i feel like it’s been too long since i updated. once a month appears to be the sustainable level (in terms of my ability to remember to do it and then find time for it) but also feels like i might be neglecting our audience. i hope you don’t feel neglected.

it’s been a busy month, and it’s about to get busier. We started with a bang with the last work party, and since then, Rev has nearly completed the goat shed, we hosted magical musician SJ Tucker last weekend while she was in town for a concert series (which was enormously fun, and involved a whole houseful of other wonderful people all weekend, culminating in brunch for twelve on Sunday, of whom seven were out-of-state guests. brunch featured ‘s completely phenomenal green chile sauce poached eggs and polenta, with Sunflower River farm fresh eggs, a dish i most highly recommend. next time, we may even have our own home-grown polenta, too! grinding fall’s now-dry corn is on the agenda for “sometime soon.”

it’s time to gear up for the garden. we inventoried seed, are getting ready to place this year’s order, and have lettuce, chard, kale and spinach sprouts coming up in the Caer Aisling livingroom windows. And now we are getting ready to renovate the kitchen.

rafters go up:

nailers are up, and Rev begins to install the roof panels:

Rev on the roof in the sunshine:

a new view of Sunflower River:

old barn wood siding (yay for reclaimed materials):

the north siding is finished:

and the west side is begun:

view from the southwest, with Thistle:

obviously, we have some cleaning to do in the pen area before we actually get the goats. I expect the April work party to feature this project.

and, for no reason but love, the Grandmother Cottonwood in dawn light this morning.

As to the kitchen, we are engaged in a quality of life improvement project, coupled with a storage systems improvement project. We’re going to remove the soffit that lines 3/4 of the room, which will free up a third again as much shelving space as we currently have, which should help us solve perpetual storage problems with that room. While we’re at it, we’re removing 1/4 of this wall:


so that it is even with the height of the stove, and open all the way to the cupboards on the other side. we’ll be able to talk to each other between rooms, and actually hear what the other person is saying! no longer will cooking be an isolating experience that sequesters one from all the activity in the livingroom. light and air and energy will move through, and both rooms will feel larger.

while we’re at it, we’re going to repaint the room a vibrant yellow, which will also significantly enliven it. we are aware that remodelling means meeting other people’s hasty (or even inexcusable) decisions in one’s own walls, and are prepared to discover that there is no sheetrock under the soffit, that there is wiring of various sorts including possible problems under the soffit, that we have to replace the over-sink light (well, okay, secretly we want to), and that we have to move the gas line to the stove in order to take the wall out (we know that for a fact, actually). it’s entirely possible that other freakish things are also going on inside our walls. watch this space for exciting updates on what we find! i will take as many photos as our doughty remodelling crew will let me get away with.

As you can see from the photo, we already cleared most of the affected wall from the livingroom side. Tonight i’ll move that remaining bookcase, and this week we are moving everything above waist-height out of the kitchen to get ready for this. we’ll shift all but the smallest cooking operations over to the Caer Aisling house. as coping mechanisms go, having another fully functional kitchen nearby at our disposal is going to do a world of good. and we’ll put all the displaced objects into some semblance of order in the livingroom on shelves, so that we can survive. we do know we’re crazy to undertake this project, but wow is it time for that absurdly small room to get functional enough to really support our lives. the month-long dislocation will be worth it once it’s done.

and we don’t have any more crowds in the house until after we’re done. we’re not *that* crazy.