30 September, 2016

TGIF on the Last Day of September

Here we are. It's Friday. Yay! This morning about 5:00 AM, we got a little rain. Then it became clear skies again. Now about 11:30 AM, or so, it's beginning to cloud over.

Where the Chain Will Tie In
On with the columns. The red line you see in the photo shows approximately where the horizontal beam will go. I'm assuming the light, and the outlet just behind the light, will both be moved and reconnected.

Deeohgee Inspecting the Work
Deeohgee came with me on the tour this morning. She was quite diligent about checking all the work that had been done the previous day.

I Spied Nelson Checking the Pool
Nelson was out there as well. This shot looks like he's hiding. Actually, I'm shooting from inside the pump house as he's walking around the edge of the pool.

Switch Box in Column Form
Several columns will have either switches or outlets on them. Here's an outlet, fastened to the inside of the form, it will be permanently part of the column.

Flight of Egrets Over Us
I thought I had missed this shot of four egrets in formation, flying over the house. I did get the shot, but had to blow it up considerably to be able to clearly see the birds. In the bright sunlight they were simply spectacular. I wish I'd seen them a couple seconds sooner. I could have made it a better shot.

Doggie's New Beds
We originally had some beds made for the dogs, but we didn't have them made out of a good material and Bela eventually ripped them to shreds.
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped in at Aventura Furniture and had them make three brand new ones. Heavy-duty fabric and zippers. Should last a good long while.

Nice View of East Veranda
Coming back around the veranda from shooting the beds, this view caught my attention. It looks like something out of a magazine. Well, at least, I think so. Lighting and staging was just right.

Fixing PVC Leak
This was a repair job I had been meaning to tackle. But, as things go, I forgot about it till this morning. A tiny pinhole leak. I tried to fix it with a roll of epoxy putty, but all I ended up with was an even finer pinhole. I tried a few dabs of clear epoxy on top of that. No. Didn't make it stop.
My only choice then was to cut the buggered union out, put a new union in and hope.
I rummaged through my parts bin, found a union, cut the pipe and used PVC cleaner to prep the pieces. I didn't have any PVC glue, but the workers did. The expensive, good kind. Gray in color and expensive. It only comes in quart or larger containers, so it's something I've never used. The stuff is supposed to be fool-proof.
Anyway, I got the piece put back together and installed. Problem solved, no leak. Shoulda done this weeks ago.

Lunch Break Means Fishing Time
By now, it's lunch time. Our workers favorite activity is fishing, so they've been doing that every day while working on the project. Once in a while they've caught a good-sized one, but mostly, they're little pan-sized, like here.

Grackle Wants a Tortilla
They do have help, however. There's a grackle that has been hanging around while they're fishing. He like tortillas, and has partially tamed  himself.
I was no more than two feet away from him when I snapped this photo.

Hurricane Mathew (Cat-3)
Something else that we're paying attention to is the recently upgraded Hurricane Mathew. It's now a Category 3 hurricane. It's still reported to be soon turning north, but if there's one thing I've learned down here, is hurricane's pretty much do what they want, not what the models or humans would like for them to do. So, we watch and wait. Thanks to Weather Underground for the image.

Wednesday and Thursday At the Worksite

Wednesday and Thursday were both forecast to be either overcast, or to have varying levels of thunderstorms and/or rain. Well, as you can see, both were just horrible days. The workers managed to persevere through it all and continued work on the column forms in spite of the sunshine.

Next Column Form Up
Taking one of the forms apart after casting. Believe it or not, the wood for these is one-inch thick mahogany. Used for concrete forms. It would be unthinkable up north, but is standard practice here. Also, each form takes almost three people to maneuver them around and into place. They are extremely heavy.

Blue Cheese Nut Bread
So, while I was waiting for a thunderstorm to show up, I found a recipe on the back of the label for some blue cheese that I had bought for some other recipe. It's for a cranberry, blue cheese, and nut bread.
Baking it was very easy. I didn't have to let it rise or beat it down. Too simple.
It baked up just fine and came out of the pan perfectly.
Some butter spread over a slice just tasted fantastic. I may have to make this one again.
Precarious Position to Pour
Ok, back to work. Here's Indir precariously balanced on a ladder, ready to pour buckets of concrete down the form.
As of this morning, we're a smidge past half way on filling all the columns - six done and five to go. Might be finishing the remaining five today. it'll be close.

Douglas Looking at Window Lintel
The pump house is coming right along. Blocks have reached their final height. Lintels are in and poured for both the door and window.
I'm guessing that next comes casting the roof of the structure.

Marl Pile Disappearing
Little by little, mounds of marl are disappearing. Here, about half of the marl pile is gone, used as fill for the concrete deck.

Eraca Palm Bed Back to Normal
Some of that marl has been used to re-establish the planting area on the north side of the pool where the eraca palms are located.
It's nice to see that area getting back to normal. I about gave up on it when the project first started. It looked like all of the palms there were going to have to come out. Such proved not to be the case. Overall, we only lost two palms, and both of those got replanted over on the south side of the property, along the fence line over there.

Mini-Lumberyard Under the Palapa
I mentioned the mahogany for the forms. Here's the lumberyard the guys established to create the forms.

Doggies Adapted Well to New Pen
To keep the dogs from getting underfoot while construction is going on, and to prevent familiarity developing with the workers, the girls get penned up every day while work is going on. It only took them about three days to decide their new zinc shelter was a good thing. It's shady, cool, and free of ants.

Bani - Electrician Installing Conduit
We had asked to have a couple of outlets placed in some of the columns. Here, Bani, the electrician, is positioning the conduit and boxes prior to the pour for that column.

27 September, 2016

Sunny Monday and Tuesday

What a glorious day. Sunny all day.

Here's some of the work that was happening this morning.

Filling Column Bases
Yesterday afternoon, the workers put in forms for the column bases, which form part of the wall. This morning, those all got filled.

Pump House Growing Up
The pump house just keeps on growing. I'm looking forward to seeing the window louver and door put back in their places. Just a couple of the things we salvaged from the old pump house.

Skimmer Detail
I took this shot mostly as a reminder for future maintenance, of the skimmer and some of the piping.

Deck Fill Looking North
This afternoon, the forms came off the column bases and some of the mounds of marl we have around began to be leveled out, as in this view looking northward. Almost looks like a finished deck.

Deck Fill Looking South
Now, for this shot I'm standing where I was shooting in the last one. We can step out of the sliding glass door area without worrying about breaking our necks. Only worry about tracking marl into the house now. But that will soon change because I think they're getting close to being ready to cast the deck.

Deck Fill Looking East
Here's the view looking east along the house. Wow! It's really beginning to look finished now.

Deck Fill Looking West
I quickly turned around and snapped a shot the other direction. Here's what it looks like looking to the west. Those little blocks are protecting the venturi controls for the spa jets.

Deck Fill Looking - Jeez, That's Tall!
The first full column form is going up. Wow! That thing is tall. What isn't readily apparent, is the height that the pump house has gotten to. It's within a block level of reaching its final height.

Looking Through the Window Hole
Here's a nice view. Looking through the hole that will soon hold the window louver.

Truing Up the Column Form
Here's another view of the full column being trued up to stand vertically. It'll be interesting to see just how they take care of filling it. Ok, I guess that's about it for now.

Last Act of the Day
last bit of work, other than the daily cleanup, is filling the column form. Lots of buckets of concrete to fill that thing.