29 March 2006

The start of the living room

Since I've decided I truly do like the light walnut stain, it seemed like today might be a good time to try out some boards in the main living area. Besides, I wasn't in the mood to move the electrical outlet in the bathroom (which has to be done before I can finish the one remaining wall in there).

Given that I felt like getting something accomplished, I unloaded a pile of boards from the trailer and The Boy helped me get them in the house. We had a quick dinner, then The Boy got his bike out and went to ride through mud puddles while I cut boards to the proper length for the loft wall. He came inside and read poetry to me (kid poems, the really funny kind about gerbils reproducing at an incredible rate, or making a pizza as big as the sun) while I stained boards and put them up. I usually stain the full 12' boards and then cut them, but tonight I felt like doing things in the reverse order. I also used a new stain pad for the first time today: they are much easier to use than a cotton rag, and I have decided they are worth the price. The pad holds more stain and spreads it more evenly than a folded or wadded cloth can manage.

I will bet that I'm the only person in my county who spent much of the evening listening to poetry and climbing up and down a ladder. It was nice having The Boy read while I stained a few boards then went and nailed them in place (I figure they might as well finish drying while nailed to the wall rather than somewhere underfoot). I did miss the bottom rung of the ladder once tonight, and landed rather ungracefully on my backside amidst a pile of cut boards. No significant damage resulted, though - The Boy came and moved things out of the way and helped me back to my feet, and I just carried on ... although I was more careful where I placed my feet after that.

Anyway, we now have a bit of an idea how the living room will look when it is divided from the loft a little more. If all goes well, I hope to finish the other half tomorrow night, then we'll really have a good feel for the shape of our living space. The Boy's room looks much more like a separate room from upstairs now, too.

We've had great sunshine the last few days (3.8 kwH came in from the solar panels on Monday) and we were able to use no more power than what the Sun gave us for two days in a row, which was pretty cool. It's neat when you can run your whole house off the power of the sun - although until I upsize my system and add another set of panels and/or wind power, that will likely be the exception rather than the rule, especially in winter when the heating system has to run and we need more artificial light as it gets dark earlier. We do have the generator running tonight to top up the batteries (we got much less sunshine today), but it's been a pretty good week for sunshine, and that's good for a lot of reasons!

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