Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Countdown to concrete!!

The high point of our new year thus far (post eve celebration) is the impending realization of a new heated concrete slab in the basement. It's been a long time coming! Our favorite concrete man Anthony is coming to pour on Thursday, so we've been REALLY busy getting everything ready.

We spent the entire weekend tuckpointing the last bits. Alicia became a pro instantly, and it looks gorgeous. Oh, so tiring a "weekend", though. Monday was spent -- oh, yeah, forgot a story:

Saturday night -- so very tired from hunching in the basement all day. Hot bath, delicious salad awaiting us... Fwap, fwap, fwap. What IS that??!!! Flying about in our bedroom and hallway -- is it a bird??? Is it a BAT???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dogs join in the chase, creature lands for an instant... 

EEEWWW!!! It IS A BAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jodi shrieks, squeals, hides. Alicia informs (while laughing at Jodi) that bats BITE and carry rabies. Hide dogs downstairs. What to use to catch the bat??? A fitted jersey sheet will make a fine net, no?? Fwap, fwap, fwap. The bat urgently circles the room. Swoop! Missed. Swoop! Missed. The bat is wise to us and changes direction, circling maniacally now. What to use?

Alicia wants to bonk the bat. Jodi fetches a tennis racquet (Alicia's, of course) in an inspired moment. Swoop. A nick. Swoop. Miss. Miss. Miss. Miss. Nick. Alicia urges me to swing harder. Wham!!! Sadly, the bat was dead. We felt bad. Alicia, "hoping to revive the bat", throws it in the snow outside.

Filled with indigestion and adrenalin, I face my wilted salad. Sigh. Obsessed by the idea that bats bite you and make you rabid, I take to the internet for a crash course. Bats DO bite you AND give you rabies!!!!!!!!!! They even bite you in your sleep and you don't even know because you don't feel it. Horrifying! I go out in the snow in long underwear and snow boots to retrieve the bat. We must have it tested for rabies. It is put in a cardboard Christmas box, sealed shut with packing tape, and tied in a black plastic bag to sit out in the cold until Monday.

SO, Monday starts with errands, including a trip to the Health Department to test the bat. (As of today, no news is good news). Back to the house to finally face the attic, where -- we have both imagined hundreds of bats nesting -- there is nothing. It took the rest of the day to empty the basement of ladders, planks, tools, garbage, bricks, tuckpointing tools, sand buckets, etc. Much less eventful.

Now today, we could finally begin the steps toward slab-ready.
First, you lay plastic vapor barrier,  (Black, of course.)

then you lay blueboard (2" thick styrofoam) insulation,
 Does it float??
then you lay down on the job...
(Alicia, that is.)

 The blue room.

Tomorrow will be wire mesh and tying down radiant tubing, then another layer of wire mesh. Thursday morning we will be removing a section of fence for the cement truck, readying planks for wheelbarrows and doing the pressure test on the radiant system before they pour. Phew. Well, very exciting (and busy) for us.

It hit 66 degrees today, melting most of the snow. Spring is in the air! (prematurely). I can't believe how much more bearable winter is here versus Seattle. The shortest day has come and gone painlessly. I never even noticed how early it got dark. And I can only recall TWO really dark days in months. The sun shines often. Happy.

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