Monday, November 16, 2009

Am I as smart as my mailbox?

Am I as smart as my mailbox? Only time will tell. It just arrived today......a Salsbury Post-Mount Locking Roadside Mailbox with Front and Rear Access #4325......AND a matching #4315 10 lb. newspaper holder. HAH! I'll never be accused of not having MY priorities in order. No doors on the bathrooms entry is still a propped up board/ stove or icebox......but "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night........" you know the rest. Gotta have Netflix and the newspaper. I'm a little worried about the "non-locking access panel", "rear locking door", "convenient outgoing mail tray", and the incoming mail compartment" and two keys. But I totally understand the "adjustable red flag".'s what's been happening lately.

The ceiling is finished. As I said before it was totally done, it is a genuine work of artistry and design. Not to mention, labor. I can't imagine doing such a thing for ANYONE.....regardless of the cost and commitment.....and I feel both honored and enriched to have such beauty for the life of the house. Thanks to Michael and Jason.

Closets are finished and will still be standing a hundred years from now. That may seem like a trivial operation to some people, but I'll bet that closet installations have tested many a happy American family. One needs to bare one's soul to one's closet engineers to have ample hanging space and room for shoes. And a terry cloth robe. And a reflective vest. And "did you notice how many GRAY tee shirts she had?"

Today was the day that Jason was going to put sealer on the floors. I spent parts of Saturday and Sunday shop-vacuuming, sweeping, scraping and wet-mopping the area.......with instructions to "work my way to the door, back out of the house, leave no footprints and head on outta there." I did as I was told, and if I hadn't been practicing yoga for a while, I wouldn't be around to tell the story. Kneeling, squatting and pushing a mop should not be attempted by the untrained worker. After the concrete floor was initially poured, a long time ago, I had visions of it being a cool, elegant, monochromatic slab of grey. In reality, the floor will probably be like most durable elements of life.......and even most durable people in life.......its complexion will be a reflection of a most interesting and varied character. And it will be "celebrated" (a favorite designer word) and cherished for what it has become and how it has gotten there.

I can't get over how much better it is looking and feeling on the outside of the house since Ken and "crew" did two days of work. The driveway gravel is no longer in a pile by the road.......the dirt leveling process really puts the house, the ramp and the storage container in a better perspective. He burned down the trash pile, trimmed trees, moved brush piles into the trash pile.......and will be on hand to help with some berms planned for that same area. We're planning to plant that space with Buffalo Grass in the Spring, but after getting some expert advice at Nixa Seed and Hardware, I got some rye grass seed to put down until then. And got a lesson on how to throw it. Right there in the store. I love that place. And the people in it.

Meanwhile, John R. has been doing some clearing on the river side of the house and has been making a more user-friendly path to get down to the river. "Stobs" may be a regional term for those deadly, cut-off parts of trees or seedlings that stick out of the ground, not high enough to notice, but high enough that you will surely trip on them, bust your shins and screech the worst words you know....and John R.'s specialty is stob-removal. And there are a lot of stobs on the hillside. He should be everyone's best friend for that public service.

Most of this work, lately, has been fueled with Squirt, goat cheese and cucumber sandwiches and homemade ham salad made with Jenise's one-of-a-kind-relish, deviled eggs and Ghiradeli's double fudge brownies. Not too bad for Webster County, huh. I've been having the time of my life.

Earlier in the month, Ann Brown invited theworkshop 308 to speak to the Southeast Rotary Club about the designing and building of the house......and invited me to come for lunch and listen to the presentation. Michael was at the house installing plank at a time......while Jason gave an outstanding account of the 8747 house....beginning with the day I walked into their place with my shoe box full of house ideas to the present stage of development.....and finished with an intriguing hint of a project-in-the-works planned for a more urban neighborhood in Springfield. His commentary was so descriptive, yet concise... and his pictures, as you have probably seen on the flickr part of the blog page, are just great. It was both conscience-raising and entertaining and I commend Ann for her vision and her taste in program selection and applaud the Rotary for the consistent good works that help make this a good place to live.

And, if that wasn't enough........a week-ago-Friday, Bob Weddle and Andy Wells brought some 5th year Architecture students from Drury University to talk to Michael and Jason about the house and to tour the project. I liked seeing and hearing their reactions to this undertaking. It was good.

Plenty of stuff left to do.....interior doors......the ramp......woodstove.....deck......cut the door in the storage container.......canopy for my parking place......Gabe's audio/visual/security system operation.......various small jobs both inside and out.....I'll try to keep you posted in a more timely manner.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Out of the gutter......into the closet.....and some real dirt.

Out of the gutter....into the closet....and some real dirt. In other words.......hacking away at the to do list.

Who knew I could get excited about gutters? Flat black, commercial-type......the perfect go-with, accessory for a black fox shipping container. Kind of an agri/industrial/Calvin Klein look.
And this, my friends, is how many great works have begun........drawings on a napkin......or, in this case, my friend Sally's plan for my closet on top of a styrofoam chimichanga-leftover carton.

.................with her structural engineer husband Tom to install the plan. This is a first class operation.

These ceilings are going to take your breath away. They have truly taken the whole look and feel of this space to a new and elegant level.......have brought warmth and color where it was needed........and, if it wasn't before, will certainly make this a one-of-a-kind dwelling.
And, yes........we're paying for dirt here. Never thought I'd see THAT day.

Loyd sharing dirt stories with Jason.
Ken......friend, landlord, retired teacher/librarian, potter, sculptor, banjo-player, bike-rider, runner, renovator and heavy-equipment operator returns with his crew to move the earth. Did I say clogger?

And wife Shirley......who brought her chair and book......and read nary a page.
You get a yard full of some smooth dirt and people just come out of the woodwork to sit around and admire it. Quite the support group, eh? Only George and the dogs are missing.
Jason......on the porch......contemplating four-part-harmony.