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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Nothing specific...

Wind, calm, cold then warm, that is how it goes around here, there is no pattern that I can discern, all I can say is that when it blows, it really blows! I can normally sleep through just about anything, as long as I know what it is, the other night, the wind woke me up and I stayed awake until after daybreak, our little cabin has been reinforced quite a lot, much better than it was when we first got here. But the wind still makes a lot of noise, and for some reason, it kept me awake. The next day was pretty calm so I took a long nap. The good thing about being awake when the sun came up was seeing the gorgeous sunrise, seeing the sun highlight the mountain tops, working it's way down into the valley, and seeing the daytime animals coming to life and doing their thing. I am used to seeing the mule deer walking from the west to the east across our property in the evening, about an hour before sundown, it was nice to see them going from east to west that morning just after sunrise. I also got to see some different birds, I will need to get a bird book to identify these birds, they are much different from what I have seen for years in the DFW area, with the exception of a few black crows, I don't recognize any of the other birds.

Today is warm, the temps are getting up above 70 degrees F, the sun is shining, the sky is clear, and there is just a hint of a breeze today, it was calm last night too. Bob went into town to see the dentist yesterday, the appointment got messed up, blame it on the cell phone breaking up, they called us to confirm the appointment, we called back and got a voice mail, we left a message saying that Bob would be there, but the signal was not very good, and apparently they thought we were canceling the appointment, so they allowed him to come in anyway, but really didn't do much, took an x-ray and rescheduled him for another appointment in about a month. But the trip was not a total loss, he went to a lumber yard and found a really good deal, they had a stack of 2x4's, strapped up, I'm not sure exactly how many, but there are a lot! They were asking $5.00 for the bundle, they were beat up a bit, but perfectly usable for us! What a bargain! These usually cost $5.00 each, he also got more cement powder and a few other items. Our friend who took him to town also gave us some things, a small cube refrigerator, some tools and other things, he is a very nice man, very generous. He is the local builder and asked Bob to help on a job, it should take about a month to complete, so I will not be seeing Bob during the day for a while, but that's OK, the only snag will be the fact that Bob will not be working on our stuff as much while he is doing this, but we are sitting pretty good right now, so a month will not make a big difference.

Bob has been doing concrete work around our cabin, he uses straight cement powder (not the premixed stuff), he is creating what is called soil cement, this uses the dirt and rocks (gravel and larger rocks) instead of buying sand and gravel. This is a common practice by the state to make embankments and such, in fact the embankments and sidewalks in this part of Texas are often tinged pink because that's the color of the dirt and they used the dirt in the mix. This makes a strong concrete and it's pretty too. Bob uses a cement mixer we purchased at Harbor Freight, he uses the generator to run it and he has been pouring footings and walls. It's a long process, he creates a form (for the wall), mixes the concrete, pours it into the forms, tamps it in and waits for it to set. He usually pours about a foot tall and 5-6 feet long at a time. We also have to be conscious of the weather, we can't pour if it's going to freeze, that would ruin it, make it crumble. But once it is done, we will have strong walls, fire proof, rot proof, animal and weather proof.

Life out here is becoming more routine, I am getting used to cooking on the wood stove, heating water on it too, I just have to think ahead, getting hot water isn't just a water faucet away, I try to keep at least 2 containers of water going on the wood stove at all times, one for making hot drinks (coffee, hot chocolate, tea...) the other, a much larger container, a stock pot, is for cleaning, I wash dishes with the heated water, I also wash myself with the hot water, I feel like those old time westerns where you see the water pitcher and the large bowl sitting on the cabinet, you pour the water into the bowl and wash yourself from that, the difference is I have hot water and it makes a big difference! Even if the fire has gone out, the stock pot keeps warm for quite a while, even overnight, makes it nice to be able to wash up with warm water in the morning! :)

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