Happy New Year everyone! I know you all must be waiting with baited breath to hear if we got in for the holidays so I won’t keep the suspense…….NO! Sadly, we did not. However, we did spend a lot of time in the house over the holidays (and not only building)! Having the floors and walls finished meant that we could essentially start to settle a bit. We had our tree and a quazzi-living room set up and the fire was cackling and the stockings were hung. We even had most of our meals over the whole holiday up in the house, shuttling dishes back and forth from the old kitchen. Overall, despite not actually moving into the house, we had a relaxing, delicious and fun holiday (well, as relaxing as can be with 4 boys strung out on presents, sugar and late nights!). New Years Eve marked 6 years of our move and every year we cook a huge Indian feast (in commemoration of the last meal we ate in Victoria the night we moved up into our trailers in the dark and rain…for more on our first year see “History”). This year was no exception, and joined by a few close friends we ate curried venison, reflected on our year, and were merry. Six years! Unbelievable!
So the final plaster layer we did in the beginning of November went on quite well, with Zena and I benefiting greatly from Wendi’s expertise. We spent a good week and got most of it finished in that time. It was`great to have Lea and Solenne here to help with the many steps involved in the process. The mixing proved a little challenging, we ran out of some materials twice, and we had some major pigment calculation catastrophes, but all in all we loved the look of the smooth plaster and enjoyed the labour-intensive process. For more on earthen plaster check out Wendi’s blog at Inspirational Village.
After all the good times pretending we were moved into the house over the holidays, I admit to feeling a bit dejected to have to return to the freezing, moldy, critter-infested space that is our old kitchen. It makes cooking, which is normally something I enjoy, more of a chore. Being so close but yet still not yet in the expansive, warm, beautiful space of the house kitchen is getting to be almost torture. Dan is working steadily on the kitchen and it’s getting very close now. We had a demo kitchen that we were able to adapt to fit our kitchen, but in many ways it was like building it from scratch: Dan built 17 drawers to put in the cabinets! We don’t imagine that we’ll be near finished before we move in. All we need are the stove, fridge, plumbed sink, and some counter space and the rest we can do as go.
Despite the delay in occupying the new kitchen space Dan and I and the kids finally started the slow move-over process to the bedrooms from the shack. Dan pretty much finished the kids bedroom, and ours is done except the ceiling trim and baseboard. (Now, will it EVER get done???) It feels great to finally be sleeping in our cozy new space, but a little discombobulating as we reconfigure our lives and try to create storage spaces, shelves, etc to put all our stuff. And there’s still no running water- I miss having the hot running water we had in our little shack.
The new year also found us welcoming my new niece, Claire and Matt’s daughter, into the world. Baby Flora Lake Campbell (named after our grandmother) was born January 10th, 8lbs 9oz. She’s a dark beauty, much like her mother, and I am thrilled to have some more female energy into the mix! I’m sorry I don’t have a photo yet to post…
Just this week the weather has finally turned really wintery with minus 7 temperatures and snow in the forecast. I had to pour boiling water over our propane lines twice today to thaw them enough to cook, and we’re careful to leave a trickle of water going at night to avoid frozen pipes. The kids got out the sled today and it was a revelation to Oren who obviously couldn’t remember doing it before (we had very little snow last year). He was so delighted to cruise down the little hill by the kitchen again and again.
Our Shabbat jam tradition continues but has moved from the fire pit of the summer to the kitchen, and now the house. Zane’s banjo playing is steadily improving (though I can’t say the same for my guitar playing) and Zena has joined us with the Ukulele, which she’s resigned herself to until she acquires a bass. Dan has even been known to croon a tune or two. Victor is almost always present and there’s a steady rotation of other friends who occasionally drop over. Now, maybe once the house is done I’ll actually have time to practice and write more songs! (or blog for that matter!)