Monday, October 02, 2006
I don’t really believe in reincarnation, but if I did, I would think that in a prior life I was probably a construction worker. I love swinging a hammer. I love seeing things come together and a house being built. I like tools and the smell of lumber. I like the physical, hands-on labor. And I like working on my house with my family.
When we bought the 75 acres that we now live on, there was no house or building on the property. We closed on the land around the first of March. The lease on our farm was up on June 1st. We wanted a place to live on our property in four months. Our plan was to move a 30’x15’ store house (that my father and I built) onto the property and then add on to it. It would be a small house that we could live in until we could build the "dream house". When the dream house gets built, the small house will serve as a studio/guest house or Jesse’s house. Part of the plan was to have a storage area on the north side of the carport and a huge barn east of the house. Neither of the things has been completed making storage a problem. The studio itself is not complete. We still lack trim work around the windows and doors. We need closet doors, and kitchen cabinets. The cabinets will have to wait until the barn, because Toby really needs work space to build cabinets. Hindsight is 20/20 and our plan definitely had flaws. Still, it was not a bad plan. The studio that we now live in is small, but comfy.
We chose stucco for the exterior of the studio. Last fall, we managed to get the scratch coat completed and the brown coat (not to be confused with the color coat) on two sides of the studio. We stopped at that point due to being busy and the weather being colder. We covered the cement and left the pile of sand waiting until we could get back to it. After several months of building our little home, we were just pooped. This weekend, we completed the brown coat of stucco on the house. It was like old times.
Most of my first blogs had to do with working on the house. They were very funny stories of Bo, Jes, Toby and I working together. Bo and Jes have the usual brother/sister sparing going on and the smart aleck comments that accompany such sparing. Toby, being about half deaf, makes for some pretty funny stories. This last Saturday morning was much of the same while we started the stucco.
In typical Baggett fashion, we did not make much of a plan. We just decided it was a good day to stucco. Jes went to town to pick up Bo while Toby and I got the cement mixer, the scaffold, the trowels, and other tools ready. We were mixing the first batch of cement when Bo/Jes pulled up (Jesse let Bo drive her hot little car – what a good sister). We all knew our positions. Toby mixes the cement. Bo shoots it onto the wall with Jes and I troweling. The stucco gun (great tool!) looks like a bucket with an air-hose attached. The bucket has four holes that blow the stucco onto the wall. Right off the bat, we had some problems. The gun was not blowing as it should. It was more like spitting rather than blowing. Bo stuck his hand into the bucket to find whatever was clogging the holes. It was at this moment that Jes said, "It is probably cat dodo." (Pile of sand, barn cats – you do the math) The look on Bo’s face was priceless. It turns out that the cement was no good and the stucco gun had a spider and web up its nozzle. When we got these kinks worked out (with a trip to town to buy more cement), the rest of the stucco went smoothly (pun intended).
By the end of the day, which turned out to be pretty warm, we were hot, sunburned, tired, and covered in cement. Toby and I were putting things away on one side of the house while Bo/Jes were washing up the tools with the water hose on the other side of the house. That is when we heard the screaming and the sinister laughing. I told Toby that the kids were probably getting each other. Toby went to see – big mistake. He came back around the house soaking wet. I knew better than to go near the kids and a water hose. Because I was the only one not wet, I knew what was coming. Toby came at me with the hose. I picked up the hose on my side of the house and went at him. Bo, being the good son, grabbed Toby’s hose and kinked it, stopping his water and letting me soak Toby – again. It was all great fun. There we were all standing in the yard – wet muddy messes – wondering how we were going to get to the shower with out making a mess in the house. Toby said, "Boys on one side of the house; girls on the other. We will shuck our clothes and meet inside." Me, "What is the point in dividing up if we are going to meet inside?"
We sent Toby for beer while we took turns in the shower – and yes, we made a mess in the house, too. We finished off the evening in town eating Mexican food with Sara and the Grand Baby. It was a good weekend.
Bo,Toby, and Jesse in the picture. Notice the stucco gun on the wheelbarrow.