July 17, 2009

[Mockingbird Acres] On Track

The drywall (aka sheetrock, aka rock board, aka gypsum board) crew just left for the day. They expect to be finished with the job on Saturday. They have been so great, especially considering the fact that they have to move our stuff around whenever it gets in the way of where they need to work. They have been careful and really hard-working. I highly recommend this crew to anyone who needs drywall work done in south-middle Tennessee. They even brought us some vegetables from their garden this morning.

I am sitting in the house amidst the drone from two air circulators. An unusual weather system pushed in last night bringing rain and cool, moist air which does not help the drywall mud to dry quickly. I also have the portable propane heater running on high to help the drying process. We are staying in a local budget motel for the next week to avoid the noise, dust and - soon - paint fumes. I'll be turning the heater off before I leave.

BTW: If you ever think you can drywall your own home by yourself (and you are not a professional) you are crazy. JoAnna and I were crazy for 2 minutes a few weeks ago, until she perused a How-To book at the Home Depot. Believe me, it is best left to the pros.

The house is really starting to feel like a home now that we can no longer walk thru walls. The walk-thru closet that connects the bedroom to the utility room is jam-packed with our meager belongings, so we can't walk thru it at this time. I hung the drywall in the closet ahead of the real drywall crew so we would have a dust-free place to store stuff while work was in progress We have our tub set in place and hot water run to it via a potable water hose made for RV use. A fancy hose nozzle with multiple spray patterns and a lock-on feature makes it easy. A nice feature on our tankless water heater is that it allows us to set the temperature of the hot water, so we get a perfectly heated stream of water without having to mix the hot and cold together. I like 104ยบ F.

JoAnna collected a nice bundle of veggies from our garden yesterday morning. It won't be long before we're overrun with squash. I have been encouraging the guinea keets to roam about the garden, hoping they will eat any pest bugs they find, but they rarely venture away from the fence line. The other night I found them all (3) outside the fence boundaries, down near the pond. I got behind them and herded them back toward the garden gate, and decided I wouldn't do that again. They're supposed to roam the property and eat the ticks, which is why we got them. But they are so timid, I doubt they will ever be of much use for that. I guess I'd be extra cautious too if I witnessed 18 of my crew disappear in a few short weeks.

The other flock of birds is doing well, except for one of the leghorn chickens. This one chicken - which I call Halle Birdie, JoAnna calls her Halle Barely - decided to fly up and perch on my half-lowered car window to get a better look at the giant furry beast inside, aka Render. Well, Render acted in self-defense and got a bite on Halle. She let her go after the brief altercation, and Halle limped away and under the house. She perched there for a while, and then made her way back to the chicken tractor (coop). She was limping at the time, so I thought she might be okay after a day or two. This took place about two weeks ago, and Halle is not quite better yet. She hasn't left the tractor without my help, but she has a good appetite and is showing signs of using her legs again to move around. She manages to scoot around the coop using her wings and beak, so she can get to the water and food. I probably should have killed her (it) after 3 days of idle behavior, but I am new at this and I have hope that she will recover.

Yesterday, the big rooster sneaked up behind Render as we headed out of the house for a potty break. We were just a few steps away from the house, and before I knew what happened, Render had the big bird in her jaws. I don't know if the rooster was being bold or just stupid. Anyway, the scuffle lasted 5 seconds, and the rooster was freed. Immediately after the incident, Render briefly growled at me like a psycho dog. I sometimes call her "Cujo" as a pet name, but I didn't think she had it in her. I calmed her down and led her out to the potty area and everything was okay. Even the dumb rooster is fine, if not a little more skittish when I'm around.

We got our land-line phone installed today. The ATT guy lives just down the way in Prospect proper. He was kind enough to wire the RJ-11 jack in the house since he had the tools and parts. Now we can enter the 90s and start connecting to the world using dial-up. 25kbps, here we come! Anyone remember Prodigy™?

There's a giant sink and a nice electric range currently in the side yard, waiting to join us in the house. I can't wait for JoAnna's la-bor-atory to be in working order. Even though she has been producing some really great meals and snacks under these rough conditions, I miss the glory that is her food. I think she is eager to start cooking at home again. She has been so patient, and patience isn't usually her thing. At least she can see the progress. This kitchen is so big, we're planning to install a monorail.

Progress Summary:

indoor hot water at sink - √
indoor hot water at tub/shower - √
reliable communication to the outside world - √
walls - √
food provisions grown organically in native soil - √

We are on track.

Posted By Kelly to Mockingbird Acres at 7/17/2009 08:53:00 AM

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