July 22, 2001
Fans Follow Me No Matter Where I Go
Contrary to the desert, the weather here has been a wet heat as of late. Daytime temperatures have been in the 90's with dew points in the 70's. The combination of both, has made life quite unpleasant as of late. I do have a few fans that I cart around with me, so no matter if I'm slurring paper, cutting wood or mortaring the walls, the fan goes wherever I go. I can now relate to what the Beatles went through -- no matter where you go, you just can't stay away from the fans.
...Oh, I get by with a little help from my fans....
Wall Number Nine
The last wall to be completed is a solid wall that is located on the SSE side of the house. (Located on the left side of the photo above.) The inside wall will be adjacent to a staircase, so there's no window on this side of the house. There will be a window directly above the staircase on the second floor to add plenty of light to the staircase area.
I thought I'd give a quick status report on the walls so far. Nine walls have been completed now, and after a few months of mudding, the walls seem to be doing quite well. I've included a close-up photo to help describe a few "cracks" that have appeared once the wall is completely dried. I use the term "cracks", because I really don't know what else to call them. They are so small, that in most cases a crack does not appear -- only a slight discoloration that appears where you might expect a crack between two blocks of wood. These marks do not seem to be any more numerous on walls that have dried quicker due to exposure to the sun and recent heat. I have not babied the walls with wet tarps or other methods known to slow down the setting of the mortar. I did hang a tarp down from the deck to protect me from the sun while building the last wall, so we'll see if it has any impact on the number of discolorations that appear after the wall dries. In most cases, it takes two weeks for the walls to dry out.
Although the paper mortar mix doesn't have the compressive strength of regular old cordwood mortar, it should be just fine for our post and beam framed house. I would not feel comfortable using this mix for a load bearing wall, especially here in moist Midwest.
is Right Around the Corner
It's never too early to start planning for family Christmas gifts and not to be outdone by Ty products, I've started production on huggable toys that will warm the hearts of all the girls and boys throughout Whoville. Yes, through this exclusive journal entry, you can get a preview of what all my family members are getting for Christmas this year -- Mortar Snowmen! Collect them! Trade them! They'll be a hit for all family members. They're great for kids of any age and even the grownups will love them as paper weights! No batteries required and they're guaranteed not to melt.