Monday, July 30, 2012

What Up...

I see from other blogs that posting regularly is the norm, though why i should start conforming to the norm now is another question! Anyhow, thought i could post a "short" one without pics to outline what we are up to these days with the house.

The most exciting (and expensive!) thing recently has been the burial of the power cable and water line to our house from the main infrastructure on the property.  Thanks to John and Cole Barten and their awesome machines, with Jonathan, Roy and Travis on the ground, we have hundreds of feet of cable and pipe carefully buried in the meadow.
At the house itself, the stairs to the root cellar are done ~ yippee! For those of you who don't know, the root cellar is under the house, our basement really, with a door right off the convenient is that! 
Jonathan and helpers are picking away when time allows at the skirting wall; the footing is almost complete, then onward to building the stem wall.  This is a must before living in the house, to keep the floors warm in the winter, cool in the summer, to help insulate and protect exposed plumbing underneath the house, and as a bonus give us more covered storage (aka hiding places for Jamie and friends!).  There will be at least 2 access doors, and i have finally convinced Jonathan to add glass blocks to one section so that i can grow edible mushrooms (namely Shitake and Oyster, hoping Reishi some day) under the house which like diffuse light and cooler temperatures. Permaculture requires that everything has at least 2 functions, so this skirting project covers that very well!
We have bought tile to lay out this week we hope, that will go under and around the Pioneer Maid cook stove, around the chimney and masonry heater.  We bought beautiful and not too expensive slate tiles, and hope they don't chip themselves away to bareness...hmm.  
In preparation for tiling, the footing pad for the chimney was leveled.
The kitchen cabinets get some attention when there's a break in the other projects.
Meanwhile outside, the WWOOFers and I are busy weeding, watering and mulching all the babies we have planted this year and in years past:  apricots from the compost pile, yellow currants, Choke cherries and Nanking cherries, Poplar (Okanese), Lilacs, and Mock Orange, all planted pretty close together to act as a living fence and windbreak....with some luck, the deer won't eat them all, and yes they do eat everything at least once to try it out.  The Lilacs are well ahead of the others - go for it! 
We also planted a few cherry trees this year, mmm cherries!  A spruce tree was given to us as a house / yard warming from friends who live in Horsefly, and i planted it fairly close to the house to act as grey water catchment, since they love water so much, being from further north or higher altitudes.
I also gave in at a market and bought a Linden tree, supposedly good luck or good Karma or some do the deer!
Oh, and a Blacklace Elderberry was planted too and is doing very well.
In the garden, we have 20 tomato plants doing superbly well, peppers, and 3 large rows of garlic, ready to be harvested this week.  

Next:  mixing and painting the interior walls and masonry heater, first doing some decorative tiling on the heater with Mexican tiles...pretty.  Tiling the bathroom shower and bath and sink areas, tiling the kitchen sink area and window sill above it.  Finishing wiring, starting on interior plumbing.  The ceiling will get insulated and covered hoping with nice birch plywood.  Then the wood floor, using sustainably harvested, tongue and groove Fir from Vancouver Island.   Doors for the pantry and root cellar too, cabinets and sink installation in the apothecary, front hall closet door and finishing, and the list goes on....sigh!  The emphasis is on finishing the first floor so we can move in and finish the second floor during the winter, sleeping in our moveable cabin if need be.  
The house looks more and more like a home every step of the way, and we are so excited, with a move in date of Winter Solstice in mind.  We shall see!