Saturday, December 29, 2007

Diagram of ...progress?

Well, if nothing else, you can see that the grass is growing on our new slope, holding in the dirt during the rains.

This photo was taken from the south side of 'the meadow', looking north at the house site. The Green line circles the area that will be under the patio, which is in-fill from when we dug into the hillside above it.

The red arrow points to the foundation wall that you can just see poking above the grass (it's at least knee high in this photo)

The thin green arrows point to the outside (west and east) edges of the house, showing how wide it will be.

The blue tarp (which covers our not yet mixed mortar bags) is approximately over the second (middle) bedroom area.

How to relieve yourself on the mountain.

If you need to sit down, see below. Otherwise, you can choose:

Right on the Compost pile
near the blueberries
near any other bush or tree
ladies can use the above list if they feel capable, or in the composting toilet.

How to use the composting toilet:

sit down and go.
make sure everything is pointing into the bucket (there's a small gap under the seat)
instead of flushing, use the sawdust in the bin and cover enough so that the next user can't tell you've been there. Like a litterbox...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Lister in the Trailer

Got it in a trailer (of my neighbor's, who wants it back now, sheesh) and it's a pretty handy place to work on it... but of course I don't really know what I'm doing anyway. It's a good way to move it around though.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Proud of my garbage can.

Actually, my home-made garbage can isn't that big of a deal, but the fact that it's 50 gallons, and we've lived up here 17 months, (owned two years!) and only taken it to the dump to empty twice. I believe that's a bunch better than the average household. Now that I think about it though, that's 68 weeks of living, and (since it's pretty full right now) 150 gallons of trash... 2.2 gallons of trash every week. hmm.. I bet I can get it lower than that (without burning trash that shouldn't be). And, hey, this is a construction site as well... usually at a house building site, there's a whole dumpster, so I'm not doing that bad.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Looking for a solution...

So. I've got some options due to a lack of foresight on my part. As stated in the previous post, we're bringing up the floor -- the gravel under the floor -- from where it is in this photo, to above the rim of this bucket.
When we poured the bond beam, I put J bolts in for brackets to hold the door frame (for the back door). Now I realize that since the wall has to come up so much, the door 'threshold' will be at least 2 feet higher than the concrete the bucket is now sitting on... what to do?

I could build a door frame that's 10 feet tall, and have some sort of box under the door... a storage spot? something for the sub-floor heating system?

Or, I could just brick this part up and put in new J bolts at the normal floor line...

Anyone got ideas?

A bit of progress, drains

The wall is crawling up. it's not hard work, but it's hard to just do the same thing all day... we can see the end of this part of the project though. here is the 'SW corner' of the house with the kitchen sink drain popping out. The inside end of this pipe will be well below the floor line, and possibly below the outside patio line as well. You can sort of make out a stick in the middle of this picture, right above the drainpipe. that's our rough floor marker... well, about two inches down from the top of that stick is where the floor will be. We want to have the stone wall go above that line.

Here's the shower drain, right below that floor mat on the wall. This too, will be well below the floor level. You also get a good shot of the solar trailer here... the trailer is nearest the NW corner of the house.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Correction: Northern Pygmy Owl.

Melissa the birdwatcher has decided that it's actually a Northern Pygmy Owl we found. So, we got that going for us, which is nice.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Northern Saw-whet owl!

I was kicking around the compost pile today, and thought a bit of avacodo pit had gotten away (it was pretty dark) and then I realized there was a small (I think baby) owl sitting there on the ground while I was standing right next to it.

The full-sized adults only get to be like 8 inches tall, and this guy is about 5... I think he fell out of the nest and is waiting for a mommy round-up. we left him there tonight, and will do something about him if he's there in the morning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slow, but steady, progress....

One of the reasons we don't have too many posts lately is all we seem to be doing is building the wall. It is coming along though. The east side, where Melissa is now standing (as though we're looking in the 'front' door [looking north]) is almost done. Once we mortar in that layer by Melissa's knee, we'll be done with rock on this side.

we do still have a bunch (like 2 feet of height) to go on the west wall though.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

New Washing Machine in Place!

On our way to Modesto to pick up the old generator, we made a side trip to Hollister and picked up a used washing machine (off Craigslist). It's a super efficient, low water-use, low power use, Italian design small-ish washer. I've set it up underneath the bathhouse right now, and when the house is done we'll have it up closer.
Of course, when I got it set up, I discovered a leak, so we have to order a new part. Still, we've saved a bunch of money getting a used one. And, hey, what's a little more frustration on top of everything else?

More Visitors!

Jason and Vanessa came up on the coldness day yet this year and stayed overnight. We ate a whole bunch, managed to drink two bottles of wine, and hot tub! Not too shabby.

New Bread recipe

I can't believe it, but I saw a recipe in a magazine (Mother Earth News) and thought I'd try it... and it was great! Really nice bread, good crust, nice 'crump' (inside), and really easy. Guess I'm doing that again.

Visitors to the Mountain!

Leora and Eric and Snoop and Ollie came up for a day trip... drove their VW toreg (sp?) all the way up, and it barely rained while they were here. We did have fun sitting in the yurt picking burrs off the dogs.

Cabin shower pan getting in place

Actually, kind of happy about this progress.  It needed to be up so the drain trap will fit.