Friday, February 17, 2012

Some like it hot...

Not sure why that old Marilyn Monroe movie popped into my head. Maybe it has something to do with this:
[My notations in red.] Yes, our low last night wasn't very low :(  Contrary to's prediction of thunder storms yesterday afternoon/evening and steady rain all night, we got less than a five-minute sprinkle around 8 p.m. and then NADA. So the heat wave continues...

It meant when we served ice cream to our company after dinner, between the time I dished it up and quickly took the bowls to the living room, it was more like a vanilla shake. Not sure I've ever seen ice cream melt so fast indoors.

A large white washcloth, wet down periodically with cold water and kept around my neck, has become part of my fashion statement. Even during dinner with company. They understood. 

We've been told this is a record-breaking summer and there's no reason to doubt that. The week before Christmas we had temps in the 104-108 range, and those have been repeated again and again all summer. And if it's not in the 100s, it's in the 90s. I think we may have had 3-4 days that it dropped below 90.

While I prefer hot over cold, I'm ready for this summer to be OVER.

Poor Ivan has continued to work out at the lot in this heat. Thankfully this week he has a helper, which was a HUGE answer to prayer! And thankfully much of the work thus far has been in a shady area, where they've been putting in the septic system. Charlie can help Ivan full-time this week and next, and then school starts, after which he can help a few hours a week. So while he has help, Ivan's really pushing to get done as much as he can.

Charlie's help came just at the right time, since Ivan put his back out last week digging the drain field by himself. He actually did okay until Saturday evening when he was doing yard work around the house and pushed himself a little too hard after all the other manual labor, and POP!, out went his back. We belong to a local health cooperative and they have an on-call team of EMTs and Sunday we had to call them. They came to the house, gave Ivan an injection and soon he was able to get out of bed.

His back has continued "talking" to him, but he's being careful (most of the time) and wearing his back support brace. I think his body is also getting used to the hard physical labor. We knew that the only way we'd be able to have a place of our own was to invest a lot of sweat equity. Most of that sweat will be Ivan's. I'll help where I can, but we all know that's only going to represent a small fraction of the work that gets done. My main job now is keeping Ivan (and any other workers) fed and supplied with plenty of cold beverages.

I haven't updated progress on the lot in a while, so here it is:
~ septic system pretty much in (so few words for so much work!)
When the man comes with the heavy machinery to level things out, and move dirt from the high spot to the low area (which is where the septic is located), Ivan will go ahead and install the pipes and so on, but he doesn't want to do that before then because those things would just get stolen.
~ the casita has been cleaned out
It had been full of debris from the two times the wall had been busted by would-be thieves, and some other junk left there by a previous owner.
~ the yard has been mowed and tidied up

Up next:
~ install the fence
As soon as the lot has been leveled, Ivan and Charlie can begin installing the fence. 
~ re-roof the casita
~ work on the floor of the casita
Right now the floor is a very rough, uneven slab of cement. Not sure if we're going to just do a smooth layer of cement and call it good, or put down a thin layer of cement to level things and then tile it.

Ivan met with a man last Friday about doing the foundation. This is a bigger project than he can handle, and it has to be finished before a construction team from the U.S. comes at the end of April. On Wednesday the man called with a quote, which we thought wasn't TOO bad (higher than anticipated but not ridiculous) until we found out it was for labor only :(  He's supposed to call back today with a quote on materials. *sigh* But it's one of those things you just have to bite the bullet and get'erdone. He told Ivan they could begin work on the 27th.

We're pretty pumped about the construction team coming at the end of April!!! So far there are four men definitely interested in being part of the team, and we think a few more might join them. We were thinking a group of 6-8 would be just right but, quite honestly, if only those four come, that will be an awesome team! These are men who are paying their own way, and taking two weeks to help us build. How cool is that?! We're so grateful for their willingness to help in such a HUGE way.

I'm already thinking ahead and starting to plan the menu. I thought I'd ask those of you who stop by and read this, to give me your favorite recipe to use when cooking for a big group. I already have quite a few tried-and-true recipes, but I'm always on the lookout for more.


skoots1mom said...

garlic shrimp in cheddar-cheese grits...they can be a breakfast item or served as dinner with salad, etc.
congrats on all the completions
so eager for its completion
sorry to hear about I's back
prayers for his healing and help with all the work ;)

The Bug said...

I'm getting excited on your behalf!I'm not a cook so I'm no help to you there.

BTW - that last post of yours? Evil - evil I say! :)