Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Busy weeks!

We've had a few really busy weeks on the farm. The powerline falling opened an electrical rabbit hole in the house. Everything leads to something else, you know?

Any solution to the springhouse power line issue was going to incur the need for a permit to change out the main breaker panel, it was unavoidable. The need for a permit and subsequent inspection means that we have to comply with current CA building code which mandates *hard wired* smoke and CO2 detectors in the house. Putting in new smoke detectors meant that we needed to get into the attic to run wire. This is where the rabbit hole got a lot deeper. The attic was full of vermiculite insulation including a few full and unused bags of the original stuff. This was fortunate as we were able to quickly determine that this particular insulation has a lot of asbestos in it. (yikes!) Fortunately the vermiculite was confined to the attic and for under $2000 servicemaster came out and removed it all with a big big vaccum.

So! Now we have no ceiling insulation but it's clear to do the electrical work that we need to do. On top of the insulation drama we are also going to have to do a lot more electrical work than we thought. I spent an entire weekend ripping out really terrible electrical work that had been installed there over the years. We know the water pipes are at least partially galvanized too. So the plan now is to hack into the walls, repair everything we can, replace the water pipes and all the electrical.  That's the bottom of the rabbit hole at the moment.

As heavy as all the news inside the house is, the news from all the outside space is really stellar. Our cedar cleanup efforts are really paying off. The forest is starting to look like it should and you can actually see thru the trees to see the really big oaks and ponderosas. The cottonwoods that were threatening to fall on the barn and house have all been hacked down (fortunately we didn't have to cut the one with the big hawk's nest). Over all being outside on the farm really rejuvenates all of us, especially the kids. :)

We've been making slow but steady progress towards building a cedar-pole pavillion, having logged the 8 main upright poles and moved them down the hill. So much more needs to be written about that project, it will have to wait until another entry.

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