Monday, August 19, 2013

Porch, Garage and Lots of Mud

***Um.  Lots of pictures in this one...

We finished the porch ... well, it has a floor.  Finished will mean screened in with a roof and all. we couldn't wait and this was really before the floor.
Ah.  There's the floor.  
Don't jump, Mercy!
My first company for lunch on the porch.

And now the mud part begins...just when I about had the yard looking good.  Ah, well, it is all just temporary and now I have less to mow!
Coming down the driveway.

And around the corner.

He pushed the burn pile out of his way and was good sport
enough to let me save the little snake that was living
in there even though he is seriously afraid of snakes.
I was taking these pictures from the porch and when 
he saw it, I started yelling, "Don't kill it, don't kill it, don't kill it!" 
and running down the stairs.  It took us three tries, but
now the snake lives in the woods.

There's the box...

...let the digging begin.
I'm telling you, that thing could dig!
Reminded me of the story,
Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel.

Even though there were a few little rocks!

Big hole.

Big septic tank.
Connections to house and leech field.

Big trenches beside my house for the leech field.
But, the fire pit was safe.

Big trenches all the way down the driveway for
the underground water and electric.

Big storm the night after the trenches are dug, so....

Scooping, scooping, scooping

water out of the low corner.
The trench makes a turn here and goes to the house.
Yes, he dug up my driveway, too.

But, I can forgive a lot when he has one of these... drill the remaining 10 holes for the 
garage posts.
In about 15 minutes!
Oh, yeah.
And there he is, making it all
look so easy.
He could use that giant machine
so smoothly it looked like
an extension of his arms.

Rick helping to set the posts.
And our diagonals are within 1/4 inch!
Yes.  We are that good. 
Ack.  What do you know about planting grass?

Can you see it is going to be a two car garage?
Don't mind the glare off of the metal roof.

Ah, progress.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Lightning Bugs

photo of lightning bugs in the Great Smoky Mountains

As I was leaving Shangri La Ti Da one evening, it was just at the time that the lighting bugs begin to rise and I was inspired.

From a safe, relatively safe, and known position on the ground, the lightning bugs rise into the dark sky.  Tiny fliers in the vast and descending darkness.  

Not only do they rise, but they rise and shine their light, their light just big enough to illumine a small sphere around them, for as long as they can.  They don’t drop back to the ground when their light goes out, but continue to fly and wait to be recharged to shine again and again and again.  Each of them lights the area where they are, just that area.  That sphere of influence.  

They shine because it is what they were made to do.  

They shine even though it is a beacon to what may swoop down on them from the darkness (like small children with jars or bats hungry).  They shine until the light of sun comes anew.   

Courageous little lightning bugs.

We, too, are made to shine in the darkness until the Son comes anew.
Are we that courageous?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

HVAC? check!

We have been busy this week building our upstairs porch.  We just got rained out this evening and I can tell you one isn't water tight!  Oh well, roof to come!

On the inside we had the HVAC guys come and install duct work and some sort of machine thingy.   I told them that I was going for a vintage cottage industrial vibe and if they could put the duct work up neatly, I wouldn't cover it up.

Challenge accepted.

Have a look.  

Here are the boxes that....
...the octopus legs came squished into.
I kind of liked the octopus leg look, but they didn't get to stay very long.

A few brick had to go and this guy was
very glad that it was only a few!

Shiny industrial look....yes.

It did get more finished than this, but no photo.

My kitchen light....a bit industrial, too.

When they were done, they wanted to know
right away if it was good enough to 
stay uncovered.

I vote yes!

Little by little a home is being made.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Post Hole Porch Prelude....

The last big truck came to Shangri La Ti Da with supplies for our garage, deck and upstairs screened in porch.

I can remember how exciting it was to get the first load of house building supplies as we started this adventure!  And getting the last load was pretty exciting, too!
Still need a few garage roofing supplies, but not a BIG truck full!

And then the fun began.  Post holes.  Four to start for the upstairs porch and then 10 more....LATER...for the garage.

Here are the tools.  Nothing fancy or electric. 
Good old fashioned human power.
And here is where the porch goes....
commence digging!

I was in charge of the spud bar to
loosen up the dirt...and I use the term 
dirt very loosely, because it was anything
but loose....lots of hard pack and clay!
That spud bar weighs about 305 lbs!  
OK.  Maybe there is one digit too many
in there....but not by the end of day 
weighed at least 305 lbs. by then.

My little husband had the clam shovel to 
pick the dirt up and out.

Hole 32+ inches deep and 12" square.

Bricks in the bottom for the post to sit upon.

See that one nice band of topsoil....about 5" worth and it 
got covered with the dirt dug out from the house hole...
but it was a nice little break.

Our good friend, Rick, came to help and that was such a blessing.  I could have done what he did, but then we wouldn't have had anyone to take the pictures!  
Get it level and build supports.

Yep.  Still level.

Put in some concrete...

...and some more concrete.
Those things aren't going anywhere for awhile.

Ready to see how much it is starting to look like a porch?

I did a happy dance!

I love working on the house with my little husband.  And I love when help comes, too!  And I love that I can start to see my porch.....ahhhhh.