The day started out a bit cool but about perfect for sitting outside with a mug of hot coffee. While debating if it was worth starting a fire in the house or not I got to watch the humming birds come in.
Of course they had to argue a little of who had rights to the feeder. They buzzed around so fast it was hard to even see where they were going.
James and I went up the road to help the neighbour before we set to work on our own projects. The main goal of the day was to get the plumbing in place to get the water to the house.
We lifted the barrel higher than it was originally to try and improve the water pressure but we still didn’t get as much as we wanted, certainly not enough to get my hair clean in a shower, so the 12 volt pump was inserted into the line.
The water goes down and around the window garden. They will be wrapped in foam and hopefully the front green house will be in by this fall and the water system further protected but if not, it will have to be all drained.
While cleaning up I went ahead and put the doors on the front and closed the ends quickly. They need a little trimming but for now it closes in the end. Nights are still getting frosty so the little garden is still covered. The plants that were put in are doing great and today the radishes started to show up. Maybe by tomorrow the peas will pop up their heads as well. Spring is definitely here and progress is starting to be made.
After several days of very spring like weather with temperatures nearing 60 degrees, the ice has finally begun to melt. Today we could see rocks!
The ice is still thick though and remains. Water has flowed down the driveway for days but Ii am still unable to drive up it. If the weather holds up for a few more days I might just be able to make it.
The sky has been blue today. The birds are beginning to return, the robins have been seen and spring time springs have been begun to flow higher up the mountains. If Have seen buds on some of the younger trees and little green plants are starting to poke up through the forest floor cover. As wonderful as it is if we do not get more snow and more winter the forest fires this summer will be horrific. I cant wait to get to work on the garden beds, to walk on dirt that is not covered in ice and get plants in my hands, but I really hope we get more moisture.
Today we got logs for the Solstice fire stacked up by the fire pit. Then we started with the decorations. The boxes came out of the back top of Shane’s tool shed and ornaments collected over the years began to emerge.
Having an inside tree, fake or real, in a Tiny House is nearly impossible. There just is not a lot of extra space for such things. When you are surrounded by trees it makes it seem just a little less of a good idea. So we choose a cute little tree (about 15′ tall) just outside the front door and set to work.
Oz picked out the best stars and a few other ornaments to go on the tree.
We even got a star on top. There was no good way to hang it so we have to use a bit of sinew to attach it. I am pretty sure we have the fanciest tree in the woods.
It took us about an hour with a lot of up and down on a very unsteady ladder. The ground is all but a sheet of ice and not great condition for the use of a ladder.
The project done we took a picture in the fading light and moved inside.
After a friend came to spend the night with her kids and news my mother might be headed over to spend the night I decided it was time to start the bench. The bench will be the thermal mass for the rocket stove that will be built next season, but for now it will serve as the frame for a ‘guest bed/couch. As the lumber used will eventually be swallowed up by cob I didn’t think I needed to buy new wood. I have a stack of old wood, mostly picked up for free from friends who wanted the ‘scraps’ out of their yard; that is what I used.
It not pretty and the ice on it made a lovely mess on the floor, but it is solid, will not have to be replaced for the rocket stove and dried out quickly enough once inside. For the bench surface I used 3/4 plywood that was once the fold down bed in an old camper trailer. Due to the wood stove the bench had to end at 6 feet. Anything longer would put it too close to the heat. It is 25′ wide with the ability for the surface to slide forward with the ‘back’ able to drop down. It becomes a twin sized bed at that point. The support for the slide out part will be made of logs from the yard. I have not found the right ones. They matter as they will be exposed even when the cob is done. In the mean time and for this winter I have a place for company to sit and an extra sleeping space.
Early morning view as I took the boy to Q’s woodshop. The photo doe snot do it justice but thought I would share anyway.
I am normally not a fan of cutting down trees so when I do it do so only with a lot of consideration and a damn good reason. The need for sun to the house, to the solar panels… (soon to be put up, its a two man job ad I have to as yet managed to get a second set of hands to help hoist them into place on the roof,) sun to the garden sites, and open space for the pond, it is necessary that the yard to be cleared of a number of trees, of all sizes. To help with this and to put the trees to use I have offered friends to come up and cut their christmas tree at my place.
Yesterday the weather warmed up and it started to rain. The rain has not let up yet. Ice and slush make the driveway a bit precarious but the mountain side is simply wet. Today was a good day to find just the right tree. Still recovering from being sick I couldn’t help but come down to watch.
Even with a time to debate tree qualities everyone found the one they wanted in short order. Tonight several families will but setting up their tree. The younger kids were not so excited about it but the ones old enough to know what a tree means were rather thrilled.
I am not a fan of the large x-mas tree farms, the price that they are sold for or the waste of the trees that go un purchased every year. Responsible stewardship and care for native and wild areas could provide what is needed while improving the landscape, water sheds and habitat for native animals.
I’m glad I was able to offer native trees that were too thick to grow very large or very healthy. Even if I had no other need to thin the trees, for their long term health and for fire mitigation a number just have to go.
A couple more trees headed to new homes.