Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A rental truck, 300 pounds of cement, 60 gallons of water and a frozen cat

That pretty much sums up our first build of the year.

Since the end of the 2013 building season, we've been pretty busy in our regular lives.  We both now having jobs that we really like and Mr. Murphy putting in regular appearances at our house to mess with our vehicles and appliances. (New stove. New Fridge. New car. Yep. Crap comes in threes.)

He also stole the wife's cat right before her birthday. *@$#! Murphy. So..... we've had a frozen dead cat in our freezer since last winter.  (It was too cold to bring her up to Wyoming and bury her then, the ground was already frozen. The freezer was the logical place to stash her.)

Friday night, we rented a 10' box truck, loaded it up with the contents of the garage, crap room and spare bedroom. Bought a bunch of cement and added it to the truck. Saturday, we loaded the cat in her cooler and headed north.
She was a good kittah.           
The first order of business was to get the poor little kittah buried - before she defrosted.  We made her a cairn that ought to be critter-proof, and then we personalized it:

Then we stopped and looked around at how the domestead fared - or didn't - over the winter.  It had been about 8 months since our last visit.  In fact, both of us were sure that we were going to come back to vagrants living in the dome or the place vandelized or something. Actually, it wasn't bad.  It didn't look like anyone had been there recently. There was some weather damage - the pentacorral was half collapsed and the woodpile was pretty scattered - and there also was evidence that the whole main domestead area has been massively flooded again. So, basically - good news!

After the inspection, it was on to the hard work. Unloading the truck, mixing cement, organizing and finishing the outside shell of the dome.  We thought that with the supplies on had (cement, water, aggregate, bottles) that we could finish the top third of the dome.  We worked like mad and made a great dent - until we ran out of cement, water and prepped aggregate. So we had to stop working on the dome with just a little bit more to go.  

We finished the front completely. The back and side aren't quite as complete. You can see a little of the unfinished part at the top right of the dome here:

The wife took the last of the cement and added a few feet to the front wall that she started last year.  Mostly this was to hide the straight line that the original wall ended in since it didn't blend into the landscape at all. (There are very few straight lines in nature out there in the Basin.)


Then we tackled the mess that used to be the pentacorral. Three sides of the enclosure had blown down, the tarps were shredded, a bunch of glass bottles were smashed and there was plenty of evidence that critters of several sizes had been living in the wreckage. Jeff found most of a rabbit skeleton and it smelled like there was something else dead somewhere in the piles. We didn't look for it. Ewww. 

 These are the after pictures.  You don't want to see what it looked like before.

Then we organized the outside and inside of the courtyard - again. 
Here's the 200+ office trash cans that will eventually become the base of 
the perimeter wall for the rest of the domestead.

The view from Shay's cairn at the end of the long weekend of building. 
Some progress. Not a lot of order - yet.

Next time:
  1. finish the dome!
  2. dump run with a rental truck to clear out the unusable cardboard and broken glass.
  3. add some rows to the bathroom walls.
  4. start building the perimeter wall to the right of the dome?