Shan Renz

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since Jan 14, 2016
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hugelkultur solar tiny house
Directions are so often given by people speaking with marbles in their mouths. Maps are so often drawn by people who can't read the surveyor's figures. GPS systems get dust in the circuits. Blind people lead deaf people into traffic...What am I supposed to do, looking at this signpost, and wondering if someone spun it around for kicks?
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Recent posts by Shan Renz

It's bake day!  The cob oven on Steve's place has been up and running for a week or two now, and I have done a couple of test bakes to get a feel for this individual oven. It seems to absorb more heat than the one I built several years ago, so I've had to adjust my normal bake times a little. Today is production day. I made several loaves of wheat sourdough for spreading around. The oven is Evan and Kai's work and I feel fortunate to have the ability to use one again.

2 years ago
I thought I would post a closeup shot of the pine straw and clay slip insulation in the house walls. This is from beside the front door:
2 years ago
Wild rose and lupine say home to me.
2 years ago
Gary's here to be a gapper as of 3 days ago, and the man is a machine. So much is happening.

Things have been cleared, cleaned up and organized. The trash is all collected and sorted. The available building materials have been categorized. The loft floor has been finished, the wood stove rescued from under a Ponderosa and test fired, and the slats for the insulation straw have been applied to the walls all the way up to the point where we plan to commence the bottle cob. The floor of the house and both the front and rear door yards have been graded smooth and the front has been terraced. We even had dinner with Ben and Steve. Welcome home Ben

So now that the house is in capable hands, I can concentrate on projects like my STOVE! And my water harvesters and dew collector and air well! And my plants!
2 years ago
Go Nicole

Today I put the second window in the house! Jesse left it all framed and some of the slip straw insulation done, but I will have to either do or coordinate the rest of it. We still have to hang three doors and put in two more windows, but two of them are done. Next we will start on the slip straw for the lower walls.

I'm trying to get everything on the lower level closed in.  I figure once that's done, we'll be better off in the house than in the tent, even if the upper level bottle cob isn't finished in the exterior walls. The roof is rock solid and it is much cooler inside the house during the day even with no doors or lower walls, what with the earth sheltered nature of the house.
2 years ago
"You don't get space!"

~Ahava, 3
2 years ago
Does anyone know what this flower is?
2 years ago
See you soon, Gary, and pre-welcome!
2 years ago
Today was a pretty good day. We went over to Steve's plot in the morning and talked about his cob oven-in-process, then got to talking about sourdough. Can't wait until that oven is done.

We tried to help Jesse with building the house today, but I don't think there is much we can do besides support work. Toward that goal I soaked clay for slip and made campfire chili, and Justin did some holding of boards.

It turns out that the clay in at least one section of the plot is absolutely perfect for pottery. I processed a hunk of it and made a test vessel. I don't know what to call it. A chalice, maybe? It's drying now, and in a couple of days I'm going to try campfire-coal firing. It will take a very big, very hot fire. I've seen it but I've never done it myself, so if it works, yay

2 years ago
Today I didn't work on the rocket stove because I took the boys out on an excursion to acquire pine straw. Jesse plans to use this as insulation, and he needs a lot. Justin tore into the assignment, and Ezra (almost 5) did pretty well, probably filling 2 or 3 totes' worth himself. Together we filled the truck bed. I expect we will have to go out again, but this should go pretty far. We went around the ant village harvesting needles from downed ponderosa tops.

We worked on important concepts while we were out, like teamwork, and gaining rewards from your work. Ezra is still in the headspace where he is deciding whether work can be enjoyable for its own sake, and he is learning about the satisfaction of accomplishment. Justin just wanted to conquer the pine needles.

After that the small ones napped, and I did dishes. Off grid campfire carry-your-water dishes. I don't like doing dishes. I did not take any pictures of that.

2 years ago