Friday, December 30, 2011

Just under the wire....again!

Well now then there, I just got around to the hardest part of this project, blogging about it. Not that I don't like talking about what I am doing out west, but typing is no fun for me. The title "just under the wire again" is in reference to the fact that for the second time I have barely accomplished the goal that I had set for myself at the beginning of the year. In this case it was getting the Rock house in the dry before the end of the year. Closing in the ends of the roof along with the area overlooking the lower roof, framing in new window sills, building and installing doors, and installing the windows. All along the way, bit by bit the work blocked off more and more of the wind that whipped through the place. Sadly, the Owls have had to find new residence. On a brighter note, just when I thought my good fortune of finding free building materials had played out , I recieved a call from a couple of very thoughtful (and quite attractive) women that live right here in Kilgore. Bobbie and Lisa Wylie . It seems that Lisa was perusing my blog , seeing that I was working with reclaimed materials, and thought that I might want to tear down and reuse their 100 year old family farmhouse not far from where we live! Of course I was very pleased and thankful for their generosity. Thank you so much Bobbie and Lisa! There will be pleanty of materials to finish my various projects. The wood is very nice, and straight! My good fortune held up around Thanksgiving. I was cordially invited to dine with the Foster family by Bennet, grandson to Eleanor. He, along with Mark Spurlock and Gene Foster did most all the cooking. And might I say, not as a cook, but as an expert eater, that it was absolutely delicious. Thank you, Foster family. I also had a couple of visitors right at the end of my sortie. John and Gem Hillier, from right here in Kilgore, were in Alpine to see friends and came out to see me. We had a great time playing cards, telling lies and having a few refreshing beverages. We all left for East Texas the next day. On a secondary note, I finally acted on an urge I have had for five years. I made an offer to my friend and neighbor Eleanor for her 75 VW beetle. After her counter offer a deal was struck and I am now the proud owner of yet another VW. I'm sure Karol will be thrilled. Well I don't know how much of what happens out there is going to interest any one but me. Or even how much of what happens out in Big Bend I can or will repeat. So for now I will bid y'all adieu.......R

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This isn't Hell, but you can see it from here.

I had decided to return for the summer in June, but my good friend and neighbor, Eleanor Foster, called and warned me that I maybe should wait until things really warmed up. It had only been hitting 117 or so in late June and early July and August might be more enjoyable. I returned to the desert in late July to get my fair share of abuse. I consolidated all of my solar panels and batteries to try and power a small air conditioner to attempt to mitigate the temperatures inside the adobe. That effort proved futile and I finally went to Alpine and bought an evaporative cooler which worked fine.

The work on the rock house consisted of covering up the framed up walls with boards I had acquired from wrecking out a building in Winona and boards that were given to me by Mike Hamilton from a gazebo. I also was able to connect the 3 water storage tanks with a manifold to ensure that all 3 filled simultaneously.

The owls that are living in the house now continue to be perturbed by my presence. I see them flying out of the windows as I approach in my truck. One day, after I walked in and sat down to contemplate my next move, I heard a rustling behind me. I turned around to see a rather large great horned owl sitting on top of wall staring at me. We began a stare-down and I thought that the owl would be intimidated and fly away immediately. After 15 seconds, I realized that the owl might have something else in mind. After half a minute had elapsed, I started thinking, "Do owls attack people?" I began to get concerned and not wanting owl talons to be gripping my jugular or any other vulnerable area, I thought about shooing him away. That was all that was necessary because he turned and flew away right then.

I read in another Terlingua blog that there are no posers out here, only survivors. I didn't know what to think of that statement at the time, but now I know precisely what they were talking about. Returning to East Texas and the air conditioning, I felt a tinge of guilt leaving my friends behind. But I will return soon and continue with my plan to have the rock house in the dry by the end of the year. (Not that it isn't dry enough already!)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rock house

Went out April 15th. Resumed work on window sills, framed up walls and set some tanks. My family was helping me near the end of this sortie so we got gutters up also. I do not know what I would do without my wife Karol and daughters Ayrton and Bailey, who show up right in the nick of time like the cavalry and boost the project ahead. And least I forget best friend Heidi who has been here at least twice and is a fantastic help also. Pretty, funny,hard working, and smart. That would only begin to describe all these women. I am indeed fortunate. I drilled the wall studs and pulled wire and cut boards that came from Winona and Houston to cover the walls. Am planning a return soon so I can get my fair share of abuse this summer. Come on Rain! Hea ya ho ya hea ya ho ya hea ya........thats my rain dance................R

Friday, March 18, 2011

Putting on the tin

I waited , watching John Wells blog, until the temps rose above artic levels. Then gambled once again on good weather. Good gamble. Great weather for roof work. I was able to frame in for some windows that had been installed in the adobe. I did not like their look in the adobe and removed them. Not wanting to waste the money that was spent on the windows, of course, we bought the rock house project and found a place for them! Next time I will think that through a little better. Got the tar paper on. Two layers per Dean's advice. And screwed down some metal roofing. Karol rode out with me and helped for 10 days. I took her to the train station so she could get back to East Tejas in time to keep her job in Kilgore! Picked up the tin in Alpine and was able to get it down before it blew away. I'm already looking forward to getting back and finishing the doors and windows to "dry it in". The picture of the ratrod we built for Ayrton has nothing to do with the Big Bend project, but I wanted some of the guys out there to see it. I hope to have the windows ,doors and walls up by the end of the year. Adios.......R