Thursday, January 24, 2013

A House - Update XX - Keeping a Lid On It

With the external windows and doors installed, and with winter coming upon us, I figured it was time to secure the various roof lines as planned, to help against any snow loads we might have and any high north winds as can often happen with those cold fronts that run through.

For roof load of the porch, I still needed to tie the rafter header board to the house, and for this I used 4x1/2 inch lag screws with a washer, drilling a 3/8 inch pilot hole into wall studs, placing them 4 feet apart or so:

Porch Roof Header Board Bolted to Wall Studs

I also added ties for the rafters to the header board. These were the less expensive ones but also had a gusset to help keep them from bending and thus hopefully keep the rafters more tightly against the header board. I used 1 1/2 inch 9 gauge exterior galvanized joint hanger nails to attach them, and for now, I decided to at least get one in place for every other rafter, hopefully to someday put on on each:

Porch Rafter Header Joint Ties

And I added some angled ties to the rafters that join at the hip rafter:

Porch Roof Hip Rafter Joint Ties

As for the winds, I used hurricane clips for the porch roof rafters, tying them to the cross posts:

Porch Roof Rafter Cross Beam Hurricane Clips

And inside, on the main roof, tying the trusses to the pony wall top plates. To make sure the tie twist was hidden in the roof area, I put them on the left side. I started by hammering one nail into the bottom part, then placed all the nails in the top part, and then finished by filling in the bottom. Also, the top part of the tie was right where the truss metal gussets are, and so I had to hold the nail with my right hand trying to bend the top of the tie back, and then hammer through the gusset with my left hand, and being right-handed, that sometimes had some quite painful results. :) :

Roof Truss Hurricane Clips to Interior Wall

Hopefully these will help against most of the weather issues we might face, as the Lord wills.

We are thankful once again to God for allowing us to continue progress on the house.

-- David

Monday, January 14, 2013

David's Digest: Into the W1CK of Things

This is a book review for our teacher Michael Bunker and a new writing partner Chris Awalt's latest fictional work called "W1CK." It centers around one's man's journey to try to escape what he believes are the prisons of his life in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, even literally, with him traveling to try to get to a place he has outside of New York City. Along the way, he faces decisions and hardships, with people and nature, as the world around him is beginning to collapse and changing into one only some imagine and most wouldn't want to think about.

Without getting into the actual story line beyond that, W1CK is a nice mix of being literary and descriptive, with beneficial information and philosophy, with mystery and hidden meanings, and with intense situations. While the more literary part was slower to me, I can appreciate the art work behind it, even the well-done poetry; and the intense situations were *quite* intense. The book contains preparedness ideas, and information about political forces in the world the reader might not have been aware of. It's intriguing, sets a beginning foundation as a prequel to Mr. Bunker's book "The Last Pilgrims" although based on very potential true-to-life scenarios of current reality, and sets up for the continuation of the prequel saga.

Different from other books by Mr. Bunker, there is a noticeable absence of an external God-influence in the characters and story, although my guess is that's on purpose, perhaps in order to show a more stark difference later. I also found interesting what seemed to me to be the idea of how the world can often keep someone trapped in its prisons, even when they are seemingly honestly trying to escape.

The book is very well-written and interesting!

Here is a book trailer:

For more information about the book, please visit, and here you can see the reviews for the pre-released Kindle version of W1CK.

If you plan to, please purchase their book at on January 18, 2013!

-- David

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Snow of 2013

We weren't sure what to expect when we woke up the other morning. The weather "peeps" were calling for 1 to 3 inches of snow, depending on which way the weather system moved in the night. Well, it looks like we got about 2 inches!

I thought I'd "carpe that thar' diem" and take a few miscellaneous videos of the morning chores and scenes around the farm:

And here are a few pictures:

Our wood pile covered in snow with the house in the background. Beautiful!

Snow on Wood Pile

Our garden. It's hard to believe veggies grow and flourish in the area that looks so barren now. Hmmm, I'll have to ponder that spiritually!

Snowy Garden

Our orchard covered in snow. "To every thing there is a season"......

Snow on Orchard Trees

Augie and Gigi usually come straight up to the goat area when they are let out of the barn each morning, especially when there is a stiff north wind. They will actually take naps facing the cold breeze. They love to hang out up there:

Geese in Snow

Here is Minnie on the milking stand in the melting, muddy snow. I am very thankful for that green pad on the stand which is the only barrier between me and the wet!

Milking Goats in Snow

Thanks for hanging out with us a little on this snowy morning! May God guide your day!