Saturday, August 3, 2013

Backfill Continues

Before work began this morning, we checked the progress on the north wall.
The west wall.
And the south wall wall.
The west wall didn't change much. Phil just piled soil up on the north wall, so the boys can scramble onto the roof without using the ladder.
The real change came on the south wall. In just a few hours, Phil had put up insulation along the bottom few feet, and cut down the steep slope and made a mostly level plane.
We can actually stand downslope and see the whole front, which hasn't thus far been possible, with the mountain of dirt in front.
Phil told me later about a harrowing moment in getting this mostly level site. Although I still cringe when I see the tractor go on three wheels, that is daily work for Phil. Today, though, he somehow rode the tractor up a slope and found it tipping toward the structure. "Usually," he said, "I react just as I'm supposed to." Something about a clutch and throwing down the bucket and going in reverse to back down. Today, he did exactly what he wasn't supposed to. Bucket up, accidentally going forward. I don't know how he is yet alive, but I am thankful that he is.
That temporarily weed-free, almost flat surface was ideal for Joe, who ran back and forth.
Then he fetched his brothers.
They all ran back and forth.

I was looking at the interior. I noticed yesterday that our parge coat wasn't drying in a spot. Looking again today, the spot continued to be damp-looking. Damp-feeling, too.
When I pointed that out to Phil, he used his critical thinking skills to note that this west wall is the prevailing front for rain, and, although he had put in the battens, he hadn't put the sealing tape over the batten and the flashing, offering a little crevice for the rain to enter. So that became the next priority: get the tape done.
I'd forgotten that the tape itself isn't quite enough, but the special, four-hour-later sealer is the final step. Phil did one of the four walls with that sealer, but got a huge swatch under his arm. After spending twenty minutes scrubbing himself raw, it was late and he was clean, and so we ended this week of work. Quite impressive visible progress.

I am almost 30 weeks along now, and have had babies anywhere from 39 to 41.5 weeks along. It's amazing to think that it was just seven weeks ago that Phil finished the concrete. Everything since then has been much faster, thankfully.

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