Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Settling In

Last week it stopped raining for about two days and we rushed around to finish some projects before it started up again. It's a good thing too since it started up again right away and hasn't really stopped since, besides a quick break yesterday. As is typical in Alaska, August is proving to be wet and moody and we're actually able to slow down somewhat and enjoy it now that our shed has a door, we have a deck to stomp the mud off on and the dog has a little home to stay dry and warm in.

We worked outside until about 11p both dry nights last week, and it was tiring and deeply fulfilling at the same time. It feels so good to be working on projects that help us feel more settled on our property. Steve and I both feel a certain satisfaction in taking the time to make things ourselves, even when it takes longer or is sometimes actually more expensive. Making things ourselves lends a deeper sense of connection to the home we're trying to create, if that makes sense. Thomas Moore describes this feeling well - "The warmth of the hand in things gives something to the heart and helps chase away the chill that so much of modern life instills with its machine-like efficiency, sharp corners, and smooth surfaces." We are trying to incorporate as much 'warmth of hand' as we can into this little piece of earth that we call home, and making memories to hold with us for a lifetime in the process.

Shed mostly finished - on poles Steve brought home from work and a floor salvaged from another small building. It took about a week to get a door on from when this photo was taken. It's so nice to have a 'home' for some of the things we use regularly but don't have room for in the Airstream, plus some keepsakes and seasonal items as well as the tools we'll need as we work on more significant building projects. 

Every little project is magical and fascinating for the kids, and they love to help. In the top of this picture you can see our bed platform (that Steve made when we lived in Palmer) roped up and stored in the otherwise unused ceiling space - our mattress is wrapped in plastic and is stored on top of it. 

Deck with bench and hooks finished and already getting lots of use. We keep our shoes in a tote just outside the door and its nice to have a place to sit-down on put them on or take them off. It also cuts down on how much dirt and mud makes it into the camper.

Riggs has been a huge help and stayed up late one night to help Steve limb some trees to make a spot for Tutka's new dog house. He is such a hard worker already and loves to help dad however he can. 

Simple but efficient. The roof hinges open to clean out and refill with fresh straw. Steve is adding a 'shelf' with holes to fit the food and water bowls so that they're at a more comfortable height for Tutka and left a bit of an overhang on the roof to shelter them. 

Shed door built and installed the last dry night at 10:30p - I just painted the door and half of one side of the shed yesterday with plans to finish today, but it's pouring so it will have to wait. I'll update a picture when it's done.

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