Sunday, February 22, 2015

Not a Pagoda

After many months of planning and research, of scouring the web for pictures of Asian architecture, of searching through websites and blogs for ideas, of hacking into some online sites that sell drawings and stealing their ideas (though I never actually used them, so I guess it's OK).

After all that effort, this week I finally transferred the jumble of abstract ideas into something physical--I cut out the curved rafters for my little building in the back yard. We've decided to call a pagoda, though it is not a pagoda at all.

The curved rooflines of real pagodas have a purpose beyond decoration--they are just one element of an amazing suspension system, stronger than the strongest earthquakes. My curved roof is for show, a sort of affectation that allows me to pretend it's something more than a simple picnic building. Maybe it also helps allow me to pretend that I'm not just an old fart from Arkansas.

Sensing that the project now has some interest, Jam has resumed his role as project manager. What a good boy.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Touching the Sky with Rafters

I invited Cheryl out to take some pictures, knowing that she would be pleased to capture my fear of heights with her new lens. But first I had to get this 12-foot ridge beam in place. Heavy.

Willow is back in charge of project development while Jam is busy doing crochet with Cheryl. He'll be back.

The straight rafters came next. These were easier than I expected to install, but getting the first one right was a pain.

What I'm really excited about is making the curved rafters for the corners. Here's what my Sketchup drawing looks like.

In this photo taken by Cheryl, I am back on solid ground, my dignity and confidence restored, grateful that I did not wet myself while up on the ladder. However, I know that to finish the roof I will eventually have to crawl up on top of it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Moving One Ton of Sand, Just Cause

It's been raining all day and our roof did not leak. Most people could say that sentence casually, without a second thought. But for us the concept is so hard to grasp that I still can't quite believe it. After 11 years and 4 roofing companies, the roof is finally watertight, or it appears to be, at least in one small area above the stairs. Shoot, now I am afraid to get up from my desk and check again, for the 100th time.

This weekend I finished grouting the stone patio around the grill area. But before I get started on the new roof (the one for the patio, not the leaky one in our house), I decided to move the remaining sand (about one ton of it, literally) from the side yard. Shovel by shovel, then in a wheel barrow ride of about 40 feet, and then shoveled out into another huge bag, so that we're able to do the landscaping next to the pergola before summer gets here. I'll be using the sand to make stucco for the old grill.

Also, I've left our lime tree next to the grill patio where it is clearly in the way. I don't know why--it just seems to belong there.

Next: building the new roof. Maybe with copper tiles.