Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Foundation

^^ Wild strawberries in the field ^^
Last year, on the fourth of July, we made the trek down to Ithaca to meet with Sarah about designing our house.  We talked with her about possible layouts and what we wanted in a home in general.  She gave us some really great things to think about, and we left with so much excitement about what we'd be taking on.  And here we are, a year later, finally getting started on that project that was really just a dream at the time.

^^ Foundation excavation in progress and our excavator deciding what to do next. ^^
^^ Footers poured and ready for walls.  And John contemplating his bike. ^^
^^ Reclaimed insulation that will be used in the foundation. ^^
Foundation work finally started last week.  Rain and some other variables held us up for a bit longer than we would have liked, but the footers are in and the basement walls should be poured early next week (fingers crossed for tomorrow).  The first load of lumber will be arriving then as well, which means that we should be able to start vertical construction by the end of next week.  Since we're starting later than we would have liked, it will really be a race to the finish to get our certificate of occupancy by fall.  We'll just have to put in longer hours and hire help where we might not have originally planned, but the goal is to be living in the house by fall.  Then we'll spend the winter and next summer (and years after that, really) doing the finish work.

^^ My mode of transportation from the camper to the site. ^^
Life in the camper has been an adjustment, but we've settled into a routine that seems to be working pretty well for us.  I'm sure everything will be turned upside down once we're working every night, but it'll all work itself out somehow.

Monday, June 3, 2013


[ wild and crazy stormy sky ]

No matter how scared I may be, the way I deal with stress is either one of two ways.  One: Ignore it. Hide under the sheets. Do anything else but what I should be doing.  Two: Jump in there face first and cross things off my list because if not now, when?  And if not me, then whom?  Lately I’ve been doing the latter because before, I was doing the former, plus crying, which is how I deal with most things.  Moving is stressful enough, let alone when you add on a heaping pile of storage unit and an extra serving of dog in a new environment, namely a camper.  Oh, this past week.  You were a rough one, to say the least.  But we made it through thanks to some super strong and able friends.  This is our life now, and the awkward feeling after you move can only get better, right?  The stress of moving will soon seem like a pittance compared to the stress of construction.

The big news: we finally got our building permit and should be underway in the next week and a half or so, hallelujah!  I used the full force of my Jewish Guilt to my advantage two weeks ago and wouldn’t you know?  It actually worked.  What could have taken 2-4 weeks (um, 4? What?) took literally 24 hours.  Major thanks to the Health Department for working faster than any county/state-run agency I have ever encountered, and also to Mother Nature for providing a beautiful day for the inspector to come take a look at our site.  And to our building inspector who graciously gave us a building permit.

Now things start to really get crazy.