Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Here is another belly pic for all of you family and friends out there! And for those of you who could care less about my belly...sorry to disappoint, but Brian keeps forgetting to take pictures of the house, so sniffle sniffle, I've got nothing to show! Although, if you asked Brian, he would probably say that the house doesn't look any different than it did in the last pictures. He's been a bit pessimistic lately. I think it's a combination of the nasty heat, exhaustion, back pain, and the feeling that the house couldn't possibly be coming together any slower. As he puts it, he feels like a "hamster on a wheel". It seems like no matter how much he works on it, the walls never seem to get any higher. Of course, he is the only hamster out there. I couldn't imagine mixing cob and climbing up and down scaffolding a hundred times a day in 100+ degree heat all by myself with the additional weight of a wife and baby on my shoulders. But still he keeps doing it. I am so proud of his perseverance. He must really love me to work so hard on our house day in and day out. [ooh, the baby just started playing a game of water polo, so I think it wants me to mention that it is proud too!] Anyway, I guess you could say we're both suffering from a case of what-the-crap-were-we-thinkings, but the vision is just too sweet to pass up. I can picture it so clearly--the three of us living, loving, laughing, creating, putzing, cooking, playing, growing and relaxing together in our little cottage in the woods. No worries about rents or mortgages. The freedom to live a purposeful life. A place that is truly ours in a way that no place has ever been before. It's going to be worth it....Now if we can just get there already (and stay sane until we do)!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fruits of Our Labor

Here are some new pics! Sorry they are so few and far between, but I don't get out to The Hollow much these days (too busy illustrating and gestating!). So poor Brian has been left to his own devices with no one to take his picture! But I did make it out there about a month ago, and we took these pictures of his progress on the house...and my progress in the belly department. We also planted a fig tree and a grape vine down in the field. Yummy!

Look! The wall is a good foot above "fro height!"

Check out our zippy yellow scaffolding! We got a bargain on these babies!

Lookin' good--the walls, that is!

Not quite as big as a house yet--more like an efficiency apartment. I guess I was about 14 weeks here. I'm about 18 weeks along now, so stay tuned for more pics!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Pics and What-Not

So here are some some-what current pictures of the cottage! Being pregnant is a pretty good excuse to avoid heavy lifting, over-exertion, precarious balancing acts, rusty nails, over-heating, and ticks [sorry, Tiffany] ...or pretty much everything that goes along with building a cob cottage.
Unfortunately for Brian, this means that he is all on his own out there, and has the monumental task of building a house out of mud by Thanksgiving for his wife and baby. Not so easy. But he's been doing great, and now needs scaffolding in order to make his way around the house!


Renting scaffolding costs a whopping $175 a after doing some math, we realized that we ought to just suck it up and buy our own. We may have found a good deal on line, but scaffolding is wicked expensive! Who knew! I can think of a lot of other things I would rather buy with that money. This is one of those sneaky hidden costs that you don't necessarily think about when you set out to make a mud house. But who knows, maybe we can go into our own scaffold renting business when all is said and done! But I digress...
I think Brian is doing a fantastic job, and I'm really proud of him. Building with cob isn't difficult, but it's a lot of work, and I sure do appreciate him going out there and giving it his all. It's hard not to get discouraged when we think about how much is left to do...but when we step back and realize just how far we've come (with pretty much just two people working on it--and now one) it's actually quite something. And when everything is said and done, we'll be able to tell our baby that Mom and Dad built this house with their own bare hands, and that's something.
Speaking of houses for babies, check out who's moved in!!! Can you see the sweet little baby bird? Our house has become a veritable wild-life refuge! This little guy lives in our bathroom wall, and Mama Bird comes flying out at us whenever we get close...I scream and flail every time, but it's kind of fun.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Reason # 3 I've Been a Bad Blogger

3.) We're having a baby!!!!!!

That's right--my egg-o is preg-o!!!! We can hardly believe it ourselves, and are very excited and happy! These pictures were taken at about 4 weeks, and the ultrasound is of Baby Harrison at about 6 weeks. The baby is about 14 weeks old now (they grow up so fast!), and about the size of a fist, which makes our due date November 29th! Coincidentally, that's also the date our house needs to be finished by! Go figure!
So why does this make me a bad blogger? Well, it's a fun little thing I like to call morning sickness--or in my case, night sickness. Don't really feel much like typing when all you want to do is gag and sleep. But, fortunately for me, that little chapter seems to be coming to a close, which means that I am officially back on the blog-wagon! So there you have it--my final and best excuse for being a bad blogger!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reason #2 I've Been a Bad Blogger

2.) Rain, rain, and more stinkin' rain.

We were off to a great start at the end of March! Brian and I were out there working our tushies off every chance we got. Brian even took some time off from work in April so that he could work on the house more. We were feeling pretty proud of ourselves...and then the rain hit. A lot of it. And it stuck around for about a month. Grrrrrrr. And, despite our tarps, our house took a bit of a beating. So, needless to say, morale has been a little low, and there really hasn't been much to blog about. But the sun is out now, and straw is sprouting all over the place, and it looks like we're back in business!

Water damage and sprouting straw.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reason # 1 I've Been a Bad Blogger

Wow! I really stink at keeping up with this blog thing! Awkward!
But really, this blog is supposed to be about building our house, and as you may have guessed, there wasn't a whole lot of that going on this winter. We thought we could push through, but as it turns out, we're just a couple of namby-pambies. And we had some good excuses! For example.....

1.) That bedroom I mentioned remodeling. Well, that, of course, took way longer than anticipated. (insert sarcastic look of surprise here). But it did turn out lovely, if I do say so myself! And Brian and I did everything ourselves with the exception of the carpet! So here are some befores and afters:



And the best parts are the little reminders of home! My mirror, lamp, curtains, bedding, and shower curtain (and a few of my paintings). Finally, an oasis in the Meme and Papa Desert. (Of course Meme and Papa would say that we've turned the better half of their house into an oasis/dumping ground, but this particular room really feels like ours). Plus, it's a nice little "thank you" to leave for Meme and Papa once we've finally moved out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Bedroom Coming Right Up!

Hey, guess what?? IT'S COLD!!! Me thinks it be too cold ta I've had a case of the snifflies. So no cobbing for us since before Thanksgiving. Grrrrr. And we've taken to unmolding our moldy bedroom (and when I say "we" I mean Brian). This, of course, has turned into a nightmare (black mold, rotted wood, ungrounded wires, big hole in the floor, etc., etc.). So, like a virus, Brian and I have spread to yet another room in Meme's house (that makes 3 plus a hallway). So one room is completely torn apart, another room is for sleeping/working in, and all of our crap is piled in yet another...oh, and now Papa has to share his bathroom with us. So, instead of working on our house, we will be replacing rotten beams and floor boards, installing a bathroom fan, re-installing the toilet, sink, and shower, re-doing drywall, re-taping and plastering, and repainting EVERYTHING, and putting down new floors...all by Christmas. Riiiiight. Well, that's the plan anyway. And given Brian's frantic and stressed-out state, it just might happen. As for me, I'm trying to stay out of the way, not breathe mold, and illustrate a children's book. This is normal, right? Right?