Started the day in the workshop – finished the pieces for the couch. Then went off on a series of things that needed doing (humanure hacienda, breaking into the garage attic and storing it in the cardboard boxes that have been tied to the roof of the car for days, closing more of the water-supply pipe ditch to protect against freezing, dishes ..) and finally went inside to assemble the couch … assembly went like a charm this time  – I am developing a system of wood-working: all straight & non-visible screws woodworking or ASNVSWW for short 🙂

Long woodworking day. I started with raw wood and finished with an 80x180cm seat for the couch complete with hinges. I went further then I ever have with this one. I took a bit more care yesterday when I planed the boards – so that they were a fairly consistent thickness. Today I routed the edges of the boards to get them to overlap each other and they came together pretty well. After assembling them using vertical connecting boards on the bottom side I continued to sand them from rough to fine until I got a fairly nice surface … not perfectly even but closer then even before (it’ll be covered by a mattress so it isn’t too critical). I routed sockets for the hinges (which I’ve done before) and attached hinges (which I haven’t done until today – need to practice some more at this … the hinges are protruding more then I wanted them to) … and I had just enough light left to carry it indoors (heavy!) and lay it on top of the mockup model … looking good.

Tomorrow I want to prepare the back and two more pieces that need to be installed to support the box floor (I’ll do the box floor at a later time) and two additional internal support frames for the weight-bearing seat. Hopefully tomorrow evening the couch will be assembled 🙂

Today started off a gray rainy day. With a little discipline I pulled myself out to work and as if responding to me the day began to clear until even a warm sun came shining through. Later it became a mixed day of clouds, sun and wind. By evening a chill had set in … undecided all around. It wasn’t a sunny day, but it was definitely a un-cold day.

Spent most of the day woodworking with woohooo results. We now have a large cabinet, shelves and all … even a large coat hanging space. It is “door ready” but there are not doors yet. I finished the parts early in the day and later in the evening, when there was no more light out, I came inside and assembled the shelf-hangers and then the shelves. Andreea is filling it with our things as I write these words.

I then moved to the first couch. I completed assembly of the two side panels and mid-leg support. I then continued to sand the rear and face panels and to cut and plane the seat pieces. Lots of wood-working-satisfaction tonight as there is now a mockup of our couch standing in the living room – looks like its going to be a great size. Still much work to do … but I think in a few days we may actually have a couch (at least the wood-part) to sit on. The couch will also have a large storage box … so that should come in useful too 🙂

Already we are making plans for a simple living room unit that will hold lots of other stuff including our LCD screen, sewing machine and hopefully all of our books. Its feels like a bit of a race … but we want a pleasant and organized house and living room by Christmas 🙂 Its time to leave the camp site and move into a house 🙂

Yesterday we got back from a nice two rest in Targu Mures. The restfulness was replaced by restlessness from a long drive back home with a few stops in Cluj. But we made it back, made some mamaliga and slipped under the covers early.

Today was another typical un-cold day so we used it for work. We got all the cabinet shelves sanded and two layers of finish applied to them (thanks to a bit of un-cold fresh air with occasional sunlight). The living/finishing room floor is practically covered with shelves and shelf hangers. Tomorrow they all to through a little light sanding and then some polishing and then we can bring all home … and finally have cabinets (that one day will have doors too) to put all our stuff in.

 

Another fall-ish day. In the morning it looked like it rained in the night – everything was wet even somewhat muddy (a refreshing view since we didn’t get much rain this summer/fall).

Today was a shorter work day. We got floorboards fit into the cabinet. Andreea made some more progress sanding shelves and I finally got around to assembly of the first couch. One side of the couch is fully assembled (not without hitches … I though the quality drill-bits I had were all purpose, apparently they are good for brick and cement, not so good for wood, also I thought I was covered with all the possible screws I could need, apparently I was wrong).

Then some wood chopping (piles were diminishing) … now showered and a quiet evening indoors. Tomorrow we leave for a couple of days of vacation in Targu Mures 🙂

Water – Cleaning & Testing

Cleaning

The first task was to get the water clean to the point that we could use it at all. The water was unclean because some years ago there was a one-time flooding – so we had to have the well cleaned. We didn’t know quite what that meant and were happy to find a local who knew what needed to be done and did the work for us:

  1. He pumped out the water from the well. The pump was able to pull water out faster then it could fill from the spring. We tried to save as much of it as we could though I think most of it evaporated (you can see in the image the hole I began to dig where eventually the pump would be installed … he lent a helping hand as he was waiting for the pump to finish emptying the well).
  2. He climbed into the well and roughly cleaned the well from weeds that had grown on the walls.
  3. He loaded buckets of mud that were at the bottom that his partner,  a gypsy from the village he hired for the job, pulled up and dumped next to the well. They hauled out a lot of buckets … there was a huge pile of mud when they finished. He did this until (supposedly, since I wasn’t down there with him) the bottom of the well was once again tightly packed dirt.

  4. When the work was finished we had …. murky well water … We had to wait a few days until the well settled and the water became clear.
  5. The guy who cleaned the well instructed us, after the water settled, to throw in 10 tablets of chlorine. We purchased the tablets, then lost them and though have since found them, we have not (months later) yet (I wouldn’t hold my breath) thrown them into the water.

Overall I think they did an OK job. Since then we’ve hired help a few times and my overall impression with Romanian workers is that they work hard but they don’t strive (and don’t achieve) quality. They do an OK job. If you want quality you need to either do it yourself or be very demanding and very specific with what you want done. It can be hard to do without already having experience AND being a foreigner with a 4×4 parked near bye … but I have learned that common sense (especially my own after studying up) should not be ignored.

This is what it looked like mid-day – the workers, our neighbors and Andreea taking a break in the shade.

Testing

Officially we were supposed to do a lab test to the water, we intended to but we didn’t. To do the test you need to pick up a sterilized bottle, fill it (and another soft-drink plastic bottle) with water (after cleaning the well and after the water in the well has settled) and then bring it to the lab in the city within hours of filling. It costs around 200+ Lei to do the level of analysis we would need and the result should be specific instructions on what kind of filtering we would need for the water to be drinkable.

Getting all this done requires specific timing and though at first we tried to do it, it didn’t work out. By the time we had the well cleaned we decided to not do the testing (it was one of those things where obstacles kept getting in our way – and we are learning to read such obstacles as signs that maybe we shouldn’t go that way).

We also didn’t start drinking from the water for quite some time because it had (still has!) too much stone content in it – it is hard water. We now have a rock-salt kind of filter on the main line – it needs to be cleaned every few weeks for optimal performance. We also have a separate drinking water filter and we run the water that comes from it through another passive filter for any sedimentation that may be left in the water. We drink and cook with this water.

 

Woke up to an inviting day … but, though a little late, we out to work. I’ll keep it short and sweet – we have a shell of a cabinet standing in our bedroom. All it needs are the shelves already in the work and we’ll finally be able to unpack our things and stop worrying about freezing temperatures and mice destroying them.

Rice is cooked, lentils are almost there, pickles already in the plates. Dinner soon 🙂

Monday morning we are going to Targu Mures for a night or two, then coming back via Cluj.