Construction Journal Entry Week of 9/17/23

9/18-22/23 I went up to Camp Serendipity for five days: Monday through Friday.

I arrived at 11:40. I brought my gear up in four trips: three using the wheelbarrow and two carrying a 60-pound sack of mortar mix each.

After hoisting the flag, I had my lunch and a nap and spent the afternoon harvesting and washing stones for the wall.

On Tuesday I started by practicing the piano, and then went outside and harvested and washed more stones. Then I mixed up one batch of mortar. Among the stockpiled stones was a beautiful, unusual stone that I think might be olivine but I'm not sure. It has a fine colorful wavy grain that is just beautiful and the bulk of the stone fits nicely into the corner, but it has wild projections protruding from there. I figured out a way to position it in the wall and so I set it in place ready to be mortared in. After lunch and a nap, I mixed up one batch of mortar and fitted the unusual stone to the wall and mortared it in place.

Next, I walked to the next-door neighbors' place to check for a fallen tree. Yesterday I had heard a very loud crash all by itself with no explanation and I thought maybe a tree had fallen. On the way, Dave and Nancy stopped by in their car and as I was talking to them Barb and Byron came by and continued the conversation. I explained that I was going to face the cabin foundation with stones. I did not find a fallen tree.

On Wednesday morning it was 40 degrees and raining hard when I got up. I practiced the piano and then the weather cleared but stayed cloudy and cool. I got into a sort of rhythm, harvesting stones then hauling them down to the site in the wheelbarrow, then one by one taking them out of the wheelbarrow, hosing them down, scrubbing them with a brush, chiseling stones that needed reshaping, and then stockpiling them. Then I would go back up the hill and repeat.

Before lunch I mixed a batch of mortar and laid up a few stones in the wall. After lunch and a nap, I came back out and harvested, hauled, washed, chiseled, and stockpiled more stones.

On Thursday morning the temperature outside, by my thermometer, was 30 degrees. That was a little concerning because I can't do masonry work if it freezes during the night. Even though the temperature was low I don't think it froze and hurt my mortar.

This was the day to water Tiger the snake plant so after I had done that I went outside and laid up one batch of stones on the wall. I harvested a wheelbarrow full of stones and discovered that the tire on the wheelbarrow had gone flat.

I took it down to the truck and pumped up the tire. While I was pumping, Dean showed up with the two dogs, River and Roxy. Dean came up and looked over the stonework and gave me considerable encouragement that I would be able to finish this project at my age.

After lunch and a nap, I filled the water jugs but left them up in the cabin. Then I went out and laid up two batches of stones in the wall. Concerned about the possibility of freezing, I covered the wall that I had done so far with a big sheet of plastic.

On Friday morning the temperature was only about 40 degrees, so it doesn't seem there was any threat of freezing. After doing some exercises, practicing piano, and listening to the radio, I loaded the water jugs into the truck. Then I took a picture of the wall so far after a total of 21 batches of mortar. I was pleased with the result and the progress. We'll see how much longer I can keep working this season. I left her home at 12:30.

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