Sunday, March 30, 2008

Signs of Spring

Here are some pics from our wonderful and relaxing stay at a Wimberley B&B last weekend. I wandered around looking for signs of spring, and here are some square versions of what I saw:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

My, What Nice Form You Have

The nice formwork for the garage foundation, of course. Here my bride is posed in fine form herself with the first of those forms, which she helped me get started this weekend. Probably smiling because she got through it without me dropping anything heavy on her. She did have somewhat of an encounter with the wet, gooey silt in the bottom of the trench, but since I cleaned the evidence (her boots) before taking this photo we'll just pretend nothing happened there...

It's cool for me to have family and friends involved in the building process. Partly because I do this kind of stuff for a living, albeit on a larger and less hands-on level. It's fun to watch them discover the hardship and rewards of work that is often left to undocumented workers. It's also humbling for me to discover the many tough hours involved in doing work that I designed with a few short, computerized pen strokes.

My son Alex will be visiting in a couple of weeks, and then we'll complete the formwork and get a concrete truck to rumble on out and fill it up. It's getting way too close to the hot weather time to keep working outside for long, so I need to wrap this little job up. Then it's back inside to conditioned space for a summer's worth of finish work before venturing out again in the Fall.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

This Bud's for You

Here are a couple of buds from Wimberley, some of the first early signs that Spring is near. The first is a tiny little something-or-other about the size of a pea. None of them were opened enough for me to clearly identify.

The buds in the secound photograph are much easier to ID; they are a cluster from one of the many Texas Mountain Laurel shrub/trees that cover much of our property. The fragrance from them this time of year is spectacular. Like standing in the middle of a grape bubble gum factory.

Next weekend I'll be in relaxation mode at a Wimberley B&B with my sweetheart. The timing should be perfect for a wider variety of beautiful blooms that are a little further along than these first scouts. Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, and many others should be in full swing by then, and my camera will be waiting.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Family Affair

My daughters Vanessa and Stacey, and grandson Braden(plus one on the way) made their second visit to Wimberley in as many months, determined to make some real progress getting more drywall installed. And while they won't be going to work anytime soon for a drywall installation company, it was great to have them there putting their mark on our home. Hindered only slightly by taking turns keeping my grandson from getting into trouble, we actually did get some work done.

Someday long after I'm gone, my great-grandkids may be able to sit in the house and say things to my daughter like "Grandma, if you tell me that stupid story again about how you drywalled this whole house by yourself I'm gonna scream!"

Picured here are the two of them after receiving there Drywaller Training Diplomas. Standing with Braden and my relieved wife Ann (relieved that everyone still had ten hand digits).

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Let There be Light

Things are happening in the stairwell of our Wimberley house (which also serves as a south facing light well) designed to let light stream down the stairwell walls. Up until now the walls consisted of open wood studs, so there hasn't been a whole lot of streaming going on.
Now the stairwell is nicely flooded with light during the day, and I installed the first of the light fixtures which will keep it lit during the night. They are an example of fixtures designed specifically for the new generation of fluorescent bulbs, in this case highly color accurate 4-pin compact "sticks". The fixtures are also an example of the decorating style I'm aiming for, a sort of slightly hill-countrified modern look. Basically contemporary shapes but with colors like these oil rubbed bronze light bases.
Now I'm moving on to the living room, where I hope to complete the drywall, have it tapped, floated, and painted, and put in the home's very first flooring (a rugged, dirt-hiding stressed hickory) by summertime.