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IMG_3863Since I took these photos, rafters went up and I stood on a ladder holding a big old doohickey while Stewart screwed it in and I wondered how he does this day after day without face planting.


Stewart has been working on the addition for much of his days and, with the help of family and friends, walls are up. How he’s done it, I couldn’t tell you. He works around his girls’ naps. He works around weather and cloud cover and tools that won’t charge. Also, we’ve been sick for approximately three weeks, one after another falling except him. We do feel on the mend thanks to some deep nourishment but it was a doozie, those viruses handing off the baton one after another.


And little ones watched the action from the warmth of inside…


while others clung tightly to Mama. Ruthie and I went back to newborn days – her sleeping on my chest, me not minding so much as I watch the last of her baby days pass by so bitter sweetly. (Dear Ruthie: Slow down. Love, Mama.)


This might be the heart of our home someday. If the Lord allows, I might flip a thousand sourdough pancakes a month in here and brew kombucha and watch pudgy little hands grasp cups of raw milk. Maybe someday I’ll ferment homegrown vegetables and clean up a million messes and continue to pile dirty dishes directly on the floor. Some things will never change, after all. IMG_3931

When asked what I wanted in the kitchen, windows topped the list. Both for the breeze they bring into this space on the hottest days of the year and for the light it allows on these darker days of the year.


So yeah, Stewart put in just a couple of windows, one of which will be at the peak of the roof above the kitchen. I think the idea is to let the hot air out near the high ceiling.


But don’t ask me, I just hold doohickeys while trying not to break something.


Oh, and walls! We put walls and a door around our bed and we’re calling it a bedroom. Also, I may or may not have purchased sweet potatoes in a quantity that outweighs my husband.


I knew if I didn’t throw these photos up here that it would be far too long before I eased back into this space. So hello, again, and I missed you all.


Last week I posted the above picture and asked if anyone could guess what it was that Stewart was putting under our new kitchen area. There were some great guesses and he was, indeed, pouring diatomaceous earth in the photo above, as one reader had guessed.


Also in the photo was a whole bunch of earth packed around a hole he had fitted.


He made a space just big enough for one of the ways in which we try to keep food without refrigeration…


A cooler! In the summer it’s quite difficult to keep anything below 90 degrees most days, including produce and ferments. We’ve used ice – both purchased in town and made in small quantities over several days in our solar freezer – to keep the cooler… um… cool.


But we’ve been kicking around ideas for super-insulated coolers for things that just need a little bit of protection from the brutal temperatures here. These items would stay at 80 or below, preferably in the 50-70 degree range. Specifically, I’d like a place to keep vegetable ferments in the summer until we have a root cellar built.


So, when Stewart was getting ready to lay the floor in what will be our kitchen area, he asked if I wanted something I could access right in the kitchen by simply opening a small trap door. Um, yes, please! He packed earth around for extra insulation, sprinkled in a bunch of diatomaceous earth to keep away the bugs, and sunk it down in. Now that the floor is down we have a mysterious trap door that will house ferments and fresh vegetables.

I’m keen to see how it holds up in the heat… and also wondering if I could crawl in there  myself on those 100 degree days. Probably not.

P.S. Thank you all for your comments and emails in regard to my previous post. I am grateful to be able to share this journey with you.