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Baby Baby, All Night Long

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


 When we last left our hopeful heroine, the gas line had been newly replaced, gas heater installed, and all the plants had been replaced in the new greenhouse. It was time to relax and enjoy the space. Or was it?

I woke up at 1 AM on Sunday, November 5, checked--blue flame showing. OK. Went back to sleep. At 4 I woke up again to a rapidly cooling greenhouse and a dead stove. With some difficulty and a long wait, I got it started again, only to have it cut off again at 9 AM. There went all my theories about it going off when the house gas demand was at its lowest. I was running two furnaces and cooking breakfast when it went off the second time. What the hell. Why wouldn't this stove stay lit?

At this point I had to conclude it was the heater. Maybe it has a bad thermocouple. So I called Kathy and Bill W, my beloved neighbors who swoop in to rescue me with great regularity. And that Sunday afternoon, we switched  out the heaters, and put Old Reliable in the new one's place. I knew this heater was bombproof. This HAD to be it. We'd replaced the line; we had gas; it had to be a malfunctioning heater. I went to bed with all the plants out in the greenhouse, closed the sliding glass door...

I woke up at 3:22 AM on Monday, November 6, checked the heater. The air was cold; the heater was dark. Old Reliable had kicked off, too. ARRRRGHHHHHH!!!

At this point I knew I was well and truly screwed. But I didn't cry; I didn't freak out. I just restarted the damn thing, got back into bed, and tried to sleep again. I was so very tired, night after night tending this stupid heater like a crying newborn baby. And I didn't even have a cute cuddly baby to show for it. I was so done with worrying about the plants, worrying about whether I'd ever be able to use or enjoy this new space that beckoned me through the glass. Just exhausted. I'd worked myself to the bone to get this dream off the ground, and all I got was sand in my face, night after night after night. I couldn't sleep for worrying.

On top of that, whole space reeked of gas. All the time. You might think I'd have been sitting out there every chance I got. Well, I wasn't, because I didn't want to breathe that reek. I was spooked, clear through. I felt lost, uncertain and in a certain way, cheated. This isn't how it was supposed to smell. This isn't how it was supposed to be. I kept the glass doors that led into the house closed all the time. Even when I'd pop out to see if the heater had died in the middle of the night, I closed the doors behind me. I didn't want to be breathing that reek. It was awful. Not only that, but there was so much condensation running down the glass and pooling on the frame and floor that I went out and bought big microfiber cloths to mop it up with. I'd wring them out into the plant pots, and keep mopping, all day long. So much water I put an African saddle-billed stork in there to look for fish.

I couldn't remember ever noticing a gas reek in the little old Groanhouse. I didn't have a ridiculous amount of condensation, either. A pleasant humidity, for sure, but not quarts of water running down. What the hell was going on? Why couldn't I keep a heater going? And why was I drowning in condensation?

It was time to contact Chip Ditchendorf, my friend who is also a contractor who knows all the best people, who put me in touch with my gutter guy, my mason, and several other outfits as well. I described the problem with the gas stove going off predictably every night around 2:30 AM and often the next morning, too. I told him all that we'd done--replaced the entire gas line, switched out two different heaters, and still this happened every night. And Chip asked, "Have you ruled out make up air? The greenhouse might be too air tight? Maybe leave a louvre opened a little." 

I thought I knew the answer to that. "No I don’t think airtightness is the issue. Space is absolutely huge and there is a gap in the door, and it happens when the fan is going too."

Well. I was dead wrong, as I so often am, and Chip had already figured it out. But just to be sure, he texted Jason Forshey, a local expert on gas installation. And this was around 6 AM, on the morning when I figured I was just screwed, after the SECOND gas heater we installed on the BRAND NEW gas line had cut off at 2:30 AM. 

 I can't tell you how honored I am to have Chip asking questions on my behalf, of the person most knowledgeable in this field, at SIX in the MORNING. In Chip's words: "He deals with this stuff. He is also in demand/on fire. It's like getting an audience with a tribal warlord. I have his ear. I'll text you shortly."

Instead, Jason Forshey himself called me around 7. Asked me a bunch of questions. One of them was, "Is there a lot of condensation on the inside of the windows?" 

"YES. Quarts and quarts! I have to mop it up several times a day and wring out the cloths!" 

Jason told me that that excess condensation is a byproduct of an open flame gas heater that is starved for oxygen. "There's carbonic acid in that water. You don't want that," he said. 

Fer sure! I don't want carbonic acid; I don't want all the condensation, and I want my durn heater to stay on! 

Jason explained to me that the heater was getting starved for oxygen in the wee hours, and kicking off for safety reasons. The greenhouse is simply too well-built--too tight--and fresh air can't get in anywhere. There's a tiny slit between the doors, but it doesn't bring enough air in the feed the flame. Ironically, when I'd drag myself out of bed and open the sliding door from my bedroom, and pop in to try to re-start the heater, that act would let in juust enough fresh air for the heater to run for a couple more hours. If only I'd known that's what was going on! It had been a rough nine nights.

Mr. Forshey told me to try cracking the windows that evening, and see how it did. Wow. That's a simple fix...I can DO that!

So I opened all four windows about a half-inch. And I left the plants in there, and the heater ran all night, HALLELU!! For the very first time, I had heat all night! Of course I woke up at 1 and 3 and 5, staggered to the window to check...and the blue flame was smiling back at me each time. I went back to sleep with a dreamy smile on my face. The Tribal Warlord of Gas had explained it all. Of course, Chip had figured it out already, but it was really nice to have confirmation from someone who does this full-time.

I thought I had made it through the worst passage in the greenhouse construction: when I had a greenhouse but couldn't seem to heat it. But it's not over yet. I still have a bunch of things to figure out. 

I've held this post because the landscape is changing so fast. Since I wrote this, a polar vortex rolled in with a couple of days that haven't gotten out of the upper 20's F. And, because I HAVE to crack the windows to let in air, the little gas heater I was assured would heat the space has been fighting to keep temperatures inside the structure in the 50's. Awk! I had to borrow an electric space heater from Shila to augment its efforts, which are surprisingly feeble at full tilt. Time to call Chip again, for another reference.

Wilson Heating's experts just came for a consultation, confirming a lot of what I've learned by hard experience. 

1. I'm woefully underpowered with my little blue flame heater.

2. The gas smell just goes with the territory on an unvented heater in a tight space. Ugh. No. Need another solution.

3. Cracking the windows is giving my heat to the great outdoors. There is a better way: to get a larger heater that is vented both for fresh air and exhaust.

4. It's probably not going to be possible to both heat and air condition this space. This is not a surprise to me. Heating is mandatory. AC, nah. I'm fine with using it for only three seasons. In summer, I'm moving my plants out and gardening outside, not trying to sit inside a glass box. 

Until then, I am happy with the greenhouse structure, but I don't spend as much time in it as I'd love to, because there is still a scent of gas in the air that freaks me out. The only time I sit in there and work or read or do my language lessons is on warm days when I can open the windows fully. Time to move on from using an open flame heater.

The four side windows only open 6" at full crank. Wish it were twice that! I asked about some kind of extender and the glass guys told me there's nothing that can be done. I certainly hope the automatic roof louver will take care of the major ventilation come summer.

So Wilson Heating is looking into wall-mounted gas heaters (possibly radiant, as opposed to open flame) and I cannot WAIT to see what they recommend.  Ideally, they'll find a vented one that will both pull in fresh air and send its exhaust outside. Until then, I'm leaving all four windows open at night, from a quarter inch to 1" wide, depending on the outside temperature. As you might imagine, this is a lousy strategy when it's 20 degrees out there. It's drafty and uncomfortable.

 After a rough period when the built-up gas fumes blasted all the blossoms before they opened, the greenhouse now seems to be treating the plants pretty well. Things are coming back into bud and bloom and the blossoms seem to be completing their normal life cycles. (With the exception of my Thanksgiving cacti, which took great offense to the space, dropped buds, and had to be brought back inside).  I think I've got enough oxygen coming in for the plants, even if it isn't quite enough for me. I take a great deal of pleasure in potting plants up and arranging them where they'll get the right light and heat. I'm not there yet, but it's so much better.

It's been very frustrating, running into these issues and having to figure out what's going on by myself. I can't imagine I'm the first person to run into this problem with a newly constructed solarium or greenhouse that needs supplemental heat, but is so tightly constructed that a gas heater uses up all the oxygen in it and cuts itself off. Surely that's happened to someone else! For some reason, it didn't occur to me to turn back to Botanical Greenhouses LLC for advice until just this week. When I did, I got some great advice both from Jen Sutton of BGLLC and Bob McCollister of American Glass and Metal Works, and that set me on the path of consulting with Chip and then with Wilson Heating. They helped me understand that there IS a heater out there that will do this job, and I just have to ask the right people to consider the space and make recommendations. I'm looking for something that won't roar like a shop heater, stink like an open flame heater; something that will allow me to keep the doors open between my bedroom and the solarium.

If anything has surprised me, it's how much I've had to learn to get this project done. I came into it knowing absolutely nothing about the process or what would be involved in constructing a solarium. I had to figure out how to get a concrete pad poured, and a foundation built, and I'm in the process of figuring out how to get the whole place wired in a way I can afford (the last estimate I got set my hair on fire). I'll get the heat situation figured out, too, in time. It's all a question of asking the right people for help. I am lousy at asking for help, always thinking I might have the answer, but this experience has made me more willing to throw up my hands and the white flag when I'm outclassed by the obstacles I am facing. On the bright side, I've kept this record right here on the blog, recording just how thorny it's been, so anyone embarking on such a project will at least go into it forewarned and forearmed. 

Creole Lady says, "You keep working on it. I'll keep pumping out the lunch-plate sized blossoms, because this suits me just fine!

Yes, it'll be my happy place, in time. We're most of the way there.

I can't wait until I can sit in here for hours, working away, or just gazing around at the plants I adore so much, and the bright or snowy winter days outside. 

Nothing good ever came easy, I guess!

I've Got Gas Problems

Friday, November 24, 2023


I used to say, when life got hard, that forbearance is my superpower. I've been flying low with my Cape of Forbearance these last few weeks, keeping it all in perspective, knowing that problems get solved eventually. Waiting for the eventual is tough, but in light of what much of the world's populace is going through now, it's nothing. I have a little problem, and it'll get solved, eventually. Here's my little problem.

(This was written on November 15. I've figured some things out since then, but it's not yet the way I want it. Anyway, here's the story).

For ten nights, I've been waking up at 1, 2, 3, 4...and going out to check the heater in the greenhouse. It has been kicking off every single night, usually from 2 to about 4, and then often around 9 or 10  the next morning. Charming habit, that, especially when nights are in the 20's. We installed the newer of the two small Dynaglo blue flame gas space heaters, reasoning that the newer one might be better. Both saw use last winter. I got the new one probably in December 2022.

 Walter and I have been trying to figure out what's been going on with this heater the entire time. First we blew out the line using gas pressure, to see if there was water in it (none came out, though there was a lot of water in it when Walter did the initial hook-in). Finally we concluded that there had to be a problem with the line, so I asked Lane Johns to come back and dig out the 23' line with his small excavator. 

It was delicate work, excavating the shallowly buried gasline, but I was sure we didn't want to dig it by hand. The clay was muddy and heavy as could be.

We were very surprised to see 1" PVC running from the house to the L junction, where a 2' segment of 1/2" iron line was connected. We thought we'd found the problem--maybe that 1" line was too big, and the gas lacked sufficient pressure to push through 23' and around the L-bend of probably 5' to the heater. 

So on Nov. 4 Walter replaced the entire line. All new 1/2" iron pipe, fittings, everything ship-shape. We had to rule out a bad line as the reason for the heater kick-off.

It was a huge day, November 4. Not only did Johns Excavating come to dig out the line, but Walter, Brandon and Kevin came to mow the meadows with my old Massey '54, and to burn a couple of my huge "rok's nest" brushpiles. I was pretty excited to see the tractor and excavator both deployed at once.

Curtis, of course, was completely nonplussed.

Though I did absolutely everything on Nov. 4, which was the big mow and burn and putting the bonsais to bed,  with heavy equipment roaring all around, before I allowed myself to go to bed, I committed the ultimate act of hope: I replaced all the plants in the greenhouse.  We had a new gasline. Surely the heater would run all night tonight!

You see, I'd been shuttling them in at night for the last 8 days so I could sleep, for gosh sake, without having to wonder if they were slowly freezing to death out there after 2 AM. My lower back was absolutely shot, lugging those monstrous plants in and out of the bedroom every evening and back out into the greenhouse every morning. Leaving the plants for the night was my way of saying, "We've got this conquered now. The struggle is over. Time to enjoy this greenhouse. All will be well."

To Be Continued...

Day 6: Let's Get Some PLANTS Up in Here!

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


 Sunday October 29 dawned gray and pouring, but still warm. Shila couldn't wait to see the new space any longer. I couldn't WAIT to show it to her. It was so wonderful to experience her reaction to finally being able to walk into the greenhouse!   Plus, it's the closest I can get you to walking into it yourself. I think you can see why she's such a wonderful friend. My joy is her joy, and it goes the other way, too.   


One thing she can be depended upon to do is to flip out with exactly the right amount of enthusiasm and joy (turned up to 11) that the situation warrants. I love her for that!

Shila also came because she knew I was in a real crunch. She wanted to help me get the two big Creole Lady hibiscus down out of the tower room before it got too cold to take them outside and hose them down. A week ago, I arrived at her house with pots and clippers and together we repotted her entire plant collection. It was EPIC. We are one hell of a team.

That cold weather was the real time pressure I was facing. The poor plants were absolutely felted in aphids and I was determined to get them clean and free of bugs before installing them in the new space. Man, it was SO much easier bringing them downstairs than up had been (not surprisingly; gravity was working with us), but it was also a breeze to do it together. I do everything by myself, and so does Shila, but two people can do so much more than one.

It was a hibiscus douche to remember. I sprayed the crap out of those trees. oooh look at that space, framed by crimson maple leaves...nice shot Sheels!
Photos by Shila Wilson

I'm smiling because since I wrote this, I've already taken the hibs out for another spray and douche. It's no biggie to roll them out the door and have at it with the hose. In the little Groanhouse, I had to unload most of the plants just to get one hibiscus out. This is wonderful! I expect to have many fewer aphids and much less spraying this winter than ever before. 

Had to take a selfie once we got some plants inside. 

After Shila left, I kept bringing plants downstairs, from all over the house. I still didn't have any heat in there, but it was still warm, and I was relying on Walter to show up that afternoon.  I was just beginning to wonder where Walter might be when he and Colton showed up around 1 pm to lay the gas line and install the heater. Thank goodness!  He'd spent the morning getting all the stuff he'd need. I was so, so grateful. Shopping for pipe and fittings is second nature to him. Enemy territory for me. He simply knew what diameter pipe each piece was, and he brought the right stuff  to do the job. 

I was madly moving plants in even as they were working on installing the pipe and stove. 

I simply couldn't wait any longer to get plants in there!

I couldn't believe how many plants I had, stuffed in every window in the house, and how beautiful they all were. I had had to bring them in weeks ago when it went down to the upper 30's. Most had whiled away the time in the tower room, which gets great sun, although it gets very hot up there on warm days. Obviously they hadn't suffered much! But really, the house was just loaded, every good window crowded with plants reaching for light. 

I was so thankful I'd have heat by evening, because the wind was picking up and it was starting to get chilly. The installation wasn't easy in the awful sticky  mud and rain, but by nightfall there was heat in the new greenhouse! Walter and Colton to the rescue!
Thank goodness for friends, friends you can call and hire in a pinch. 

Oh, but I wasn't home free yet. Not by a long shot. The heating fun was only beginning. 
There's always a Rest of the Story. 

Liam is 24!

Tuesday, November 7, 2023


This sweet fella turns 24 today! I miss PoPo, the soft and squishy version of Liam,  whose ears stuck out so adorably. As you grew, they laid back. Boo! 

PoPo at 5

Liam at 19 or so, giving me the same smile, making his mama's heart sing with a selfie from the campus of West Virginia University.

When I saw that his eyes matched Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains where our ancestors came from, I had to get this photo. I know I've used it in other birthday posts, but I love it so. And I love him so. 

I've been with you every step of the way--from those epic nine first steps in a row when you were nearly 21 months old, to the biggest step of all--moving out in early October to sail the work/home/life sea by yourself at last! 

You've picked a great city--our beloved Columbus--and a great company--Trader Joe's--in which to live and work.  Both the city and the company are big-hearted and friendly, like you. It is a pure delight to see you appreciated and supported in a job you love. It's a marvel!

With help from your good cousin Gus, you've got a Real House to live in at an affordable rate, and friends your own age to hang with. Hooray for that! Those are in real short supply here in Whipple. You're finally getting a true 20-something guy experience!

Thank you, dear Gooshy, for making Liam's landing in Columbus so soft and easy!

Once you get in the rhythm of work and life, I feel sure the drawings will begin to flow. Can't keep a talent like yours under wraps. Work that art muscle, son! Grab a concept and go with it!

Pretty darn fabulous neighborhood, with such interesting walks leading in every direction.

Within just a short walk, you and I can look at houses like this and dream! 

Victorian Village is the place for house dreams.

And you're only two hours away. So when you get to missing us like we miss you 

                                                   (and some Cwummy weawwy misses you!)

you can zip down here. And I promise when I get my crazy-glass greenhouse situation under control, I will be coming up for some long walks, a little retail/restaurant therapy and a good visit with my lovely son. I want to hear all your stories, preferably over a fine meal of someone else's provenance.

I know that, where adult kids are concerned, no news is good news. I heartily support this sudden move out of the harbor. Just know that the Mothership will always be here to throw you a line, give you a tow, and help set your keel straight. I am delighted to see you at the wheel at long last.

Happy birthday, beautiful boy. I couldn't be prouder of you. 

Fair winds and following seas to you!

Day 5: Trying to Get Heat

Monday, November 6, 2023


 Saturday, October 28 was a doozy. A real doozy. I'd spent much of Thursday and Friday making calls, trying to get someone to come and hook up the gas line coming out of the house to run into the new lean-to, and to install a heater for me. I got nothing but no's. My seventh and last call was to my friend Walter Dean. You see, I didn't want to lean on my friends to help, but I simply couldn't get any heating/cooling company to come do this in less than several weeks to a month from now. Who knew I'd hit a roadblock like that at this stage of the game? I should have figured on it, based on how everything else had gone, but I guess I'm the eternal optimist. 

Walter swooped in and rescued me, grasping my situation and knowing about the frost coming by Monday night. He and his son Colton came out on Saturday to take a look at the job, and Walter measured everything out and made me a shopping list.  I had offered to go into town and pick up the stuff he'd need, because I didn't want him to have to make a trip to the hardware store. Again, the eternal optimist. 

It was good to see Colton soaking in his dad's instruction, so willing and eager to help.

He followed close on Walter's heels wherever he went, and lit out running for the truck to fetch supplies when asked.

Before I went to town for materials, I had to do two things. I knew it was going to rain a ton and very soon, so I took the Rudbeckias I'd been nursing in pots all summer long out to plant them on Bill's grave. I had to dig the whole thing up again to weed it, and then I dug holes for the seven plants. It was rather huge. 

While I was digging, I unearthed not one but FOUR Ravine salamanders. I tell them from the "lead-backed" form of the very common red-backed salamander by the fact that they look like Graniteware, the aluminum roasters my mom passed down to me. Black, with tiny speckles of silver and blue all over. 

Needless to say I dug very carefully, dreading hurting one, but all four were perfectly intact. One was even chewing on an earthworm when I dug it up! So cute!

I also found a beautiful Lactarius indigo (Indigo milkcap) mushroom.

When I was done, the skies were lowering and it was starting to rain. I was so glad I'd gotten those plants in and the weeding done. But my work was only beginning.

I felt bad asking Walt to drop everything and put in a heater for me, so I mad the decision to dig the trench for the gas line. He's recently had shoulder surgery and there's no way I wanted to see him dig a trench in clay.
It turned out to be 2' deep and 9' long and buddy, it was work. I still felt it in my thigh muscles three days later.

Trench dug, it was time to take a break and get in that new space and just revel in it. The Japanese maple, seen through the glass...

A couple of plants waiting outside to be brought in.

It would never be this empty again, and I wanted to enjoy the space. And rest for a few minutes.

I went looking for a chair in the basement and stumbled across these sawhorses that Bill had made many years ago. They were hidden under the basement stairs. I couldn't help but feel he'd led me to them, because I was about to buy a sawhorse kit and make my own. And poof! There they were! 
This keeps happening. Today, I was adding a greenhouse thermometer to my shopping list when I was moved to clean out all the birdseed trash cans in the garage. It was a terrible job; the seed was infested with every awful thing you could imagine. I had to wash everything, including the cans. And there, face down on the garage floor where I was sweeping, was a greenhouse thermometer, still in its packaging. Thanks, B. Message received.

Thanks, B. These will do very nicely.

Evening was coming. I warmed up and wolfed down a small piece of frozen pizza and headed for town. By then it was getting dark. I walked into Lowe's with the shopping list Walter had given me. Here's the list. Seems straightforward, right? It took me awhile to even find the gas plumbing section. Forget finding someone to help me.

 I stood in front of the enormous bank of fittings, looking at the array of pipe sizes (let's see, was it half inch, 7/8", 3/4", or 1"? I remembered seeing two different sizes of pipe when I was digging). I looked at the fittings. 90 degree. Straight. Reducing or not? But what diameter? How could I not have measured the pipes? This is one of those things Walter would know, just looking at it, and I would not.

I realized I was beaten before I even started. I ran aisle to aisle looking for anyone who might be willing to help me. Right. I dragged a teenager from Tools down the plumbing aisle. I might as well have just asked myself the questions. An older man who actually worked in plumbing walked by, trying not to let me catch his eye. That's a high art at Lowe's. Hide, and avoid eye contact especially with clueless women. I started to ask him a question and he cheerfully waved at the fittings section then announced he was going to lunch. It was 6:30 pm. "Wouldn't that be dinner?" I asked. He smiled, ducked his head and kept walking. I was on my own. Welcome to Lowe's. Have a great day! I pretty much hate trying to shop there, except for the racks of dying bargain plants. Those I can peruse with a knowing eye, and I don't need help. Everywhere else in the store? Ugh. I'm lost.

So I went to the space heater aisle, thinking I would buy a vent-free blue flame gas heater one size up from the one I had, because the greenhouse is so much bigger than the 8 x 12' Groanhouse. Again, nobody within a mile to help or answer questions. Finally, a teen even younger than the tools teen showed up to answer my call. He knew even less about gas heaters than I did. Hopeless. I broke away and roamed about a half mile up and down the deserted aisles until I found an employee with a little silver in his hair, some age and wisdom on him. I showed him the heater in my cart, showed him photos of the greenhouse, told him the dimensions. 

"That thing you're buying would heat an entire mobile home. It would run you out of that place. The heater you have at home will be more than enough." FINALLY. Somebody who knew ANYTHING. He saved me $200 and a LOT of trouble. OK. We'll go with the heater I already have. Then I finally got Walter on the phone and asked him to do the shop himself. I had no choice. I had tried, to no avail, and it was almost 10 pm. 

I was beat, done in by my own optimism. Just let people who know what they're doing do this, Zick. There are many things you are unqualified to even attempt, and this is one of them.

I grabbed an overpriced Panera sandwich, drove home, fell into bed exhausted, and didn't sleep for wondering whether I'd get heat in time for the big freeze. This would become my pattern for the next nine days.

Day 4: Finishing Touches

Sunday, November 5, 2023


Friday, October 27 was the last day of installation. They'd have gotten it done in a marathon three days but for two panes of glass that were the wrong size. Those had to be shipped by air from South Carolina so they could be installed. The two panes arrived at 11:30 AM via UPS (Yay UPS!)  and work resumed. The team told me that this happens in roughly 3/4 of the jobs they do, so they have to remain flexile and ready to stay another day or two no matter how well things go. Bob said the moment he took those two odd panes out of the box he knew they were the wrong size. Ut-oh. 


And it was Bob who got to climb up on the roof to install them, in a soaking drizzle that made the panes extremely slippery. He used suction cups as footholds so he wouldn't slip off the roof. It was a bit dizzying to watch, especially from below. Heart in throat! 

This was another  "So you thought you could find a local installer?" moment.


Thanks to Chip Ditchendorf, I have a fabulous electrician to wire up the louver motor and install another outlet, and help me string fancy mood lighting.

I'd also have to get the gas line run and a heater installed. My work was just beginning! And that would be a whole story in itself.

But for now it was time for the McCollister brothers to take a victory lap and for Tim, their social media chief, to take some photos for their YouTube channel. The whole time, Tim had a GoPro set up to record the installation on timelapse. I was THRILLED when I saw that camera, and Tim will share a link when it's all edited and up on their channel. Then I'll publish it on the blog. What FUN to see it go up at warp speed!

I needed a shot of this awesome crew with their hardworking and hard-begging Snoopervisor.
From left, Tim, Curtis, Brian and Bob McCollister.

Curtis and I were sad to see them leave, but also thrilled and relieved that the installation had gone so smoothly. 

At last, I could go inside and not be in the way. It was mine now.
Thursday night, before the last two panes were installed, I finally entered the structure from my bedroom for the first time. I love the absolute wonder in my voice as it sinks in on me that I've added another space onto the house--something I had never understood viscerally until this moment.


Friday afternoon, when it was finally roofed and I was alone, I made a table with one of the wrong-sized panels and did some writing.

I sent the photo to Bob and got this sweet text back.

Before they left, I asked Tim to take some photos of me with the finished structure, since Liam, my resident personal photographer and videographer, has moved to Columbus, and attempts to teach Curtis to take photos have failed.

                               How good of the Japanese maple to be in full blazing color for this shoot! 

The greenhouse itself was finished,  and all it needed now was wiring for the louver motor (not time sensitive) and, um, HEAT (highly time sensitive). That would be a race against a coming deluge and cold front, to get a heater installed in time to get some plants inside. I was thrilled and relieved the structure was up and so beautiful. But my work was not yet done, and there were curveballs yet to come. One big fat curveball, and I'm still dealing with it, pulling in knowledgeable friends right, left and center.

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