Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cozy Sleeping

At long last, we moved our bed into our lovely, finished bedroom, and have been sleeping in it, in the room, since Sunday night. It's a simultaneously WOW feeling, and also just a quiet, smooth transition into something we've been waiting for, literally for years.

How ironic that even sleeping in a much anticipated space, it's difficult to sleep in a new space! There are new sounds, new routines around going to bed, getting up in the night to pee, and all that. But there is a deeper quiet.

It's been my feeling for a while now that Drew and I suffer from a long term lack of deep sleep, created by a constant awareness of ordinary sounds heard through yurt walls: calm sounds like owls hooting, birdsong, and coyotes howling, as well as deeply and instinctually stressful sounds like 50 mph winds, pounding, needling rain, and cars, generators, and the like. I'm finding that I can hear a lot of the sounds in the house, but they are markedly quieter, and the inner stress level is so much less, because the house feels so solid and secure. I'm looking forward to catching up on deep-level relaxation in sleep.

Once this rain stops, we are ready to move all of our clothes over to the closet, and we are also soon to get Ella her own big-girl bed, so we can have our bed back to ourselves, after 4 and 1/2 years. I salute that!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

Round about now, the winter squash starts singing to me at 5:00 PM when I begin to contemplate what to make for dinner. This year, I had a bumper crop of butternuts, along with other squash, so I think I'll be making lots of butternut soup. Here's one of my first and favorite butternut soups...

From The Silver Palette Cookbook

Curried Butternut Squash Soup


4 Tbsp butter
2 large onions, sliced
3-4 Tbsp curry powder
2 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
4 medium apples, cored and cubed
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup fresh apple juice
salt to taste
1 package of your favorite sausage (optional)
yogurt and/or herbs for garnish

Saute the onions in the butter for about 15 minutes over medium heat, until well softened. Add the curry powder and cook for a few more minutes. Add the stock, squash, and apples, cover and turn up the heat until boiling. Then reduce heat to simmer until everything is very well cooked and soft. Meanwhile, slice the sausage into rounds and brown in an oiled pan, and set aside. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree soup until smooth. Return to low heat, and add apple juice. Add the pre-browned and cooked sausage. Heat through and serve with plain yogurt, cilantro or basil, and fresh buttermilk biscuits with butter. Sometimes I also serve it with leftover rice or other grains.

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Full Steam Ahead

Though I have had several days of low motivation, our crew is still moving all kinds of things forward with the house. Last week, Jemma and I plastered the big wall in the living room a lovely yellow color. This afternoon, in the sunset light, it was a magnificent, glowing gold, so I couldn't resist photographing it.

Living Room Wall Plaster in Golden Sunset Light

Also, our bedroom trim is done, and we're working on the doors so we can install the last of it in the entry and in the bathroom/closet. Today, Drew and I plastered the laundry closet with Structolite, so that when we move over to the house, we can move our washing machine, too.

Here's the Bedroom with Trim, All Done

A Bathroom Door

Stair Trim, Just Like Tetris

Last week, Karl and Drew had Cedar here with his trenching machine, and we ran phone cable to the house, propane line from the pad to the house, water lines and power lines. Karl is working hard to get all those utilities set up before he leaves in a few weeks. We've ordered new batteries for our off-the-grid power system, and we're looking forward to that purchase arriving. Our current batteries were used and cheap, and they have certainly done their duty. But they are no longer working very well, so we're excited for batteries that perform properly. Karl is building a little house outside the house for them, as well as the inverter and other electronics that operate our power system.

Hmmm, what else. Aaron is mudding and taping on the north slope ceiling, getting it ready for texture. I moved some window bucks along towards readiness for plaster. Jemma has been cleaning and oiling all of our window frames, including the clerestory windows. And the list goes on. There are a lot of steps!

Our bathroom sink arrived, as did our vent hood for the kitchen stove. We're lining ourselves up to do plaster and floors in the kitchen/living/dining, so that we can create a temporary kitchen.

Maybe we'll actually move into our room THIS weekend, we'll see!