Eating humble pie

IMG_0772This is a long one, please bear with me.

We often have folks telling us that we must be “living the dream”, and while I absolutely wake up thankful for this crazy/awesome life, we still have our fair share of pretty constant challenges.  It would be inauthentic to pretend otherwise, and so that’s why I am being brave today to tell you that we are eating some pretty large pieces of humble pie right now.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we did not complete our house in time to move in this winter.  Even with the generous loans from friends and neighbors, we weren’t able to get it all enclosed before the conditions turned frigid and icy and it just wasn’t safe to be working up on the roof.  That’s OK, it’s not the end of the world.  We have a sweet little school bus to keep us warm.

IMG_3893BUT…because winter came fast, and the ground froze before we could fully landscape the hill behind the house, this meant that the sand bermed on the backside of the house was pushing on it all winter, instead of being sloped away.  The result is that 2 of our trusses shifted forward about 5 inches.

It’s not catastrophic, but it’s enough to mean we couldn’t move forward on building until we dug it out and straightened them.

Oh, the thoughts that go through your head when faced with a failure!  We’ve all got them, right?  Please tell me I’m not alone.  “What were we thinking?!”  “This is too hard.”  “I’m tired of this!”  Etc…etc…

Well, while it’s important to acknowledge the disappointment and sadness about it, wallowing in the upset just takes too much energy.

IMG_3922The fact is we messed up.  We shouldn’t have backfilled until the outer shell of the house was complete.  We thought we could enclose it all quickly before winter set in, but we were wrong.

So…we put on our big girl/boy panties and asked for help.

Many thanks to my dad, who was able to hook up a trade with the local excavators, and yesterday was the big day.

A giant rumbling machine made its way down the hill and spent a good chunk of the day totally carving away the hillside behind the house.  It’s quite a transformation.  It frees up the pressure on the house, so we can get back to building the roof and walls.  And it means we can build our root cellar on the northwest side this year instead of waiting until “Phase II”.

IMG_3947Hopefully this means a lot more action will be happening with the house soon.

And let me tell you, we are so looking forward to this project being complete enough so that we can focus our energy back on the work we are passionate about providing.

It has been a giant conundrum for us to be simultaneously growing our business here, WHILE we create the venue…nevermind building it by hand AND somehow paying our bills.

Oh, I’m not complaining…because we are absolutely choosing this!  I’m just saying that, yes, it’s a little crazy AND we are clear that the commitment that still moves us to tears is helping folks remember their deep connection with the Earth.

Speaking of which…

Our Earth Warriors Nature Club started up again last Friday…on Spring Equinox, the New Moon, and a total solar eclipse.  It was a magical day, to say the least.

Here we are playing a game of “Fire-Keeper”, a kid favorite.  The kids are stalking, trying to steal a small bell (the fire) and make it back to the outer circle without the blind-folded Fire-Keeper in the middle hearing them and pointing at them.  Incidentally, it was actually raining on us during this game, but the kids were so focused on stealing the “fire” that not a single kid complained!

IMG_3859

The best quote of the day came during closing circle:

“My favorite part was digging in that dirt, and my least favorite part is right now because it’s time to go!”  ~Wesley, age 8

Thanks so much for your continued support!  Just keep imagining the amazing space the house will be, both for our family and as a classroom!

We look forward to seeing you on the land soon…
Blessings,
Heidi and Jonathan


Comments

Eating humble pie — 2 Comments

  1. ‘Build your house on a firm foundation’. wasn’t that a song from Sunday school and what better expert on that subject then your dad. I know that he is helping you out now by fixing the issue that frost heave caused. Perhaps some natural concrete could go down there and help keep further frost heave to a minimum. We love seeing the progress of your dreams and are sad seeing the setbacks. We only want what’s best for you and your family, your new home and your business.

    • Hi Aunt Penny! Well, thankfully, the foundation has been solid all along. We have an amazing architect who designed the house to be as environmentally AND financially sustainable as possible. Part of this means as little concrete as possible. The root cellar will be a cement block wall, but the house itself is designed to last indefinitely, as long as we landscape the back hillside appropriately. That is the part that we messed up on. We didn’t grade the hill to be sloped away from the house, and so two of the trusses bowed forward slightly. Thankfully, they seem to be straightening out now that the hill was pulled away. Once the structure is complete, we will berm the backside of the house again.

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