Sunday, May 31, 2009

The yoga helps

Ann's been taking lots of photos recently showing me at work inside the house at Wimberley. Not necessarily flattering photos. Seems she questions the safety worthiness of some of the positions I get myself into. I have to admit that some of the positions are made possible by a fairly heavy yoga practice, but are they really unsafe???

So here for your consideration are a couple of those pics, and in the spirit of modern reality television we'll just let the readers decide if I'm being safe or not. Unbiased and 3rd party judges, please vote now. Go ahead, don't worry about hurting my feelings. Really. The honest truth.

The Fine Print: There could be a free lunch in it for any judge voting in the particular way I'm thinking about...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

One Step at a Time

Recent rains at Domis Oriens have demonstrated an extreme need for some outdoor paths. Something to raise me up a notch or two above the random, muddy dashes I've been making until now. This photo shows the new path which takes me safely and mud free from the back deck to the water pump on-off switch. Especially handy since I make that walk when I first arrive and when I'm leaving the property, dressed in city slicker clothes. (Got to shut off the water pump to prevent disaster if there's ever a water leak in my absence)

One step at a time. Good advice for making it through all kinds of life's hazards.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

All Wet

The master Bathroom is now all wet! A toilet with running water, a shower with running water, a jacuzzi bath with running water. And joining them, shown here, are the newest additions to the running water family, our twin sinks and counter top.

For eco bloggers the coolest thing about the set up is probably the counter, which is a brand called Ice Stone. It is portland cement based, with a big percentage of embedded recycled amber glass chips. Yes, we have beer bottles in our bathroom. Supplied by our Houston eco store called New Living, thanks very much Jeff!

Now that the fixtures are complete I'll be bailing out of the bathroom for awhile to concentrate on other spaces. When I return, the tile floors, a big mirror, and trim work are about all I'll have left to do. Hooray!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Michael Taylor is normally far from a construction worker, but when he got rolling with this drywall installation he could have passed for one. He's come out to Wimberley a couple of times to help out, one of several friends and family who've been involved with the construction. On this occasion we worked until about midnight, and rather than slowing down Mike got more and more energized the later it got. He didn't run out of gas until well into the following day, pretty good for a city slicker! So come on back Mike, if you dare. There's not much drywall work left but I'm sure we'll find a thing or two left to do. :-)

Lit up

I'm just back from Wimberley after installing the final kitchen light fixtures, which include the four you can see here and another three out of the photo. Plus some tiny LED's in the cabinets that are really just sort of night lights. Being an architect sometimes involved with lighting issues but never actually having to design them, I knew just enough to be dangerous.

So, after consulting a few lighting books and Internet words of wisdom, I became an expert. Learned all about providing three types of light in kitchens:
1- General area lighting, preferably indirect
2- Bright task lighting for key areas such as counter surfaces
3- Accent lighting, for special surfaces or when the fixture itself is the accent.

Our general lighting is provided by two ceiling washers mounted to the right of photo, bouncing light off the ceiling and gently back down across the area.

Like everything in our new home, these fixtures are very energy efficient. Total energy consumption with all eight of them on is 140 watts, so they also give off very little heat for the AC unit to combat. Pretty cool.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Build It And They Will Come

And they are coming. Our home in Wimberley has finally progressed to the point that we can have visitors from the big city without frightening them away for life. Our friends Pat & Chuck came out last weekend and we celebrated with us. Celebrated being together, and celebrated the great outdoors, Wimberley style. And though we still have plenty of drywall dust and unfinished details inside the house, that didn't stop us from having a great time. We did make a few notes about things to have done by their next visit:
1) Running water in the master bath sinks would be swell
2) A working range so Pat can cook for us would be even better
3) Having board games like Scrabble would be preferable to playing games like "smash the millipede".
And one final note about these photos; it seems that it is virtually impossible to take a picture of Pat or Chuck without their son, er, I mean dog, Casey. We tried, but none of them came out worth a darn. So come on back soon, Chuck & Pat & Casey. I'll take care of items 1 & 2 if you bring the games.