Monday, November 3, 2008

baby steps

Little by little, progress continues. The roof of the modular building is sealed up and weather tight, just in time for the inch of rain that came over the weekend. The building is securely attached to its foundation, with seismic hold-downs in place. I have turned my attention to getting electrical service from PG&E. We're hoping to have this done by the time the rains start in earnest. Tasks remaining for the modular are paint, plumbing a utility sink, rain gutters, and a deck. All this should be done before spring.

The foundation for the main house and studios is prepped to withstand weather and prolonged sun, and we have succeeded in getting the county to extend the permits out to June 15, 2010.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mom is gone

We lost Michael's mom the night of October 12th. She died of cancer but was spared much of the difficulty of that by advanced Alzheimer's disease. This ends a very long chapter of suffering for her and her family, and begins a new chapter of grieving and healing for us all. She was a remarkable woman and will be missed. Her brain was donated to the UCSF Alzheimer's research group.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October update - long over-due!

This update, and our arrival in the blogosphere, are both long overdue.

First, about the blog. This will be our normal method of communication from now on. For now, we are using one of Google's generic formats, but as I get acquainted with it, I'll try to get it looking a little more like the Windhook web site. For now I will continue sending out notes pointing to the latest update, but I suggest that you subscribe to the RSS feed to stay in touch. (there's a link on this page where you can subscribe.)

Now for the update.
It's been a tough summer. To start with, my (Michael) mom was diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer in her spine. This diagnosis is compounded by her advanced Alzheimer's disease. We moved her from Paso Robles to a skilled nursing facility(SNF) with hospice care in Morro Bay, which is about 40 minutes closer to us than the old place. At the same time, we moved my dad into an assisted living place next door to the SNF.

Mom was given less than 6 months back in June. So far, the cancer has not noticably progressed, and her pain is under control. However, her Alzheimer's symptoms have progressed dramatically, and she has reached a place where she cannot complete a sentence and often cannot form intelligible words. Thankfully, she has no frustrations, fears, or discernible levels of pain.

Dad is ok, but distraught over what is happening to his partner of 60 years. Now that they are 5 minutes from where we live, I get to hang out with him a lot. It's a treasure.

As you might have guessed, this development has not exactly sped up the pace of construction at Windhook. But the reality is that it hasn't slowed things down so much either. Two other developments have taken care of that.

On the positive side, construction paused this spring when we got word that one of the local grade schools was planning to dispose of a 960 sf modular classroom in June. We got this building for the cost of the move! But first, we had to get permits, prepare the site, and schedule a building mover, so I dropped everything else and got on it. All that took up the spring months. Once the building arrived, I put it on it's new foundation. We are now one inspection away from completing the modular installation.

On the negative side, the entire world economy came to a grinding halt, dragging our funding into the ditch along with it. We are petitioning the county Supervisors this month to provide a standardized permit extension that would allow us and others in our predicament to keep our construction permits intact while we work our way through this crisis. Without such an extension, our permits would expire in December.

So on the advice of our building inspector, and assuming that the extension will be granted, I am wrapping the plumbing in tar paper to ensure that it doesn't deteriorate in the sunlight while we wait.

Well, that pretty much crams the current status of Windhook development into a nut shell.
I'll be back soon with some thoughts on what all this means.

getting started

Hi everybody. This is the first entry in our new blog. I'll get to meaningful content as soon as I figure out how to make this thing work.