There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, in which case you also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought! -Gandalf the Grey
Welcome yet again my fellow friends of Hobbitton, to another edition of the Hobbit Hollow Construction Blog!
Every once in a while, okay maybe at least 1 to 2 times a day, I wind up thinking of some quote from one or more of my favorite movies. I sat down at the computer and had in my head a different quote but wound up writing the one above.
I had some guy drive by the house today while Terence and I were working. I don’t think this guy has ever stopped by, and I still don’t know who he is, but he went on and on about the house. At one point saying that I’m going to need to build a parking lot for all the people who want to come and see it. That’s encouraging! Maybe I was meant to build a Hobbit house after all!
Had a tough week at work and not a lot of sleep. The first week of a new job is always a little stressful since there’s a lot going on. Anyway, I knew I wasn’t going to have the energy I needed to go at it this weekend. Of course I had also forgotten that Georgia was coming home Friday night and would be home Saturday as well. She’s going across the pond to visit a friend who is studying in England. I drove her to JFK International airport Saturday night. Traffic was a disaster. It took over two hours to get there. I have made it to JFK in under an hour with no traffic. Okay, that’s kind of fast but everyone drives fast on the Van Wyck Expressway. We got there with plenty of time to spare and she is now enjoying a stay in jolly old England. (Somewhere outside of London.) Have fun!
Oh yeah. One other thing before we begin. Mother in Law’s retaining wall collapsed last week. I always knew this was going to happen. It was just a question of when. The last couple of winter’s have been bad as far as the freeze/thaw cycle is concerned. I don’t know what some of these builders were thinking when they construct stuff like this. Okay retaining walls 101: You’ve got to have tie backs people! That’s the only way the thing is going to stay in place. This guy down the road from me had his retaining wall redone 4 times because he didn’t tie it back into the soil. I mean come on people. Find out why it went over already and fix it right the first time. Anyway, check out this mess.
That’s my Mother in law there. She can’t go out her front door anymore because it’s too dangerous. We got her enough food for the week. I think she will be okay. We all know she has enough toilet paper for the next year and a half so that is not an issue. Just imagine….Mother in Law stranded at home. Visits to son in laws house will have to be postponed indefinitely. Hmmm. The Lord works in mysterious ways doesn’t he.
My Father in law braced the larger portion of the retaining wall a few years back. That’s the only reason why the whole thing didn’t go down.
I was kind of thinking that if we cut the top elevation down a couple of feet we might be able to use the left over super sod from Christmas as retaining wall material. Isn’t that what the Italians used as a footing base for that tower in Pisa?
Hmmm. Maybe not such a good idea.
So lets get back into Hobbit House construction shall we? Where were we anyway? Oh yeah, my Mother in Law is trapped in her house. Ooops. Just had to slip that in just one more time before we get started. You all know I’m writing with a smile right now.
So the journey continues. Did a little general cleanup before we got set up. I’m still in shock seeing the good green earth again. Seeing the site without any snow is a beautiful thing. Eventually we set up and we got into forming the edge of slab for the up and coming slab pour. It’s a little tricky but Terence got the hang of it quick enough. What I did was snap an 11 inch offset on the concrete wall below the top of slab. Once this is done all you have to do is secure a couple of cleats to support your 11 inch plywood putting them below that snapped line. Then all you have to do is sit the 11 inch plywood on top of the cleats and secure that to the wall. 1-2-3 done. Here’s Terence doing his thing.
So once you have the plywood up I put a 2×4 header on edge to help straighten out the form. The 2×4 joint should not be over the plywood joint either. So I used 12 foot 2×4’s on the ends and patched the middle. Once I had the header on I used a piece of my friendly neighborhood banding wire to secure the whole assembly. This way if someone steps on the 2×4 the form won’t bend over and fall off. It’s just an added precaution at this point but we will later use the banding wire to help us line up the form so it’s really nice and straight. Check it out.
Speaking of securing the form I also added a couple of 2×4 supports underneath that header so if some fool really does stand on it his weight will be supported. I’m probably going to add a few more just to play it safe as well.
We did most of the back side as well and then we wrapped it up because I had to take Georgia to the airport. But we are definitely set up for a good day next weekend.
Just a few added notes before I sign off. I called the Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Candy Company the other day. Turns out they have never delivered these beloved candies out to Long Island. (It’s true….who can blame them for not wanting to drive out there?) But it’s a crying shame, I know! I really do want the Long Islander to have a chance to experience a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. At least before her 20th birthday! Jude told me she didn’t know what one was. Sad. Very sad.
Just to keep things honest on the home front our stash of chocolate Cadbury Easter eggs was entrusted to Terence with the reprimand, “I want these out of the house! Share these with your friends at school!” The following day the Editor asks “Did you take those eggs out of your backpack?” “Huh…no.” “They’re going to melt in there if you don’t take them out.” Anyone getting a feeling of where this is going? Our boy genius did take them out of his backpack alright. Guess where our boy genius put the candies? It was 80 degrees outside the other day and I bet it was 95 in the glove compartment of the Editors car. She reached into her glove compartment to retrieve something and was wondering why someone had put a bag of warm water in there. These poor little ole chocolate eggs….they never had a chance.
This is the stuff I come home to on a regular basis.
Hobbit Hollow Jim