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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Its a Slippery Slope!

I cant believe I let summer go by and didn't update all of you!...even once!!!  What a blast we have been having!  You would not believe the difference between SoCal and NoDak! Talk about incredible sunsets!  I have some rockin' pictures!  Especially from our trip to Glacier Park!  We have had our share of craziness.  We also have a new addition to family, Gunner Foxtrot Senior a beautiful Blue Weimerainer who has stolen my heart!  My job is definitely full of challenges. I just finished a few great projects that I am very proud of:

The County Housing 18 unit Apartments (for Essential workers and Law Enforcement) First of all I find it hard to believe that we have to BUILD housing for our employees, that was my first order of business as Project Manager for Williams County,   The quest to find housing for 1 person let alone a whole family is a hurdle.  We had to build 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.  They are not palatial but they are home to many of my co-workers.  It gives them a chance to find a house or property to build their final nesting spot. 

Courtrooms and Judges Chambers, what a learning experience.  We had an architect that was a challenge to work with (being over 6 hours away) and had to get details ironed out to get the job completed.  In the long run we now have 3 courtrooms and a new Judge who was just sworn in.  I am lucky to have gotten this experience and they turned out amazing! We still have some kinks to iron out but any of you in the building business know... the last of the punch list is the biggest task. 

20 Bed Jail Dorm: Now this was an interesting project in so many ways.  Of course there is the learning curve on any project that might be new.  Jail... I haven't been in one before and certainly haven't been a "guest" before.  I had a marvelous Architect on this project and thanks to their staff made this project a breeze! Other than the excitement of entering and exiting the jail common areas, things went pretty well... coming in contact with the residents and occasionally being locked in a 6' x 6' area with a "trustee"(work release parolee, they aren't in general jail population but they aren't OK enough to release on regular parole) you hope no one does anything stupid! The corrections staff have a very tough job and they never ever get the recognition or Thanks that they deserve! 

Not only did I spend my Summer completing those building projects I had to deal with our own construction nightmares at our own house.  A little history for you... Ray came to the Bakken 7 months before we did and lived in a man camp that was provided by his employer.  Imagine a little room with a bed, desk, TV and shower/toilet... all the while we were waiting for our house to be ready back in California, Ray would come home about every 3 weeks.  You don't find as many stick built homes here and luxury housing is really not an option.  Many people are living with their kids/dogs etc in campers and toy haulers as a permanent option. You have homes that have been here for many years that are relatively expensive and then you have to modernize them (imagine burnt orange sculpted carpet with some mauve and teal wallpaper EVERYWHERE)  You can wait for a stick built house but it takes a bit longer because of our lovely weather fluctuations.  There is always the  manufactured home option that might take less time (you think) and get moved in... (that was our hopes, less expensive and less time, NOT)  We had ours add a basement (a must) and a cute little porch.  Now, we might not have 5000 square feet but will finish that basement one day soon and have another 1700 sq feet to send the kids when it is too cold to go outside to play. 

We haven't finished the basement because it had leaks!  Major leaks and had to have the entire thing re-insulated and all of the window wells (fire escape locations in the basement) sealed and the grading around the house compacted as well as this builder said that we didn't need gutters or any other weather/flood proof items on the house so those had to be added... SO we spent the Summer getting the leaking and damp/dankness taken care of instead of getting the (promised)added rooms downstairs done!  I hated dealing with construction crap all day long at work and then coming home to deal with even more of it!  But I think we are through the worst of it.

Many people are happy to have a roof over their heads.  We are happy to have to roof but we expect it to be done right!  It has definitely put some undue stress on our little family and now we can focus on getting those stinky boys downstairs to their own rooms and maybe even get our living room back! Onward and downward...to the Basement we go!