today we got the yurt set up! the frame is up, the deck is big enough and plenty solid, and the yurt is insulated. insulation took most of the afternoon, while
so the insulation is up, and just needs a little more taping down here and there before we can hang the canvas (and add some more grommets to it), tomorrow. it looks like the mother ship right now, all coated in silver insulation. thanks to a brilliant bit of thinking on
when the canvas is up, we’ll install the wood stove and then i can move in! i hope to light a fire in the little stove and sleep in the yurt with beloved
this has been quite a journey so far. part of which is learning how much work any given task is, and what four (or three, or two) humans can reasonably expect to get done in one six-hour day. what with the sun going down at 5, and the world beginning to freeze shortly before that–and failing to thaw adequately until at least 10, usually 11. wood heat, here i come! and part of this journey, always and again, is appreciating the value of working in and with community, with friends. other people have come to the rescue with time, energy and skills at every turn—in each place where we could eventually have figured it out or finished it or simply done a bad job of it but done it anyway ourselves, instead friends with time, energy and skills and the desire to lend a hand came forward to offer those things, and enabled everything to move forward.
so last weekend, i set the yurt roof up to measure canvas, and found that the hub had cracked, badly, in three places (all along joins). i swore at it, used the energy for beneficial destruction (cleared deadwood and elms out of the ritual ground), and called
then thursday, i found out that the deck was too short. the yurt is 16′ across; the deck, an octagon that gave us trouble with triangles from the moment we started on the surface boards, was 17′ at the points—and 15.5 feet at the flats. not okay. i panicked, and
kind of freaked out about it, and took thursday afternoon off work to start fixing it. and had to get over a lack of confidence about using the circular saw all by myself (got over it–i know how to use them, it had just been a couple years since i had to), and about my overall ability to add six inches to the deck, as a whole. but we brainstormed and sorted out the best approach the night before, and my dad called with useful suggestions and support–“honey, in a lifetime of working with my hands, i have made every kind of mistake there is, often more than once. and the only difference i have seen between a professional and an amateur is how fast a professional looks at a job and says, ‘well, shit. i fucked that up.’ and sets out to fix it.” which made me feel smart enough to finish the job, even having messed it up once.
and i did fix it, and
so having built and fixed the deck, we went to LongDance, and had a spectacularly lovely Solstice. and then came home and slept and slept; that’s about all anybody’s good for after a whole longest-night of drum and dance, and ceremony beneath the stars.
13+ hours of sleep later, today was Yurt Day. and tomorrow, too, because 3-6 people working together could get the yurt up and insulated and the door hung in one day, and that’s about it. hopefully two people working six hours tomorrow can finish the rest—there are bit projects to all of it that need to be attended to at the same moment. get the canvas roof on to the top, one of us screwing the folded canvas edge onto the hub while the other holds up the walls and measures for grommets, then setting the grommets, then we can tie on the walls. the chimney bits all need to be unpacked and put together, and it looks like that’s going to take a little wrangling. and i suspect getting the exterior parts of the chimney installed is also going to take some wrangling–getting up to the hub from the outside without being able to stand on a ladder directly under it and go through the hub is difficult. that’s a puzzle we can figure out, possibly by mounting some of the upper stuff first and then attaching the lower stuff to it. *after* measuring twice to make sure that will work! though we do still have to get up on top of the hub to screw the storm flashing down. it covers the hub entirely, which makes me very happy.
and on friday, we may get to see how it performs in a rainstorm. we’ll see. the weather is dicey all week, including a 20% chance of blowing snow tomorrow, which i plan on simply working in if it does come. at the very least we can go into the yurt and work on the stove until it calms down; if it’s simply wind-gusts all day (what the weather forecast is pleased to call “breezy”—erratic 25-35 mph gusts from all directions), we’ll just get the canvas on quite securely, since we’ll be battling the very forces it is designed to resist.
and then i’ll live in a yurt. and i’ll take january off to enjoy it!