Thursday, June 28, 2012

Day 30 & 31 - We've Been Framed

Day 30

Mistakes happen.  They always have and they always will.  YOU will make mistakes.  I will make mistakes.  Even MR.W makes mistakes  (I know, that is shocking!).  The question is not "What if there is a mistake?", the question is "How will I react to a mistake?".  We have the option of flipping out and getting mad and yelling at people and acting like a child not getting their way OR we have grace and tell them it is okay.  They are mortal.  You are mortal.  Mistakes happen.  We try to fix the mistakes or live in spite of them.  Seeing as we are newbies at this construction thing, we make our fair share of mistakes.

Today was just such a day.  The morning started with the concrete truck arriving and filling up the grade beam forms.  Apparently the pour went rather smoothly.

Then Mr.W started the guys out with framing the longest wall in the house - a mammoth 60' 6 1/2" all in one span.  It included 4 window openings.  Then just as I was arriving, Mr.W was off to his other work after leaving instructions with Jay.  When I arrived, the guys had it framed out and were ready to nail down the OSB.  I hopped in and helped out, attaching the top plate and OSB.  Once that wall was sheeted, we stood it up.  It is no easy task standing up a sixty foot wall on the second floor of a building.  But, we are now practically experts at using the wall jacks so we had those ready to go in minutes (all without arguing!).  Jay and Mr.B manned the jacks while Mr.E (a teenage friend hanging out with us for a bit this summer) and I guided the outside edges of the wall.  With not too much difficulty we got that wall standing.  I was quite proud of us for being able to get it up even without Mr.W.  After that wall was framed, we moved on to other exterior walls.  Those walls were left lying down for the night.

After we had that long wall standing, Jay noticed the distance between our two bedroom windows seemed really small.  Ideally, our queen bed should fit between the windows but this space was only big enough for a double.  Maybe.  So, Jay measured and discovered that the spacing was, indeed, wrong and now we had already stood up the wall.  How were we to fix that? 

Just as I left to pick up the kids from Grandma's house, where they had spent the day in the air-conditioning recuperating from the sunburns they got the previous 2 days playing in the pool (I now have waterproof sunscreen for them that I did not have before), Mr.W arrived back on site to check out our work.  Turns out, we made a huge error in attaching the top plate.  Our overlaps were not nearly long enough which caused us a few "issues" when we were standing up the wall and could cause stability issues if we left it.  He is so trained in his work it only took him about .6 seconds to see it.  We never saw it at all.  It was one of those instructions Mr.W gave Jay but he just forgot.  It isn't that big a deal to fix but it was certainly an important mistake.

I felt terrible today.  I was almost physically ill.  And it was all my fault.  This morning I forgot to eat breakfast.  I know, big mistake.  Bigger mistake was not eating lunch.  That was unintentional.  See, we have a fridge on the property and there was a pasta dish in that fridge that I was intending on eating.  When I pulled it out at lunch, the dish had gone bad (it wasn't that old, just a really bad fridge.).  So, on a very hot day working super hard I was undernourished and probably dehydrated.  I felt sick and like I was going to pass out.  I was glad to go home.  I learned a valuable lesson about taking care of my body when working so hard.  I cannot expect it to perform well if I don't fuel it.  And drink lots more water.  A LOT more water!

Day 31

Oh, the grace that is offered when mistakes are made is sweet, indeed.  No, we did not fix the top plate issue just yet but it is not that huge a deal to fix.  We may just wait a little longer to tackle it as there are a lot of interior walls that need to be anchored to the exterior wall and the top plates would have to be adjusted to allow for that anyway.  As for the window situation, turns out it was a measuring error when Mr.W was laying out the bottom plate.  So, he quickly fixed it, moving one window over and now it looks just as it should.  I am so thankful for Mr.W - for his smile, his ability to admit when he makes a mistake and his grace for us when we make ours.

Today, I felt fantastic.  I slept well.  I ate well.  I drank water.  And it wasn't so hot!  There was quite a strong wind today but given the fact that the house is inside a shelter belt, the strong wind was a cool breeze.  Mr.W said if we were building out in the open, we would have shut down for the day due to the strong winds.  As it was, we kept right on framing.  We were able to get almost all the exterior walls completed.  We stood up some and left some lying down as the wind played a bit of a factor in standing those up.  Hopefully the wind tomorrow is lighter, if there is any, and we can finish the second floor exterior walls.

Mr.E, our teenage friend, took off all the forms from the garage grade beam.  That was a hard job but he plugged away at it, working diligently.  He is a great kid!

Surprisingly, the kids were only in the pool for a little bit today.  Since today is Thursday, we bring along a little DVD player and they can watch a movie, which they did.  They also had fun playing on the main floor of the house since we are no longer working down there.

However, some of the supplies are still there and my sweet little Ari found the construction adhesive.  Imagine this, if you will.  A paraffin hand treatment where you dip your hands in melted wax.  Your fingers and hands are coated in this smooth and creamy wax.  Now imagine it is construction adhesive.  Strong, brown, sticky glue.  ALL.OVER.HER.HANDS.  Coating every finger and both sides of her palms.  Thick and gooey.  Her fingers were sticking to each other.  I did not take a photo.  That stuff is horrible to take off once it dries so I immediately took her to the bathroom to wash it off, or at least keep it from drying.  Comes off much easier that way.  Now, it still takes a lot of work.  This is not a water-based product that just washes off.   You sort of peel it off in really small sections.  Takes forever.  But I can promise you she will never play with the glue again!  (Just so you are not worried, there are no power tools plugged in anywhere where the kids are playing.  They are quite safe.  And if we are concerned for their safety, we scoot them to a safer place right away!  They are more prone to hurt themselves on the dirt hills than in the house by us.).

Tonight is one of those nights when we would love to go back to the house and work but we know we should rest.  So, the kids will go to bed and so will we.  After all, the house won't build itself!

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