We are preparing for the “monumental pour.” This is a new stage of the building process. If the weather is good (it must be 40 degrees and climbing on the morning of the pour), then the pouring of the cement foundation will take two days to do. Before the holidays, if all goes well. If not, then after. The gray tubing for the electrical wiring is being laid in the footings. The Durisol planks are being reinforced with wood. Piles of adobe blocks and Durisol planks are gone–the site is looking neater now because most of these pieces are in place. Next, the bug man will visit and put down the anti-termite and other bugs deterrent. Rebar will be laid (twice and overlapping) in the footings. And there will be foam. I do not know what that looks like yet, so stay tuned. Then the monumental pour. I really like the sound of that!
Steve took me a road trip to the tank from which he is getting the water we need for this project. This is a stop-gap measure until the line from the well is brought to the house. A gallon of water weighs approximately 8.35 pounds. Steve uses his truck with a trailer to haul over 8,000 pounds (1,000 gallons) of water from the ranch tank to our water tank at the building site. His truck is amazing and the equipment he has manufactured himself to make this possible is pretty amazing too!
New stages require new words: jitterbug, slurry, bullfloat, power trowel. I will tell you what these are once I find out.
It froze. 19 degrees on Monday. 21 degrees on Tuesday. It was brisk, let me tell you. So brisk I wore a baseball cap AND my hood and Bella wore her Camo sweater. Niles is fine–he has what is called “a biscuit undercoat.” He is made for cold weather.
Bella and I may not be made for it, but we sure do love it.
On our daily trip to the mountain on the second of these two cold days (Tuesday), as we moved up we discovered the herd of aoudad sheep at the top. Bella gave immediate chase, but they were already racing across to the other side–fast!–and her efforts proved only a minor irritation. These are nimble, hardy, and beautiful creatures. In one of the last pictures in the Gallery, I tried to capture them. They blend in so well with the terrain that it is hard to see them.
On the way down, I noticed Bella stopping and staring several times. Finally she pointed. I stood still and watched. She finally flushed the biggest javelina I have ever seen! The animal did not come out until we had passed its hiding place on the road, but Bella knew it was in there and pointed for the longest time. Then I think she realized it was something that could eat her, so she skipped on down the road. I followed her for a bit and then turned to see if Niles was following us. He was. But just then, further back, the javelina raced across the road, really big, but nimble and fast, and gave a big SNORT. I was stunned. We kept going down the road but I turned to check at least 20 times before we made it back to the building site.
Although I have seen nothing to frighten me really, I think of Hobbes: life is nasty, brutish, and short. And in the case of the life I am seeing around me here, it is also FAST.