Monday, December 15


I promised pie, so here's pie. I've made two more since this one, but none compare to this masterpiece.


Saturday, December 13



Dug my last hole, did I?
Mixed and poured my last bag of concrete, did I?

I think not. After a two week hiatus from Mendocino and the yurt, Erin and I returned home to a request from Mom to extend the decking further around the south side of the yurt. Did we have time? Mom asked.

Of course!

So, this past week has seen us digging a hole for one more pier, and mixing our last bag of concrete. Luckily, Mom had an extra pier sitting under 6 inches of dirt and ivy in her back yard, so we dug it up, put in a new piece of wood and recycled it.

We're planning on using a lot of the extra scrap wood that's still around the property, but we were short on 2x8"s, which we needed to complete the decking joists (treck up to Rossis's). We also used two 2x8s (bolted together) in place of a 4x8 girder. And wouldn't you know it, the entire sub-structure went up in a couple of hours.

We consider ourselves seasoned deck-builders now, and hope to lay the deck boards next week once the rain/hail/wind has abated.

Tuesday, November 18

A Celebration of Helpfulness

Mom hosted a Sunday night Shindig in honor of those who helped with the yurt raising.

From Left to Right: Charles, David, Bill, Emily, Mom, Maddie, Dad, Linz, Erin.
Not present were Manda, Mickey & Evan the FedEx driver. Manda's presence especially was sorely missed.

Bill & Mia kicked off the party with a couple of laps around the pond.

David got the fire going, and Charles went off in the lawnmower to fetch more firewood.

Charles took over the grilling of meat and tofu, and I was in charge of toasting buns.

A delicious dinner was had by all.

We enjoyed a bit more campfire before retiring to the yurt.

The first (and only) piece of furniture mom moved into the new yurt was the ping pong table.

Several exciting games ensued.

Mom started to rethink her lack of furniture as the spectator's butts became numb.

Maia had the best seat in the house.

So many many thanks to everyone! Stay tuned to the Blurt for future postings & photos of a possible watertower, windmill, 18-hole permanent disc golf course, 200 yd. zip line, lazy river and a 12 ft. yurt hanging from some trees!

Sunday, November 16

The Slideshow Supreme

We made it successfully through Yurt Raising Day 2. Though there was a little less action than on Day 1, it was equally satisfying and compelling.

The slideshow has over 150 photos right now. I know, there are some repeats, but just look at it as a preliminary attempt to show the world that yes, we finally have our yurt!

Tips for better viewing:
  • First, press the pause button at the bottom of the slideshow screen.
  • Click through the photos at your own pace using the forward arrow key.
  • OR, adjust the viewing time to 4 or 5 seconds and press play for an automatic show (you might not have time to read the commentary this way).
  • The back button on your browser will bring you right back here to the Blurt.

So pop some popcorn, turn down the lights and start clicking.

Slideshow Supreme


Friday, November 14


Yurt Raising Day 1!

Thanks to Mom, Bill, Erin, Me, David, Charles and Emily, we made it successfully though day 1 of the yurt raising. And dang it was fun! Soon, I will post a slideshow here of the 100+ photos we took throughout the day yesterday, and I'll add today's photos to it. I'm still working on putting everything into the right order and adding commentary to the show, so be patient.

It looks awesome, as you shall soon see.

Tuesday, November 11


The prop was overtaken this weekend by the Mendocino FROLF Club (Frisbee Golf). Nine baskets were strategically placed around the property to incorporate the best of the pond, the field, the trees and the yurt platform. With a total of 18 holes and 12 FROLFers, the round took over 4 hours (so I'm told) and a glorious time was had by all. It just so happens that the course designers placed the 18th basket on the island in the middle of the pond, and a canoe was supplied for players to complete the putt. Erin reports that it took over 1/2 an hour to shuttle 6 players back and forth in the little red boat, allowing time to putt and search for any lost discs. Unfortunately, 5 discs were lost in the watery depths of the pond, and Erin plans to petition Mom to siphon off the water in the spring to recover lost property.

Our time today at the prop was spent playing a few holes, paddling around the island in our continued search for discs, and teaching Maia to become a firsbee dog. Let's just say that her "chase" instinct is right on, but her "retrieve" instinct needs a little more refinement. But she sure gets excited about it!

Today and tomorrow will be a drizzley couple days, but we're planning on a Thursday morning yurt-raising! We hope not to dissappoint.

Saturday, November 8

the benderboard...a milestone

Remember those 1/2" pressure treated plywood sheets we ordered from ROSSIs way back in the day? The plywood that's been sitting around the site for so long, neglected and forgotten? Remember when we hastily cut the plywood into 8" strips in anticipation of wrapping the benderboard? Well, about a month later that plywood is finally wrapped around the yurt perimeter. I consider this a definite milestone because the next step really, truely, is setting up the yurt. No more construction on the platform. Any screws screwed will henceforth be part of the upward yurt structure. Yahoo!

But we're still waiting for good weather. Friday was our one sunny day in over a week, which allowed us to peel back Big Blue completely, as well as unstaple all the clear .6mil plastic that's been covering the floor. Needless to say, Big Blue is far from a breathable layer, so condensation gets trapped on the inside of the tarp and creates its own weather patterns - unfortunately they are moist, humid and partially raining weather patterns. But Friday was the Great Dry Out.

the scaffold as a temporary drying rack

Slight breeze and full sun made for a pleasant work day and the bamboo got to shed a layer of moisture. We spent about 3 hours completing the benderboard with cutouts for both doors. The french doors will look out towards the pond while the regular door will face the orchard. They are directly across from oneanother so we stretched out our 100' tape measure around the perimeter, found the half-way mark and cut the benderboard. It should have been easy, but we were both hungry and relying on eachothers faulty reasoning and mathematics to get us through. Definitely a signal to stop for lunch.

french door cutout

With a few more rainy days in the forecast we began to completely recover the whole thing again before we lost our daily dose of sunshine. It's a good thing too, because today is Saturday and it's rainy, misty, moist, cloudy, dismal, wet, foggy and damp. We seem to be in a perpetual holding pattern here, but sincerely hope that next week will afford us a minimum of three rainless days. It feels good to know that we'll be ready when they come.

Thursday, November 6

so satisfying

and we only got half way. There wasn't a drop of sun in the sky, but there were no drops of rain either. So we got underway, unscrewing and untying Big Blue and peelin her back. The benderboards are a little damp, but we're moving forward anyway. The benderboards are getting screwed into the ends of the 2x4 joists, and also into the plywood subfloor. Sometimes we'll use a block when the end of the 8 ft. benderboard doesn't quite line up with a joist (did I say we were done blocking?). We also cut out one of the benderboards for the space where the door will be. Mom has two doors in her yurt, 1 french door and 1 regular door. Our first task when we finally get to the erection process will be to put the doors in place.

I didn't take photos today, but will hopefully have some photos tomorrow of a completed benderboard. We're going to wait to set up the yurt until we have three days in a row forecasted without rain. Might be a while.

Wednesday, November 5

I suppose we'll laugh when it's all over

Yesterday was - you guessed it - another bummer. If you look at the 10 day forecast for Mendocino you will not jump for joy, neither will all your prayers be answered. You will see rain, drizzle, wind, clouds and more.

Erin talking benderboards with Dan from CYC, who proved most helpful

Our day began with a call to Colorado Yurts to get some final benderboard logistical questions answered. Upon arrival at the prop we quickly got to work uncovering the bamboo and towel drying the wet spots. This took the better part of an hour, but the sky was partly sunny and the wind seemed to be finally drying things out instead of making them wetter. Erin attempted to make me take a bet on an afternoon cloudburst, but I didn't bite. Just as we were contemplating peeling back a corner of the tarp to get some work done, a giant gray monster reared it's head above the trees. In five minutes we scrambled to recover the floor and put away all the tools. In twenty more minutes everything was soaked and the cloudburst was over. Double Dog Dangit.

Our temporary work environment

After a break for lunch the weather situation improved. We started in on scribing a line on the plywood with a ball point pen and our giant 15' compass. After much debate we have decided it will be best to hand-cut the plywood with the jigsaw and we will need to follow this line very closely. Unfortunately, Erin ruined three pens before we got the contraption to work properly, and after drawing only a few feet of the line our last pen was toast. I jumped in the car and returned from town with a 10-pack bag of BICs. Unfortunately we went through three more pens before the circle was completed, leaking massive amounts of blue ink on the plywood in the process. The highlight of the day, in retrospect, was Erin's unprecedented use of profanity to express himself as the trials of the day wore on. A sample:
We had a good laugh about this as we drove home for the day, having finished cutting exactly half of the plywood with the handheld jigsaw. We quit with intentions to return the next day and complete the job in better weather.

However! The next day (today) is awful. The drizzle is incessant with occasional downpours. The crazy part is that tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be "partly sunny" with little chance of rain. But we just can't seem to get ourselves in a position where we're ready to erect the yurt. The rain continues to foil us.

We were able to complete the cutting this morning, despite Erin's vows to never do ANYTHING under a tarp again ever for the rest of his life. Benderboards were impossible with the rain coming down heavily, necessitating the continued use of Big Blue.

benderboards awaiting installation, & our pathetic tarp, Big Blue, in the background

Crazy dinosaur plants by the pond

Erin and Maia testing out the pond fountain

Saturday, November 1

A hard week

I blame my recent absence from posting on the weather, the weather and the weather. I wake in the middle of the night from dreams of our large 40'x60' blue tarp torn to shreds and billowing through the orchard. I picture soggy planks of bamboo under inches of water. I imagine the rafters and canvas waterlogged and stained beyond repair. Yes, we are all losing sleep over this ordeal.

Let's start off by giving loads of credit to Mom and Erin for busting through the flooring project in just over two days. It looks awesome! The planks are straight, the seams well planned and the tops smooth.

This was just in time for the Tuesday arrival of Manda direct from Seattle. Unfortunately, our plans to erect the yurt over the following three days were becoming less and less practical as the weather report worsened (rain, thundershowers, 25 mph winds, etc). We didn't panic, but spent Wednesday cutting the bamboo circle with the router in just two passes. It went off (almost) without a hitch, and as the day was drawing to a close we packed up shop before cutting the plywood circle.

our new stand-up routering rig - much easier on the back

Manda sweeping the deck after the routering

On Thursday the panic started to set in. Without a real plan for how to protect the new flooring without a roof, we all threw in our best efforts at designs for tarping. We rented a ginormous 40'x60' tarp and several metal stakes and proceeded to spend the next 5 hours trying to cover the yurt platform. I will spare you the details, but just know that a lot of sweat and tears went into this.

We each laid in our respective beds that night listening to the wind howl and the rain hammer the roofs over our heads, wishing the platform had a roof over its head as well.

Friday found me baking fresh huckleberry scones for the group before we treked back up to the prop to asses how our handiwork of the previous day had survived. We were in for a depressing and dismal realization ~ the floor was soaked. We carefully towell-dried the whole floor and then painstakingly dried the seams with compressed air. With heavy hearts we called Bill onto the scene and started from scratch. This time we created a structure resembling a circus tent using 2x4s and lots of rope.

During this time the sun came out and taunted us to shed our raincoats and smile. So we did.

That's when the wind picked up. I mean seriously. The decision was made to get the tarp on before the real rain came and we struggled to pull the giant blue monster over our frame. As we secured the sides to the stakes we heard a gut-wrenching 'rrrrrrrrrrrrrriipppppp" ~ the grommets we'd used to tie down had been ripped from the tarp, and several holes now gaped along the edges. We quickly reconfigured our plan to include rope tied around knots tied in the tarp and lost our inhibitions about screwing holes directly through the tarp. Again, I can spare you a long list of detailed attempts that failed, but just know it was another long, wet day.

And the rain picked up again just as we got home. Trick-or-treaters were scarce - maybe a handful compared to the usual onslaught. I lost even more sleep thinking about the potential detestation to the beautiful floor.

This morning we repeated the same process as the previous two days ~ arriving yet again to a soaked floor. 15 more full sized towels dried the floor up and Erin spent the rest of the day applying a layer of .6 mil plastic to the top of the floor and stapling it to the perimeter. It's hard to imagine what a drag all this has been, and unfortunately it's becoming more and more obvious the bad weather will continue for at least another week. We're probably going to end up at the prop three times a day to towel dry the bamboo floor and pray for three sunny days in a row so we can erect the yurt!

yurt parts awaiting erection

Monday, October 27

((((rain on the brain))))

So, after all the hullabaloo about using only 24 sheets of plywood, I accidently got turned around and cut up the 25th sheet. Dang! We actually ended up using it in the end, but still ... I like to live up to my word.

Yesterday, Mom and Erin worked on laying the flooring all morning. Erin installed while Mom transferred pieces up to the deck and helped with the layout. They got about 8 rows into it and had to stop for the day (Sunday is disc golf day and the tourney starts promptly at 2:30!). This past spring, Erin installed a cherry hardwood floor for mom in her back room. It is a floating floor, which I think means it just snaps together with the tongue&groove - no staples or nails necessary. He did the installation all by himself (save for a trip to the Emergency room with his Dad when he sliced off the top of his finger with a razor knife), so this bamboo flooring should be familiar to him even though it uses staples. I wish I could be helping with this stage, but alas...

Today is Monday, and Mom & Erin sat around eating coffee cake and delicious sweet potato frittata until 11 am. They were waiting for the plastic-covered platform to dry - it was soaked from the fog and mist of last night, and without sun in the forecast for today it is shaping up to be a damp one. We are getting ever-more wary of the impending weather system. From Wunderground:

Thursday Night through Sunday: Mostly cloudy. 50% chance of rain.

Dang. But what can we expect? The weather goddess has bestowed upon us the ninth warmest September since 1880! And a dang nice October to boot. As we round the corner of fall and slide into November (can you tell I've been watching the World Series?) the rain may tag us out.

Tomorrow I travel to Santa Rosa to collect sister number 2 from the airport, so that she may partake of some yurt. YAY.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...