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January 25, 2008—Drenching rain!

Another Friday, another horrible storm that somehow I get to drive through! I met Kai at his office to go over a critical lumber order and some other time-sensitive information. Then, I went to pick up some nightstands for the cottage at a furniture store. I brought them back to the property and took these photos.

No one was going to be working today, so Kai had had a laborer on site to clean the floors and relay the floor protection. He was also supposed to “batten down the hatches” so to speak. He was gone by the time I arrived, but he had done a great job.

Here is our shower. You can’t tell from the photo, but it is soaking wet under the cardboard he put on the floor to protect it.

He nailed up a board over the bathroom window to keep it a little dryer. Unfortunately, the roof in this part of the house is not complete and is leaking in quite a few places.

The kitchen was pretty wet too, but not bad as the last time. I think the roof in this area is complete, so the water here is blow-in.

The courtyard was higher than the last big rain. It had been raining heavily all day with no break at all. As you can see, the water is within about 4" of the slab.

We will have to get a temporary drain in so that if it rains longer than today, the level in the courtyard doesn’t rise high enough to flood the house.

Here is one of the reasons I came by the site rather than going straight home from Kai’s office. The masons had left the form for the fireplace aperture up for me to approve. It seemed pretty good to me except for the little point at the top.

I opened one of the fireplace photos on my computer in Illustrator and drew a correction line over it, so now I know what to tell them to do.

You can’t see it from this picture, but the brick on the back of the fireplace is set so nicely.

The dining room was just awash from all the rain coming through the windows. On Wednesday, I forgot to mention one of the meetings we had was with the blinds lady. We are going to have storm blinds on the large windows in the living room and dining room as well as the window in the kitchen.

These are the kind of roll-down shutters they have on every building in Europe. They will help protect the windows and conserve heat in the winter, and help keep the house cool in the summer. The contractor is a German lady—very concise and knowledgeable—who, I gather, used to be in this business in Europe.

Wet as it is, you can see that the floors are all cleaned with the wood relayed. Kai has what looks like a lawn mower, but is really a huge rolling magnet on a stick. They roll this around to collect all the stray nails—and believe me, there were thousands. It is so important to get the nails up because if they are stepped on, they can nick the floor.

I heard this loud, engine-like noise—a kind of rumbling. I followed the sound outside and realized it was caused by the scuppers draining. Water was pouring out of all the scuppers, so we know the roof drains work, at least.

The water draining out of this scupper is dripping so precisely onto its future drain pipe—which is capped with a plastic cap—it sounds like a loud drum beat. That drum noise, combined with all the water running off the roof, somehow sounded like an engine inside the house.

Here you see (faintly) water falling onto the drain cap, causing the drumming sound.

The little thing to the left of the scupper is an overflow scupper. The large scupper will hook up via a copper drain-pipe to an underground drainage system. If something were to plug it up, water would spout out the overflow scupper rather than pooling on the roof. If we see an overflow scupper spouting, we will know we are in for a cold, rainy climb up to the roof to unplug the drain.

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