Friday, June 24, 2011

Who's afraid of the inspector?

Today we had the framing, plumbing, chimney stuff and electrical rough-in inspected. There were a few notes, but nothing serious! There are a couple plumbing fittings that are the wrong kind for their use, a question about whether you can have more than one woodstove on one chimney flue, and then this funny thing about 'combustion air.' When you build a modern house you're supposed to make it airtight. Then, since you're sending air out the chimney, you have to poke holes in your airtight box -to let air in.

It is slightly more intelligent than that, in that you can control where the cold air goes and put a damper on the hole that only opens when the house needs air, but it is still a little silly. Anyway it's an easy job, poking a hole or two (we actually already built one in, but it is only for the masonry stove.)

So a very short list before we can move on to insulation and wall boards. Yay!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seeing lucky stars

The big news today is that Aya Jane is okay! She catapulted out of a hammock this morning and hit the ground head first. About an hour later she started feeling out of it and I told her to take a walk to clear her head. This was terrible advice but a walk in the woods is my standard medicine for her and usually is a perfect cure for listlessness or general loss of focus. I hadn't really heard about the hammock crash or if I did I didn't record it in my memory thinking it was no more than the usual tumble.

Thankfully she found her way back but still felt off. So she took a nap. When she got up an hour later she wasn't able to answer simple questions. She was mumbling, blankly staring, and unusually drowsy so we rushed down the 550 to the hospital where her condition worsened to the point where the ER Doctor said repeatedly, "squeeze my hand if you understand me." And she responded by raising her other hand.

She had a CT scan to be sure she wasn't bleeding badly and she wasn't. Whew, but she was still in and out of consciousness and not able to respond to simple questions. What is your name, where are you, etc. She would occasionally answer in complete jibberish.

I had been praying for a while, envisioning angel hands of golden light to clear the way of healing, but as she dozed there in the noisy hospital afternoon and we were left alone I held her hand and prayed a hail Mary silently. When I got the end of the prayer her mouth whispered the first comprehensible word in an hour or more, without opening her eyes, "amen."

The doctor ordered an MRI, which took a few hours to complete with all the waiting around in square rooms. During this time I watched our dear girl come back almost completely. By dinnertime we were home and she ate a small meal and read a few chapters to Moses at bedtime.

I've come to understand that this is sort of a normal thing that happens to people who get a blow to the head. I guess a crash of that magnitude is rarely life-threatening. I probably wouldn't have been so worried if I had just called upon the wisdom I gained from watching the Dukes of Hazzard all those years.

But it really does put things in perspective to see your loved ones so helpless. And what do you make of the Hail Mary story? I don't even think she knows that prayer all the way through, and besides I wasn't praying out loud.
I tell you the next world is not far away. It interlaces every living thing at all times. Dead things too I bet.

We've picking away at the to-do list that precedes the rough-in inspection. This is when you have the framing, plumbing, and electrical stuff inspected before it gets buried under insulation and the wall boards. We have yet to run wires to a box by the generator, and a couple minor framing tasks. I'm pretty excited for the next phase.

Speaking of which, if anyone's interested we're planning a work party for the weekend of July 16th. The main objective will be to hang drywall. There will also be outside work, including making tent spots for camping and other party preparations. We'll be camping out the weekend and I don't know what kind of music and dancing we'll put together, but so far a lot of musicians have shown interest in this party, so it may be a progressive jam time.

Mossy made himself a guitar, amp and mic on a stand out of the scrap pile. Seamus is playing the bottle-with-a-stick-in-it. The future of rock n roll is in good hands.

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