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.

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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!

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