More dead stuff
Nothing takes the edge off a really really crappy week like working with incredibly noxious chemicals. You betcha. We started sealing the concrete slab this weekend. This is the first chance that we’ve had to get it done, we had to wait for the heat to be working to apply the sealer. So now the fun starts. There’s months of marks on the floor as well as all kinds of stucco that spilled on the floor from the straw bale. So we vacuum, scrape the floor, sand and brush off any marks, vacuum again, and run over the floor with slightly damp towels. Then we apply the sealer. Only two of us can work because we only have two good masks, so Dad and I take care of the sealer and Jo and my Mom take the dogs for a walk. We do the sealer last, right before we leave, the fumes really are that bad.
We seem to have brokered a detente between the radiant system and the inverter. The radiant system is on a timer and is only allowed to come on every other hour. This saves us around 50% of the power but doesn’t seem to affect the heat. The catch is that we have to leave the inverter ON. Normally you leave the inverter in search mode, but unfortunately the relay in the timer requires line voltage to trip and the search pulse isn’t sufficient. We need to find a timer that is 100% battery controlled, one must exist, every timer we’ve found so far requires line voltage to trip the relay - or keep time.
The inspector stopped by on Saturday to check out the insulation, vapour barrier and our progress in general. He was happy with everything he saw. We had another neighbour show up this weekend as well, an older fellow, he and his wife moved to the farm about 6 lots east in 1945. He told us that he has kitchen cabinets in his house made from two Butternut trees off of our land. He invited us by to check them out. We rarely have a weekend go by without somebody popping in to check things out. Apparently we’re known in town as “The Straw House”. I’m sure we’ll be known that way for years and years. “Those city people with the straw house.” I’m looking forward to that.
The winter carnage continued this weekend. We found an owl by the side of the house, it looks like he might have flown into the big side window. It was a nice looking bird, I’ve never seen an owl up close before. So naturally, in our currently morbid fashion, I took a picture.