Polliwog Farm

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House update, mid-October

Here’s the progress on the house, since the middle of last month:

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Jeff took this picture of the house, lit up on the inside with our work lights.

We were able to borrow a generator so that we can continue to work on the house in spite of dwindling daylight. Our limited time to work on it and the long days we’re pulling (fitting it in after work and on weekends) are starting to take their toll. We are anxious to move in, not only because we’re so excited and ready to pull everything together, but also because we are basically paying double rent right now and can’t afford to live this way for much longer. We can’t afford it now, but it is what it is.… Continue Reading...

On living simply and the importance of wearing an apron.

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I’m forcing myself to take a “day off” on Wednesdays. I put that in quotes because, well, “off”? It’s still not really a concrete concept to me right now. I’ve been planning to do this for a long time, but every Wednesday I find ways to fill it up. I realized I’ll have to treat it as sacred if I’m going to pull it off. Obviously I always still need to do what needs doing, but there is a lot of extraneous stuff and obligations that I can just cut. And I need to. I need the respite, the time to plan and reset and feel at home. I need to think about what it is that *I need* to refill my tank. This whole busier-than-ever-building-a-house-and-all-the-other-stuff thing has taught me a lot about myself.… Continue Reading...

House update, mid-September

It’s been 16 weeks since we broke ground. Time is funny, since to some people that seems a very short period of time to have come as far as we have (I’m in that camp, personally), and yet others have acted as though it’s taking quite a while. Who knows, it takes what it takes!

After the roof sheathing Jeff and I got started on wrapping the structure with that special house wrap. It was easy enough, but awkward. It comes in a huge roll, 9 ft tall. Jeff and I got the bottom of the house, but then he finished up the tops with some friends. Before I knew it, my house was wrapped up like a present (well, with lots of advertising for a local lumber company…)

We had to start by covering up the windows and then cutting the holes in a specific way.… Continue Reading...

I wanna be wild

Recurring themes are a thing in my life. I doubt it’s some cosmic thing- it’s likely that my mind and heart come to a ready place where I can see all the things that just exist around always, but suddenly a message is illuminated for me and I find it much more significant at that point in time. It sort of doesn’t matter why, I like them. I love seeking and finding the strange metaphors and parallels and consistencies that exist in the universe. They help me make sense of my journey. I like to write about them when they do happen. Lately they’ve been surrounding my long-standing desire to simplify, but more specifically, to be wild. I want to be a human animal.

I see a joyful wildness in my kids, getting soaked and dirty out on the farm and immersing themselves in make believe.

Continue Reading...

The edge: Part 2

It seems as though some of my pictures weren’t cooperating for people in the last post, so in an effort to fix it I’m splitting the post into two parts to see if that makes a difference.

Anyway, down to the progress on the house! Jeff added the eaves and the fascia board, and then started on roof sheathing!

 

 

 

While Jeff worked on the roof sheathing, I worked on sealing the small gap between our slab and the exterior bricks lining the south side of the house. I’m liking getting some of these odd jobs now. Pretty soon I’ll be finishing the concrete floor in the basement, collecting stuff for the bathrooms and kitchen and preparing them for installation, etc. It’s good to be more involved now.… Continue Reading...

The edge

I’ve been getting back into yoga. A few weeks back I made a commitment to myself to do it every day, even if it’s for a short minute before I crawl into bed. So far I’ve only missed a couple of days, when I just had zero time to even think about it and crashed at the end of the day. Not bad! Anyway, I went to a class recently and the instructor mentioned reaching your “edge”- finding that place where you struggle a bit and can feel that limit, but you can still breathe and make the conscious decision to keep going a little farther and to let your body get stronger. It made me think of one of the concepts in permaculture that I love, also all about finding and honoring the “edge”.… Continue Reading...

Rafters, and more about doing things from the outside-in…

I left off with the gable walls being framed and the temporary floor put up over the living room on top of the beams. Here’s what’s happened in the last week or so:

That’s me up there, enjoying my shadow.

Jeff and I got to work last Thursday evening on framing the roof. It started with the ridge beam, which turned out to be quite a to-do! Basically we had to put up these temporary supports (those long thin pieces of wood on the ground in the picture below) and then brace those, and then get the three sections of heavy beam up, in the right place, and attached to each other until they can be held up by the rafters. It was interesting, that’s for sure… especially in the middle area where there basically isn’t a floor.… Continue Reading...

Sushi dates, mischievous napping ducks, and more house updates.

We are actually doing an okay job maintaining some sense of balance so far during this crazy summer. We are sore and tired a lot, but we are still smiling at each other and connected, so I’m calling it a win so far. I’ve found I’m less inclined to get to events or even keep up on what’s happening around town, but ultimately I think it’s fine since our focus and energy really needs to point to this project and our family for right now. One of the things I’m happy about is how we’ve been able to squeeze in treats and togetherness in unexpected ways. Our money is tight right now, but we were able to take a family sushi date by cashing in some of our big change jar.… Continue Reading...

Walls and stuff!

One week has gone by since my last post, and it’s hard to believe how much has changed in that time. This whole kit-house thing has been amazing in that regard. So much of the guess work and the head scratching (although I won’t say there hasn’t been any…) has been removed from the process, and so things are moving fast and smoothly. The team at the kit company have been receiving our calls and fixing anything necessary, and we are super duper impressed with them. A whopping good review for them. I want to actually offer them one in writing when this process is finished, along with pictures and whatnot. It’s also so fun to know that we designed this place, it’s just kind of the best of both worlds.… Continue Reading...

Let things flow naturally forward…

We took the weekend to rest and hang with family by a beautiful lake. It was good to just take two full days and just *stop*. We still thought about all our projects and had our worries, but we all got to see each other and read and splash around and that was good.

I swear I take an updated version of this exact photo every year now.

 

Now Jeff is back at it, full speed, and we are fully into week #2 of framing. Last week I left off at day #3 of framing, and they were working tirelessly on the floor joists. They hit several little hiccups along the way with these beauties. First, they finished the job. *Then* they realized that they measured everything from the east wall to the west wall (the concrete forms that went in) and realized that afterwards that the east wall had bowed just the tiniest bit over the course of the past week+.… Continue Reading...