Posts Tagged With: building


My son is an excellent builder with vast experience, so it was a natural to have him build my house in Oregon. We got a late start in September with hold-ups from the building department, including mis-filed paperwork, lost paperwork, demands for tests that were not required-not exactly an efficient system. The delays put us in the rainy season.  And, now that the building is in progress, the rain makes things difficult and slows down everything. There are days when I’m hanging on-line or hanging next to the phone. Our roofer, expected to arrive yesterday, had to bail. Hours of phone calls, I got another roofer and it will be finished today, one of two clear days.The plumber comes in on the 20th.

So, I’m still necessarily absent from this blog a lot, but here is a progress report:

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The foundation was set in late September.

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The West end of the building. It is under 1,000 square feet. But the gutters are on, the rooftop is up, papered and ready for shingles.

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The East end of the building. It was necessary to design a small building, long and narrow, in the same shape as the mobile that was destroyed by an inside flood. We learned the cause during the take down. A tenant had hot wired the electrical and when he left, a pipe inside froze, and the well, still hooked up to the electricity, kept pumping water into the place.

My property has a river running though it and it has flooded twice since 2001. Not at the building site which is considered part of the 100 year flood plain. (I learned a lot about flood plains.)  So, my building site was restricted to the same area where the mobile was. Doug has built it as a one man project. The subs are roof, electric and plumbing.

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The north side of the house faces the road. the window openings are covered with plastic to keep out the rain.

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I did a walk through with the plumber and electrician before Thanksgiving. The windows are now in, the showers/tub, arrived on Thursday after a long wait. I’ve designed this efficient little house to be wheelchair accessible with handicapped bathrooms. Now that these special units are inside the framed building, the sliding glass door can be set in.

My Oregon neighbors tell me it looks great with the siding on and the windows in.  Doug didn’t expect to have to stay in a 5th wheel so long without a break to come home, but he is dedicated to the job and will stay until the plumber and electrician are finished. He didn’t make it home for Thanksgiving. But he will make it home for Christmas.

The fifth wheel he has been living in, the bathroom is so small he can’t use it, he has a porta potty on the job. He is unable to shave in the mirror because his arms hit the walls and he can’t get to his face.  Not a good choice on the 5th wheel, but it does give shelter and laughter.

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Now, meet the dragon. When I first began traveling back and forth between Murphys and my place in Oregon, I enjoyed a roadside sculpture of a bull. Not to be outdone, another rancher set up this marvelous dragon to entertain we passersby. He doesn’t fit well in a single photo. He must be 25 feet long.

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The other joy is majestic scenery. Mt. Shasta is visible in the distance, but she was obscured by clouds when I was at the optimum place to take a photo on this trip.

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A handsome devil, wouldn’t you agree?  My next trip up, early January, hopefully, I’m going to attempt to photograph the bull up close. Hmm!  With those eyelashes, he might be a she.

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My mother and her sisters, my aunts, always left little quotes at the bottom of their letters and cards. It was always fun to read them. And, my mother was full of homey homilies like, No rest for the wicked, or Itchy palm? You’re going to get some money; Cold feet, warm heart; Itchy nose? You are going to meet a stranger; Always eat a little sour with your sweet; Waste not want not.

Her sayings came so automatic, kind of a mixture of advice, superstition, moral admonitions. Who knows where they came from>  It was just a part of her personality. I miss her so much.

I chose the title because I’m so busy, super busy, I feel like the fox chasing his tail.

I’ll be absent these pages, off and on while I take a trip into the Bay Area working on a fundraiser for the archive. And, another trip to Oregon for a walk through on the house my son is building for me that will be wheelchair assessable. Then it is time to get ready for Thanksgiving that I’m hosting at my house.  So…


My Feet they haul me Round the House,
They Hoist me up the Stairs;
I only have to Steer them, and
They take me Everywheres!

This little ditty is by Gelett Burgess and I can think of a half-dozen verses to add to it to describe my life right now, but I’ll let it go at that.  Maybe some of you can add some verses if you are so inclined. This one is in the public domain and does not require permission.

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I’m driving for the second time since my surgery and decided to have lunch with a friend  9 miles away in Angels Camp. The Prius battery pack, way over warranty, protested by not shifting gears when I went up a steep hill. Stuck!  I waited in a rain drenched spot on the side of the road for one hour. Luckily I had a magazine to read. When the tow truck appeared, they didn’t have the proper equipment to tow a Prius. I had to abandon my vehicle and return home. The tow company has it in their yard and will deliver it this morning to Modesto Toyota. I guess it wasn’t a wasted day.  I played with pictures all afternoon. I was able to load one picture only this morning because the post editor has changed something fundamental about uploading pictures. And, nothing else will load.  I guess it is like waiting for the tow. It will eventually get fixed.

Anyway, this is a clever sculpture as part of a building in downtown Portland, OR.




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