Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 8

This past week has been a blur. So much was going on all at once that I'm glad we were taking photos or I wouldn't have believed that it all happened! It started out with Tom going to Phoenix, AZ to pick up dumpsters and trash cans for the company he works for. It worked out really nicely since we needed to go to Phoenix to pick up the firebrick and the lumnite that we needed for the oven.

The pallet of fire bricks fit just perfect amongst the dumpsters.

Mason Mart in Phoenix, AZ was Tom's first stop.
Bruce was kind enough to hold our order for several weeks.

While Tom was in Phoenix I found myself at a friend's catering kitchen baking bread. The customer had specifically requested Sourdough bread for their catered affair. Fortunately I had taken my starters out of dormancy several weeks ago and they were active and ready to make bread! 

This old behemoth has a way of keeping you very, very humble.
I only used the paddle attachment for a short time.
In the end, with careful monitoring, the dough did just fine.
It felt good to be standing at a bench again - I can't wait to have
my prep kitchen ready to go!
Then it was Saturday. We did have a beautiful day. I was able to unload all the fire bricks while Tom continued to work on the base of the oven. Tom is looking forward to having a full day to work on the oven without having to take part of his day traveling to get the roll off truck to transport all the supplies. 

I had a constant companion in Copper while stacked the fire bricks.

Copper also kept an eye on Tom. 

The days end.

The supplies are stacking up.
As I update the blog today, it is overcast, windy, cold and spitting a mix of snow and rain here in Las Cruces. All of our dear friends on the East Coast would laugh at how soft we all are! We get one day without any sunshine and we're all whining. It's pitiful! So we're not expecting any sympathy :)

Bradley is growing up fast. He's one of the most curious dogs we've ever met.
And he continues to be too cute!
Tom and I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.
Thoughtfully - Kath

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 7

It started out to be an East Coast Winter sort of week. We thought that Sunday's snow event was it and then Monday arrived. The morning started out sunny and dry, but as the afternoon progressed, so did the snow fall. I guess this is to keep us humble. Las Cruces was basically shut down on Tuesday as many of you might have seen on The Weather Channel. We've become softies.

Our patio set. You can get a tiny glimpse of the cement block way in the  back.
 Fortunately, the sun came out for the rest of the week and dried things up so that Tom could start laying block on Saturday. When the temperature in our backyard reached 55°, the memory of Tuesday had already melted away.

The Man Eater. This saw has been with us for almost 30 years!
It's like a trustworthy friend.
The corners of the oven are established.
Setting block.
The day's end. Tom wanted to get more done,
but the sun was setting fast.

We had to cover the block to protect it from
We added the tarp for extra protection.

Bradley thought the tarp was a game.
He's just too cute for his own good

Tomorrow will be a very exciting day. Tom will be making the long trip to Phoenix, AZ for the company he works for. His boss has kindly allowed Tom to also use the time to pick up the Calcium Lumnite and also our Firebrick. We found it amazing how difficult is was to get these two items here in New Mexico. Fortunately we didn't have to go all the way to California!

We'll continue to keep you posted of our progress and thanks for stopping by - Kath 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 6

The weather report stated that there would be snow in the area on Friday night. We woke up Saturday and we couldn't even see the Organ Mountains because of the cloud cover. It ended up being overcast and drizzly most of the day, but then it happened . . . the clouds gently blew over and we were greeted with the view of the magnificent Organ Mountains dusted with snow!

The Organ Mountains 

The snow line is obvious

Tom decided to make the best of the day, and with his employer's blessing, he was able to take a company Roll Off truck over to the local construction supply house and pick up all the Cement Block, Mortar and Re bar for the base of the oven. 

All the supplies needed to start the base of the oven

Tom unloading while being overseen by Copper the Corgi

Copper making sure Tom is doing it right.
Our old wood cart is getting put to good use. 
All stacked up and ready for next Saturday!
The days end. One experience that is amazing about storm fronts that come
through Las Cruces is that we're left with an amazing visual experience once they blow over.
It's as if God has revealed one of His many masterpieces for us to enjoy.

Thanks for checking in and sharing the journey - Kath

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 5 and waiting . . . .

Although we feel as though nothing is happening with the BakeHouse project, we've finalized several very important steps. The biggest one was finding a supplier for Foamglass insulation that Tom wants to use for the Hearth bed and also around the cladding of the chamber. We found a supplier in Tucson, AZ , which is quite fun since I lived there back in the 70's! Who would have thought that I'd revisit this place because of our business all these years later!

Marking out the corners of the Oven
 The next search was for Thermocouplers and a better way to embed them in the cladding and firebricks. Tom wasn't thrilled with how they took a beating and we did have several of them fail after two years. Fortunately an Engineer friend finds this problem easy to solve - so we look forward to working with him on a good solution.

We saved the Temp Gauge from the original oven and will reuse it in our new oven

And we pulled out the original wood cart and did some maintenance on it.

Tom made the cart from the base of an old Wheel Barrow!
It looks like we'll not be able to make any outside progress this weekend since we're suppose to get some nasty weather over the next few days. Right now it's very, very windy and the Organ Mts are disappearing from the rising dust. So we'll patiently wait to start the next phase which is constructing the cement brick base. I can't wait to share it with you. Thanks for stopping by - Kath