One day last week plus four days this week makes five days working on the floor so far. Although the going is slow, we are really happy with the progress.
There is one tedious part to the floor tile installation and I have resigned myself to taking the time that it needs — when abutting the end of one tile to the end of the next tile, I have to make sure that the joint is at the correct elevation — that is to say that it is all too easy to have that joint be too low or too high in relation to the neighboring tiles, thereby creating a spot to trip or stub a toe. And I often can’t tell if the height is correct until the next row of tiles is in place, so I’ve had to remove a few tiles here and there to adjust the thickness of the mortar. To help me remove an already surrounded tile I made a tile removal tool; I doubled some baling wire and made a small “L” bend at one end. I can slip the wire into a grout line, turn the wire 90-degrees, and lift out the tile. This saves a lot of mess and I don’t have to unnecessarily remove other tiles.
As I said, we are really happy with the progress and we like how the floor is warming the space. Here are a few progress photos — remember that I still need to apply the grout, so the floor doesn’t look finished yet:
So far I have about sixteen of the forty-feet of floor completed. This has been the most difficult part because in addition to the walls, I have to cut around the islands, too. I’ll pick up speed when I get to the open area of the floor.
To give my old knees a break from the floor, I spent some time installing adjustable shelving brackets on the kitchen wall (other side of the wall from the stairs). I made two aluminum shelves; there will be a lot more shelves and four, large sliding doors. These shelves will be the pantry for food and dishes:
In other news, In another day off from the floor, Cynthia and I went to the city and bought a dishwasher. I hope to have the kitchen up and running, although not finished, within the next two weeks. Although we will still be “camping,” it will be great to have the kitchen out of my workshop and to have a sink actually inside the house! And without the wind constantly blowing the burners out when Cynthia is trying to cook, as happens now in the shop/kitchen.
And finally, some pretty orchids are in bloom. Along with the hibiscuses, our “plant angel neighbor” also gave us some Espiritu Santo (Holy Ghost) orchid plants. Armando planted them in pots, including in the dirt mix some rotting pieces of wood and some charcoal from our burn pile to make the plants happy. Already, one of the plants has flowered:
And in the dead tree in the front garden, two orchids are in bloom. One with large brown flowers:
And one with tiny, tiny white flowers:
That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.