Learning to Crawl

Took a break to remind myself of what lured us here in the first place.

It's been trebly bleak of late: Sarah out of state, winter's shortest days, and persistent rain.

Yesterday afternoon the sun broke through but I had to run an errand. Today, unexpectedly, the sun made an encore cameo and I seized the opportunity to try out the wetsuit Sarah gave me for Christmas.

It was smack dab between high high tide (8:25 AM 12.6 feet) and high low tide (2:29 PM 6.8 feet), a good time to get in at the park. The wetsuit fit and kept me warm but my bare hands ached in the 46 degree F water. Floating on my back buoyed by the neoprene, I was able to keep my hands above the surface, like the otters I'm told frequent this inlet. Unlike them, I might invest in gloves.

From sunbeams and sparkly water to the damp dirt of crawlspace beneath the bathroom to wrap pipes, emplace ground plastic, and insulate between floor joists. I prefer Rockwool batts because they're easy to install/de-install and don't degrade. They'll probably make irresistible nests so maybe later I'll screen them in with hardware cloth, but not today. Other than the plastic sheeting holding down ground moisture, I want to keep the crawlspace somewhat permeable and breathing.

I moved some 3/4" tongue and groove plywood subfloor inside just before the rain came back. Where has this panel carry been all my life? I'll tell you: in the back of the truck. For years. Why hadn't I ever used it? Prejudice? Fear of the new? I grew up a little today, finally put it to use.

Lifting sheets is the worst: you spread your arms, lift and twist, no matter how careful you are there's no good way to do it. So this oversized kitchen utensil is a real backsaver and cheaper than health insurance. 

But, dammit, still not quite ready to lay down the ply.

I first pull nails with Dogyu bar (aka whale tail) so as not to wreck circ saw blade,
then cut a line, pop boards, and pry remaining nails. Finish with oscillating saw.

I've been tearing up the old kitchen subfloor piecemeal, working the crawlspace, plumbing, and foundation in sections underneath, and now there was one last obstacle before laying down the new ply....

I recently uncovered this hearth in the corner, base of former chimney (evidenced by framing in ceiling). What cozy conversations were had around it back in 1960? Well, this last remnant has to go because the approx 16"x16" poured slab overhangs a joist I needed to uncover. It would have been a lot easier with a proper rotohammer, but I made do with hammerdrill, angle grinder with masonry wheel, and 2 lb. hammer applied to cold chisel for the coup de grace.

From crawlstroke to crawlspace, a few more baby steps today.


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