Sunday, June 23, 2013

Flooring, Day Two

Phil had to move the cows a long way, from the farthest point of the south pasture, across our land to the north. He was up early, moving the cows in the heat of the day, gathering posts, reeling line, moving the waterer. Getting the cows to move through the chute took only 5 or 10 minutes (compared with four hours last spring! Yay!), but the total task took somewhere over four hours, including a lot of hill walking.

Belle was extremely grumpy that she could see her friends, but could not join her friends. I could not tie her in to milk, and once out of her paddock she refused to go back in, so I finally just tethered her and let her be. By 11am, with her friends moved on, she was ready to stand and milk. But her babies refused to move out of the shade to drink the milk! Strange thing to see.

Phil, exhausted from his lifting and working the day before, took a nap and cooled down. We finally got out to build after 1pm. I hammered the last 48 nails in the side hangers. Phil carried down the middle beams. I had been wishing for a chance to screw those together—it sounded much easier than hammering! I had my chance soon. It was not actually easy. The laminate was sturdy, the sun intense, and when I was done, I went to lie down. Cardboard under the plywood, with work humming around me, allowed me just to fall asleep and dream about a black widow over my head when Shadow came up and stuck her face in mine.

I could hammer more hangers. Always more to hammer. Whereas I think the day before took 40 to 60 whacks per nail, I was cruising along at about 30, feeling good about my efficiency. Until, in order to stabilize the center beam, Phil hammered in a few. I watched in disbelief: after he got the nail started, he could pound in a 3" nail in seven strokes. Then five. Then FOUR.

With the gauntlet laid down, I did manage to drive a nail in 15 whacks. Clearly an improvement.

I noticed something sweet, something I hadn't seen before, in one of the concrete foundation blocks. Someone had written Phil & Amy.
And Jadon 2013 Apr.
And Joe Isaiah.
On the final side, there was Abraham. And I had thought, "The poor baby, no identification." But no! There was a little "?" for the new one. So sweet.
We finished 3/4 of the joists. Phil and Jadon got started on plywood sheets, with Isaiah helping intermittently. Then Phil put up some bituthene and rimboard along the far wall, and we finished all joists on the north side. Since the final eighth then contained all tools, the workspace, and the stairs, we held off on those for another day. We'll load up all final materials onto the finished plywood before we remove the stairs. It was sure a mess in that final eighth.
By 9pm, we were all wiped out. Joe had come down in late afternoon to ask if I would read him a book. I gratefully headed into the shade of the house and read to him until I fell asleep. That would have been restorative except I had two dreams back to back that startled me awake: Phil would come in and say, "There you are!" Oh, the guilt of slacking off!

With about 12 sheets of plywood to go, and just 40 more nails to hammer into hangers, we are really getting close to begin done with the floor!

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