Water Shed Momment

Our buldozer “Dozy” and our work PickUp “Moby”, have had to remain out side in all weather conditions.  We decided to give them a little protections with the help of 3 guys from West Coast Metal Buildings in Salem, Oregon. They put up a metal “carport” for us next to our storage barn. The building process was amazingly fast.IMG_0507
First we had to create a level gravel pad and have the underground power line marked. They guys showed up with all the carport material on a trailer.  Here is a time-lapse video showing the build.

Wow, That was Fast!  We had some salvaged metal roofing panels (that happened to be the same color green),  so we attached them to the side supports to give us even more protections from the elements.

IMG_0523Even though Moby’s back end has to stick out a little, both he and Dozy are pretty well protected.IMG_0282

A Port (hole) in Every Home.

It is wonderful nearing completion of our entry hall.
IMG_0486 Here Jeff is putting the final paint touches on our entry door.

IMG_0485I added copper screening to this antique porthole which adds a cool and functional feature to the broom/utility closet.  (the space is well vented and gets some natural light)IMG_0491IMG_0495Pretty much all we have to do now is save up for a door blank to cover the water heater opening on the left. (matching our other interior doors) And get a storage cabinet that will go to the right of the yellow settee to hide the back of the refrigerator. (IKEA here we come)  Of course there is also trim work to do but it’s great that our entry hall is no longer a tool storage room.

This and That Too (2)

With a lot going on this Summer, I apologize for not keeping our blog up to date.  A few little projects have been going on. imageWe installed our new washer & dryer in the entry way.  It’s great having them conveniently in the house.  No more trips the the Pump House. Though when the weather is cooperative, we hang the laundry out to dry.

We also finished off the entry “closet”.  There is lots of space for shoes, boots, coats and hats.  Now to the other side of our entry “arch”…IMG_0222imageWe framed in a small utility closet to keep all those things you want to have handy but out of sight. (broom, vacuum and such)  To add some architectual interest, the round hole you see in the picture will hold an antique porthole that came from a shipwreck. imageAnd of course there’s more plastering to do.  I’ve gotten pretty good at this.  I especially like all the radiased corners.  Much overdue was finishing up the plaster work in the guest room.imageimageThere! almost done.   Now, moving outside…imageI wanted to create a little outdoor art with some leftover steel arch sections.  This gave me an opportunity to practice my welding skills.  Dozy came in handy with holding the heavy steel in place while the concrete base sets up.

imageI’ll be adding some lights and perhaps somehing hanging.  Also, this was a convenient spot to have an outdoor plug.   Moving to the roof….imageWe needed to protect the waterproofing that comes up out of the ground around our chimney.  So we added a stainless steel collar and a ring of mortared brick at the base.  No lawnmower or weedwacker will have a chance to damage the waterproofing.IMG_0428Son Beckett spent a few weeks visiting this Summer and helped out.  Here he is keeping a heavy bucket of mortar from rolling down the hill while I do some waterproof patching.


Our master bathroom concrete vanity is finally in place and plumbed.  But first there was a bit of grinding to do.  We used diamond grinding pads ranging from 30 grit to 1500 grit.  There are quite a few imperfections in the surface and we were not able to achieve a “glass smooth” finish.  But we actually like the chiseled granite look and feel.
It’s great to finally have a working sink. And a rather handsome one at that.

Now on to the next project…. The entry hall closet and laundry.When you enter our home, there will be a coat closet on the right, followed by the laundry area, and then our water heater. (which will be hiden behind a wood paneled door) The partition walls are now plastered and ready for paint.  We still have to build a platform for washer & dryer.

Not Vain about a Vanity

It seems that it’s always a 12 step process to accomplish anything when you are building a house.  And that is no less true in making our concrete vanity for our masterbath.  First there was creating a level workspace. Then there was creating the form. (2 actually)We used 2″ foamboard stuck down with two-sided tape. This is for the small counter that will top the back of our dresser that comes through the wall between our walk-in closet and the bathroom.
Our wheelbarrow is too tall to fit “under” the mortar mixer for dumping so I built this custom cart on wheels.  So finally we could mix the white cement with Quartz aggregate, some regular sand, coloring and other secret ingredients to make our colored concrete.

Time to fill the moldsYou want to try and get out any bubbles so I made a “concrete vibrator” using a pnumatic needle scaler and a tin can. (black beans work best)







Now we wait for a few days. But we really wanted to see what this was going to look like after grinding.  So we tried it on a test piece.  We think the color and look of the aggregate is supper cool.

And now for the big reveal.  We will start on the surface treatment in a couple of days.

This and That

As you may know, I am still recovering from a shoulder injury ( picking up one too many 90 Lb. Bags of mortar). I am happy to report that my shoulder is much better.  I still have a ways to go before I’m 100% but I’m gettingbetter and stronger.  We have been able to make a little progress on smaller projects.

In the entrance hall, there will be a coat closet and laundry on the West side.  So we put up the framing between those two spaces. Once again having fun building to a curve. We have gotten really good at scribing plasterboard to the curved walls.  It’s amazing how sometimes closing in a space makes it feel larger.

Since we had a supply of plasterboard ( looks just like Sheetrock), we decided to finally close in the bare studs above the guest bathroom. It will probably be some time before we can plaster these walls but it’s really nice to get them closed in.

And now for something completely different. We received this beautiful Japanese Maple as a wedding present. Jeff has been very anxious to start on some of the exterior landscaping but there is still much work to be done outside the structure (North side entrance and retaining wall). However we are done working in the area on the West side off the Master Bedroom.  The perfect spot for this beautiful specimen.

Little Shop Of ……….

When we cut in half the metal shed that stoerd the milled lumber from out trees,(now that it’s all used up), one section went to storing firewood and the other half went to storing Dozy.  But now Dozy (our little bulldozer), has to share the space with a small but usable shop space.

We added a partial wall and a door and window  (all salvaged) to keep the elements at bay.I’m trying to figure out a way to make a door large enought for Dozy to get through so for now, a tarp will do.  The LED lights you see in the first picture are powered by a battery charged by the solar panel on the roof.  For now, Dozy has to stay outside as we have set up a workspace to build the concrete bathroom vanity counter. More on that later.

Catch Up

Well we made it through a wedding, holiday festivities and the new year. So here is a recap of some of the things we have done in the past two months. We put in pine T&G boards in the Master Bathroom (matching what’s in the M. Bedroom)  Which is a wonderful background for my fathers watercolor painting. And further reflected in our beautiful round mirror…Jeff and I recieved some (not your normal) wedding presents. Three of which you can see in this picture.A door for our pantry (I am staining to match our other doors), a new fridge and a dresser.Here Jeff is putting a clear coat on the dresser.

And now the new pantry door is installed.Our latest project is the Master Bath vanity.  We have put together the base. (got to love IKEA!)I am excited about attempting to make a concrete countertop. This will be and interesting project. And an opportunity to learn something new.



Big Day on the Hill

Jeff and I have been partnered for nearly 24 years.  It is a true test of a relationship spending nearly 6 years in a leaky trailer while building our dream home in the hill. Not to mention all the monumental challenges of taking on such a project.  Though our house is not yet finished (is any house building project ever finished?), we were able to fulfill another dream.. And that was to be able to be married (legally as a same sex couple), in our own amazing house.  Circumstances were a bit last minute but with my mother and two brothers and my son visiting for Thanksgiving we decided to tie the proverbial knot.

Wednesday, November 26 with a few dear friends and family in attendance, the rainy skies cleared and gave us a glorious day for the event.We are sorry that more friends and family couldn’t attend but we will make up for that when we host a huge “Anniversary” party in April of 2016 which will mark Jeff and I being together for 25 years.  Everyone’s invited!