Saturday, August 30, 2008

Old fashioned sawing

I know, I know, no more no-shirt photos. Well, it's hot. Yesterday (day of this photo) it was 96 in the shade, 82 at 10:30 at night.

Anyway, I was going to cut up this old lumber with the chainsaw, but there were some nails and stuff, so I decided to go old-school on it, and get out the old saw that I re-built that was Mom's. I also sharpened it up quite well, so it actually went pretty quick.

this lumber will be used to hold up the posts and beams as we are getting them in place. Sort of like scaffolding, but just stacked, like you see in the picture.
A lot of lifting and thinking

We're checking the joints on the posts and beams, which includes moving the posts into position, then out, then in, and working the tight spots until it all fits. It wears you out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Graywater buckets

As visitors know, the waste water from the kitchen and bathroom sinks, and the shower, goes down a pipe downhill to these buckets. I had wanted it to go directly to the fruit trees, but the slope doesn't fully allow that.

So, for the last two years, in the summer, I've carried the waste water around to the different trees. Sort of bad planning, but to change it would have meant building the yurt higher off the ground. (no thanks.)

Still, it helps us to stay aware of how much water we're using, and really manage the 'cycle of use' of our resources. Plus, it's pretty cool that waste water ends up making fruit:

Typical Breakfast time

A 'day in the life' moment here. I thought I'd show Melissa enjoying her Harry Potter book and oatmeal. She wears that purple dress a lot around the yurt here in the summer time. It was my mom's.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thor came up for a visit

Here's Thor finding out that moving big logs around is actually more work than it seems.

Actually,we really needed him that day to help move the beam halves up the hill to the house site. We thought it would take about 20 minutes and ended up being about 2 hours worth of hard work. He's a trooper.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Another side project

Since I have nothing else I need to be doing, I decided to distract myself with some furniture refinishing. Today before starting the fire in the earthen oven to bake bread, I put the finishing touches on the RE-finishing I did to this dresser of my folks.

It was one of the many pieces that got some water damage in the floods in Wisconsin this spring. I actually had to spend more time working on the damage from years of usage... the water damage wasn't that bad on this one.
Starting to put things into position

We've got probably a couple tons of wood that needs to be put together and then stood up. It's going to be a challenge.

Right now we're working building frames/scaffolding so as to have the pieces all on the same 'plane', which is difficult because of the foundation walls and drop in the house levels. The uphill side is about 3 feet off the ground, the downhill side will be about 7 feet off the ground before we start standing it up.
Harder on a ladder...

Before we put the first 'bent' up, we discussed whether to make the girt mortise while it was still on the ground, or wait until we knew exactly where it was going to need to point. Well, we decided to wait, and that made things much more difficult than you'd think. Here's me struggling with my feet about 5 feet off the ground.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wood removal, over and over

I'm now working on all the markings Melissa made on the posts and beams, working to get the mortise and tenon joints fitting together just right. well, right enough. This photo is of my view the last few days. I have to do something like 38 of these holes.

Morning Dog Walk view

This is where I stop and turn around on the morning dog walk. Looking south towards the Monteray bay, and Carmel beyond.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


WOW! this is a big deal. Again, the tree only had four peaches on it, but still - peaches! - we sliced it up and shared it today at lunch. Unbelievably good. wow.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Drawers are Done

So, I thought they'd turn a lot darker with the repeated oiling. I guess not. They don't look this stark in real life; the camera seems to make them lighter colored.

They worked out pretty well... I guess they open and close, and hold stuff, so it's an accomplishment. I just don't feel like they are as good as they possibly could be, but I guess I can't complain for only working on it a little while.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Baking and Clearing

Getting the earthen oven ready to bake today, I dragged a whole bunch of brush over to the fire from an old brush pile I was trying to figure out what to do with. I love that I accomplished more than one thing at a time. Heating and clearing.

Now that the branches are gone, the leaves and stuff left over will go in the compost pile. love it.

$1 tool rescue

Had a moment last week, so we strolled the flea market. A woman had a pile of rusty tools "anything $1!" and so I dug through it ...