There have been some big developments since I last updated you on our progress! Some very, very, good developments! Namely the CEMENT MIXER!!!!!
(I heart you cement mixer!)
Well...tough cookies! I want a house!
We didn't try the cement mixer sooner (I just kicked myself again) because we read that it wouldn't work. But what we figured out is that it mixes the sand and clay together beautifully if you mix it really wet! Then, all that's left to do is dump it out on a tarp, squish out the few remaining clay clumps with your toes, and tread in the straw! Easy-peasy!
Which leads me to the next big development....
(this is Brian's invention).
Because we no longer needed to make cob balls (you'll see more about that below), we needed a way to get the cob from here to there...thus, the cob conveyor belt was born! Now we just roll the cob burrito from one tarp to the next around the house until it's close to where we're working.
And the reason we don't need to make cob balls anymore is because we are now using...
Oh, the time this spiky little angel saves!
Now I just scoop it off the tarp, and slap it on the wall!
This new plan of attack is saving us a lot of time...and more importantly a lot of energy! Brian's been manning the cement mixer, and has been able to keep a steady stream of cob coming so that by the time I finish slapping a batch on the wall, the next one is ready for me. That's not to say it isn't still exhausting! I'm tellin' you--those pitchforks of cob are heavy! I'm going to have Popeye forearms by the time all is said and done (which I can't say is really the look I've been going for, but, hey, whatcha gonna do?). So I think it's safe to say that with these new little tricks, we're probably doubling our speed! Yay, us!
That being said, I was still about ready to "throw in the tarp" on Monday. I totally underestimated the amount of manual labor it was going to take to build this house, and I keep finding myself thinking "what on earth are you thinking!"
But then I'll see some progress, and it'll hit me that we're actually building our house, and I'm in awe that Brian and I get to do this really cool thing together. I mean how many people actually get to try something like this? It's really pretty neat when you think about it.