Monday, December 22, 2008

Weather woes and small spaces

After those three days of great progress and no small amount of timber harvested, I found myself hampered by cold, ice, rain, mud, and all of the ills of winter weather. With the temps dipping into the teens (F) the smart person is reluctant to even leave the warmth of his bed!

Still there has been some progress, in the form of a grove of cedars of some size which may result in some change of plan in that I may create vertical shoring in the form of a wall of posts, rather than a few posts holding back dimensional lumber. This means taking more trees, but even so it appears that it may still be possible to do so without taking any live trees, aside from those very few I had to clear from the site of the house itself. The grove we discovered when just taking a jaunt around the property, surprisingly is almost exclusive standing dead cedars (with the other species of trees still living just fine). Many of these are many feet in diameter, including one giant which will become the center post and a focal point in my home.

But as I said, the weather has been truly unpleasant for the most part, keeping me indoors to a large extent. One consequence of this has been a conscious examination of what it means to live in a small space. While preparing for building my home, I am living in a caravan of less than 150 ft sq. Needless to say this is a challenge, even to one such as I who desires small spaces and little impact on the world around me. One of the challenges, and there are many, of this arrangement is that the ceiling is actually about 2 inches shorter than I myself am. So the cubic area is even less than is revealed by the square footage. Still it is my place, and I am making the most of it as my temporary shelter.

I am coming to see some of the challenges of the home to be built, though it will be four times the square footage and have ceilings much more in proportion to my own person. The challenges are perhaps not entirely unique to me, yet it would be tedious to go into them in detail at this point. Mostly they take the form of realization of the need for kitchen workspace, for hanging storage, and for general storage for those things used daily or at least weekly but which need not be underfoot.

The weather promises to warm above freezing tomorrow, but with that comes more rain, so I am doubtful as to the amount of work I can get done, yet I will hope for dry skies and at least some opportunity to begin to clear the timber of the grove, in which we will be creating a bit of an opening in the forest and some more useful habitat for the fauna.

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