Well yesterday Dylan managed to erect the last horizontal beam and Woodhenge looks like a real structure now! What a feat. The first few beams went up with the help of Cody and the last beams Dylan rigged up a system where Mia was his co pilot and the two of them using a winch and some intelligent rigging managed to pull the last of the beams into place. We made a little video and put it up on youtube you can watch it here, just keep in mind there is no fancy editing just a glimpse at the hauling process!
It is pretty amazing to look down at that site and see just how far the building has come only a few weeks, with very little horse power, just a couple litres of gasoline and even less man power, oh and some little girl power too!
We also had a pretty big set back this week, as we lost our sweet Ceilli Dog. She passed away on Thursday morning quietly at home, and is now resting peacefully in the garden near the chickens she loved to watch. It is amazing how quickly that girl made her way into our hearts and home and we are so blessed to have shared the last 8 months of her life as her family. She as many of you know was an amazingly good dog, so sweet beautiful and patient, but burdened with illness. We are happy she is free of the pain and challenges of her conditions. Mia will be planting wildflowers on Ceilli’s plot in the spring and we’ll start working on a making tombstone for her this week. It was another reminder to us just how real life is out here. Death is part of this natural system and life is so precious… In that mindset we are off to the lake to spend the day canoeing and embracing life as a family in honour of our departed loved one.
The shop (wood-hendge) is taking shape now that Dylan is back home and had a strong set of hands to help him haul up half of the big ceiling logs to the top of there post. Tash and Cody came out with the kids along with my Mom (for her first visit), Cody was thrilled to be playing with big sticks of wood and trouble shooting some electrical problems too. Just look at that level bubble image! Those guys did a bang up job levelling up the girders! The rest of us enjoyed some lazy days swimming at the lake and did some serious time in the garden digging the huge row of potatoes and Tash took on the yard with the mower (who needs the gym when you can mow an acreage with a push mower in 30º heat) My mom collected lots of elderberries and plumbs and pulled weeds and identified some wild flowers and shrubs around here. We also started hauling wheel barrow loads of sand up up up the hillside to the garden so I can start getting some raised beds ready for fall garlic. Today I am putting in some much needed design time on the computer and Dylan is securing the 5 rafter beams down and creating a ramp and pulley system so the two of us can haul the last 5 logs up.
We’ll be ordering sand bags today so we have an exciting sand bag adventure in wall building ahead of us, but first we will go volunteer our time as a family to “The big bad bag build” happening down the road and get some technique down. Having said that Dylan just spend a gruelling week ramming earth into car tires, mixing concrete and other such Earthship labours so he is feeling pretty confident about packing earth into sand bags! He has lots of great pictures and promises to write his first ever blog entry about his week with Mike Reynolds and crew, very soon!
More to come…
Not a big week for progress I am afraid, it’s just Mia, Ceilli and Me here right now, so our accomplishments are small but plentiful. We have been spending a lot of time in the garden shed / play loft area and Mia is just loving having her own space outside. Her tree house is coming (likely next spring) and we have advertised this loft space to her as a temporary rental apartment before her dream home! The best thing about the garden loft is it overlooks the chicken run and Mia is spending hours interacting with the birds and observing their behavior, the other day we got a great field guide to western birds from the library and she has been enjoying the binoculars Dave gave us to identify all the wild birds in the yard. She even scared off a falcon who was keen to indulge in one of our chooks! Luckily we netted the top of the run, and Mia gave him a stern talking too as well. I have got my tool shed in order somewhat and I am working hard at preserving food more on that at my SOLE food blog and harvesting the garden glut. Getting the house in order before out next round of guests arrive this week, and doing some baking and cooking with wheat while Dylan is away! I thought I might get some painting done inside this week but mostly I have been cleaning and doing food stuff, reading and relaxing as we have had a couple really crazy thunderstorms in the evenings so it’s nice to be curled up with a good book.
And then there were three…
Tuesday was a warm silent day, hazzy from forest fire smoke and we are just three out here on the mountain now after the buzz and excitement of hosting a dozen fabulous family and friends for the past week we are settling back into valley time and our new rural routine. It was wonderful to see so many faces we miss and we feel really blessed to have such eager hard working and loyal friends in our lives! We shared great meals always with elements fresh from the garden, we indulged in a number of sweat tipi sessions, we enjoyed the stunning slocan river afloat inflatable crafts of all sorts. We explored the amazing Nelson farmers market, enjoyed the growing chickens, fooz’d, cool pooled, and some even rode the newly installed electrical fence for entertainment!
The boys labored ridiculously hard falling, bucking, skinning, hauling, and in some cases burning and burring, tamping and setting really large dead standing cedars from our land. As Ben will attest to (being a city boy, experienced carpentered not unlike Dylan and Dave) retrieving your wood materials from the bush rather than a home depot or a delivered skid makes for a serious investment in sweat and blood, time and manpower. I am shocked at the efforts that went into getting 30 some trees down to our newly excavated site for the wood shop. Initially Ben and Dyl spent the better part of the week just hauling the 10 big posts to site and digging half of the 4-6 foot deep holes to set them in. This equation went something like this… 2 man power + 1 chain saw x 1 undersized winch + Egyptian inspiration = 1 small step toward the big dream and one giant step towards a wonderful space for invention and creation. Continue reading