over the next few hours, we attached the trim to itself and then fixed each completed trim “box” to the house.  [North side completed trim shown at the top of the post in the featured image.]
  • Food run, dog retrieval, dog feed time and then dogs back to house
  • We spent our last hour before dark positioning our tools and supplies up on the cross beams and in the wall “shelves” (the nooks created by the studs).  We even put the door and jamb up onto the cross beams.  The floor is now completely clear and able to be worked on.
  • Oh yeah, and we saw another terrifically large spider.  This one was in a bag that contained the spacers we were using to keep the trim off the house surface.  After Brian stuck his hand in the bag, he immediately withdrew it and said, “Your worst nightmare is in this bag.”  Yep, giant spider.
Foam closures at top of house

Foam closures at top of house

 

South side trim - These windows were the toughest because the  boxes were so big.

South side trim – These windows were the toughest because the boxes were so big.

We stuck butyl rubber to the back of the plastic spacers to prevent water from ______

We stuck butyl rubber to the back of the plastic spacers to prevent water from sneaking in.  This is common practice for attaching hardware to boats.

Giant spider in bag

Giant spider in bag

This spider relocation project was the second of the day.  I had previously used a stick to gently remove the spider and her egg sac from the outside of the screen on our north-side window.  I relocated her and her family to a cholla in the cholla garden.  The relocation of this gigantasourus involved taking the bag up our hill a few feet and shaking him out.  He held on and crawled all over the place for 5 minutes of so, necessitating less gentle shacking.  He finally fell off and recovered from his ordeal by embracing the garden hose.

This spider relocation project was the second of the day. I had previously used a stick to gently remove the spider and her egg sac from the outside of the screen on our north-side window. I relocated her and her family to a cholla in the cholla garden. The relocation of the gigantasourus shown here involved taking the bag up our hill a few feet and shaking him out. He held on and crawled all over the bag for 5 minutes or so, necessitating less gentle shaking. He finally fell off and recovered from his ordeal by embracing the garden hose.

In other news

It took us longer than usual to dump our kitchen compost bucket at the property.  It’s been full for at least the past 5 days.  After emptying it last night, we were greeted by hundreds of larvae.  I just hope there aren’t a bunch in the house.  *gag*

Compost bucket creatures

Compost bucket creatures

this is the top of the house and needs a caption

This is the top ridge of the house and that gap needs to be filled with butyl rubber.

We found this cool lizard at the shack last week.

We found this cool lizard at the shack last week.

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

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