A New Season

It seems like this time of year a whole set of changes take place. The summer tourist season comes to an end. School starts back up. Local, college and professional football starts. If you go by the meteorological calendar rather than the astronomical, summer has given way to autumn.

Once I graduated from college, it also became my favorite time of the year. No more back to school and all the others were a thing that made me happy. It still is my favorite time of the year, but this year has taken a back seat to another arrival. The timing of this arrival does not have an exact time or even an exact date, but there is a “ballpark” date for when it will come. That ballpark date is in a week to ten days. The event that is taking dominance over all else right now is being able to move into the Barn-Dee-Minium.

While I am extremely grateful to have a friend of our family’s let us stay in his camper free of charge and while I am also grateful that it is located less than 5 minutes from where the Barn-Dee-Minium is being built, the camper is getting smaller and smaller a day at a time. Especially when it is full of 3 humans and 2 large dogs! I can say that when I was asked if we were doing anything for the holiday weekend, it was nice to say “Camping!”. Seriously, my typical answer is usually: “nothing, just relaxing and doing a few chores around the house”.

This week will be easier on me, as it is already Monday and school starts tomorrow, so Nora, Grace and Bleau will be there for most of the day. The camper is a lot more roomy when it is just Huck and I!

So speaking of the Barn-Dee-Minium, some great progress was made on it in the past week. When we last left off, the sand had been put in and partially leveled and the forms were in. By Monday afternoon, all of the below grade plumbing and electrical work had been done (and approved). One of the things I did not like about my previous shop was the fact that the electrical supply to the larger stationary machinery came from the ceiling. At times, it would interfere with me using those machines. So this time around, while designing the shop, I also designed the layout of the machinery, so we could put in the below grade electrical runs right to where the machines would be.

Tuesday had a fair share of rain and the crew also had to be on site at a different build to go through the check list with the new owners, so no work got done. However, they sure made up for it on Wednesday, as by Wednesday afternoon, all of the sand had been leveled and packed. All of the rigid insulation had been put in place, all of the re-bar for the thickened edges had been set in place and all of the pex tubing for the in-floor heat had been installed and inspected! That meant that we were ready for the concrete to be poured!

So, after waiting out the bulk of the rain Thursday morning, the first of the concrete trucks arrived around 11 am. The crew for the pour was large (7 in total) and very well versed in the art of pouring concrete. They ordered up a conveyor truck for the pour. It was the first on site and in a short time, the boom was being put into place over the slab. The boom/conveyor allows them to have the concrete placed exactly where they want and also removes the arduous task of having to use wheel barrows to haul the the mix to areas of the slab that a traditional concrete truck chute cannot reach.

It took over two hours and around 40 yards of concrete to fill the forms and it did rain for most of the time. Most of the rain was on the light side, although there was a period at the beginning of the pour where it came down moderately. That caused the concrete to be a bit more creamy after leveling and vibra screeding, but also kept the mix from curing too quickly. They were able to use the bull float to pull most of the extra cream off and then the waiting game commenced for things to dry enough to hand and power trowel. I left the site at around 6:30 pm and they were going to give the woodworking area one final run over with the power trowel to give it a nice polished finish to make it easier to clean up the wood dust and shavings. So needless to say, it was a long day for some on the crew!

As the concrete was drying, Grace put her hand print and initials in the wet concrete. A friend of hers, Huck and I also put our hand prints and initials in the slab and we also put Nora’s initials, the other part of the “Jacobsville Trio” (Graces group of good friends here) initials as well as Millie and Bleau name.

The crew took a well deserved day off on Friday, but Grace, one of her friends, Huck, Bleau and I went over to check things out and do a bit of work. The slab was plenty cured enough to allow us to go on it and the girls had a fun time inventing games to play on it.

Tomorrow looks to be a pretty rainy day up here, so I am not sure if any work will be getting done, but I figure it should take only 1-2 days to get the walls framed and another day to set and sheathe the trusses and at that point it will be dried in. The trusses are not on site yet, but my delivery date is Wednesday. Once it is dried in, then I will jump in and get all of the electrical done in the walls that will be insulated. We are going with spray foam insulation as we did in the shop and house in Mohawk and they will be called in as soon as my electrical work is done.

As soon as the building is insulated, I will be moving in to ease the congestion in the camper and allow me to be right on site and work on things at every opportunity. CAN’T WAIT!

As mentioned, the weather has been good and bad this week. Monday was a beautiful day and the crew got lots of work done. Grace and I took advantage of the weather to take a bike ride from the build site up the road. It sure was enjoyable for both of us and we look forward to many more trips on bike and on foot. Nora plans to join us next season, but is walking 4-6 miles every day with a friend.

As the rain was finishing up Tuesday afternoon, I was on my way back from town and suddenly a rainbow appeared. This is obviously no my first rainbow, but it sure was a special one, as one of it’s ends appeared to to end right where we will be living soon. I think that is a very clear sign we made the right decision.

Not a whole lot of other things have been going on. Pretty much working at the property, staying in and staying dry, or getting in a little fun exercise. The colors are starting to show. Less so here in the banana belt than up in the higher terrain. I have not been to the Mohawk area for around a week now, but the colors in the Calumet area are more noticeable than we have here. That is fine by me and illustrates how the climate here is different from that of the higher terrain.

I guess that about covers it for this one. Hopefully the next edition will have pics of a fully shelled in building! It seems almost hard to believe! More magic in this magical land.

Good night from the Keweenaw..