Raise the Roof – Palace goings on

So much going on so little time to blog. Even though I have officially retired to California for the winter, others are dutifully working the land and completing our humble Winter Palace. Here is some of what has happened since our last work party.

By thoroughly monitoring Freecycle and Craigslist we managed to score loads of free windows, doors, wood and assorted goodies. Our roomie at the Buddha house gave us a lot of tile (A LOT), more wood, and even a tiller and two awesomely cute bridges for our semi existent streams. Wow. These things needed storage right away, so we decided to get one of those sturdy tent thingies.

Here Lea and I go through an intense assembly process:

Hey, that wasn’t so hard was it?

Here is another brilliant thing we’ve been working on – our Bat Box.

Spaces inside can accommodate a ton of bats, great sleeping spots, good views – breakfast included!

Our artist in residence does a batacular painting job. (Haha, I said batacular. Yes, I did. )

Now for the Palace news. After the cement truck graced us, we were left with roughly this:

It was time to build our wall. The part closest to the earth would have to be something that could handle water, so we chose cinder block. There was a lot of work to be done: mathematical stuff, stacking, mortaring, surface bonding…

Lea’s like..”surface bonding is serious, Lily…we better get some help!” And we did, all to make Lea happy:

Here our friend Bo, from Elmira amongst other places, helps us mortar the blocks into place. He even brought his own trowel. Thanks, man!

We also enlisted our teenage neighbor, Sean. This is a great neighbor – always comes by to check on us, and sometimes brings candy. What more can a neighbor ask for?

This part of the wall went up pretty quick and made us feel productive. Here are a few shots for the calendar:

My favorite part was definitely the surface bonding. It was kind of soothing to smooth out the wall with this stuff.

Meanwhile, Joe worked out the math of the doors – one large one able to fit a tractor, and a smaller one for human shaped tools.

Next we put rebar into the blocks (to impale the bales on, my dear) and filled them with some cement. We then covered our blocks with this tar paper stuff that we got from someone nice on freecycle. It is water resistant, heavy, rubbery material that just happened to be the perfect size. Awright!

Finally, the framing. We eventually decided that more traditional framing, rather than cinder block posts or beams, was our best option. We’re beginners and we don’t even know if load bearing walls are permitted by code. We felt that getting the roof up first, before the bales, would ensure that they wouldn’t get wet. I was reluctant, but we did have a lot of salvaged wood, and I did get to learn another completely new skill. With the help of Doug and his princess, and more than a few long days, we got this baby up.

Check it out – looks like an actual building!

The last thing I was able to participate in was picking up the bales, a post that’s a comin’. All I can tell you for now is that we got them in the Podunk part of town. No, really…

A little while after this photo, I flew away. My last day on the land was spent in awe of the colors of fall. I made sure to walk around quite a bit and make some memories, some with a lens.

Here is a leaf from an oak sapling, one of many many many on the land.

Here is a dewy spider web.

These are the things that sent me off. Paka to the land…until Spring.

Construction continued without me. Lea, Danila and Joe got to see the first view off our first rooftop.

This was the latest news I was sent. The Palace stands tall and only slightly miscalculated.

So…yes. We’ve gotten pretty far for a bunch of young people who’ve never built anything ever before. I’m proud of us. I love the land. I love the project and being tight with these characters. It’s a dream.

Tune in next time for bale things, I hope.