high R-value knee wall
Sunday, September 23 2012
After Sunday coffee, my main task for today was completing the insulation of the knee wall beneath the south-facing windows of the new greenhouse upstairs. Up until today, that knee wall had basically been a loosely-fitted wooden girder running above the sawed-off remains of the south-facing greenhouse attic wall (a remnant from back before I'd jacked up the roof to add the upstairs). Though it would have to execute an L-shaped path, a determined bird could have flown into the greenhouse through the void that remained. Today I used sheets of styrofoam (some of it inch-thick and some of it three-quarters-inch-thick) to fill all of the gaps in that knee wall, probably making it the wall that will ultimately have the highest R-value in the entire building.
Later in the afternoon I found myself feeling kind of glum, perhaps because two projects are coming to an end at once: the current phase of the web development job, and the greenhouse upstairs. There's also been a change in the weather that has brought the cool of autumn, which I always find depressing. At some point in the late afternoon I needed to do something physical to get my blood flowing, so I cut a bunch of small White Pines from various places east of the house (and south of the greenhouse). Pines are growing in so quickly in that area that keeping them at bay will require frequent and somewhat ruthless cutting. The alternative is for a dense evergreen forest to rise up and blot out all of the sun in the greenhouse and the morning sun in the main house. As usual, I disposed of the cut down pines by dumping them north and west of the greenhouse, where I'd liked to form a big poofy mound of green that will slowly change to the color of rust.
Michæl and Deborah had allocated me some space at KMOCA for their November show, and after being reminded of that fact by an email, I was motivated to paint something new. So I began work copying a painting I'd done 14 years ago of a little boy carrying a wooden marionette out of the forest. I'd sold the original to someone for $100 at the Downtown Artspace in Charlottesville (Jen F. never actually gave me that money, though I don't care), and I've always considered it one of my better paintings. I know from experience that painting copies of paintings I've done before almost always improves them, so I had high hopes for this one.
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