Start at the bottom and work your way up!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A new hope

Episode 4- A New Hope

Many blogs ago, I said if I talked about food anymore I would be starting a food blog. Sooo- I am changing tacks. The Earthship is fine, don't worry. Sitting there; a silent (DRY!:) monument to a brighter future. We burnt so much of our energy on it in years past that we have been expending elsewhere of late.

 For many years I
       (Not to claim singularity- many, many people share this dream in various forms and fashions, and still more whose parallel and coincide)
                              have had a dream of a community center/commons where the knowledge of how to survive sustainably here in Alaska can be shared at will and by anyone who possesses it.  Recently some things have begun lining up to where I feel we are making forward momentum:

1) Spring 2014 I was invited to become a board member of Cook InletKeeper. CIK is a public
 interest non profit group whose goal is to "Protect Cook Inlet and the life it sustains". This is the
20th anniversary year of CIK. Cook Inletkeeper historically and presently helps tackle big fights
with natural resource extraction companies about ridiculously placed mines and other ecological atrocities. Watchdogging the permitting and political processes with a critical eye towards habitat
and ecological issues
         which are often left unattended with minimal restrictions/enforcement/protection-                  Kind of like leaving Merlyn (rest in peace) home alone sleeping thinking- " Oh he probably won't get in the garbage this time" even tho he does most every time .. Coming home to the chewed up contents of the garbage cans strewn about the house.)
                                         as well as providing an array of public services such as water, soil and Fukushima radiation testing, clean harbor programs, electronics recycling...........etc. the list goes on and on. See the website for more info-                              Of late Cook InletKeeper has turned an eye towards local foods & climate change, as well as engaging the lives sustained by Cook Inlet. 

2) In June, a close friend and I started "Where It's At," mindful food, drink and music. We operate a food truck as well as a community use space where people can meet, eat, play music and get together. We also have a weekly organic/local produce basket that is allowing us to have access to higher quality foods for our families as well as make headway in the direction of local foods availability and networking.  And speaking of changing tacks, Where It's At has decided to streamline for the winter. Keeping water from freezing has become an insurmountable challenge, with newly installed heat tracing/anti freezing methods etc. not totally fulfilling the necessity of their function.  The bus is closed for the season!
Time to enjoy the "quiet" of winter!
    The next plan is to be open Wednesday Evenings and Tuesday days. Produce baskets will be available as usual as well as soup and coffee by donation(sing for your supper, volunteer for veggies are some of the ideas we are excited to be exploring!) We are hoping to be able to be more engaged with the people that show up as well as make music more a part of our life and times. Other activities such as community dialogue, coloring, BYO Art project, stitch and (bitch)(ditch)(enrich)
(kitsch)( niche)(pitch)(witch), homework, reading,etc,etc,etc will be encouraged.
   Find us on Facebook for more info as well as updates and beautiful pictures of fruits and veggies!

In the past few years, I have struggled to put down words about our forward momentum as it has
become less tangible.  Recently I made an agreement with myself that since I still had a lot I wanted
to talk about, I would start blogging again. I also had to have a chat about it being ok to change tacks.
 I do it constantly in my life and time, why not in my blogging world?   Take good care Y'all
See you soon

Thursday, February 12, 2015

hanging over our head

     A barefoot building brewing buddy of mine once said something along the lines of "You guys should start with a shed". Others- "This will be the hardest thing you will ever do as a couple."     

     As we lived aboard the ship the last few years, listening to the rain drip drop on the subfloor above us, (struggling to outsource family showers and keep dishes washed via water boiled on the wood stove, mice and one resident ermine living in the fabric covered walls, eating dinner in the pantry, dessert in the fruit bowl) we began cutting shingles out of rolled roofing, stocking up on pond liner and planning our attack. .  

A surrounding issue of much antagony- the many temporary installations of walls, doors, hay bales, fabric and vapor barrier on said walls, windows, insulation (a full compressed truckload+), kitchen sink/counter/shelving, bunk beds built over the (beautiful cannery wood) spiral staircase that my dad and uncle built for future use, that list goes on and on.. It all has to come out eventually(some has already been disassembled) 

     Kelly worked as an electrician most of the hours that a day contains for several months this past spring,  then I went fishing with my dad for the summer.  He was pleased to get to do the majority of the electrical work on an awesome new restaurant in town and I got some much needed father-daughter time, as well as time for myself in beautiful Prince William Sound over the summer.  Kelly hitchhiking from our broken down Volvo in Cooper Landing to make a Whittier-Cordova ferry for the Salmon Jam, then coming along on the trip back up to Valdez, was a highlight, as were the evenings spent rocking out upon a flotilla of seine boats and skiffs, taking a borrowed truck road trip halfway to the Bridge To Nowhere, and many quiet nights in many quiet bays.

Yesterday we put the last shingle on the roof.  - October
Such a small sentence. Such a big job.

     Our roof is made up of 7 vaults, 5 of them tie in to a Lodgepole. Two "barrel vaults" come off of the structure as well as a few creatively placed "shed" roofs. This created yet another (in the Ship of Fools tradition) super complicated custom fit 2500 square foot problem to solve.

     The fascia is metal lathe (hanging out past the edge of the roof) rolled up into a nearly uniform surface situated vertically under the the roof edge, then coated with hessian.
All of the fascia as well as the bottom of the valleys is coated with 2+ coats of Gaco roof Silicone. In the walkways we have sprinkled sand for traction. The shed roof over the entryway as well as parts of the top of the roof have pond liner covering. Everywhere else is shingles. The shingles are shaped like a U in 5 different colors. The parts of the roof with pond liner will be covered in various plant
life. The installed roofing seems to be setting up to function as a roof should; i.e. not let water in....

     Fast forward again, sometimes life seems like a techno thriller about time travel. Blink and 4 months have come and gone. Blink again and your kids are teenagers. The last 5 years seem like both the blink of an eye and Roland Deschaine's eternal journey(the Dark Tower, Stephen King).    

     After realizing that we were not going to be able to live with no running water (while keeping up with cultural expectations and public school attendance) and remain a couple, we moved to town. For the now, it is convenient and fabulous to loll about in the bath any old time I feel like it or walk to the washing machine and toss in a load. We live in an apartment on a quiet cul de sac. The last year has been a rough one. Suffice it to say- we haven't been focused on the house so much as just getting by. Our (pre- finished product/all systems go) Earthship living situation was not keeping us afloat. We have agreed not to reside in it again until we have certain(running water, composting toilets) systems in place.
     These last two blog posts have been disjointed as I tried to share the main points of interest and not write long winded inapplicable memoirs(which I may or may not have succeeded in doing:) Thanks for bearing with me.


Friday, February 6, 2015

The unexpected makings of a 5 year plan...

Watch out!
     The Hagelund/King household might be stumbling into the completion of a 5 year plan. This would be a monumental sort of deal as our last 5 year plan burned up and we hadn't started making a new one since. The earthship project hasnt really entered our minds as a 5 year plan; more like a "lets get it done this summer!" every summer, sort of deal. Kelly and the kids are headed up to the Palmer area for some sadness in the family; I was left alone for the day and was trying to loll about and start book 11 in the Wheel of Time series( I re-read the series since the long awaited epic book 14 finally came out!) My mind was moving too fast on non WOT topics so I jumped up and decided to blog and spit out some of these thoughts that were flying around. The thought that made me want to jump up and blog was the idea that we might be moving into our 4th building season since starting the earthship which could feasibly mean that over a period of five years we built our house and completed it.?.?. For those of us who have been privileged to be encouraged to make a 5 year plan time and again throughout our adult lives it comes as a relief to me to realize that at this point we are over the hump in a five year plan and I didnt even notice until today! Yay! This monumental thought doesnt really have much to do with the earthship project as it were, since the only way to get to the completion of a 5 year plan is to just keep working in the now. Otherwise it might turn into a 10 year plan mightn't it?
      On the docket for this Fall:
   House roof completion-
    The cement roof that we applied last fall is not waterproof. We knew this going into the project and have been thinking about it off and on since. the plan as it stands is to use a combination of green roofing and rolled roofing. The green roofing will fill the bottoms of the valleys, gentler slopes and walkways and the rolled roofing will cover the steeper vaulted parts. The rolled roofing is being cut into shingles using a blowtorch and a razor knife. We are going to adhere the asphalt shingles to the cement roof and to each other. The rolled roofing so far has been gathered off of Craigslist, I am in  the market for more?    
    The living roof will start with rubber pond liner/epdm/membrane against the cement, the next layer will be a landscaping mat with grids for erosion control and dirt                                            

  Closing in the outer walls-  4 of the outer walls are prepped to receive the concrete dipped cloth (hessian?) covering which leaves 2 vault faces to cover in plastic and staple wire mesh to before they will be ready. Downstairs we have 2 and 1/2 South facing bays to build bottle walls surrounding the windows that are in place.
  If we can power through and finish all of those things we will be ready to settle in for the winter and work on the inside of the house. The kids are going back into public school next year, Brynn will be in Kindergarden, Adarra will be in Fourth Grade and Caius will be in Sixth Grade. We think it will be neat for them to all attend the same school for a year. After that, who's to say what will happen. We have enjoyed having the kids at home and we think they have as well but they are itching to join back up at Tustemena Elementary.      
  Looking back- we spent the winter holed up in the heart of the earthship, moved in in end of October/beginning of November. Our Sister in Law and two nieces were staying with us thru mid January. In December we had a cold snap with temperatures plunging below zero and it worked out really well to have the fire going 24-7 while keeping up with the work/school/extracurriculars of 8 people, 3 dogs and a cat. Kelly has worked off and on throughout the winter and Ive kept steady with my 2 days at the Golden International. Weve got the big kids in Indoor Soccer and voice lessons which is a mandatory 2-3 town trips per week.

This blog post is a couple of years old, I found it difficult to relate what's happening in the NOW (2015) without posting this; which was partially written..

Friday, September 28, 2012

No time like the present

I get by with a little help from my friends

 For all of my friends; from the oldest to those I havent yet met. Where would I be without you?

 A Disclaimer: Because it has taken me months to get around to writing this blog entry, I am going to post it without quite as intense proof reading as I normally would use. Also the apostrophe/quotation key doesnt work on our keyboard anymore so there arent any of those. Hopefully you still enjoy the read!

   The last blog entry accurately described approximately 2 weeks of this past winter. After it rained the dickens in December and our now 10 year old awoke to 5ish gallons of ice cold water falling on him when the foil bubble insulation we had stapled up filled up and gave way. We decided to seek a drier shelter for the remainder of the winter. At the yearly New Years Family Party we spent the night and didnt leave until March 4. Communal living seemed to be the theme of the winter, we thoroughly enjoyed sharing time, heat and food with family and friends. 4 kids were being homeschooled with 1 preschooler wanting to be a part of everything. I became the school lunch lady and occasional art and PE teacher. We will be homeschooling again this year and are very much looking forward to improving schooling techniques and upping the ante on extracurricular activities.
  On March 4, our family headed to Kauai to visit my parents who had had possession of our middle daughter for a month. We stayed in a tent in their front yard for 6 weeks through some amazing rain/thunder/lightning storms. When we left, our oldest stayed behind for a month and ended up taking a roadtrip up the Alaska Marine Highway with his Grandma. When we got back, we moved into The Bunkhouse. Kelly had built a spruce log platform with 2 rows of straw bales all round. Some of those dear friends I was mentioning gave us a wall tent and Kelly promptly built a frame complete with a loft for the kids with windows, a nice front door, camp kitchen with greywater collection and a killer woodstove that makes it nice and toasty. He also rigged up rainwater collection that helped with garden watering immensely(though for much of the summer it rained so much that I didnt have to water the garden). We got all moved in to The Bunkhouse and it was time for Kelly and Caius(10) to leave to go seaining. My dad became a Prince William Sound seiner this year and Kelly signed on to be a deckhand. (I grew up on a fishing boat and he wanted to experience some of these stories firsthand.) Before you get too worried Dear Reader about how progress will progress lets jump back to the earthship a bit....

   Kelly spent last summer finishing up the roof structure for the house. All 7 vaults are complete as well as having the framed in walls with windows installed on the faces of the vaults. The framed walls are welded into the vaults via sheet metal plates bolted to the dimensional framework. The roof structure of the garage wont be built until next summer at the earliest... The stovestack has been installed up from where the masonry/rocket stove will be, through the 2nd floor and up through the roof 4 feet. This takes the form of a 1 foot culvert salvaged from our local landfill. The plan is to run stovepipe up through the culvert possibly surrounded by perlite as kind of an improv metalbestos. To help with as/des(cent) Kelly welded some cool stairs into the NE valley where we will be getting onto and off of the roof.. When its all said and done you should be able to walk from the ground level outside up onto the roof via the large terraces/berm we will be building in the future. On top of the rebar framework went salvaged concrete reinforcement wire(have I mentioned we love our friends yet?) and hog wire 1 layer thick over the whole roof. Then came the expanded metal lath. it took about 110 sheets of it to cover the entire roof. We installed Pex tubing around the perimieter of the roof to give the lath a form for a drip edge and to melt off snow load so it doesnt fall on our heads(the roof or the snow)..
  Kelly and Caius fished for 3 months in Prince William Sound and got back just in time to experience the end of summer/ beginning of fall which werent easily discernable since all it seems to want to do is rain. We have had some great volunteer efforts this year including some new friends who have been coming and staying for a few days at a time thus helping us all keep the co-housing/communal living thought process at the front of our minds. The storage room bottle walls are bordering on complete( this is a short sentence for the amount of time/energy/bottles that went into these walls. The wine bottle wall has 1000 bottles in it and the beer bottle walls I have no idea how many.) which leaves us with the South wall bottles to fill in around all those windows. We have (finally) started applying cement to the roof(September 24) and are hoping to get it done before snow sticks and it gets too cold for the cement to cure.
 Our mixture for the roof contains:
1-portland cement
2-perlite/recycled styrofoam(harder to find but cheaper and doesnt absorb water)
1 3/4- liquid (1/2 and 1/2 water and latex paint)
a small handfull structural fibers/ mixer load.
  It is an amazing product and fun to apply, kind of like a thick cream cheese frosting. We are applying it approx. 1 inch thick and will be going back to trowel it on from underneath in areas we find are too thin.. When we get all the cement applied, we will be coating it with some kind of waterproofing product.

    Normally I like to blog about some other topic that I find relates to our house and our journey at the beginning of an entry but today I saved it for the end.. Maybe because 2012 is coming down the homestretch or maybe because Im seeing through many examples in my own life right now that an end is often(or maybe always) a beginning.. A Close one door and another will open sort of thing. A lot of reformatting has been going on in the general vicinity of my space this past year. There are infinite opportunities to be active/reactive or passive. If we can allow ourselves the honesty to really examine our behaviors, I think we will see that often when we are dealing with a situation, we are not actively seeking the present solution rather, we are reacting based on an issue we have had in the past. We are feeling past pains rather than looking at the present issue. Repetitive Emotion Injury is a term I am wanting to add into Urban Dictionary. I havent found the right definition exactly but it relates to Identity Crisis and many of the woes of our culture. NOW is the time my friends(new/old/as of yet unintroduced) If we live in the present our journey will be that much more enjoyable. And it is the journey that matters. So reach out, be active in your relationships. Dont take out your pain/anger/sorrows on the person in front of you right now when the intensity you may be feeling has a deeper source. As Buddha said(or at least Facebook claims that he did..) You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger. We all are one and feel the same ways. If we practice acceptance of this key point we will find that we know how others feel because we too have felt those feelings. And Practice it is. We may never be masters of our destinies but if you Practice in the now then that now will be well spent.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Long time no blog

Starting off this blog entry is kind of like calling an old friend that you haven't spoken to in some time. There is a feeling of guilt and a small knot of dread in the bottom of your stomach as you think that your friend may not even want to talk to you since you haven't called in so long...
But when they pick up the phone and say, man how time does fly I've just been thinking about you! its all good.
Now that we're past the awkward moment, it feels nice to be back.

We are living in the earthship.

There, that was anti-climactic. We really are living in the earthship, though not quite to its full potential. At this point we are nestled in under the subfloor of the second story, backed up against the tire wall. Really, nestled is a loose term. When the weather is freezing we nestle quite nicely. When it gets to raining in December, nestled turns to drippy in a jiffy! Nonetheless, we have our wood cook stove fired up and attached to a 60+ gallon hot water tank so we have boiling water on tap and 60+ gallons of water stays hot for a long time. Now we'll backtrack and let you know where these months have gone.

When we last left off, Kelly had completed 3 of the 7 dormers.. He continued working on the roof through the summer, the welding of the house section of rebar framework was finished in September(2011) The garage roof section has not yet been started as we wanted to focus on the house first..In his vault building project he started on the "easiest " vault, one that had a face and two valleys going evenly back to the lodgepole. There are 5 vaults that have a triangular footprint. 2 of the vaults are more of a barrel vault shape with parallel walls going out to the face. If I just switched to chinese, understanding may come when I put some pictures up of the second floor. Otherwise you'll just have to come see for yourself. The process of designing this roof has been hugely expansive as far as Kelly and my communication goes. Having to talk through concepts that you have only had to face minimally on a high school geometry test some years ago is a difficult exercise at the best of times. Still, piece by piece, it went into place. 4000 feet of 1/2 inch rebar have gone into the structure so far and the garage will use a considerable amount as well. Sometimes I stop and look at the roof and it gives me the chills along with a somewhat fanatical giggling fit as I ponder what could have been and how never in my wildest dreams have I imagined such a home as this one seems it will be.
While Kelly was busy working on the roof, I have been busy with homey things like making dinner, keeping children in line and planting and harvesting a larger but surely more rabbit eaten garden than last year. I also continue to work 2 days a week at a local chinese restaurant. All in all, my house progress has been limited to starting on the bottle walls that will make up parts of our south window wall, and installing the granite sill that runs the length of said wall. We were hoping to be dried in by the time winter came but between everyday life, social activities, Kelly and I both working for money occasionally and October it just didn't happen.
When we found that we were not going to be in the house by snowfall, we started formatting a Lower 48 road trip for the family to head off on. If we weren't going to be in our house, by god, we weren't going to sit and look at it all winter. So we did our best to tie up loose ends and head off down the highway. A few weeks before we were hoping to leave, loose ends began to fray and all of a sudden instead of a comfy, warm woolen hat we had a big tangle of yarn. But somewhere in that tangle is a 1977 Toyota Chinook Motorhome that actually does sleep five, a full year of homeschool curriculum for two students, a well stocked traveling pantry and a sense of unfulfilled adventure that just wont quit. Since we had promised so much to the kids and it wasn't looking good for leaving the state, we decided to take an instate road trip. In November. It was a week of adventure that left us feeling like we'd like to have a nice fire to put our feet up next to. We went to Seward, Anchorage, Wasilla twice, and only as far north as Willow since Alaska had an unusually frigid November. We slept in the motorhome a couple of times in zero degree weather with toe warmers on all toes and water bottles full of hot water. We camped in roadside pullouts, the Wal-Mart parking lot, next to a very actively used dog mushing tunnel and at the trailhead of Thunderbird Falls(which would be more aptly named Toyota Prius falls as it doesn't even make enough sound to tell if it's running). We got to hole up in a couple of hotel rooms(thanks Uncle Harry and T-T-Tia!) and camp at an old friends house(word up. Shannon) during a crazy windstorm with gusts over 70mph.. We ate good food, junk food and almost every genre of restaurant except steak and thai..Our favorite restaurant was Kansha which brought us so many Hawaiian delicacies I got kind of teary eyed every time something new showed up..
Well, I probably better get going....
So nice to visit old friend, I will look forward to next time. I hope all is well in your worlds and that wherever you are, you are warm, dry and nurtured. That is the stuff of life that I am finding to be important.
Parting is such sweet sorrow..

Take Good Care!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Melting Pot

You know that capital(ism) oppresses the worker- the workers in our country bear all the burden of labour, and their position is such that, however much they work, they can never get out of their brutish situation. All the profits earned by their work, with which they might improve their situation, give themselves some leisure and, consequently, education, all surplus earnings are taken by the capitalists. And society has developed so that the more they work, the more gain there will be for the merchants and landowners, and they will always remain working brutes. And this order must be changed.
from Anna Karenina- Leo Tolstoy 1870's

This post is dedicated to my parents and theirs who have worked so hard.

The Melting Pot
Once upon a time, there were many thousands of cultures around the globe, each with their own mythology. Their mythology guided the members of those cultures in daily life. It whispered of food and dress, marriage and seasons. Over many generations each culture formed a plan of livability(thank you Barry) for All of its members. The members of these cultures had guidance in what to eat, how to raise babies and countless other pieces of information that were absorbed as life went on. Life was simple and fulfilling.
Fast Forward to 2011...
The children of the culture of capitalism are cast adrift in an ocean of information. We are told from an early age that we can be anything we want to be, yet there is also a pressure to BE something. There are infinite combinations of belief structures, lifestyles, and tax brackets each with their own personal style and form of transportation. It has been impressed upon us that what we do may become who we are and for this reason we are encouraged to pursue livelihoods that will provide a sizable income. Every day life often revolves around money for people of this culture and it is worshipped by many. Acts of horrific violence have occurred in money's name while our planet and its inhabitants are ever in jeopardy from toxic corporate practices happening around the globe.
Growing up in the best of both worlds, I often heard that Hawaii was a cultural melting pot. Many strong cultures coming together providing a safety net of traditions and family life. The fire under our global melting pot continues blazing hotter and hotter as nationalities mingle, bringing a full spectrum rainbow of children of generations to come into this world, information, products and technologies are updated at a constant rate and people communicate across many thousands of miles in an instant sharing what they know and exposing truths that may have gone unknown. Humanities power has never been so great in recent history, but what is all of this power being used for?

Whenever I un into someone at the grocery store or post office or wherever I may happen to run into someone I know, they ask so when are you starting back up working on your house? I am delighted to answer that we have been working on it all winter. When I say we, I mainly mean my husband, Kelly who has been working on welding the rebar structure togther that will be holding our roof. This winter has been an adventure in trimming back expenses in the wake of the insurance settlement for our previous house, I have gone back to work a couple of nights a week at a local Chinese restaurant and am trying to make one huge pot of soup a week for distribution to anyone who might need some.
While I have been bouncing about doing my things, Kelly has been hard at work outside in sometimes below zero weather. He has so far built 3+ dormers of the 7 that will make up our main roof. As an electrician, welding was something he had been exposed to but never had put in any serious time at. We got temporary power hooked up in October and have one year until that has to be taken down. So that worked out well with Kelly and welding and lighting and now that we are movng onto theproperty in two weeks it will be nice to have for creature comforts while we live in our airstream trailer until the house is ready to move into.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In other news,

I am a big Barbara Kingsolver fan. I am not usually a hero worshiper but she is borderline. I just finished her most recent book "The Lacuna". As it started out, I was not jumping in with both feet. It was a bit on the political side for me, but then as usual, her storytelling magic comes alive and I burn through it, struggling to glance up to check on the kids every once in a while...She is an author that has been able to tie up lots of loose ends for me. In one book she will touch on so many ponderances that are or become near and dear to my heart. Anyhow, in "The Lacuna " the story is set over the course of an authors life in Mexico and later the United States. I think one of the most mind blowing parts of the book was that during the World War, the people of America teamed up to support the war. The women took over the factory jobs, because the men were all off fighting. Americans young and old scoured the country for any metal that could be melted to manufacture bullets. Writers donated their typewriters, Grandfathers their brass canes. The slogan of the people was something along the lines of "In America, we make do with nothing new"..It was said that after the war, manufacturing would boom and there would be products formulated that were beyond all imagination. Now, the part I find touching is the slogan. Where has the mindset gone? It seems to have disappeared into that manufacturing boom. Consumerism is at an all time high. We are trashing the planet with our disposable lifestyles. Many find they are trapped in the this lifestyle, an affliction that leads to many of our societies greatest problems such as depression, anxiety, broken families, alchoholism....the list of consumerism based ills is infinite...How are we to break this cycle? In the greater scheme of things, this is a short lived trend. The disposable opulence of the 20-21st centuries is something never seen on such a massive scale in world history. I firmly believe that change is in the wind. The information superhighway that is the internet and all the mobile communication makes education of the masses as easy as typing in google. More and more people across the globe are acting with intention and starting to see that we aren't required to repeat the mistakes of others....
Since my last post the fall harvest time has been coming to a close and as I write, the first sticking snow (1&1/2 feet)has fallen. In the last two months, between our biggest kids starting school and a longish wait for the rebar to arrive:

10/10/10 was a Global Work Party put on by In this area, our house was chosen as the official site for that days work. That Sunday, around 25 volunteers from 2 to 65ish years old worked on putting together our first beer bottle wall(15 bags of mortar and approximately 1000 beer bottles made two 8 foot long by 3 feet high sections of wall) , making bottle bricks
for the south walls that we will be working on once the house is closed in, scraping and cleaning the Thermopane glass panels for the trombe wall and installing the track to hold the Thermopane glass. A good time was had by all who attended and our heartfelt thanks go out to all the people who were there to help. We finished the day with a potluck. Good Fun, Good People, Good Food!
We have tarped off the entire second floor and roof area as our beautifully built subfloor could not be left exposed to the
elements. We now have a temporarily dried in house to work on/in...
Cleaned up the yard and consolidated all of our building materials, camper and coffee bus as well as covering more area for shed and storage space.
Finished the rough dirt moving and landscaping( We had a tractor on loan for the summer and before we returned it made sure that any water coming off the roof would drain away from the house)

The rebar did finally arrive (See entry from Friday, May 28; Life 101), praise be. In anticipation of its arrival 1/4 inch X 6 inch strips of steel plate were glued and bolted down to the subfloor all along where the roof will attach. We also cut the lodgepole down to 10 feet from the subfloor and affixed another piece of steel plate to the top the log. Before we go any further I should tell you a bit about our roof.
Our roof will be a welded frame of rebar and a mishmash of wire mesh. We have been and continue to be in the R & D stage of the roof process. The closest design name I could find is a folded plate dome. That name and tons more information is available at, an amazing website full of houses that will blow anyones mind. Our original thought was to go with a concrete roof but we have such a large roof that it would be too heavy to risk doing without professional help. However, everyone we talked to felt that the shape we were planning on was sound we just needed a lighter material. I purchased a large amount of torch on roofing (or Brai) this summer out of someones yard and we will torch it on to the rebar/mesh framework. Once that is in place, we are planning to sprayfoam the underside of the roofing and framework. At this point, sprayfoam is the only suitable product available on the consumer market. We are not too happy with this plan, though we do plan on using the product that has a percentage of soy based ingredients. The only other possible hope at this point is a new mushroom based packaging product. Right now, it is only available to consumers in the form of packaging, but it is supposed to be super light and super strong...I don't know much more, but we have sent a letter to the company/research firm asking if they would be interested in testing their product on our house. We'll see. We have some time to figure it out. We have 8 vaults to build out of 2500 feet of rebar first.