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. ♡


weekend off, back to work

We ended up taking 100% of the weekend off because Paul got the nasty bug that was kicking all of the butts of the Elk Valley residents. All the neighbors had it first, Finn and I fought it off before it got us, and Paul finally got it. Told him he should have taken echinacea… but it gifted us with our first days of rest since moving here over a month ago.

I cooked for him all weekend and made him soup and about four gallons of tea, fed him herbs and tincture and his bout wasn’t as bad or as lengthy as anyone else’s, thankfully.

So back to work. 

The poor cabin looks like a trash heap, but will soon be cleaned up and beautiful, inside and out.

Lots of new discoveries, like no sheathing between the insulation and siding on the front of the house. See the light shinishining in? Oops.

And the sill plate under this stunning window is all dry rotted and needs to be replaced, but that’s easy enough.

We found stunningly beautiful old wood under the drywall in the kitchen. I wish it wasn’t behind where the fridge was going but knowing it’s there will make me smile.

For some crazy reason there’s this cartoon looking mouse hole cut into it that literally did become a mouse hole. We were dumbfounded (and still are). We’re leaving it for fun.

The insulation is now coming out of the attic crawl space. Omg. Rat. Shit. Everywhere. The husb even found me a rat skull which will surely make it into a future art piece. 

No more drywall on the ceiling. I wish this wood wasn’t so gappy and ruined because I want it to stay! Someday that ceiling will have new wood. ♡

We finally got to order all of our drywall, insulation and roofing materials today! We were supposed to be doing the roof this weekend but it’ll be the next weekend. In the meantime, finish the attic crawl space, redo all of the electrical, pull off the old/current roof and possibly work a bit on the floors. We also got our new stove ordered for delivery in a couple of weeks (with five burners and a freaking convection oven for a $400 discount) and our wood stove is picked out and ready to order tomorrow. I’m baking all the neighbors chocolate chip cookies the day the range arrives. Things are going to start moving fast around here and we’re so excited! The only big things remaining are the water heater, shower/fixtures, pedistal sink for the bathroom, toilet, light fixtures, cabinet hardware, butcherblock counters, a couple of replacement windows, and a ton of paint. (It didn’t feel like a lot more until I listed it out.) Oh and OSB (which we’ll paint) for the bad exterior sides until we can wrap and re-side (and paint!) the whole thing next spring. 

The highlight of my week was getting to have three outdoor healing client sessions (so far). One under the above tree at the edge of the forest…

…in this secret little spot.

Another in the moss covered underbrush of an apple and several hawthorn trees.

And one today, right on the creek. There’s a rock in the center that’s a perfectly dry perch where the mini falls flow around you. It’s almost as if you’re sitting in the water. It’s so peaceful and magical. 

The upper field was finally mowed! Our sweet neighbor did it because although a riding lawnmower came with the property, so did a 2001 Saturn that is locked and has no keys. So, the mower is stuck in the garage until we can work out that wee obstacle of car extraction.

See that tarp? It’s actually 49′ despite looking like a slip ‘n slide. It’s huge! That’ll be a wee garden soon (which is still about ten billion times larger than our other garden — our old yard was only 50’ wide and only three of those tarps equal our old oversized city lot). We may to be doing a temporary traditional rowed garden but our “real” gardens will be in shapes of leaves and mandalas because… we like that idea. It’ll look amazing and be so fun to figure out the geometry of it all.

This is one of them. Pardon the angle, it is actually perfectly symmetrical. Then we’ll have my tiny medicinal herb garden off cabin four (that’ll be my art and healing space, complete with an apothecary room where I can make my earth and body friendly products, essential oils, tinctures, medicinal teas, etc.), a small potager garden off cabin five (the main house) and a tiny soup and salad garden right next to our summer camp spot so we don’t have to go far to procure things to eat. The rest will be free form and meandering. 

The rains returned right as we were driving the last stake in the tarp.

And with the rains came the irradication of the two subterranean wasp nests which I didn’t think was happening until next week. So excited about that! We kicked some butt around here having taken two of the last four days off.


Should we even be blogging this? Probably not, but you don’t get the “full effect” without the… full effect.

I’ve really been missing baths. And showers. And hot running water. But baths especially. Today I set out to bathe in actual hot water. The creek is awesome but cold.

I had a plan. The husb agreed that it was a good one, or at least suitable. 

Yes, that is a cooler, out on the lawn in the courtyard, filled with hot soapy water.

I got in first. No photos were taken.

Paul got in next. Many photos were taken.

We are clean and happy. And naked on the courtyard lawn.

And soon my hair will not look like I’m trying to grow dreads. It’ll probably take a day or three, but I found my brush today! ♡