Sunday, February 01, 2009

Weather challenges

As I noted last week, I am back up and running with a new fan installed on the laptop so all is well with regard to computers anyway..

This week has brought yet another round of ice storms, cold and wet weather, and now coming nearly full circle, we have enjoyed two days of sun and 60+ degrees.

The good weather has allowed me to get out and make some progress on additional clearing of the site, made necessary by a better understanding of the necessary design, as well as some important changes in the design of the home upon completion of the Underground building course. My previous design would have sufficed, but this new design allows in a great deal more light and views, including two directly downhill views.

Those downhill views come with some challenges, which became very clear today as I hauled logging chains up and down the ridge. The primary of these will be a need to take care when exiting downhill. The ridge slope at that point is greater than one to one, meaning that for every one foot forward you climb a foot or more.

The days of ice and cold allowed me to refine the design of the U-home to what I believe is a design which I will find very comfortable, efficient, and yet live like a house close to twice the size. 30 linear foot of running windows, plus at least another 12 linear ft of windows and doors elsewhere should allow for ample natural light, as well as for cross ventilation.

I have included a generous area for cold storage, earth cooled of course, which will also double as support for a loft area. The loft area itself will do double duty in that it will be overflow for storage, as well as a sleeping area for guests, should I have any. Then again, depending on the season I may decide that the loft is my preferred sleeping area, and so will give over the main bed area, with its own wonderful views.

Notice that I have not used the term "room" when describing these areas.. The primary reason is that I am trying to build a life, not a group of segments. So too with the house. The cold cellar will be closed off in order to keep it cold, the toilet area closed off to keep odors out of the house, but these are the only two interior doors in the entire house. Other areas can be screened off for privacy, but most of the time the house will live as one large open space, "divided" if you will be the view presented or the function of the space. There will be a long sitting/lounge area along one wall of windows, which is at the same time open to the kitchen so that no one is separated from anyone else by the "chore" of cooking or prepping food. The large table, approximately 8 ft long, will serve as dining area, but also prep area especially during harvest and putting up of food.

Most of the walls which do not contain windows, will be shelves, almost certainly mostly containing books, but also some collections such as the mementos of the trip to China and Mt Taishan.

So where I sit now is that I need to finish dragging some timbers up the hill and off of the site, strip them of bark, allow them to dry then prep them for installation. With any luck the next several weeks will bring on the excavation, which will allow me to start setting the posts for the uphill and down hill walls.

As I have been asked, the last post referred to a wonderful pet of some dear friends of mine. She passed far too young doubly so for such a fun loving and caring soul She holds a special place in my heart and her passing lessens the world a bit. Love the animals around you while you can. Time is your more rare resource..

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