…and the house takes shape

We’ve been busy laying bricks, taking advantage of dry, warm days, and waiting out the cold and wet ones. Poor weather days provide opportunity for gringo block production, lintel sanding, and clay screening – so all’s not lost on wintry days. Although we really couldn’t have asked for a better winter season for laying adobes, as it’s been unusually dry and warm, we’ve had to submit to the will of the skies on several days when the weather just hasn’t been ideal for wall building. The main task, however, remains the laying of the adobes.

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The house on one of those foul-weather days…It was like being in a cloud. Quite unusual conditions for our normally sunny and exposed hilltop!
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Out in Riverside, NM at the local sawmill painting Anchorseal on our viga ends to help minimize wood splitting. This was a good task for a cool day when the nighttime temperature was going to be too low to lay adobes on the walls.
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Daniel and I enjoying ourselves earlier today after completing work on the 15th course

Despite the variable weather, our recent production has been steady to start the 2018 year. We’ve now completed our 15th adobe course – 15 of 20 total courses. I’ve moved from using a 2′ ladder to a 4′ ladder. The walls are 6′ tall as measured from what will be the finished floor height. As the walls get higher, it slowly becomes more strenuous to get the adobes up on the wall. It’s becoming even more of a workout than it already was! Carrying adobes up a ladder is hard work. At the end of a day I feel all those stabilizer muscles used throughout the day to counter-balance the weight of the adobe in my hands as I stand atop the ladder and lay the adobe in place on top of the wall.

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To all the kids at home, you’re not supposed to stand on the top of the ladder – but you look pretty cool doing it! Wow, look how I’m covering all my bases with 3 levels in this photo! Can you spot them all???

But now when you stand back and take a look at the house, you really start to feel the presence of the building. You’re no longer staring over the walls, but at them. When you’re working from inside the house, you feel like you’re inside the house. You get a sense of the rooms and what they’ll be like when completed. As the courses of adobes climb ever higher up the sides of the window and door openings, you finally experience the openings as the portals between the inside and out that they were intended to be. It’s amazing to see the house slowly take shape from week to week. The change is gradual, but it is noticeable and rewarding.

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A photo from when the 14th course was underway. Note the lingering snow on a sunny day in the shade at the base of the north wall.
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I took this photo atop the four foot ladder as Daniel fills a gringo block with adobe pieces and mortar. I rarely take photos of the house looking towards the west like this, but the ladder allows me a better view.
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This photo is looking eastward towards the Black Range and Santa Rita Mine. Oh, and that’s our house in the foreground!

2 thoughts on “…and the house takes shape

  1. The house is really coming along. You can’t see from one room to another! (unless you’re in the hallway). Must feel good to have the spaces defined. Walls are so straight. Love the house in the cloud. – Anne and Christopher

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