Here we are in the depths of fall and there’s nothing like a little chill to get the body moving! In the past 8 weeks or so things have really amped up: we’ve an influx of wwoofers, Dan is working full-time on the house and my dad has been here more than part-time to frame and hang the windows and doors. We’re starting to see real progress! The insulation and drywall for the ceilings and a few walls is pretty much done, the cob bench in the dining room is done, and the first coat of plaster is done. We’ve actually started priming and painting!! My dad has only one window left to hang, only held up waiting for ordered hardware. We’ve been incredibly blessed with Wwoofers and HelpXer’s this fall: Paris, Sarah, Matieu, Matias, Emelia, Guylaine, Lea and Solenne so far. They have all been compatible, hard working, fun, interesting, great with kids etc, etc. And happily, Paris and Sarah, two woofers who contacted us somewhat last-minute back in August to come “for a week or two”, have stayed for over 2 months! They are awesome workers, now skilled with all the power tools and know where everything is. On top of that they’re great with the kids and dishes and helping cook! They will leave us for a couple months to travel south, and then return later in the spring for another month. Hopefully they will get to stay in the newly-vacated Shack!
I feel such incredible gratitude for all the extra help and energy to get the house to a move-in-able state. And I’m finally feeling a bit more optimistic about the chances of moving in for Christmas!
Besides all the house stuff, school has started again for Zylo (grade 1), and pre-school for Oren, so it’s a new world of driving hither and yon to accommodate everyone’s schedule. Every spare inch of time I have, when I’m not preparing lunch or supper for the 10 ++ people we are, or driving the kids to this or that, or dealing with the growing, teething baby, is spent working on the house in some capacity. Probably the biggest job I took on was refinishing the re-claimed windows and doors. This task was good for me because it allowed a certain amount of flexibility: I could come and go to it freely as my schedule allowed. But as I spent countless hours scraping 5 layers of paint off beautiful old 5-panel doors, I had to question the economy of re-using antique fenestration. For the time and elbow-grease we’ve spent beautifying old doors and windows, we could have bought new, with jambs, for less than half the “cost”. The amount of time and energy my dad has spent putting into gorgeous custom frames for these re-claimed windows have made the “cost” all that much higher. But we do have, for all this expense and energy, totally unique, environmentally-friendly, and ultimately high-end windows and doors.
Starting tomorrow our friend Tom will come build us a rammed- earth hearth, which I am looking forward to seeing. And at the end of the week my friend Wendi (check out her blog Inspirational Village) will come over to guide us on starting our finish plaster layer! Neither Zena nor I have done finish plastering and from what I gather it’s a bit trickier than the under-layer. I feel lucky to have a good friend who’s just recently gained this experience finishing the plaster on their own beautiful home on Pender Island.
Reading back over this post I am struck by the use of exclamation marks…it’s apparent that I’m excited about the prospect of actually moving in. After 6 years of living on the land the tiny light at the end of this tunnel looks bigger and brighter indeed!