Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Steve And Patty

A couple weeks after Deb’s fall, our dear friends Steve and Patty came out to help on the house and help take care of Debbie. What a Godsend these people are. Taking “vacation” to work and take care of Debbie. Here, they work on the ledger board that will help hold up the deck/balcony off of the guest room.

Nick’s Birthday!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Debbie’s Back

Here is the xray of Deb’s back showing her new and permanent hardware. The rods and screws are designed to support the vertebrae that broke and keep it in place while her muscle and tissues repair. The screws are nearly 2 inches long and the rods about 3-4 four inches. Not too much else to say about the hardware. It is great that technology and medicine can do this, but also it is sad to think she has to have this in her for the rest of her life. Clearly we are very thankful that there was no spinal cord damage, but still sad that it happened in the first place. Nothing we can do about it but move forward with as positive an attitude as we can.

Some Photos

The following photos are an effort to catch up on the website. Due to all the things that are going on - all at once, there will be little text/captions along with some photos to capture some of the “highlights” since Debbie’s accident.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Deb Has an Accident

Perhaps the greatest fear we had when we decided to “build” our own house (with the help from friends and contractors) was that one of us or one of our friends/contractors would have an accident and hurt themselves.

On August 7, 2008 Deb had an accident - she fell off a ladder and broke her back! The fall was traumatic and horrifying. The details of what happened aren’t pretty. I saw her hit the floor, flat on her back from about 8-11 ft. She immediately began screaming like you can’t imagine. Then she started spitting blood out of her mouth and I thought “oh God no!” but fortunately, she chipped a tooth that caused a cut inside her mouth. Nick immediately called 911 and paramedics arrived in under 10 minutes. Prior to their arrival Nick and I tried to calm her and check for injuries other than the obvious back trauma, while also checking her ability to feel and grip. I assisted placing her on a backboard and applying a “C” collar around her neck.

Since our stairs are not built yet the only options we had to get her to the ambulance from the third floor of the house was a series of ladders (not a good option) or evacuate her from the third story window using an all-terrain fork lift we had on site. Oddly, I was the only one that knew how to operate the equipment, so I was “elected” to lower her and two EMT’s out of the third story window. I was really nervous - and now discovered that Debbie was actually cracking jokes with Nick and the EMT’s before I began lowering her down. All went well although I was freaking out lowering her down. Pressure was on for sure.....

They rushed her to the local hospital (I rode in the front seat and watched her getting morphine to abate the pain) who made an assessment and then drove (helicopter was not available) Debbie and I to Seattle to the Harbor View Trauma center..... 8 hours in ER, then got a room. Could not operate immediately and had to wait another 28 hours for surgery. Surgery took a total of about 5 hours.

Deb crushed her T-12 vertebrae, but miraculously did not damage her spinal cord. She now has two rods, four screws, and a spacer bar in her back permanently. Doctors said she was/is amazingly strong and forecast a successful recovery with little to no lack of motion of any kind in the future - providing she exercises and does her physical therapy assignments.

Deb’s parents, who were out visiting us at our property at the time, drove to the trauma center and were on hand for the surgery. And, our dear friends Lisa and Dick Norris came all the way from Portland to be with Deb/me/her parents to give very much needed support to everyone. Deb was released from the Trauma Center two days after her surgery. She is doing better each day and is absolutely committed to a successful and as rapidly as possible recovery. We are still staying in the barn because it has the best bed for her back. There were many offers from neighbors to stay at their place but Deb felt the good bed was the best for her.... She is walking a bit with a walker and has actually managed to tie her own shoes. Still quite a bit of pain.

We are hanging in there. Simply, this was horrible. We both continue to have “nightmares” of sorts and hope to put this past us as best we can, as soon as we can. We both can not believe the number of cards, flowers, and gifts Debbie has received from family, friends, and co-workers. She is “loved” very much by anyone who knows her - no mystery there heh?

I will try to add a few pics and more text soon. At the moment it is hard to keep everything together.......
All for now....
Love to all - Debbie and Don

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Last Block!

Believe it or not, this is the last aac block in the house! The crew invited us down for a celebratory installation - way up near the top of the house! Pretty darn exciting to say the least.

Andy Celebrates

Can’t resist this pic of Andy celebrating the last block!

All But The Cladding...

Although we celebrated the last block on the house, there is still the final cladding on the large picture frame. After this, the crew heads out. Next is the cement pour for the masory heater. Roof trusses arrive in about 10 days. Lots to do to prep for that bit of fun. The house sure is taking shape.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Rake Walls

These are the “rake walls” that allow for our shed roof lines of the house. Hard to explain but you will soon see how it all comes together. These walls are relatively short in distance so they might be finished by tomorrow. Then we wrap the picture frame and the AAC is pretty much complete. Again, stay tuned.

Nancy And Bill

Debbie’s parents recently arrived here from their drive from Michigan. Here, they take the first look at the house - they like it!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Tim is our new AAC crew member. He and Andy have been friends for years. Both are masons.... they look like rock stars!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Joists Are In

Deb pounds in the last of the tico nails that hold the floor joist hangers. Now ready for the plywood and the last of the flooring!

Loft Floor Complete

What a way to spend a Saturday.... Again with Kevin at the helm, we
finish the loft floor by 5 in the afternoon. It is great. And, the views from it will be incredible. Our tree climbing/trimming friend Phil is coming out Aug 11 to do some of the final tree trimming for our view. We have been waiting for that day for a very very long time. Can’t wait to get a few sunset pics once that is done. We continue to move ahead. The AAC crew is constructing the final walls this week.