P1030355DANCING GNOMES? Despite a bothersome drizzle, we pressed on today, laying down the subflooring for the main floor of the house. The gnomes in the above photo are dancing to the left of the kitchen with the living room in the background. Note Rachel’s future view from her living room/dining room. Turn slightly to the left and the view takes in Mission Ridge. The soil around the construction site had become quite dusty of late. Dusty soil equals sticky mud that cakes on boots when it rains and that is exactly what Rachel and I had to deal with today. With each step my “mud sole” got thicker and thicker until I approached NBAish height. I spread some gravel to cover the mud and that helped a lot. Of course Rachel’s Wenatchee mud is minor-league compared with Nicholas’s Virginia mud. That stuff was pure potter’s clay. When Mary and I helped Nicholas build his house a few years ago it rained for a week and that Virginia mud literally sucked my boots off.

P1030356.JPGWENATCHEE MUD Over the weekend we had to lift the beam that supports the center of the house. That took some engineering as the chain hoists Rachel and I are manning in the photo below show.

P1030351.JPGHOISTING THE BEAM When the lumber truck delivered on Friday I noticed that the 34-ft beam had been cut into 18-ft and 16-ft pieces – not 20-ft and 14-ft pieces as the plans call for. I hadn’t picked up on this discrepancy when reviewing the order. Thinking that the beam was unusable since the main support column has to be at the 20-ft position under the beam, I descended into a state of apoplexy. A $513 beam useless!? I eventually came to my senses and realized I could support the beam at both the split and the 20-ft position with separate colums. Whew! Next: a staircase from the basement up and then we start framing the main floor!