Monday, May 21, 2007

We put the Stone in Stoney Creek

The big day was upon us. Cementing the soapstone in the bathroom. In a way, so much of what we have done in that room was based around the idea of using this local, beautiful, passive-solar approved, and heavy material. The special floor frame construction, the subfloor and underlayment configuration...

Of course, before we left our current home we had to do a little mowing of the lawn, but by 9:30 we were heading up over the mountains for a quick trip to purchase the special mortar.

First, we cut semi circles in two adjacent slabs for the soil stack to pass through. Next, we scoped out our entire arrangement, visualized the process, mixed up 25 pounds of cement, and zipped back down the hill for some good coffee while the batch slaked.

We probably got started at around 11:30. Gooped and troweled the stuff on pretty well and set the first stone in the corner by the tub and toilet. Things went pretty well at first, but as we approached sections of the mosaic where the pieces were smaller and more numerous, things slowed down to points of frustration. It's harder than it looks, carrying a few pieces from the dining room to the bathroom, trying to maintain their original orientation.

After a several hours, we finished out the mortar and were just past the halfway mark. Back down the hill for some take out, this time some pretty decent Mexican fare, light on the authenticity. Enjoyed a cold Sierra pale ale at the bar, covered in mortar, while we waited for our order. Dinner on the hillside in the yard, getting lazy, better get back to work.

We dove back in and kept at it until we finally arrived at the entrance path, which we were going to lay by kneeling outside the bathroom and leaning in. We had just enough mortar left to finish the job. Almost. I would've liked to have another trowel full at least...sat there scraping the bucket, eventually with our hands, happy even to get another finger full.

Stood back up, hair worn off my (John's) knees (seriously!), hands crusted in cement, and were like "holy cow." We did it!

Scurried around straightening up, cleaning the tools, and hit the road, all the while planning the next few nights' worth of work to do while the mortar sets.

Move in less than two weeks now.

- John

Entryway here...

Entryway there!

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