Forming the House, Part 5


All of the underground rooms of the house look like boxes now. The Durisol is rapidly disappearing. Most of the exterior walls are complete and many of the interior rooms are done. Skill saws are used to cut the Durisol planks into suitable pieces. Chop saws are  used to cut the rebar.  There are lots of whirring and cutting sounds in the air these days!

A sign of things to come is the gray tubing. This is conduit for the electrical wiring that will be placed in the house prior to the pouring of the foundation. Gosh. I am beginning to sound like an engineer, eh? But I am not. I am barely hanging in there regarding some of the technical explanations Steve is providing. I am considering taping our conversations so I won’t make any mistakes!


I am always talking about Bella. Today I will tell you about Niles. He is not very large, as you can see from the photo. We don’t know exactly what breed he is. My brother calls him The Traveler’s Insurance Dog–the dog in that commercial does look a lot like Niles. I acquired Niles when my nephew joined the Army and was stationed in Afghanistan. Niles needed a home and my nephew was pretty sure he knew of a good one for him. 😉

So Niles has been with me for almost three years now. He is pretty independent, except when he is not. As you know, he scouts around and is often off exploring when Bella and I are hanging about the site. He is fearless and very barky.

On this day, after scoping out the site, we decided to head up the mountain (where the satellite tower is) and make it all the way to the top. I was worried about Bella and those ants. I should have been worried about Niles, as it turns out.

The trip up was uneventful except for the new views of the new mountains. Check out the Martini Shots to see examples. I counted 30 ant beds of varying sizes along the way and decided that they were such a presence on the mountain that I would leave them be. If you would like 3 containers of Amdro Ant Killer, just let me know. 🙂

It was wonderful to reach the top and see the vistas and the satellite installation. The three of us walked around and I took pictures. The wind blew. Black birds (later identified  as white-necked ravens by Steve and I discovered they are now called Chihuahuan Ravens) soared and dipped and dove elegantly through the air. And a small herd of aoudad sheep perched on the rocky side of the mountain. The only reason I saw them is because one knocked a rock loose and it went crashing down. They are delicate and beautiful creatures.

It was time to go. Bella was right beside me, as usual. Niles was nowhere to be found. As usual. Unperturbed, Bella and I headed down. I kept whistling and calling “Niles!” and assumed he would eventually catch up with us, which is what usually happens. Halfway down, still no Niles. And that is when my imagination kicked in. Were those birds big enough to gang up on Niles and carry him off? We had seen bobcat tracks at the building site. Could there be a bobcat around in the middle of the day? We know there are mountain lions in these mountains. Snakes. Oh no. Rattlesnakes. That did it. I turned around and went back up the mountain to find Niles.

Bella and I hunted for him for an hour. We craned our necks over very rocky precipices and trudged through stickery grass and lots of deer poops, calling his name. Well, I called his name. Bella just acted like she spotted him around every corner. I expected to find his little white body every place I looked. But I gave up. Bella actually gave up before I did and I followed her down, tears in my eyes, certain something terrible had happened to poor Niles.

Of course, he was waiting for us at the building site. Covered in stickers (which are actually some kind of seed, according to Steve) and very disheveled, he was jumping up in my arms and barking! I yelled at him and then I hugged him (like a mom, right?). Steve said he saw Niles waiting at the JEEP and he laughed when I shared my fears. He observed: “Dogs are smarter than we are–they just go home.”

One thought on “Forming the House, Part 5

  1. Keep an eye on the pups, your fears are not unfounded! A few dogs have gone missing from our barn (IN HOUSTON) because of the coyotes and bobcats.

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