Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rain, rain, rain and more rain. Then, today: muggy but dry! Our good friend Deke has been incredibly helpful, and as I write, he and his son Dwight are helping Hunt finish laying down the deck on the first floor of the main part of the house. Next week looks clear and dry, so we're hedging our bets and giving up three work days to go to the Old Songs Festival in Altamont, NY!
Here are some pictures of us with Deke, as well as the Tarp-Mahal!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rejoice for joists!

The floor joists are done! The wet made them a bit warp-ish and we were worried at how they might turn out, but now that they are all lined up and toe-nailed down, they look fine. Tomorrow we start laying the first floor!

It's been the coldest, wettest June I can remember, and our little camp is clammy and chilly. We got a little propane heater to take off the worst of the chill, and as long as we keep a few windows cracked, it seems to work fine. We are grateful to be living here, and are still enjoying our adventure!

The visits have begun- yesterday we had a visit from Michael and Jan from Westmoreland, who are considering building a First Day Cottage. We were happy to be able to tell them our positive experiences, and to show them around. The most important information we gave them was that John and David at First Day are totally above board, communicate well, and are extremely helpful!

This Wednesday we look forward to a visit from our good friend Sioux from the Hudson River Valley of NY; at the end of the month, Hunt's sister Deborah will arrive from California. We have a pop-up camper and four tents, so come along and join the fun!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Water, water everywhere

The rain is making it difficult for us to make much progress- one day of work, then rain. On Monday, we had trucks and workers laying the trench and installing the well pump (and temp. service- we will have water we can use, as soon as the chlorine "shock treatment" washes out). Then a day of rain and very, very cold. Today we made some progress on the joists, thanks to Bill Hoyt, our wonderful brother in law. As soon as the weather allows (and I don't like the forecast for the next few days!!!) we will try to finish the joists: 7 down, 22 to go!
The whole process is a lesson in letting go of our sense of urgency- we keep saying we have to be insulated and able to move at least ourselves and our essentials in by the end of September- we still should be able to accomplish this, but if the wet keeps up, it will be a challenge!
We've enjoyed our visitors who stop by- feel free to come take a look, keep us company, and maybe even swing a hammer!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Zen and the art of house building

Rule #1: Think before you do.
Rule #2: Move slowly.
Rule #3: Focus on the act, not the outcome.
Rule #4: Mindfulness is all!

Moving heavy lumber, banging hammers, moving around on uneven ground in heavy work boots, working till you are so tired your thoughts are mush- following the rules is making the start of our task possible!

We have begun work on the sill plate. The main part of the house is done- a full day of measuring, banging, cutting, drilling, lugging, and finally- the sill! Today we are taking a day of rest, and have enjoyed lunch in Keene and showers at the old house on Tolman Pond Road. Living as we are in rural simplicity means gratitude for every drop of water, from tap or from water jug (we filled those today, too.)
Tomorrow we plan to finish the sill on the wing, and next week we will rejoice in building joists! We will also get a pump on the well so will have access to water, though we'll still have to lug it across the bumpy ground from well to house. Small task for such a gift!

The pictures show Hunt hard at work, me at the end of the long day, and of course, home sweet home!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Home, sweet home Part 1

We are now living at 7 Tolman Pond Road, Nelson! The move was enormously challenging, but we're there. And yesterday, the lumber arrived! It's amazing to think of all the work that went in to coming to this point, and it's only the beginning. But what an adventure we have embarked upon! We love the privacy and intimacy of our little cabin, and we also enjoy visiting the foundation and imagining the finished product. But enough imagining: today we start with the sill plates!