Monday, December 03, 2007

Starting at the top...

The first thing to do was take care of that nasty old roof. It was in poor shape, showed evidence of leaking in the past and looked terrible. Besides the bank would only approve a construction loan until we could protect their investment.
We began by tearing off the old shingles to expose the badly bowed chestnut subroofing. Sheathed with 1x10 Chestnut boards and framed with 2x4's (22ft long!) the roof had withstood almost 90 winters in the high country and looked like it had seen better days. We decided that although it would be alot of work reframing was in order. We sistered every joist on the East facing roof with new 2x6's and straightened the roof back into shape. It was a tough decision about what to use to reroof with. Metal is an obvious choice because of it's recycle-ability but cost was a factor and we didn't prefer the look of metal. In the end we chose to go with the longest life shingles we could (50 year) and know that if the industry doesn't figure out how to recycle asphault shingles inthe next 50 year, then we have problems.
The chestnut was stripped and donated to local woodworkers who value this rare wood. I should note that as the renovations go on we will later discover that whole house was framed from pre-wormy chestnut.
New rafter tails, gutters, and trim completed our first project; and we haven't even moved in yet...

Lot in Pine View

Monday, July 09, 2007


Born July 8th at 2:13am 7lbs 4.4 ozs 21 inches long

The arrival of Rowan

The arrival of Rowan Josef Tait

This is the story of the birth of our son. He was born at 2:13 am on Sunday, July 8th 2007.

Our experience began early in the morning on July 7th. Heidi awoke at 2:30am and her water broke moments later in the bathroom. After a flurry of calls to wake up our midwife, Carrington, and Heidi’s mom, Carol, we returned to sleep with excitement about the coming hours and the expectation that the contractions would begin soon.

At 7:30 we got out of bed, having slept the night away without any contractions. Far away in Norfolk Va, Carol was picking up Heidi’s aunt Jean and the two of them were beginning the long trip into North Carolina.

After getting up Heidi called Carrington, who was already in Lenoir delivering another baby. We were directed to come see her at 10:30. A rush of packing, scripting of birth plans, and putzing around the house ensued and at 10:30 we pulled out of the drive with anxiousness.

It was purely by chance that on Friday afternoon we had gone to Baby’s R Us to pick up a few last minute items. That evening I had cleaned the car and installed the baby seat. So the car was ready to go even if we thought we would have the remaining week until Rowan’s due date to prepare.

We arrived at Caldwell Memorial hospital a little after 11am. Carrington examined Heidi and told us the she was 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced. Heidi was still not having contractions and Carrington recommended that we walk the halls, and use other natural birthing techniques to stimulate the contractions.

Carol and Jean arrived at 2:30, bringing renewed excitement and homemade ceremonial hats . Jean stepped up the walking pace and tore loops through the limited track of the Family Birthplace. Heidi’s hair was swept back as they rounded the turns and tried to encourage the baby to come.

Another exam at 4pm showed that Heidi had only changed a little and she still hadn’t had a real contraction. Carrington recommended that we get things going with an IV that would supply some pitosin. We agreed that this was the right choice for us and the nurse proceeded to stick Heidi’s apparently vein-less arm.

The “pit” worked, immediately the contractions came and came hard. Jean and Carol sang songs from girl scouts, and Heidi settled into using Bradley method techniques for relaxation.

The contractions continued throughout the evening and by 10 o’clock had become strong enough and her cervix dilated enough that Carrington thought it was time to try pushing.

And Heidi pushed. She pushed with everything she had for nearly three hours. The baby however was positioned in such a way that he simply would not come through the pelvis. No matter what we tried he wouldn’t budge and by 2 am Heidi was exhausted and it was clearly time to try something else. The doctor was called in and confirmed that our only option was a C section.

The contractions kept coming as Heidi was prepped for surgery and the nurses scrubbed in.

A healthy, and loud, Rowan was pulled into a bright world at 2:13am and since then has settled into a comfortable pattern of feeding and sleeping. He is joy to be with and has made both of us very happy parents.

Thanks for all of your support

Adrian, Heidi, and Rowan

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bungalow for rent or sale...

was how the sign read. (yeah, yeah, it says house, but really; it's a bungalow)

After a kindly neighbor showed us around we knew this was the house for us. Ok. It helped that it was in our young couple (bottom of the barrel) price range too. (Hopefully 1917 was a good year for housebuilders in Boone, NC.) If the pre-wormy chestnut lumber used for framing is any indication, this house hides some amazing things to come.

Blogged with Flock

Monday, October 24, 2005

Linville Gorge

Having not climbed a multi pitch route before I was nervous. Not nervous in the shaking and quaking sense, but nervous in the learning something new category, something really new category. After climbing up a fairly easy 5.4 section about 220 feet high we reached a large ledge (where the pics are from). I say we reached the ledge but really Brent reached it about 45 minutes earlier. See, multipitch climbing has a weird combination on togetherness and lonelyness. I was technically on the same climb as he but after the first 15 minutes of climbing he disappeared from sight until I reached him over an hour later. My only connection with him was the rope, extending upward into the rock. And so I sat, alone, looking out at the beautiful Linville gorge.
After climbing up to where Brent was on the ledge I took a break on safety belay while Brent climbed up through a narrow corner and again disappeared from sight. Another 40 minutes and I began climbing. The first 35 feet were well protected in the tight corner but as I reached the apex where the rock formation came together I had no choice but to venture out onto the edge. As I moved my hands and feet carefully beyond the protected corner the wind pulled hard at my clothing. I went from 35 feet up to over 350 feet above the canyon floor in just a minute. This was the epitomy of the climbing experience, to step beyond your comfort zone.
The view was tremendous! I continued over the rock to the next belay ledge and an hour later hiked out. What a great day.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Workday at Beech Mtn

Working at Beech Mountain is always a surprising experience. Take the weather for example; even in Banner Elk, the last town we pass through as Brent, Brooke, and I make the drive from Appalachian State U., the weather is completely different than it will be fifteen minutes later when we arrive at the Small wind initiative research and demonstration site.
Cold wind blows as we follow Brooke's dogs out of Brent's Westfalia. The day is sunny and bright with a breeze strong enough to turn all the functioning turbines. We work on the two turbines currently giving us trouble and then head back to Boone where again the weather is different. I love the North Carolina high country.