Odds and Ends from Airin

Just some leftover pics from my spring break.

These are my boots in Brad's truck. They fell apart and Brad glued them back together for me. Thanks Brad. They're holding up great and give me something to take pictures of while I'm waiting.

The Bellingham Crew goes mountain biking after lunch. Gotta love it.I usually ride the bus from Bellingham to Langley and back. On this day I got off the bus at Maxwellton Rd. and pedaled to the site. It was one of the first really spring-like days and I was particularly pleased to be pedaling. It's exciting to roll down the driveway anticipating all the change and growth that's happening.

More gleaning

Brad loading the truck yet again

Look at our beautiful new door. It is a metal door, with four panels, the two middle panels (removed in the picture) open. It dates back to the 40's. The north Seattle house being remodeled in the background is its first home. Delightful folks sold us the door and although they were sad to part with it, they were delighted to see it go to a good new home. Naturally we don't know exactly how we're going to use it but we will find the perfect spot.

What a remarkable truck & loading job

A fully loaded truck! Also on the truck is beautiful old barn wood we picked up north of Bellingham, a new roller bench from Grizzly in Bellingham, a new torch in Bow, and a number of other items accumulated here and there over the course of the weekend.


Ed and Don

checking out the project....

The Box

With the plywood going up, the new building looks a lot
like a storage container. Especially without windows yet.

Gena and her work "boots"

Brad, getting those walls up
Gina's world class smile


Views of Early-On Recycled Wood Adventures

Back in the fall and winter months we were lining up old barn wood, beams, and chicken shed shit covered recycled wood. The first blog posted (see Wood Recovery -- January 2007) described the work of loading, transporting, cleaning and in a million unpleasant ways dealing with the task of recycling old wood. Here are some photos of that process, including the impossibly heavy and bulky loads Brad's small truck handled.
These pictures are from Erin's photo collection -- her cell phone/camera does an excellent job, not to mention her photographer's eye.

Brad & Ed ponder the load in front of Brad's Bellingham home.

The old barn in Whatcom County -- source of some of our recycled wood.

Securing the load before the slow trip to Whidbey Island

Loading the truck in Bellingham for the trip to Grace Lane

The site of more recycled lumber north of Bellingham.

The Rock

I remember when Brad was a little kid I'd bring home snakes, frogs and other treasures for his education and pleasure. Now that the "kid" is an adult he brings the treasures home. And here is one of the best -- a large rock for the new garden at Grace Lane. The unloading of the rock from the "miracle truck" was done with the muscle-power of Erin, Brad & Fran, together with the tools at hand -- ropes, ladder and tree. It's a beautiful stone. Once in the garden, of course, it's no longer just a big rock, but a wonderous moss-covered landscape stone. This project was a few months ago, when it was still winter. Now we're enjoying a wet, but beautiful, northwest spring. The mossy stone looks right at home on Grace Lane. Another treasure joined the rock. A large mugho pine from Brad's Bellingham garden. The pine, much too big for a small city garden, is a perfect accent for the stone in our larger garden.



Hansen's had an unfortunately sloppy drop which means a couple extra hours of work for us.


The rake is my favorite tool!

The rake is the tool that turns a rocky, messy construction site into clean, tidy order. Inside the footings I'm cleaning out all the sod and wood pieces so there will be no decaying of organic matter that could cause settling under the slab.
This area will ultimately be our "heat dump". Once the 6' high retaining walls are poured on the footings, the entire area will be filled with sand to hold the extra heat generated in the summer to be stored for winter use.
More raking, not only inside the footings, but around the edges. Then we'll be putting drain tile and gravel around the outside to eliminate any water that might build up at the base of the foundation. After the drain tile and drain rock, water proofing will be painted on the walls, then a layer of insulation added, and finally we will backfill with existing soil. At the top of the wall we'll do more drain tile and more drain rock so that we're absolutely certain the sand inside the retaining walls will stay completely dry. The slab will appear to be a slab on grade but will actually be on top of our "heat dump".
Layers and layers and layers make up our modern homes. It is interesting to watch the process first hand. Although all the products and steps are familiar to me because of our perennial remodeling projects, and because of my work which puts me on many construction sites, I'm enjoying watching each step, not missing a one -- including the tiny, but important, tasks like picking up nails, or raking...

New Babies in the Neighborhood

Isabella, Fred and Laurie's goat, had two babies last evening. The kids were born at just the right moment for Brad to witness their births. These pictures were taken only about 12 hours later. Both kids are healthy and Isabella nervously, but kindly, allows us to handle them.
Oh so cute! Lots of good goats milk coming up...


Pour Day!

An impressive machine
The nest-building bluejays stayed away
from their task today with this huge thing
up in their trees

Chris Marti in front of the
guesthouse machine room floor
and the mainhouse footings in
the background

The carport slab gets the human "power"
trowel finish
These guys are miracle workers
Here it is -- the beautiful carport floor
The concrete experts are at work
so Micka and Brad are able to
just relax and watch

What good are big machines if not to
watch -- Rose, Timothy, Eric & Ben
We definitely had an exciting day today. Once the concrete arrived there was no turning back and our new home became very, very real. It's also great to be able to see the actual shapes and relationships of the buildings to one another and to the land.
A satisfied Brad watches a
successful pour


Well, duh...

Did you think there wouldn't be a garden? If you stand in just the
right locations it doesn't even look like a construction site.

Preparing for the pour

Austin and Brad

Now we have water.

The main living space footing is
ready to pour

Golda Moore (of Lance Moore
Electrical) & Brad showing off
their cute hats

Austin and Brad work on last minute


Last Friday we were scheduled to pour the barn's foundation but a glitch or two postponed it. Now, tomorrow is the day! With all the millions of little details to finish up to insure everything is just right, we're glad we had a few extra days. Brad, Austin, and I worked at the site all day, with a little electrical help from Lance and Golda. This evening Ed and Brad are working until dark to finish up with rebar supports, final checks on levels, double checks on utilities, and generally checking and double checking everything. The cement trucks and pumper arrive early tomorrow morning.


The Foundations Happen

Carport Foundation and slab-to-be


Our new guest house and main house
foundations - Chris Marty & crew

Guest house and main house

The crew hams it up for photos

The Marty Bros are doing our foundation work -- one brother does the footings, etc. and the other flat work, so today it was Chris working on forms. On Friday the trucks will start arriving for the first pour for an estimated two, perhaps three, truck loads of concrete. Both Marty Brothers will be present because we have both footings and flatwork scheduled. The carport will have the slab poured, plus there's a tiny machine room slab under the guest house. Prior to Friday a million details need to be tended to. Like do we have all the right things in the right ditches going to the right places before those options close?

Brad is having such a good time. He loves the process and the challenge. Ed and I marvel at the details he carries in his head, on the drawings and in his Fredley notebook. It is awesome to watch and experience and share this project with one another and our friends and neighbors. I imagine this is what an old fashioned barn raising must have felt like.

Dianne, next door, has been feeding us dinner and delivering tea and sharing her bathroom and generally making our time on the site quite pleasant. Laurie and Fred have been doing the same with coffee, dinner invitations and frequent site inspections. And, Judy too, is so very generous with her tea and sharing of parking and storing our trailer in her driveway. We are really lucky! So far this project is much more fun than headache.

Today it was clear and beautiful with the flowers strutting their stuff and the mountains with their snow covered peaks looking majestic. The nights are down in the low 30's so once the sun goes down it is really cold. Despite that, Brad plans on working until 9:00 tonight. I pooped out at 6:30 and Ed had a coaching appointment so he was only able to do a brief inspection before going off to his "other" job.