Monday, September 12, 2011

slick rules.

Nathaniel "Slick" Dixon has done all of our concrete work at the house. And this past week he has been cleaning up and reinforcing area under the front porch and stairs. He put down rebar before pouring a concrete base under the stairs, and then applied Sure-Wall to strengthen the foundation before Mike puts the cast iron steps back in place.

While Slick was working this week he took time to tell me about how every night they head to the Missouri River bottom where paddlefish have been stranded by the receding flood waters. I listened wide-eyed to the stories of snagging and catching these huge fish which are now fare game as hunting restrictions are lifted because these amazing fish are land locked.

On Sunday night Mike and I tagged along with Slick - and sure enough - he snagged one and let me think I was catching it and reeling it in!

Who needs deep sea fishing when you can do this right here in Nebraska? I loved feeling the "gill rakers" with my hands! (Remember the brush-like things in the whale's mouth in Finding Nemo that filter the tiny krill fish?) These amazing prehistoric fish feed on plankton. They swim with their huge mouths open and catch the tiny plankton in their gill rakers. Amazing. He was still very alive when I held him in this bottom picture. I could manage it better knowing it was like a "rescue" because all of these landlocked fish will die when the flood waters continue to recede. Mike and I cleaned it ourselves (with Slick's guidance) and we grilled it for supper.

Thanks for the great adventure, Slick! And for your great work on our house!

date night.

Last Wednesday night September 7th was the last night before the drywall guys arrived. Wednesday night is Date Night. But with insulation finishing touching to be done, Date Night was working at the house together. It turned out better because Thad Nelson was available to help too. Thad has been helping with the insulation since Mike had to go to St. Louis for a second surgery in mid-August. This huge job would not have gotten done without Thad's skilled help.

Finishing touches included Mike filling "holes" with various forms of insulation. Note: Mike would not recommend using insulation foam using a syringe. (The yellow foam only took about a week to wear off after the can dispenser exploded in his hands!) They also had to staple plastic sheeting over the insulation on the outside walls. My job was handling staple refills to the guys when their staple guns went empty so they didn't have to crawl down from the ladders. It sounds small but it actually felt very important. All in a night's work.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

august brings insulation everywhere.

If there is a better insulated house out there - I would like to see it. If there was a space, Mike put insulation in it. Every nook and cranny of the new mudroom, the kitchen, both bathrooms, the master closet, the basement, basement staircase & storage space - not to mention crawl spaces - all got some form of insulation measured, cut and inserted!

I am not kidding when I say that when you walk into these spaces packed with puffy insulation you can actually "feel it" in your ears because the sound is so muffed from the air being so insulated.

The final step on the outside walls is covering the insulation with plastic sheeting. Mike got it done. The drywall-ers started today.

If you were thinking of asking Mike to help you insulate something, I would wait a spell to ask. Mike doesn't like insulating anymore. In fact, he loathes it. Too much of a good thing I guess.

new trim.

While Mike has been busy insulating in the month of August, Dave has been working on other jobs in Fremont. But on one of his trips up he added the trim to the mudroom. We built them to match the existing brackets. This and the beautiful door we have ordered are nice finishing touches to the back entrance of the house.