We sailed right through today

Today was a different sort of a day.  We briefly looked at the folks finishing up the electric and the heating.  We unloaded some of our cargo that we brought up from California.

But what really made the day different is heading into Port Townsend to go sailing. I’ve always felt sailing was in my blood, but have had few opportunities in the past couple of decades.  Today was our first outing on Port Townsend Bay.  We were out for about four hours. Pictures to follow.


Back again…finishing electrical work and still waiting….waiting…..

After a very long two day drive in a 14 foot box truck lent to us by the man from whom we ordered our kitchen cabinets, we arrived back at Dragonbelly at 10pm last night.  The house in the distance looked like a ghost, being all covered in the white vapor barrier.

Topsider promised, again, last Thursday to call me back about the windows on Friday.  Here it is Tuesday night and they still have not.  We have also been wondering why they sent us R19 insulation when the code is R21.  Tonight I looked at the plans and I see that it says they would supply R21.

Today the electrician was still here finishing up the electrical work in the walls.  Because of the shape of the house, it has been a very long process pulling all the wires through.

The folks from Peninsula Heat also came today to put in their electrical wires for the thermostats and to install the boiler for the radiant heat flooring.

The week started slowly

One of the people from the electric company was here most of the day, finishing boxes and pulling wire.  There was no other crew.

Brian did some weed whacking and then we began to put together the gazebo we bought to put on the island in the pond.

Around 6, Randy called and said the plumber would be back around 11 tomorrow and could Brian dig the ditch from the source outside the house to where it is going to go into the house so he can connect it.  Brian worked on that until dark and got it about 2/3 done and will finish in the morning.  Randy hopes to be by in the afternoon to finish wrapping the house.  We bemoaned the fact that according to Fedex the shipment from Topsider is crawling across the country.  It left Columbus, Ohio tonight.

I was hoping tomorrow would be a day of play, swimming or biking, for us, but it looks like we will be busy.  We are still planning to head down to the Bay Area on Wednesday.

Wrapping it all up

After a few more finishing touches, Randy and his crew of one were ready to wrap the house after lunch.  The house was being wrapped with a vapor barrier because we did not yet have the windows and the electricians from Frederickson Electric are due on Monday and they cannot pull wire until there are either windows or the house is closed up some other way….thus the decision.

Then at lunch it happened, Randy finally got a call from Gregg at Topsider as I was simultaneously getting an email from them announcing that truckload #2 was on its way. It includes the siding, fascia, and the windows for the cupola. Since half of them will be remotely operated, the electricians needed to know what they were, so fortunately we now have that information for next week. He had no information for us about the rest of the windows.  He said he would check with the higher ups and get back to us that afternoon or on Monday.  He didn’t call back today, so we will assume Monday….hopefully.  However, having not heard from them by yesterday and not knowing when they would get to continue work, they took on another short term job.  Hopefully they will be done within in a week or two and come on back to put on the siding….which then allows the roofer to do his job, and put on the shingles.  They will come by next week to unload the truck which they estimate will be here Monday or Tuesday.  It is not a large flatbed like last time, but a smaller box truck, so it should be able to come up the driveway.

octagontubShortly after lunch, we took off for Port Townsend to arrange for fire insurance and to pick up an antique tub I had seen two days ago. Amazingly, it is an elongated octagon.  I have never seen a claw foot tub like this.  It will be a challenge to fit it in the bathroom, but we felt it was worth the effort.  boatfantasyWhile we were in town, we had to go to the hardware store, and made the mistake….perhaps, of looking at the community bulletin board.  We saw an usual antique wooden boat for sale and are now fantasizing buying it.  If nothing else, it could make a cool guest room for a bed and breakfast. I spoke to one of the owners and found out a lot more about it, and also did some research on the Bristol Bay double enders which fished for salmon in Alaska between 1910 and 1951 when power boats were allowed.  They were actually open boats and the current owners built the cabin.

wrappingitIn the afternoon, they did wrap the house and got around most of it, but still need to finish the front.  I guess he is also coming back to finish that last part of the wrap.  Then he packed up most of his tools in preparation for the other job, and left.allwrappedup


FindingcomfortabletreeWhile watching them work, I noticed what looked like a really comfortable place to sit on one of the entryway rocks leaning against one of the tree posts. It is rare that there are pictures of me as I am usually behind the camera.

I look forward to the possibility of seeing him socially tomorrow at a fundraising dance for KPTZ, the local public radio station.  On the way in to town tomorrow afternoon, we are going to go see that boat.

Since beyond the electrical work, nothing else will happen for a week or so, we are taking that opportunity to drive back to CA to pick up some of our belongings.  The wonderful man from whom we ordered our kitchen cabinets is lending us his 14 ft box truck.  He has declared that he is a new life-long friend.

Thursday and still no word

The electrician’s crew came today.  They mostly put in boxes and won’t pull wire until Monday.  There are some details they also need from Topsider, but still no word.

Randy and his crew still had some detail work to do on the framing and tomorrow will do the wrap of the house.  Randy has been calling Topsider regularly.  I did several times yesterday and again today with a follow-up email.  Maybe I should post that email here.

KitchenwallwithplumbingEarlier this week Randy told me that the soffit in the kitchen is higher than in the plans and I realized today why….they are at the same 8 foot height as the dropped ceilings in the bathroom and laundry room that are next to that wall.  Randy confirmed my realization.  I am trying to work out that detail with the kitchen designer who expect cabinets at a 92″ height rather than 96″.

An August return

We decided to drive back up this time for several reasons.  It is really hard to fly standby during the summer.  We thought we would bring up a small load of things pulling the trailer we made for our tandem bicycle behind the Prius.  At some point, we decided that it would be too hard and a long trip would also be even longer having to drive the slower speeds of towing a trailer.  We explored various options which I won’t go into detail about at this point, but ended up leaving without making a decision with a small load of things in the car.  We hoped leave mid-day on Saturday and drive to a friend’s house near Arcata, but did not pull out until 4pm…and after incredible traffic before and on the Golden Gate Bridge that delayed us for over an hour, we made the drive north.  We chose this longer route to visit, but also because it was so much more scenic than Interstate 5,  but it was dark by the time we go to Ukiah, and we did not arriving in Blue Lake until almost midnight.  Remind me not to do that again.

We left her house about 9 and after a beautiful drive along the ocean and then along the river following Hwy 199, we had lunch at a favorite buffet in Grant’s Pass. There were traffic jams along Hwy 5, too south of Portland.  We had to make a stop in Olympia and got to the farm just before midnight after about 11 hours of driving. So what should have been a 15 hour drive (instead of 14 on 5), was about 19.

ADUsepticBIGequipment diggingADUseptictank Drainfield houseseptic transfertankOn Monday, when we awoke and came out of our trailer, the first thing we saw was all the trenches and holes from the septic installers.  They had placed two tanks, a pump chamber, and the drainfield.  These are really big cement tanks.  It is a very different situation building in rural areas where you are not connected to city sewers. In the evening before they left, they asked us to start filling the tanks with water….4000 gallons, so they could be checked for leaks.  We have two sources of water here.  We have a deep well, about 120 feet, for our drinking and household water and what we call our agricultural water which comes down the road from a spring, partially underground, and partially in a ditch.  It is really better tasting water, but not safe to drink.  We used the agricultural water to begin filling the tanks.















buildingshelflivingroomwall centerofmasterBRwing platformundercupola1 plumbingmasterbath RandyundercupolaThen we checked in with the Blue Heron crew and found that they had almost totally finished framing the interior walls.  The plumber arrived to put the pex “pipes” into the walls and said he needed to know what kind of fixtures we were using in the bathrooms.   We decided to take off for Silverdale, where we could check out fixtures at Home Depot and Lowe’s as well as making stops for grocery shopping.  We were amazed at how small the selection was at Home Depot and it was virtually non-existent at Lowe’s.  So much of sales are now done on line.

There is much that I need to buy for this house new, but my intention was to get the tub and the sinks second hand.  I was exploring on Craigslist and not finding what I wanted.  There is a good second hand store in Seattle affiliated with Habitat for Humanity, and I looked at their inventory online and saw things I liked, but we were not looking forward to taking our farm truck into the city to pick them up.

On Tuesday, the construction crew continued to work on finishing up the framing while the plumber continued his part of the job.  We went out to explore the large branch which had fallen of an incredibly huge maple tree sometime in the past year.  It looked like it might work for the live edge counter we wanted in the living room backing up to the kitchen counter that would provide an eating area for at least four people.  Brian used a weed whacker to clear a path to the tree.  We thought perhaps we could pull it out with a chain using the backhoe. We became increasingly aware of all the dead and downed wood around and  thought about how we should remove it to avoid fire danger.  We were wondering if we could trade with a younger, stronger person to clear it out in exchange for a portion of it.  When Randy finished his work day, I invited him to come look at this magnificent old tree which we nicknamed grandfather tree more than two decades ago.  He suggested that we should use an “Alaskan sawmill” and cut it into slabs in place.

CuttingLastpiecesforPantry framing undercupola1 framingundercupola2Randyinit MBRsuiteOn Wednesday, the septic installers came back and said the tanks were looking good.  As I understand it, the septic designer will now need to come out to check everything, than they get backfilled and then the county comes to do their inspection. Randy and crew had just a little more work to do on the framing.  They talked about wrapping the whole house with Tyvek since we still have not heard from Topsider when the windows would arrive.  Randy said he keeps calling them, but not getting responses.  They had told him last week that a truck would be leaving North Carolina with the siding and fascia on Monday….which would mean we could expect it at the end of the week, but they never confirmed that the truck was on its way and Randy has not set up a crew to offload the truck.  We have heard absolutely nothing about the windows.  After working on the framing today, they will do the house wrap in the morning ahead of the electrician. Since the house would be dark after it is “wrapped” I shot a little five minute tour of the house before we headed into Port Townsend to run errands.  I am posting the tour on my Facebook page, and will figure out where else I can put it for those not on Facebook.

On the way in, we stopped at the local window store that had been contacted by Topsider early in July about a bid for the windows.  He said that they had submitted the bid for windows…the kind I wanted, wood clad with fiberglass on the outside, but had not heard from the for over two weeks.  Their lack of communication is now frustrating for even more people. One of our stops in town was to go to Waste Not Want Not, a very funky used building salvage store.  There I found a very unusual antique bathtub….and a sink, and put a hold on it until Friday.  It was more than I hoped to pay, but it was quite unique….and it saves us a trip to Seattle. I am still waiting for that video to finish uploading.

The current internet is very slow and it was mind-boggling how long it took to load that short video. I didn’t want to tax the system any further uploading pictures, so that had to wait.. Another of the stops we did on the way in is to order satellite internet service.  It is suppose to be a lot faster.  The guy was not there….I think it is a one man operation.  I guess I will have to call the order in tomorrow. Going to bed!