Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tourniquet Journey

Not sure if I spelled that word right. Anyway.

We've been doing our best to make do living in rather crowded conditions in our half-finished house in a self-storage facility. It has been very difficult to get much of anything done, due to the limitations on storage space. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of anxiety that set down upon me in light of the idea of moving into the house so unfinished... or the compounding of that feeling that was created by the idea of actually moving the house in an equally unfinished state.

However, I have pretty much decided to bite the bullet and do the best I can to make it happen. We're just going to eliminate everything we can, and basically lay what's left across the floors of the house so they can't crash around much.

I'm at the library, taking advantage of the sporatic option of internet access. I'm trying to tie up loose ends... still don't know WHERE my fridge is (the replacement one.) and I'm hoping the vendor who sold me the hot water heater might do an exchange for an actual on-demand tankless heater. (This one turned out to be the wrong choice.)

Anyway. It looks like we are going to attempt a launch on wednesday. We'll see if we have our truck and everything else lined up by then. Hopefully we can manage to get everything taken care of in time. If not, we might have to camp out in someone's driveway for a day or two.

That's your update. Sorry they are not more in depth or often, but it is hard to work with the limitation of having no net access. That's one of the great things about post-move... we should have internet access at Kevin's mother's for the next month, which will allow me the information access I need to get things done at a decent clip.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Isn't it funny...

Isn't it funny how when we make a big deal out of something, the universe will sometimes show us that it was not such a big deal after all. Sometimes in rather round-about ways that allow you compare to much worse scenarios.

So, let's say the silicone nightmare really wasn't so bad.

Here is the update:

After talking with Bub about the situation, he informed me of a temperature mix valve in the shower that will prevent water from flowing if the hot water line is not on.

Since I had not yet actually tried the heater, (I've been delaying turning it on because... well, let's just say I had a bad feeling about it.) it became the obvious next step.

So I came home and got things lined up. I opened the cut off valves for the sinks and turned on the hot water flow. I then climbed up to the loft and opened the valve to let the cold water into the heater. I heard a lovely rushing sound, and was pretty pleased with myself as I waited for the tank to fill.

Just as I was about to climb behind it and plug it in to get ready to turn it on, POP, WOOSH... i had NO idea what opened, but SOMETHING was spraying water out from what seemed to be the back side of the unit, which was stuck up against the wall in an unaccessible way due to the stabilizer frame bub built to hold the unit in place.

After a complete freak out complete with screaming, swears, and crying, I managed to get ahold of myself a bit. Moth came over and helped me deal with it...we soaked up whatever we could with towels, and messed around with it some more to try to figure out what happened.

Finally, I took the drill out and took the framing off so we could slide it away from the wall a little.

What I discovered was a second pressure relief valve opening, much like the one on the top with the pressure relief line installed in it.

I was pretty confused at first... I didn't understand why that plug popped when the top relief spigot never activated at all. I STILL don't entirely understand how that relief valve works.

After leaving a crazy voicemail, I heard back from Bub, who mentioned a small brass screw-plug thing that was in the "spare parts" box. He didn't know if this was what I needed, but thought maybe it was supposed to go in that second opening, whichever one you don't use for the relief valve.

This morning, I climbed up there and pryed out the plastic "cap" in the relief valve, and screwed in the brass plug. It seems to be water-tight, and must be it's designed purpose.

I don't know why the plumber didn't know about the need to close up this second valve opening. I'm kind of frustrated that he didn't. Now I am worried about how much water poured down the back side of the shower area with the batten insulation and everything. God knows, really.

I gave up entirely on this project last night. That is how much the straw broke the camels back. I literally said, "I'll throw the whole fucking thing in the trash!"

I am feeling a little more balanced about the situation now, but I am still entirely terrified that we will develop a mold problem behind and around the shower. Pretty much the worst possible place for a whole bunch of water to fall, after we urethaned and I meticulously sealed in the entire shower, god-knows-how-many-gallons falls BEHIND the shower.

Mold is pretty much my worst enemy, and if we end up with a mold problem I will probably cry like a little girl.

Well, enjoy your relatively predictable reality!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Silicone Nightmares

Sooo... i finally broke down and sealed the shower yesterday, even though we haven't finished the ceiling paneling in the bathroom.

I siliconed in every nook and cranny around the shower... made the mistake of starting near the bottom, so by the time I was trying to do the top the fumes were near unbearable. I was nearly suffocating trying to finish the top.

So... I finished the whole thing, then tried to turn the shower on. No flow.

So I thought there must have been an on/off valve somewhere preventing the flow. Oh no. "It's probably inside that access panel underneath that Bub told me about." I thought.

But I had already siliconed in the whole area, and done a nice job of it too.

I accepted defeat for the time, and told myself that I would peel off the silicone and dig into the panel in the morning.

Morning came, and I tried to get at that silicone. That stuff does NOT come up easily, especially off soft pine boards and oak hardwood floors. (Kind of terrified about trying to put down another layer now.)

I said "fuck it" and took a knife to it.

After cutting the board free and wrenching it out with a hammer-claw wedged into the tiny space between the peck's pipes, I discovered the climax or anti-climax: no knobs under there.

My frustration had at this point reached a crescendo and I began shutting down. I sat for about 20-30 minutes, more or less just staring at a wall.

What else could be done at this point?


I called Bub this morning, and got him to contact his plumber. It turns out that the water will not flow to the shower unless the hot water is on due to some temperature-check-valve or something. Personally, I don't entirely understand this, but it is an answer that means I might be able to take a shower tonight, so I am embracing it.

What sucks (read: pisses me the fuck off) is that I already ripped the damned silicone off that bottom panel. I could rip my own fucking hair out over this situation, if only that would do anything helpful.

So all I can do is take home a razor blade and try to scrape the god damn silicone off the floor and wood without taking off the urethane underneath. (Oh my God.)


I'm on the verge of a psychological check-out here... God damn.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Before James and I moved in, we put 2 coats of polyurethane on the interior. Here are some photos of James, Kevin and Mike working on that process.

After the first coat of polyurethane was dry, they sanded. Here Mike is vaccuming up some dust from the sanding process.

Here's Kevin, doing the same.

James is wiping off any sanding residue that might have been missed, so we can put on the second coat.

This fan has been a great help to get the fumes out, as well as circulating the heat. I'm so happy we decided to put it in.

Move-in day. What a mess. Lots of organizing and shelf-building to come…

Here's Mozy, exploring the Lovable Loo (before its first use).
We'll definitely need to keep the lid down.

Jelly bean is enjoying the view from the loft. I think the kitties really like it here. We set up their kitty towers so they can use them to get in and out of the loft. James and I are also currently using them until we build some other method.

We spent our first night in the little house last night. The smell from the combination of wood and polyurethane concerned me somewhat, so James opened a window. Luckily it was warm enough last night that it didn't cool us down much. The fresh air was nice. When I woke, Mozy and Jelly were both curled up in the loft with us, right in front of the window.

I really appreciated the silence and darkness—something I'm not used to having when falling asleep. It felt like camping.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Moved in.

We moved all of our crap from the hotel into the little house yesterday, and brought the cats there before work this morning.


The place is still a disaster area... there's no space to do anything, much less unpack... and there's no furniture whatsoever, so we can't unpack anything really. We're supposed to just live in it like this, I guess. Wonderful.

I wonder if the water heater works.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Maiden Voyage

Today my dad helped us bring our little house on its maiden voyage to its temporary living place until we head south for the winter.

The total height is 13' 4" at the tongue end and 13' 3" at the back end. I admit, I was nervous about the bridges, and held my breath as we would go under each one.

My dad said that there is a bit of weight falling on the tongue of the trailer, and suggests when we're traveling, that we pack the back end of the trailer to try balancing it out. Today it was traveling empty, and the back end of the trailer will be holding a lot more stuff in general, so that may help too.

Just before the first bridge. Oh, how scary.

Pulling into its new home.

My dad working some house-moving magic.

That's me and my dad. I'm so thankful he helped us on this maiden journey. His wisdom and experience about towing was really invaluable today. I now have a lot more confidence about traveling with this around the country after seeing that it is possible to tow it.

Here's a blurry, not-so-great photo of the dividing wall between our offices. I love that there are some shelves built in to use the wall space.

Kitchen sink & counter minus the cabinet doors… they're back ordered.

The view through the bathroom door. Check out the faucet. I love that thing.

I'm incredibly relieved to have landed our little house after its first journey. James has taken tomorrow off to seal the interior and do some other things to help make it ready to move in. Hopefully we'll be able to move in next weekend.