Friday, July 16, 2010
Good Thursday morning to you all! Today's picture was taken in 1942, and shows a major advance in domestic engineering . . . the electrified clothes wringer. The clothes wringer made washing much easier. The tub down below has an electric agitator, meaning a scrub board was no longer needed. The tub was still connected to the sink for water. After the clothes were agitated and rinsed, they were run through the wringer to get most of the water out. Then they were put out on the line to dry. When I was growing up in the 60's, our neighbor was still using a washer like this. It was out on her front porch in the shade, and connected to a garden hose. It is my understanding that many a child was injured by getting their hand caught in the wringer.
I am happy to announce great progress has been made on project Hydroponic Greenhouse in the two days since out last Domestic Update. On Tuesday the plumbers came and installed all the pipes and lines in the pad. They had a nice little excavator that got the work done in short order. They got the job done, and then the plumber asked if there was anything else we wanted done while he was there. Well, I have been trying to get the circle in front of my house cleaned up so I can mow it. It is very rough land, and had lots of cactus, roots and scrub brush. My mom really likes to work, so she comes up every day, and we have been working all summer on getting the circle cleared out. Well, we had it in pretty good shape but had about 10 cedar stumps we just could not dig out. Also, there was a big uneven spot about 2 foot high and about 15 feet across. We had been trying to level it for the last month with a grubbing hoe. Well, we asked if he would take the excavator and try and clean up those trouble spots for us. He pulled up the stumps, filled in the holes, and then he leveled off the high spot, and made a nice big pile of loose dirt for us. He did this in about 15 minutes. It would have taken us the rest of the summer to do by hand. So, we tip our hat to Tracy for getting this all cleaned up for us.
With the plumbing done, we were ready to move forward on the greenhouse. We first had to add a vapor barrier to the top of the pad. This is like a huge sheet of plastic that had to be stapled to the concrete forms. This was a hard job, because it was a windy day, and the vapor barrier was like a big parachute, that kept catching the wind. We finally got it down, and then the next step was to install the sub-slab insulating board. We got this done, and then installed the insulation around the edges of the concrete forms as well. Then yesterday, the concrete men showed up, and put the first level of rebar down. Then we put in the tubing for the radiant floor heat. This was a hard job too, because the tubing is very stiff, and did not want to go where you wanted it. We finally got it down, and tied to the rebar.
The light blue material is the insulating board. The blue tanks are the nutrient tanks for the hydroponic systems. You can see the white tubing for the radiant floor heat. We pretty much got it where it needed to be. The little box in the upper right is the manifold for the radiant heat.
With this all done, we were ready to pour the foundation slab.
The concrete truck showed up about 1:00 yesterday, and the concrete men had everything ready to go.
This picture shows the concrete being poured. This was a tedious job for the concrete men, as they had to step between the radiant floor tubes, and not step on them.
With the concrete poured, the concrete men then went to work getting everything smooth and level. It takes about 3 hours to get the concrete all spread properly, and then the finish nice and smooth. You can see the tops of the nutrient tanks came out just above the concrete floor, as they were supposed to.
So, the foundation is now finished, and I can get started on getting the greenhouse assembled. With the progress made the last two days, I am once again hopeful I can get this finished this summer.