28 Apr 2014

Almost a year later and the short plat process is officially over! Manijeh and I walked into the recorder’s office Monday morning, April 28, 2014 with all of our papers filled out and ready to go. The folks that helped us could sense our excitement and were sweet to us. The deed was recorded and we headed over to the Health Department, the Building Department and the City Planners Department to hand over all of our remaining paperwork.

If you’re curious: ¬†The Health Department provides information on septic system designs. This comes in a handy little packet with worksheets and a blank page for your schematic. It only took a couple of hours to finish up the design at home (luckily 15+ years experience with design software made this a breeze).


Most importantly is that most county Health Departments want to see proof of potable water on the property before releasing your permit to build. Luckily the gentleman who helped us allowed us to go ahead since we have access to two nearby wells. Bullet =  dodged.

Our well driller should be here at the end of May to put in our well, hand pump, electric pump, and dig trenching to the house site.

If all goes smoothly, we could be building by the end of the May – which is good since our yurt kit is due to be delivered then whether we’re ready or not!

It’s been a long year. :)


In my spare time I recently began making bowls out of river stones. It’s a bit of a slow process, but it’s quite fun and the stone dust byproduct is a great soil amendment.

It occurred to me that the bowls might be worth selling.



22 Apr 2014

We began making mead using our milk kefir grains. Two more weeks and we should have a tasty summer beverage to share.


Continuing to tinker with the Hobbit Hole.


I’ve cut and stacked sod (from an area that will eventually be excavated) to make the east and west walls. Both walls have windows made of oak branches.


Each brick of sod is staggered and staked to the layer beneath it. Ideally I’d have two rows of sod per wall, but space is limited due to lack of foresight. Since I don’t have a lot of space, I’ll be reinforcing it all with split log framing which will support the ceiling joists.

Since in addition to hundreds of pounds of soil and plants, kids will be playing both inside of and on top of this structure, it has to be really, really… REALLY sturdy.

NEXT STEPS: digging, framing, making joists, finishing the ceiling (skylight?), sodding the roof, excavating the front and side yard.

Orin and I began working on a little hobbit hole. Every night he asks for bedtime stories about hobbits, so here we are taking the next steps.

Eventually this will just be a shady nook while the other side (not visible here) will be the true hole.


Manijeh spent Thursday, April 1st working on an herb spiral. We have a few herbs ready for planting, but we’ve a few weeks before the last frost date.