May's Magnificent Maybe
Did the magnificent C&C Make May Magnificent;
Make much progress; How was
Magnificent" is sorely lacking in the good name department. Firstly, the whole
of May was not up for exceling: only three weeks of the month had Chris on
leave from work. Plus, it failed to capture the essence of "Let's be done!
Let's be done! We're exhausted and expend so much energy to just get by without
building. We're worn out! But let's find more energy. And push harder. And
finish up. At least enough to live in a home instead of
camping. Finally? Please?" That, of
course, has no ring at all. A better name was briefly attempted early in Chris'
first week off, as C&C chatted, doing chores in the Park Ave yurt. The sleep-deprived and
stressed couple were not up to their usual level of
silliness and decided that their sole idea, "Triple M JuJu",
accurately portrayed the three weeks in May and one week each in June and July,
but was not quite right either. Another acronym considered, AMOS, conveyed a
month of excellent (and stress-reducing!) times for C&C, but would
definitely not get them built. Thereafter, focused on accomplishing the list of
task goals, C&C ignored that list's name of Make May Magnificent, even into
Before any kind of
Magnificence or Triple M JuJu, May had two full weeks:
May's Week One (5/1-5/3)
May greets YIPPEE-Land with
ICE on the breakfast buckets; a Snowpants and Long Underwear kind of day
proceeds. The Mighty Meandering Moose, Munching near Park Ave, surprises
and delights before thundering up the wooded Mountainside. On Saturday,
C&C struggled to keep working while cold but eventually conceded, returning
to Park Ave
May's Week Two (5/4-5/10)
Always a stressor, short
weekends challenge C&C to cram everything, much of which is difficult to
fit into a normal weekend, into even less time. May's second week starts with a
short weekend, continues as an extra long work week and finishes with a second
Shortly after Sunday's
woodstove maintenance, barely five minutes after Chris left for the week: Bang,
Poof! Smoke. Eww. The little
woodstove farts his disgruntlement, spewing out stench
and making Cassandra cough.
Short weekend = shorter Cass
Tasks List and preparations = limitations ecountered repeatedly during the
longer solo week = stalled on many tasks = Cass kept moving on to next task,
and less crucial tasks = frustrations.
Short is the time of
beautiful outdoors "Ahhh". Eyes, grown accustomed to white and brown
adore the vibrant hints of green; but to merely view the outdoors? No! The body
yearns to be in the scenery, partaking in the greens, yellows and blues,
saturated in spring's sunshine, feeling fresh air across skin that has long
been bundled up in layers.
Season" is long. Any human attempting to enjoy the beautiful outdoors
"Ahhh" will be hunted, neigh haunted, by viscious, blood lusting,
black flies; these will incessantly fly at and around that person, greedily
searching for skin to gnaw and dig in for blood, swarm and make a loud ruckus,
zoom into ears, up noses, into eyes.
Resistant to bug netting, Cassandra
perfects her skills at slapping, smacking, and killing the little pests. But,
eventually netting will be the only viable solution. Many were the days in May
that would have been gorgeous save the bane of evil, malicious, black flies.
Saturday's Return of Chris
happened at 5AM. Shortly after the Ice Swap and Such, some slumber was snatched
to the serenade of chirping birds and a lightening sky. Following this short
sleep, breakfast in the beautiful-looking outdoors was short, as C&C ran indoors
to escape greedy black flies, anxious for their own human-blood breakfast.
May's Week Three
MMM (aka Triple M JuJu)
UP and DOWN.
Time off begins Sunday.
This week's saving grace:
Chris did not leave for work. The bane: all the necessary catchup. (and those pesky black flies!)
Combine tomatoes, vinegar
and spices and the result can be: ketchup or catsup, but probably not catch up.
Combine two short weekends,
several weeks of cramming in extra work, both personal and business, and
preparations for YIPPEE MMM work. Result: C&C's four week push began by
attending to neglected tasks, planning and coordinating; all while feeling
stressed that the first week was quickly slipping by!
catch up: building together, tackling daily chores together, sleeping
in the same bed every night, etcetera.
Catch down? Chris struggles
all this week and the next to disengage from work related thinking, to find the
YIPPEE building channel.
The channels can't be blamed
if weather reports are little aid in planning and coping with the difficulties
presented by the weather's up and down. Chris blames the chimps. Or, blame it
on the cucumber. Perhaps the ardvaark?
Something heard on the radio
was accurate. Chris confirmed: the Brattleboro Home Depot, which opened after
Project YIPPEE began, is closing. Closing before Project is finished, before
C&C have a home. Supply buying trips to that store were not a Make May
Magnificent goal, but taking advantage of discounts makes this a worthwhile
detour. Shame they don't have a vented noseeum screen tent...
SIPPEE up and then... 'twas discovered to be mildewy, probably from snow that fell
during its disassembly last year. Chris' attempts to clean it over the next
couple days did not remove the problem. SIPPEE was taken down, packed away, and
awaits donation to a loving home where its condition will not endanger anyone's
Grandma March, a beloved
vibrant lady, leaves this dimension and will be greatly missed. C&C and the
moose and turkeys and deer - yes, all the creatures of YIPPEE Land - wish her
bon voyage on her adventures in the next realm.
After numerous ups and
downs, the first week of MMM ends magnificently! The Connie and The Jere trekked
down for a sawing and sealing session with The Chris, at The Hellhouse. Rain is
forecast; thus, the day was gorgeous, sunny and just the kind of rainy day
everyone needed. Back at YIPPEE-Land, Cassandra does the spring session of mega
May's Week Four
Triple M JuJu's Week Two
Starts with SUCCESS
(C&J&C finished at Poocham before the rain began and, although Cass got
sick to make this happen, there was an extra clean yurt!) and then...
SUCKS. (and COLD. and UP and
Tuesday is the first
full-bug-gear day. As C&C unload the supply of PH and US
parts from the Xtrailer, the biting bane begats begrudgingly worn bug shirts
and hats. That day was warm, especially under the bug-gear. Otherwise,
there was a lot of cold. Up and down. And hot. And cold.
Thursday morning, even Chris was cold during his pre-breakfast work session,
and after breakfast suggested they get back into the sleeping bag to warm up!
Gee, maybe Cass shouldn't have cleaned and packed away the winter gear.
Shed construction starts
with SUCCESS. The weekend's session at Poocham went so well! C&C
overcame bug attacks to get parts transported and sorted: PH into mudroom for
later use, US into the Sealing Screenhouse for immediate use. Cass worked on
the side wall frames while Chris worked on getting the US platform
attached and prepped. Although she was mostly on deck and he was over by US,
they enjoyed working onsite together. There was first and second lunches,
snacks before 9AM, and even a dinner eaten up at the MLA as they worked a late
night. Successful progress. And then...
SUCKS. (and SHORT.)
"Just Sheds Just
Sucks" says the frustrated Chris as Utility Shed construction went much
slower than anticipated. C&C had cut boards to lengths specified in the
Just Sheds plan and now found the plan to be WRONG. Much of Saturday was spent
creating and installing solutions to the counter the inadequacies of the shed
plan designers. Too much time was consumed as C&C tried to rectify
conflicting measurements. As they proceeded, studs were found to be too short.
One was too long, and a couple were even just right.
Goldilocks where are you? Swearing speckled this buggy, miserable work. The
week did not end with a fully framed end wall.
Other building tasks had
happened. For example, electrical wiring got a good bit of work. But building
the Utility Shed was a main goal of Making May Magnificent.
May's Week Five
Triple M JuJu's Week
Chris thinks Cassandra is
Cass thinks Chris is
Will they Make May
Can they jump the hurdles or
are they too stressed?
Or, will they jump because
they're so stressed...
Yes! Yes! Steadfast in their
efforts to retain some silliness and joy, C&C do jump around (after all,
the walkway had to undergo thorough testing, eh?), and make the best of things
as they go. They are fruiting adaptable, gods darnit!
Make magnificence! Make mid-afternoon snacks, decadent pudding concoctions, flavorful fruit concoctions or have some cocoa and a
sing-song. Work on your redneck. Dance during a 5-minute break. Curse the evil
biting bugs. Do it together!
The front US wall frame
was eventually finished, and the second, with similar "Just Sheds Just
Sucks" hurdles, was tackled successfully. Chris made excellent progress on
the platform and piping. Plywood was a painful choice long ago, but nowhere
near as painful as now. Cassandra got ill when Chris' cutting happened nearby. Nasty stuff, plywood. Although the sheets Chris transported
over from Poocham had long ago been sealed, and therefore presumed to be safe
enough, this wasn't quite enough, as was discovered during C&C's layout
work for the wall sheeting. Cass suffered and continued struggling as their
work proceeded, installing the frames onto the plywood topped platform. Wearing
a mask and full bug gear in up and down, hot and cold, weather, while working
there, only made the plywood exposure pains worse. Sucks.
Sucks. Or, rather, gnaws. Chris looked over and said,
"You're bleeding". One persistent black fly had found its way into
Cassandra's head netting, chomped her cheek repeatedly til blood was trickling
down. As bad as the flies were, C&C did get a few short, very short at
times, netting-less spells during hot daytime work on the deck, away from the
Construction to be
All signs pointed to Friday
being sunny, whereas Saturday was reported to be rainy. Our Adaptable Heroes
continued their adaptability, making a magnificent choice to switch Friday's
usual tasks to Saturday, in favor of US construction. In
hopes of making magnificent progress at finishing the US framing.
It would have been
magnificent. The ridge pole, joist and rafters all suffered inadequacies of the
plan creators. C&C suffered to work out the problems, working late at night
together. In the darkness, with raindrops pattering on the deck, the couple
abandoned hope of getting the rafters up and building covered. Construction of
the Utility Shed continues...
May ends with a typical
non-building task day and only about a half day of site work. Make May
Magnificent has one more week left (in June, remember?). The hope continues...
May's Completed Tasks:
Framing in the 30', Yippee!
(213.18) Construct walls and
loft - 30' yurt: framing [5/14/08] (start date: 11/18/07, site days: 27.50)
Thanks to The Connie and The
Jere's assistance at Poo-jam, Cutting and Sealing Power House and Utility Shed
(279.18, 279.27) Watershield
and PH parts [5/18/08]
(278.08, 278.09) Cut US and
PH parts [5/18/08]
05/11/08 - (326.06) PA temp
skirting off (start date: 5/11/08, site days: 0.0625)
05/13/08 - (279.28) Reopen
MLA Construction Screen Shop (start date: 5/11/08, site days: 0.13)
05/28/08 - (303.16) Repairs:
Woody Walkway (start date: 04/11/07, site days: 5.56)
05/30/08 - (303.22) Fill
sink holes by footings (start date: 04/23/08, site days: 0.375)
Total May Site Hours: 282.50
A Tasks: 264.50 hrs: 93.63%
88.50 hrs (213.12 Utility
35.75 hrs (213.65
Electrical rough-in (30' yurt))
19.00 hrs (275.04 Materials
14.00 hrs (329.04 Loft
13.75 hrs (213.18 Construct
walls and loft - 30' yurt: framing)
12.00 hrs (213.73 Loft
access Plans and Figgerin')
9.50 hrs (213.36 Site
cleanup (general and for Cass safety))
9.00 hrs (279.18 Watershield
9.00 hrs (303.16 Repairs:
8.00 hrs (213.69 Construct
walls and loft - 30' yurt: floorboards)
6.75 hrs (278.08 Cut US
parts at Poocham)
6.25 hrs (278.09 Cut PH
parts at Poocham)
6.25 hrs (279.27 Watershield
4.50 hrs (742.01 JaBoSTH:
4.00 hrs (213.24 TV loft
3.25 hrs (226.37 Reopen
SIPPEE (in spring))
2.50 hrs (303.22 Fill sink
holes by footings)
2.00 hrs (213.50 Construct
2.00 hrs (280.00
1.75 hrs (306.01 Determine
tasks she can do during week alone)
1.50 hrs (226.34 Reopen
GIPPEE (in spring))
1.50 hrs (278.07 Prep
Poocham garage for cutting US and PH parts)
1.25 hrs (213.76 Power
House: build walkway/access from road)
1.00 hrs (279.28 Reopen MLA
Construction Screen Shop)
0.50 hrs (301.00 Organize
0.25 hrs (213.53 Reinforce
0.25 hrs (306.02 Test on
safety: materials and tools)
0.25 hrs (329.01 Plumbing rough-in MLA: DWV)
0.25 hrs (329.05 Loft
B Tasks: 1.25hrs: 0.44%
0.75 hrs (213.06 Deck:
railing posts (cut, sanded and stained))
0.50 hrs (223.60 Satellite:
Q Tasks: 16.75hrs: 5.93%
5.25 hrs (288.09 Cut and
store downed trees)
2.00 hrs (305.01 Garlic
1.75 hrs (288.08 Split and
1.75 hrs (323.01 Rodents Under WC)
1.50 hrs (546.01 OFR:
1.00 hrs (742.02 JaBoSTH:
0.75 hrs (300.45 Woodstove
0.75 hrs (305.00 Bug
0.50 hrs (325.02 Baking Soda
0.50 hrs (326.05 PA
reflectix off windows)
0.50 hrs (326.06 PA temp
0.25 hrs (300.40 Cass Phone)
0.25 hrs (305.04