Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

First painting---only primer, but yay anyway

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Today I painted our first room. It was the water closet in the master bath and only took an hour to mask and primer, but still. The fab GF came out twice to snap photos.

The drywall has been ready for three weeks, but we had such crap weather, I didn't even want to go outside. We had drifts over four feet high and both of the roof vent pipes are bent like mofos. I don't think they're broken, but I won't know until it's safe enough to scramble up on the roof, something I hate doing even in dry weather. No sign of any leaks, but until I can touch 'em, I won't know for sure.

Our window sill pan design worked like a charm, I am happy to say, and the house was warm even after we lost power and the heat was off. We could've just stayed in there but there's no toilet (unless you call a 5-gallon bucket a toilet, which you may and I'm not judging), but Scotty's coming tomorrow to install our first toilet. Ya know, we have a long way to go, so I take my victories where I can. A shitter may not be a big deal to you, but to me, it's huge. We are slowly getting closer to moving day.

I'll be back to full-time working on the house next week. I have some more drywall to do, but I'm hoping I'm not so worn out by finish work that I can't get into arguments, I mean, get involved in important discussions, here in the Mighty Corrente building. And where are the damn t-shirts? I need work clothes.

This is just a heads up that if I'm not posting like an insane person, it's because I'm sniffing paint thinner. Or glue. Or varnish. Or the planer has decided to learn me a lesson and throws a block of wood at my head that I am now way too old to duck in time. Don't think because you don't hear from me that I am not paying attention---I am. I'm just too tired to both type and mix a cocktail, and if I have to choose one, please don't get your feelings hurt because I choose vodka.

Are you there vodka? It's me, ohio.

The snow is slowly receding. I told the honey bucket people to come get their honey bucket. I hope to be hauling in all my tarped materials starting next week. I have windows to build and our front door to finish and install. There will be shoveling in the spring when I put in the 4" pipe for the rainwater catchment.

We are talking paint color and what to plant. I can't believe how far we've come and how much farther we have to go, though we are closer to the end than the beginning now. Like life.

So, wish us luck and I will try my hardest not to fall of a ladder---I hate ladders---or stab myself with a drill bit or anything. We shall have a Corrente gathering here soon as I will need help hauling heavy things, uh, I mean, so you all can enjoy our lovely little strawbale house.

Pencil in the equinox for our Pacific NW Corrente Cocktail Hour, my little chickadees.

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Submitted by lambert on

I'm telling myself that there are only two months to go -- January and February -- until March. Ack!

Submitted by ohio on

Got your bus ticket? And how are your shoveling skills.

I'm searching for vinifera stock. The first seed catalog of the season arrived yesterday and I'm planning to do way too much. I'd love to get some fruit trees in and the vineyard planted, though it makes more sense to do easy vegetables.

And flowers. I love flowers.

Submitted by lambert on

as I presume you know. Sure you want to go in that direction?

I'm not sure what your climate is like. Maybe, if you've got all that snow, some ice wine? Or possibly mead?

I second bringiton's endorsement of Zinnser's product in the strongest possible terms. My much, much smaller dry wall project was soaking up primer like a sponge while remaining rough -- I put this primer sealer on it at his suggestion and bang! Completely sealed, and a beautiful smooth surface. Don't light any matches while you're using it, and get plenty of ventilation. That stuff gave me the worst drunk I've had in a long time. But the results were well worth it.

Submitted by ohio on

that the vines do well. There are several vineyards around, though most of the grapes for the local wineries come from the other side of the mountains. I won't be planting that many rows.

We have a south-facing slope that should work well. Our soil here is not---well, even with copious amount of fertilizer, it will never be like the soil of the Midwest. But wine grapes don't like it too easy, at least that's what the old French dude I met in Burgundy said.

Huh. Unless that was an old French dude I hallucinated while drinking burgundy. Well, in vino veritas, as they say.

So I have some trees to plant. The fab GF would like lavendar, so she gets a fucking yard full. The bees will love it, and lavendar smells good and is a pretty plant. We'll have some berries, I'd like some cherry trees, and I have to put in vegetable and herb gardens.

Not all at once. I may be crazy but I'm not insane.

Submitted by lambert on

The stressed berry is more complex. Who wants vulgar, gaudy, California wines?!

Red, or white? (And I'm still amazed you know how to keep bees. You could make mead! And maybe sell or barter it.)

Submitted by ohio on

I tote and lift. I'm pretty good with running the extractor and wiring up frames. And I do all the stuff with the wax. But the fab GF is the beekeeper. She's the one who understands the bees and you know how someone's fascination can be fascinating.

We've traded honey before, and given beeswax candles as gifts, but god, mead...mead is a drink of cruelty, taunting you with idea of sun-sweetness and alcohol. On paper, mead is the perfect alcoholic beverage, the mythological nectar of the mythological gods, but in the cup it's, well, it's gross.

I'd be more like to make blackberry wine or even blackberry brandy. But Mead? Never. Never never never and never again.

Submitted by ohio on

I had to shovel out the temp door on the new house so scotty can haul in the new toilet tomorrow. Then I ahd to shovel the 2x12 that makes up the walkway from the driveway. Otherwise, we'd've had to go by doglsed, which is cool except we don't have a dog.

Hell, we just went to town yesterday to re-stock. Supposed to be wind tonight, too.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

All downhill from here, easy riding as long as the brakes hold.

Are you using shellac on the bare sheetrock? Years ago I primered with paint, but the first time I went with Bulls-Eye shellac I converted and have never looked back. Also, what about texture? Are you laying on anything to break up the surface or going Brazilian?

Submitted by ohio on

I'm coating with Kilz primer, oil not latex.

I'll be shellacing all the interior drawers in the woodwork, though. I like shellac. A lot. I've got a couple of wipe on varnish formulas to try for exteriors as well---the usual BLO, beeswax combos. We have the beeswax from when we kept bees, which reminds me, we have to burn every last bit of hive equipment in case it's harboring viruses, etc., that are involved in hive collapse.

Damn. That's a lot of stuff.

Submitted by lambert on

... not involved in CCD. They don't stress the bees by taking them in trucks from monoculture to monoculture. But yes, burn the hives and everything. Start clean.

Submitted by ohio on

The fab GF will be really sad. She used to read her ABC and XYZ of bees book all the time---aloud. I make fun, but they are pretty intresting creatures, individually and as a group. And they're cute.

The next-to last colony we had had absconded from somewhere and moved into an empty hive body we had sitting out. The last colony that lived here had swarmed and landed on a neighbor's fence. We went over there wand dropped the bee ball into a cardboard box. They stayed in the hive for a while, but then ran away again.

We actually have the fat karate Elvis suits and safari hats with nets and all the geegaws beekeepers need. When we captured the swarm, though, we didn't have time to change, so we each had a safari hat with net. They're were nice little bees---more black than yellow, probably Russian, and little. But nice.

We had one colony that was satanic. The colony was named Krycek. Those bees were mean little fuckers, but hard workers---you would not believe it. We still have jars of their honey. But that was not the award-winning hive. The ribbon winning colonies were the following year, Shirley and Shackleton. The Bee Lady was very proud of the fab GF that year.

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

The drive up from Portland isn't too long. I can be there in a few hours. Just say the word. I did pull some major back muscles shoveling snow down here. (spending lots of quality time with my heating pad), but I should be all healed up by March.

Submitted by ohio on

I will post. Pencil in mid-March. I am assuming you can run an excavator. If not, I will show you. Then we'll make the he-men dig and laugh at their feeble efforts.

So I'm looking at vinifera stock sellers and reading up (I used to have a small vineyard but it was crushed when the tree hit the house---long story). Anyway, I select a link from a vineseller to a company that offer bio fertilizer/soil conditioners for organic growing. Neat. The cdompany is called Bio-Organics. They offer fungi that works with plant roots based on existing fungi and plant combinations. Super neat.

I excitedly told the fab GF about the fungi and how they work with different trees and vines and so on, and how it was aprt of the natural system---all very scientific with the pronouncing of long words and stuff.

Her response: "Huh. That _is_ super neat. But these fungi---do they take up mush room?"

And that, my friends, is how we keep the magic alive.

caseyOR's picture
Submitted by caseyOR on

but my grandparents were farmers in Illinois, and I learned to run the farm equipment. So, I'm guessing if you can teach me, I can learn.