August 30, 2003
Putting it to Bed
The five interior cordwood walls that make up the master bedroom and closet were completed this week. The last wall of the bedroom was a window wall and I found myself wrestling with a screw-gun attachment that was suppose to make lath hanging a breeze. The darn thing kept jamming on me and didn't do much to keep my hands from aching. Old age and/or carpal tunnel has made working with cordless drills quite painful at times. It's the gripping of the drill overhead that seems to be the worst.
Since I plan to do a lot of plastering, I decided to invest in a pneumatic stapler made for hanging lath. I first checked out the prices at Menards and almost fell over. (I really think they should pad those isles in case people faint.) To make a long story short, I ended up buying a new one (still in the box) on Ebay for less than half of the price. I should have it in my hands in another week and I'll be sure to report on how well it works. It should make things go a lot quicker and less painful too. (My old age and/or carpal tunnel seems to be bother me most using drills. Putting up cordwood walls aren't a problem.)
Besides putting up lath, building cordwood walls has been quite a struggle due to high heat and humidity. (It really saps the strength out of you.) Along with the August heat, there was very little rain during the month and some of the farms in the area (especially ridge tops) are parched to say the least. Both corn and soy bean crops are suffering and our neighbor's sod farm hasn't faired any better.
Thursday evening it finally did rain, but not much more than a tenth of an inch. After the rain, I went outside to slurry paper for the next day's work but I was quickly distracted by the beauty of the departing thunderstorm.
The whole sky from the zenith all the way to the southern horizon was glowing various colors of red and yellow. It cast an eerie red glow making the grass vivid green and the clear sky to the north a vibrant blue. In the distance was an occasional rumble of thunder and if you listened closely, you could hear the faint sound of rain falling in the distance. (Out in the country away from traffic and city noise sound travels quite far.)
There was a slight cool breeze coming down off of the bluffs and there was an aroma in the air that can't be described in words. Looking northwest a few wisps of fog lingered over the bluff tops. It was quite an experience and one I will not soon forget. All of the aches and pains now seem so trivial.
For those of you interested in visiting our house-in-the-making, we will be having an open house on Saturday, October 4th. Along with the open house, you'll be able to see a cordwood demonstration.
open house is in connection with the Solar Tour of Homes to be held throughout
the Midwest. If you are interested in learning more about the tour, click
here to visit the Midwest
Renewable Energy Association's web site. If you would like to come visit,
please feel free to send an email
With the recent drought, the slurry barrel seems to be quite the "hangout" if you are green.