Winter is here! We had hoped, planned, prayed to be "in" before typical mountain weather
arrived, but here we are, still living in the RV! At least November weather was terrific, and we should only be
here for another 3 weeks. We are house-sitting for our friends and neighbors the Ewbanks, from December 22nd
until January 8th. Then we will either move in or "camp" somewhere else for a few days. The RV will
be at a Grand Junction RV dealership awaiting a new owner.
This week saw the electricians (Mark Briels Electrical) and roofers (Edelman
Roofing) get started - excellent. However, their progress stuttered: the roofers started on Tuesday but
were nowhere to be seen on a perfect (weather-wise) Thursday, and also on Friday (not so perfect - we had about
9 inches of snow on Thursday night.) The electricians started on Saturday, and turned up again on Tuesday - but
there were only 2 of them (I had expected 3), and one disappeared before lunch on Wednesday! He reappeared on
Friday and we are promised 4 guys on Monday. Who knows when the roofers will reappear.
The plumbers continued again this week - from time to time. The "central
vacuum system" pipe work was also installed - this will be a real boon when it comes to clean the house
ready for our move in.
We also chose a stone mason, who should start next week, and the glass company
came to measure for the log truss windows. It'll be so good when those windows are in and the front door is on;
then we can fire up the temporary propane heat and light the fire - then those working inside should be toasty!
Mike worked 2 days this week, Ben 1 and Kevin 3.5 (he left midday Thursday to drive to Denver
before flying off to Cancun, Mexico for a week's vacation - we are all envious!) Ben started to drive the hour
from home on Friday, but quickly turned around when he heard that I-70 was closed near Glenwood Springs - the
result of a major accident: a tanker crashed and exploded, closing the highway in both directions for 12 hours.
Progress this week included: more siding, framing of the Master bedroom side of the fireplace and the fireplace
hearth, and 2 "sonotubes" to support the garage truss log columns. The latter required more digging
of frozen ground - not fun, but it kept me warm!
We also ordered the counter top material for the kitchen - Silestone - and the garage door.
On Saturday Jenny and I worked overtime (!!) planning to stain some log
siding, but the stain (5 gallons of it) was frozen solid, so instead we did several other odd jobs; "every
The surprising news this week was that the RV dealership we had expected to
take our 5th wheel before Christmas (to sell), went out of business! This may prove to be a blessing, since the
"few days" between our house-sitting (see above) and moving into the "Daly Homestead" look
more like a few weeks, just as Jenny expected.
This was a very mixed week. The electricians continued their work, this time with 5 men on Monday, 4 on Tuesday
and Wednesday, and 3 on Thursday; they finally finished their "rough" electrical work on Saturday. I
must say that we are very happy with Mark Briels, his men and their work. The stone masons started on
Wednesday, but left pretty soon over a disagreement or misunderstanding concerning pre-payment of 35% of their
charges. They didn't reappear this week, even though the problem was resolved the next day. The roofers also
did not reappear, despite several promises from Caleb Edelman that the work would be finished this week.
While all this was (or wasn't) going on, Ben worked with me 4 days, and Mike 3
days this week, while Kevin was enjoying 5-star luxury for an incredibly low price in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
(the result of the 9-11 effect on tourism south of the border). On Monday I helped the "log guys"
erect the fifth and final truss in the living room - it looks great! On Tuesday and Wednesday, Ben and I built
the log mantle, with good advice from Sergio (#1 "log guy"), scribing, chain sawing and grinding
saddle notches into the mantle support logs (see photo in the album). This was fun and
the result was very satisfying, and we celebrated by lighting a fire in the fireplace.
Mike finished the siding in the living room, and on Friday, Ben and I spent
the day "pulling" cable: coax for TV and satellite Internet, CAT5 (telephone-type) cable for phone
and data (Ethernet), and speaker cables for the audio system upstairs and the "home theater"
downstairs. I worked 5 hours on Sunday to complete this cable-pulling. It's hard work, but it saved us money
and we know exactly what's what. Sometime soon we must test the cable - before it's hidden behind dry-wall.
The week before Christmas started well, with the electrical inspection passing without incident. However, the
insulators couldn't start before Thursday after all and by Friday night they had only completed about half the
job - another 3-4 days lost.
We chose stone for the hearth (Pennsylvania Blue) and the porch (Frontier),
and the stone masons reappeared and, by the end of the week, had made a good, if slow, start on the fireplace.
The roofers, however, were still awol!
Our log guys almost finished the first half of the log stairs into the
basement - they are going to be gorgeous!
Larry Rose (Alpine Tile) came to measure up and give us an estimate. He
showed us photos of his own Amerlink (Manuppella) log home in Silt: fabulous!
On Friday, Monarch Doors installed the garage door - this took Clint,
the owner, all day, single-handed. The result is a very nice, rustic, rough-hewn wood look, instead of the more
usual steel panels. It's amazing what a visual difference a garage door makes!
We made progress
ourselves with Mike, Kevin and Ben on site for much of the week. Ben & Mike "furred out" a
concrete wall with batons and plywood, ready to take cultured stone; this was to fix one of the problems left
over by Superior Walls, where their wall under lapped the logs above by 1" - 4" over a span of 11
feet. We finished all the outside siding, completing the tricky gable ends (see Kevin on the roof in the album!) We also worked on a cedar drip sill that will cap off the stone work
around the house.
I had hoped we might see some action on Saturday and Monday (and Scotty, our
builder, had led me to believe that I would!), but everyone in the mountains takes off early for Christmas - if
I wasn't trying to get our house finished I wouldn't blame them. On Saturday, after we moved into the Ewbanks,
where we'll be house-sitting for two weeks, I did my Christmas shopping: not as late as those years when I was
"enjoying" the experience on Christmas Eve!
Wishing you a Happy, Blessed Christmas!
Christmas Eve, only Kevin and I worked, and we broke early to attend church services (Kevin in Avon and us at
our church in Carbondale (Church @ Carbondale).
That evening we drove to Ben & Jennifer's in Edwards, and on Christmas
morning we were joined by Jennifer's family; the 10 of us had a very enjoyable day.
Boxing Day (December 26th) is part of the Christmas holiday in England, so we
took the day off and enjoyed Ben, Jennifer and Kevin coming over for a Daly Christmas dinner (it's so good to
be house-sitting for the Ewbanks!).
Friday there was (almost feverish) activity on site: roofers, insulators, masons, log crafters, and us! The
insulators finished and we passed inspection on Friday, the masons finished the fireplace (except for the
hearth) and the log guys made more progress on the stairs.
On Saturday Jenny helped me finish some very tricky siding in the kitchen
which Kevin and I started on Friday. She also did some much-needed cleaning - amazing how messy the place gets
with us sawing, planing, sanding, etc.
Ben drove down on New Years Eve (bless him) and helped me finish the kitchen wall.
Jenny and I opened a bottle of champagne beside a roaring fire in our
fireplace - if we can't live there yet, we could at least celebrate the start of a new year in our home. We can
now look back on a satisfying, though at times frustrating, year and look forward to spending most of 2002 in
our new home. But before that, there's more work to do!
Come back soon to check on our progress.
God bless and Happy New Year,