So, it’s June. Hard to believe it, seeing as we’ve hardly had a spring. The season that has brought fire, massive flooding and tornadoes elsewhere on the continent has brought us just rain and cold. I’m sooo ready for some heat!
But I suppose in some ways it’s a blessing: we’ve been too busy with building to get the garden in but the cooler weather has meant a delay anyways. Since our latest wwoofer George left, Zena’s been working hard to get the beds ready and plant. This year we opted to purchase seedlings instead of start from seed. We don’t get the control of variety, and it’s a lot more expensive, but because we’re focusing on building it was worth the saved effort.
George (UK) was our second woofer this season and he was great. We have a week off before our next French guy arrives, and so have turned focus to the garden from the house. The house has come a ways, slowly but surely. The exterior walls are almost completely done, including the cob wall (hurray!). Our experimental process of covering the blocks with a thin “veneer” of light-clay proved to a more challenging endeavor than we thought. We ended up needing to put burlap over top of the 2” of light clay, and then chicken wire over that to hold it in until it dries. Hopefully it’ll be structurally good enough to hold up under the plaster.
One day Zena and I mortared the front entrance steps. We had collected a bunch of pebbles from the beach and used those to decorate the mortar. We were pleased with how they turned out and I’m excited to do more pebble and multi-stone work in the back patio. Also this spring we put in a lawn (see photos below). 8 yards of top soil were delivered, raked out and seeded. In just a few weeks we’ve got the beginnings of a lush lawn to replace the dust-bowl gravel we had there before. Another benefit of the rainy spring I guess.
Part of reason progress on the house is low these days is that Dan’s been working a lot. He’s moved from OUR Ecovillage to another natural building project across the river. He’s one of the first civilians to be able to cross the not-yet-finished trestle! He dons a hard hat and vest, and he and Abou (Zena’s partner, who’s recently moved in) bike over the trestle to the work site. The potentially 45 minute drive turned into a ten minute bike-ride! Anyways, he’s supposed to be working part time, but of course it’s ended up being more than that. Supposedly he’ll have the next few weeks off as the timber-framers work on the frame.
Not having Dan around makes for a long day with the kids who seem to be more and more challenging, particularly Oren. I guess I thought that the terrible two’s would be over by 3 and a half, but it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier: he’s just as willful, aggressive, whiney, rough and uncooperative as he ever was. Don’t get me wrong- he’s also very passionate, enthusiastic, humorous and helpful, AT TIMES, but I just wish it was more often! I know it’s a phase that’ll I’ll probably even forget about later on when he matures into a strong and independent little guy but right now it’s all I can do not to commit hari-kari or pop pharmaceuticals. It doesn’t help that he and Zylo seem to fight ALL THE TIME. I can tolerate a certain level of fighting, and even think that some rough play is healthy, but the constant fighting indoors, and subsequent wailing of someone or other getting hurt is almost too much to bear. Any suggestions out there???
Anyways, I just checked the weather and it’s looking really promising for the next 5 days or so! Maybe the dose of Spring will do us some good….