more farm planning, tree planting and other goodness

I totally miscounted our trees in our last post… the real and true count of new food-bearing trees: 7 apples, 3 plums, 2 peaches, 2 nectarines, 2 cherries, 2 pears, 1 almond. I’ve got it down now. We’re well on our way on our plan of planting 100 trees within our first 5 years here. Between those, the dogwood, walnut and Japanese maple that hasn’t yet arrived (an amazing gift from a wonderful friend!), we’ve got 22 down and 78 to go. Other than meyers lemons, figs and apricots, most of the rest won’t be food bearing.

It’s funny how crooked my pictures always are. The photo above is actually pretty flat land. We had planned on planting all of the trees up by the existing pears and apple (as you can see) but changed our minds after hefting them all into place and rearranging them a few times. I decided that that’s where I want our personal pottager garden instead, up close to the house as it should be.

More hefting…

…until I remembered my awesome wagon (once I was almost done).

Now the bulk of the orchard will be on the other side of the blue tarp on the south and west sides of the upper field (three more still need to be taken over there but they’re heavy and I’m tired). The tarped area is our initial 3000 square foot market garden space where we started our garlic and will have an abundance of heirloom tomatoes, green and herbs planted. It still stuns me how tiny that area looks compared to to rest of our land, knowing that that’s almost the complete area of our old yard in Portland AND that it was technically considered to have a large lot.

Some of the apples were planted between the pears and existing gravenstein and the future chicken coop area, and the plums ate going adjacent to our neighbor’s plums (behind future cabin six) for happy cross pollination and meandering, non-linear placement. I think I’ll put an apple or a pear (or both) next to the chicken coop for a nice shady area, though they’ll be free ranging in the daylight hours, of course. 

With the coming of spring we’re certainly becoming busy bees. I mentioned yesterday that I wanted wooden posts for the chicken fencing instead of using ugly metal t-posts and poof, the husband procured them within a couple of hours. Here are a few of them. Finn and I have some serious prepwork to do before we start cutting them into proper lengths. (No trees were harmed in the collection process — all were downed in the forest or delivered via creek by the generous water spirits.)

And of course we can’t get through February without a greenhouse so that’s underway as well. Eventually we’ll be making affordable greenhouses and kits (etc) to sell in various styles and types: high tunnel/hoop houses, low tunnel, geodesic dome shaped greenhouses, walipinis and cold frames. We’ll likely add in worm farms, composters and other great farm/garden/homestead goodies eventually too… I married a man who likes to be creative and keep busy, so these will be super fun projects for both of us in addition to offering a but of additional income here and there.

Our new bathroom is going to be awesome!! It’s now caulked and primed (above), and the crazy blue color I picked out is in the walls (my camera is lame and can never adequately convey hues, but it most looks like the photos below)… 

We’re still doing a raw wood accent wall but for now it’s all blue. It’s going to look amazing once our cute pedestal sink and vintage towel racks and shelves are in, and the window and door frames and baseboards are installed… and the doors are painted and we get some knobs. Happiness!! The previous owner apparently had an aversion to knobs because there are none on any interior door, oddly. This step of completion means we can now shower for as long as we’d like and don’t have to worry about moisture and drywall. Bliss!

I originally color matched this color with a my blue ball jars to do the wee built in shelf in the kitchen this color but I’m thinking I may revisit that idea. It’s magical in the bathroom but possibly a bit too in-your-face for a vintage cabin kitchen. Anyway, I’ll do a proper unveiling of the bathroom once it’s fully complete. And once I’ve cleaned the shower. (Yikes!)


trails, a big window and a tiny orchard

We’ve been so carefree lately, enjoying the winter and slowing down. Hardly anything has progressed in the cabin and we’re totally okay with that. Winter is the time of quiet, relaxing and rejuvenation, and we’re growing quite adept at it.

We’ve spent a ton of time walking the trails we knew of…

…and discovering or creating new ones that didn’t previously exist to us.

We’ve spent a lot of time at the creek, in the forest and just wandering whilst planning our far-in-the-future cob guest houses, our bigger personal tiny cob house with rocket stove, the retreat meeting/community yurt, our complex of tree houses and other fun things (like a dock with floating platforms for meditation and watery naps).

We’ve also gotten a bit of work done too. A little bit at least. The texturing of the walls in the bathroom is done and looks freaking amazing (thanks to my freaking amazing husband), and are ready to prime and paint as soon as the last bits dry. We’ve been waiting a week for that, but we’re used to waiting. This is a bad photo so I’ll take another after we paint. Excited!

The rotten window frame was worse than we thought but was a much quicker process to fix than anticipated. The first photo is looking under the window to the front patio, through the missing wall. You just never know what can arise from removing bits of load bearing walls but again, awesome husband banged it out quickly and flawlessly. I think we’re doing the next one tomorrow. Or the day after. 

Our tree order was delivered today. Hello instant mini-orchard!! We got 3 honeycrisp, 3 granny smith and a liberty apple, two kinds of plums, a couple of pear varieties, two types of cherries, two kinds of nectarines and an almond tree for the guys. Lots of impending yummies! 

Most are potted trees so we have time to plant them, but six were bare root so that was our today and will also be our tomorrow project. More than likely, I’ll dig and plant while the husband remodels and repairs.

Here is a granny smith, right on the hill that used to be covered in scotch broom.

And here is a honeycrisp right up the hill from granny. They’re great companions, you know. Honeycrisps aren’t self-fertile so need a pollination partner, so granny to the rescue. They’re two of my all time favorites so definitely a perfect pairing in my eyes.

We added a nice rock border with the stones we dug up (this hill is pretty rocky in places), and I think it looks awesome! I’m sure I’ll have to enlarge it eventually but for now it’s perfect. I’ll be planting lavender, sage, rosemary and other aromatics on the hill to keep the deer away from the baby leaves and eventual fruit. They hate walking through “smelly plants” because it messes with their ability to scent preditors. Plus lavender et al are so much more lovely to look at than fencing. ♡

Tomorrow’s planting will be the four remaining bare root apples, and the almond which will go near the walnut that we started from a nut from the hundred year old tree at our old house. The rest will go near the existing gravenstein apple and two bartlet pears, making it a true little orchard. Next year we’ll add three meyer lemons, a couple of miniature kiwis (yep, they grow here), a hazel nut tree and then we’ll move back into expanding our berry varieties. Baby steps. (The picture above is a cherry tree budding at night.)

We need to get motivated and creative to get the greenhouse built within the next couple/few weeks. My dream greenhouse is $8k so totally not happening (it’s glass and not practical and honestly nothing I’d actually ever buy, don’t worry). We don’t need anything fancy but will hopefully have a little something put together for our veggie starts by mid-February at the very very latest. In the meantime, our garlic is growing like crazy! The picture above looks like a small piece of grass but it’s about a 4″ garlic top.

This is our new/current favorite place to relax after rock and crystal hunting. It’s so peaceful and lovely to watch the trees reflect upon the water, right across from the waterfalls. I don’t think this part of the creek even exists in summer. Such a treat! (As is the steelhead our neighbor caught, smoked and shared with us from just below this area.) As always, there’s so much to love and discover around here. 

sleeping in the cabin and other adventures

We haven’t done a blog post in 2 or 3 weeks but that’s because we haven’t done anything around here for 2 or 3 weeks. The husband was offered some work in Portland and then had to go out of town on a few various expeditions and now we have 8 days of company. So, no real progress in the cabin.

Well, a little. 

The bedroom is 100% insulated and drywalled, taped and mudded. We’ll be texturizing walls old lath and plaster style after our company leaves next week then priming and painting shortly thereafter. Since we have company (two adult male humans and a female wolf hybrid), and were trying to shove 5 people and 2 canines into half of a tiny house, the husb and I decided to sleep in the cabin. Above is my view out the window our first morning. (Actually, looking at the clock, I was clearly taking an afternoon company break.)

It’s kind of funny. The nights have been pretty cold so we turned the space heater on high about an hour before we came in, thinking it would be cold. Both space heaters are constantly on full blast in the main house and it’s not super warm. We about fainted when we came in the cabin bedroom. It was a sauna! Having the space heater on low for a couple hours before bed and then turning it off is plenty toasty. The difference is amazing beyond words.

The roof got finished, finally, too. That’s old news, but I hadn’t yet shared. We were missing part of the ridge cap and some rake edge pieces. I can’t really remember what they’re called so, sorry. But it’s done and that is awesome!

We realized after I had posted that picture where I claimed I took a cruddy crooked shot that the chimney *was* actually crooked. That’s all now fixed as well (that’s what happens when you work late into the night, after dark, on the roof wearing headlamps). We aren’t replacing the siding until spring but all colors have been picked, inside and out. That part is my job.

I’ll unveil the exterior colors in Spring once everything is done, but in the meantime this will be the living room wall color. (I’m a jerk and should have written down a photo credit from the above picture. I found it on Pinterest.) 

The kitchen will have white cabinets but I’m going to distress them with a ball jar blue color peeking out from underneath. The built-in shelves will be the ball jar blue. Since we’ll have so much extra, the bathroom will probably be that color as well. It will be one of those slap you in the face with happiness kind of colors.  after having to use so many boring neutral colors in our old house in order to sell it, we’re going a little crazy perhaps. But the beauty of paint is it can always be changed if we get tired of bright happy hues.

We’ve been adventuring as much as ever with the intermittent sun. My best and most exciting find was this arrowhead/projectile. The ironic part is I can spend hours rockhounding, combing every inch of the areas we like to go but on this particular day we were showing Paul’s Uncle and Cousin around the property. The creek was super high and there was only about a 1 foot by 3 foot tiny edge of beach with the high waters being so high so we were turning around to go back. I saw this poking up out of the dirt and had to jump down to get it. I about peed my pants with excitement. I’ve since found out that is about 2000 years old and likely made of either common opal or Oregon honey opal. It’s an extremely rare material for Native American projectiles, I’m told.

Showing the arrowhead first probably makes these less exciting but I was thrilled to find tangerine agate, carnelean and some pretty fantastic zeolite and possible thompsonite pieces.

The carnelian pure fire in the sun, and I’m going to have it made into a necklace.

The husb is the master of finding bones and teeth for me, and found this. It’s an elk tooth.

Here’s the top.

We also started collecting and cutting up next year’s firewood. Yesterday the guys cut up several loads of this size. Thank goodness for the riding lawn mower and cart!

In the process, another new path to the creek was made.

We still live in paradise! It’s crazy to think that no humans have probably been down in this little area for decades. It’s right next to a beaver den, and the gift of aged wood they had nibbled down for us and not used for whatever reason.

Our sweet dog Modoc has been enjoying the company of our new wolf friend Helja. He’s always thought he was a wolf and has carried the spirit of his wolf ancestors.

Helja is 3/4 wolf and an absolutely Majestic being. She was gentle and sweet and so very kind. We sure will miss her when everyone leaves next week! I’d love to have a wolf but I don’t know that that’s a good combination to have with my desired future 36 chickens, 6 ducks, 4 geese, 4 goats, 2 sheep and 2 donkeys. (My list keeps growing and the husb is not very ammused.) We’re actually meeting a new dog next week to potentially add to the family. He is a blue heeler and lab mix and ever so precious. Cross your fingers for us!

I hope you all had a wonderful Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas or whatever you celebrate. We’ve had a lovely break for the most part and will be getting back to things soon. We’ll hopefully have lots to share in then the next week or two.

Happy New Year from our home to yours!!

a week of sun and cold

Last week was magnificently sunny! Lows in the 20s at night, but bright, beautiful, sunshiney days.

Last week I enjoyed taking these photos in the gray autum days. They reminded me of hibernation and going inward, as well as death in the form of transition.

This week everything is ablaze with color and brightness…

And the sky was the craziest blue. There was a spring-like newness to everything that we rarely get to experience this time of year.

I changed my mind on the location I’d picked for the pink dogwood and got it planted, finally. Perfectly aligned with the doug fir to the east, perfectly aligned with the pears and apple to the south, and perfectly aligned with the bamboo to the west. To the north, one of our largest windows of the main house will get to overlook it.

I’m excited that its branches will hang over my future secret garden and be perfectly visible from both my healing space and our future covered sitting area as well as the front porch/driveway. Love it!

Sunny days mean outside cabin work too. While I planted, Paul worked on replacing more of the dead sheathing under the siding. I’m not sure he loves all these cute candid shots I take/post of him but I love them. ♡

Of course the dog has been loving this week too. Funny ball-in-face running action shot. He doesn’t mind the cold, especially when it’s this sunny. 

While the guys ran to Portland for the day, I fully planned our chicken coop. This is going to start out as our chicken house and once I’m done it will house both chickens and a couple of goats (until I have too many chickens to cohabitate with goats, at which time a goat house will be built). I’ve decided that I’m going to try to build the whole thing myself (with the possible exception of the roof replacement), laying boxes and all. It’s far larger than it looks. Later we can add homes for geese and ducks and a couple of sheep but… baby steps. The husb, as a logical Virgo man, always says we have to have a house for ourselves before we can build one for the animals we don’t yet have. It’s nice to have a definite plan now at least. 

I’m the meantime, I’ll keep visiting with the neighbor girls.

We’ve also planned cabins six and seven, but that’ll be years down the road (I do see the comedy in that statement for now, but it’ll be amazing, we promise). Our dream art-healing-music-farm community is slowly unfolding and will one day come to fruition. 

The evening skies this week have been so beautiful. If it wasn’t going to be 27 degrees, I’d sleep outside tonight so I didn’t miss any of this gorgeousness. 

mostly just waiting 

Things have mostly been on hold the past week. Waiting, waiting… waiting for another chimney piece and waiting for things to dry out.

That’s a pretty comical statement from an Oregonian in November since “dry” usually isn’t a thing that happens until May or June, especially living in a rainforest. 

We got some sun on Monday which turned everything inside cabin one (and two) into a lukewarm sauna. Everything was drippy and damp and steamy in unison. 

Thankfully we got most of the electrical work done in the bedroom, bathroom and back porch the day before. Moisture and electricity are probably a bad combo.

(We’re reusing most of the old light fixtures temporarily, especially exterior.)

Paul got the bedroom and bathroom floors grinded down and smooth and I got all of the walls vacuumed and impeccably clean… and then poof! Wet! You can’t seal a wet concrete floor, so wait, heater, wait, dehumidifier, wait…

A frog came in to wait with us. Frogs like moist environments. 

We waited, and wandered the property and watched the leaves continue to change color.

And then finally we (I mean Paul) was able to seal the floor with a moisture mitigating epoxy. (The only thing that we’re using that isn’t 100% green or earth friendly or VOC free, other than the temporary OSB, but it’s an absolute necessity.) 

They’re still wet in this photo. (Husb took the pic.) I LOVE the lines in the bathroom from whoever originally did the floors — they’re float lines that were filled with some old type of tar leveling compound, which was then covered in tar mastic, which was then covered in 80s style carpet glue. (Yes, carpet glue… there was carpet in the bathroom.) 

(Another wet pic from Paul, complete with cat barrier for paw print free floors.) I don’t have a dry pic because, well, they aren’t dry yet. Dehumidifier. Heater. Still damp. The moisture mitigating sealer seems to be pulling the moisture out of the floor and onto the surface. Paul explained to me that this is because no one put in a moisture barrier when they poured the slab. And as a result, the sealer has frosted, which he told me would happen. I think it looks awesome. He thinks “it is what it is”. Someday we’ll install wood floors in that cabin but for now I think these will be sexy. And maybe cold in the winter. But lusciously cool in the summer. (Slippers may be on my Solstice/Christmas list.)

The other day we were discussing the fact that we need a chopping block for firewood chopping. Of course I found one the very next day, perfectly cut and the most perfect height. Every single time we say we want or need something, it magically appears. This is like the 20th time that’s happy in 11 weeks or so.

I tried (quite unsuccessfully, I might add) to haul it up to the cabin from the lower field to surprise my sweet man. He thought that was hilarious. (It’s still in the lower field, by the way.)

Oh! We made friends with a wonderfully sweet and super cool family on the other side of the valley (about 6 minutes from here). They have a sheep farm which also has goats, chickens, cows and horses (we’ll be getting our goats and chickens from them, I believe). This above photo is of Gabe, a sweet fella who had an amazing life before he came to live in our freezer. I love him so much!

We had the abundant blessing of leg of lamb roast for dinner tonight, along with a menagerie of vegetables. I’m a horrible food photographer, but it was amazing, complete with rosemary from our gardens. There is nothing better than knowing exactly where your food is coming from and I can’t imagine buying lamb from anyone other than these guys again. I love them so much, and how they honor the animals and literally use every single piece, fur to bone, nose to tail. 

To top off a perfect meal, we made homemade chai and gluten free pumpkin pie. An awesome combo indeed! We whipped the whipped cream in a mason jar. It was so fun and seriously took a fraction of the time a hand mixer used to take.

According to whatever weather app I use, tomorrow is supposed to be the last sunny day of the year. Perfect timing because we have friends coming who haven’t been here before and we’re super excited to show them our amazing property. I hope the water is low enough to still get to the rock-hunting area, but that’s probably wishful thinking. 

It’ll be a great way to pass the time while we keep waiting for things to dry enough to start the dang insulation and drywall that have had sitting around ready to use for weeks now. Once the last stove pipe piece arrives it’ll be easy to heat and dry everything in a hot second though. That’ll be exciting indeed.

unbuild. rebuild.

Rebuilding a cabin sure takes a lot of unbuilding. The husb was working on a simple electrical rewiring project that turned into a massive unbuild a door frame and rebuild it again project. Why? Whoever did the electrical in cabin one is/was a jackass… some of the wires went through the bathroom wall, outside, then back inside between two load-bearing framing pieces. So, an hour project became a day project (including the extra issues discovered). Unbuild. Rebuild. 

We finally got to pick up the windows and stove pipe though! Wooohooo!!

The pipe and chimney are in. The roof is now 98.5% done and 100% water tight. (Bad photo makes things look crooked.)

Everything is ready to get the wood stove installed inside, too.

Th old ugly pay by the hour type frosted hotel windows are now gone. Got a cute pensive photo of the husb before we yanked it.

Things were wonky here too. Unbuild. Rebuild. 

Now it fits perfectly AND we have an amazing view! Air and water tight + visibility of our stunning land = happy us!

We can now watch the deer in the lower field in the evening when they pass through. 

And I can visit with the gnomes and faeries while everyone else sleeps and actually see them through clear glass. 😉

The other old window was even more wonky. It required way more unbuilding and lots of rebuilding. Thank goodness the husb knows how to do all of these things! I’m not as good. I’m his “fetching fetcher” and “holder of things” more often that not.

Now it’s all painted and cute, which should have been my job since I’m the artist and I’m not allowed to cut things, being accident prone as I am. Soon it will be ready to unbuild and rebuild again in the spring when we replace the siding.

roof, rocks, recipe

Holy cow, Sunday was amazing! Paul, Brandon, Jake (and Finn for part of the day) pulled off the two old layers of roof on cabin one, replaced all of the rotten sheathing, did the flashing, completed the roof and tacked down the ridge cap before dark. Well, and into darkness while wearing headlamps, but the point is that they kicked massive butt!

We have a roof!! Paul had already cut and framed in the chimney support stuff through the attic crawl space so all that needs to be done now is the roof on the bedroom addition, finish attaching the ridge cap to both main cabin and addition, and install the chimney. Holy cow, we are so close! B is definitely one of the kings of the universe and is coming back on Saturday to help. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends!

We’ll be tending to the porch roof and adding all new gutters later. Originally we were going to go with a red roof and paint all of the cabins totally different bright colors kind of like a storybook lane. But at the last minute we decided maybe it would be better to blend in to nature and went with this sexy green roofing instead. 

We thought we would get the chimney finished and the wood stove fully installed and burned in by this weekend but… nope. I’m annoyed with Lowe’s (really their vendor — Lowe’s has actually been awesome). We had to special-order the chimney pipe which was supposed to be here on the 1st. No call on the 1st so they say it will be here on the 3rd. No call on the 3rd so they say it will be here on the 7th. I called today and I’m told it should be there by the 17th! Seriously!? No heat for another week and a half? Dang.

We got the water heater hooked back up last night though. We’d had heated water for maybe one week out of the past two months we’ve been here. Pure Bliss! I ordered a short shower curtain rod on Amazon and they sent us the wrong one. Oops! And I couldn’t find our shower curtain hooks but we made do with staples and duct tape. How wonderfully awesome hot showers are! I love our funky set-up. It makes me giggle. 

Jake stayed the night Saturday and we all took Sunday off. We usually take at least half the day off on Sundays but this time we decided we were going to do nothing but explore and enjoy each other’s company.

We went down to the creek on the side of the faery pools and much to our surprise, the water was quite a bit lower than the couple of weeks previous. The sun even came out for about twenty minutes. 

The guys ventured off while I was visiting with a tree and taking photos and Paul returned and said “you HAVE to come with me!”

We meandered through paths and bramble, climbed over fallen logs and duck-walked under others.

This was the first treasure I found before we even got “there”…

At first it looked like petrified muscle to me. I still really don’t know what it is but it’s beautiful. 

This majestic fallen oak marked the entrance to “the place”. 

Oh my goodness! A beach of amazing rocks, crystals, minerals and treasures such as tumbled glass and pieces of smooth antique china.

The three of us hunted and rock hounded until the sky opened up and soaked us to the bone.

We left with our pockets full of the most amazing finds!

I can’t wait to go back! I could seriously live there. Oh, right, we do live there. ♡ There is a whole huge second set of waterfalls as well but I was so obsessed with treasure hunting I forgot to take a picture. Don’t worry, we will definitely be going back within the next day or two.

Lastly, Finn wanted me to share a recipe. We have such a sweet boy! It’s not so much a recipe as it is a means of avoiding waste though. When he makes rice, there’s always WAY too much left over, and left over rice isn’t super tasty, at least plain.

1. Stir your leftover rice so it’s not stuck together in a big clump.

2. Whip a bunch of eggs and mix them together. Add finely chopped onion, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper… whatever you want. Grated cheese is awesome too.

3. Fry it in some organic olive or canola oil and butter until it’s all golden brown and yummy.

4. Add something to it to make it a tasty sandwich. Here we have two fried eggs, cheese and a whole bunch of sauteed kale for a good sized breakfast sandwich. 

The guys love it. I don’t really eat grains or carbs pretty much at all but these little rice cake patties are so good I always make myself at least a silver dollar sized one. It works awesome with leftover oatmeal too, with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, diced apple and dried cranberries. We make it topped with fresh foraged berries the first time.

mowing and moving

We (which really means the husb) got the mower fixed!

Here you can see him delivering a massive bag of peat moss for the near future blueberry patch.

Of course he needed to test it out and mowed some meandering Zen paths through the lower field and around the trees. I’m a tad too short to shoot them properly but they’re awesome. 

He had so much fun! We’ll enjoy the Zen pathways for a bit longer and get the rest mowed next week.

The west wall is finally pretty much done for the season. All sheathing is up, topped with a moisture barrier and painted OSB. All eaves and everything else are now blocked with construction cloth. No more unwanted creatures will be getting into this place.

We  ran out of our pretty “pepita” paint so grabbed whatever cheap mis-tinted exterior hue they had and it was this. I wish, in a weird way, that we didn’t have to cover this in plastic until the new siding goes up in spring. It’s pretty lovely. 

The “need to plant these” collection of goodies is growing! All were gifts, except 9 of the blueberries which we got from our wonderful neighbor for wholesale price since he’d purchased too many. Ten blueberries of five highbush varieties (I think I said four last time), a dozen heather plants, a well established rosemary, and two autumn olives (a red and a golden).

This is what the “autumn olives”, or silverberries look like at the end of summer/beginning of fall. They aren’t actually olives.

Tomorrow the roof goes on! Or Saturday. I regularly lose track of days. Our goal is to also have the wood stove installed next week and burned in before we start insulation and everything else. Then, a fully functional bathroom with a shower and hot water! Woohoo! That’ll definitely happen before thanksgiving but the goal is the next week and a half. 

I somehow managed to forget about the kitchen — there so there’s much to do on that front. Like… everything. A whole wall that hasn’t been removed or replaced yet, gross counters that need to be removed and replaced and a couple more cupboards to purge. A new faucet. Then lots and lots of paint. We were going to replace the cabinets entirely but with all the extra other things that were unforeseen and things taking so long, that’s not happening. Lots of bleach, new paint, new hardware, call it good. We have leftover white paint from the trim at the old house so that’s what they’ll be for now. The insides and the built-in shelf with be the old ball jar blue color. The counters will be butcherblock. 

My personal goal is everything except the kitchen done by thanksgiving and the kitchen done by winter solstice. ♡

lots of little things

Another week has past and we’re still chugging along slowly. We were potentially getting roof completion assistance this weekend but now it’ll be next weekend. So grateful and excited! 

This week we got the siding off another side of the cabin, the sheathing replaced, and got it ready to hang more painted OSB so we can wrap it. 

The bedroom ceiling and rafters are now stunningly gorgeous and you can no longer poke a broom handle through it. Yay!

This window is open… who wants ugly frosted windows with a view like this!? We don’t! We now have our new Windows picked out and ready to order tomorrow. These remind me of a cheap and sleazy 1970s pay-by-the-hour motel and I will be happy to see them leave.

Both sides of the cabin now have trenches dug and will have fancy diy drainage installed that will direct the water down the hill instead of into the cabin. 

Those things alone, once complete (well, once we get the new siding on) will mean that in a mere couple of months, we’ve easily breathed another fifty years into this sweet cabin.

Serious planting is about to go down around here. Above is the “before” shot: field of mowed organic hay.

The after (or really “during”) shot: luscious soil. I’m a crappy digger so even with a couple hours of husb’s help it’s taking a but longer than anticipated. But we’re using hand tools for everything right now. No tilling or anything like that. Tomorrow we’ll pick up some organic compost and amendments and I’ll have all our heirloom garlic, winter spinach and two varievarieties of kale planted by the end of the week. Woohoo!

We also got 9 blueberry plants (four different varieties) and were gifted a 10th blueberry plus a rosemary bush.

Lots of small but amazing things happening on the farm already! Oh, and a big thing — we got an amazing deal on a farm truck.

We weren’t even going to consider such a thing until spring but having to pay for every delivery of… everything (building and roofing supplies, appliances, soil, etc) and having to otherwise hire people to to haul our remodeling junk piles to the dump for us, etc, made it pretty much even out in the long run. 

Its first task was towing the Saturn out of the garage so we could get to the riding lawnmower. Piece of cake. The mower had a flat tire and a dead battery and as with all other things hete, miracles ensued.

Out of nowhere, we suddenly discovered that we have a battery charger and air pump. Those will be handy indeed! The battery is too dead to charge but that’s easy. That and a little gasoline and we shall see how she runs. Of course I told the husb it would be amazing if we had a little cart to pull behind it and this appeared: 

Yep, a “cart” to pull behind it! No more walking back and forth with 32 armloads of things across 7 acres.

It’s been another week of getting our hands dirty and making serious progress while having heaps of fun along the way. 

Tomorrow will be mostly sunny and warm enough for an outdoor bubble bath in our awesome new “tub” after my healing clients and our chores. We’re all pretty excited about that too.

Raking has been fun too. I should make the boy do it, but I really do enjoy it.

This is one of our maple trees last weekend vs this weekend. Leaf mulch!

I love this time of year so much! I’ve been going crazy making lots of soups, stew and chilli so we can come in and fill up on hot, nourishing yummies. We’ve been so blessed with this indian summer we’re having but I’m sooo excited to get the wood stove installed too. I love cooking on them more than in a slow cooker once it’s super cold out.

That’s the main gist of our week, in a little nut shell.

lazing on a sunday afternoon 

Just kidding. We don’t “laze”. But if cabin one is done by thanksgiving as we’re shooting for, we’re sooo taking a whole week off.

Since our last post we got the entire South wall down to studs.

We repaired this nonsense where they had removed supports to run the old stove pipe through the wall.

Paul was so quick with that, coupled with the impending rain, I didn’t have time to get any interim photos.

The entire new wall went up with 2000+ nails hand pounded (here’s the inside view). I need to buy him a freaking nail gun and air compressor! I helped, but he did 90% of the pounding. I’m weak sauce in comparison and he goes twice as fast as I do.

And the whole thing was covered in black plastic because we had a half day notice of the freaky storm and no time to get tyvek. This was all Wednesday. Fourteen hours of butt kicking work. We planned to do the top/attic area too but didn’t get that far with the extra amount of support beans and framing pieces that needed to be replaced.

But there’s no more stuff like this in the walls. Or at least that wall. We’ll be starting in on the next wall tomorrow. 

Thursday was stormy and super windy, impossible to do much outside so we picked up our cute wood stove and ran errands. Friday was a guy trip to Portland for concrete supplies, banking and New Season’s Market goodies so not much accomplished around here, except I made an awesome pot roast while they were gone.

We ended up starting in on the new roof yesterday after all. Our amazing friend Brandon, who is the roofer, came down from Portland to help and our neighbor came to help as well. So much of the sheathing was rotten and needed to be replaced but the whole thing got fixed and felted before being covered in a tarp. We will be finishing it next weekend (and probably the weekend after) along with the roof of the main part of the cabin. Yay!!

I should have taken pictures of the backside because it was 98% rotten and got fully replaced.

If anyone wants any Greater Saint John’s Wort in the spring, let me know (a bit different than common St John’s Wort but still medicinal in a slightly different ratio). I dug up about ten square feet this week and have at least a hundred more. I’d like to keep one smaller patch and replace the rest. It looks stunning in the autumn when the flowers change, but we have just too much.

Today, the new range arrived!! We put it in cabin five so we can start using it immediately but as soon as cabin one is done it will live over there until cabin five is done late next year, then it will come back. The main house will have all the pretty black and stainless stuff and the first cabin will get the cute white stove and fridge that came with the property. The 1970s puke yellow stove goes in the workshop for animal glue (bow making) and wax melting/candle making and such.

Going from a camp stove to one functional and one semi functional burner was kind of awesome, but going from that 1970s junker stove with no oven to this is going to be pure bliss! I need to go shopping tomorrow to get all of the ingredients to make our neighbors chocolate chip cookies. And brownies. Look at all those burners! And it has a freaking convection oven! It’s like pure cooking paradise around here (it’s only been here for about 17 minutes so I haven’t actually gotten to use it yet, but I’ll be cooking something tasty within the next hour). We seriously lucked out because it was a $1000 stove that we got for almost half price because Lowe’s offers price matching and Best Buy was having a massive Columbus sale (or “Columb-ass” as our brilliant child says).

It’s still pretty rainy here although we’ve had about a 10-minute pocket of sun this afternoon in which I danced around in the mud and rays. I’m still making the husb take the rest of the day off. Hauling out the old stove, cleaning behind and under it, rewiring everything for the new stove and getting all of that hooked up is plenty for one day after such a crazy week. He forgets to take time off, nutty Virgo guy. I’m great at reminding him to relax and enjoy this stunning beauty that surrounds us and just “be”.

It’s been lovely to watch the waters rise and the creek swell into the river it will become in winter.

This little tributary off the main creek is the same place as the photo above it (though a few feet farther back), taken about seven weeks apart.

I’ve been meaning to take a photo in the same place every couple of weeks to watch the color changes and finally remembered to do so today. I’ll keep it up and share the transition with you. So pretty!!

Happy Sunday! I’m off to cook. ♡