Monday, September 28, 2009

Monarch Butterflies!!

Lillian has been very busy throughout the later summer, learning about insects. In particular, she has been interested in butterflies. She has managed to find a handful of Monarch caterpillars, which she captured and brought into her little grow house. Here we have four Monarch cocoons, one of which is about to bear a butterfly!

The cocoons are quite beautiful.

A Monarch butterfly!

... our newborn Monarch butterfly released! Can you find it?

Aiden and Lillian being silly.

Dylan and Kellie's wedding!!

It was quite an honor to be able to attend the wedding of my good friends, Dylan and Kellie. I absolutely LOVE weddings. =) I know - some people love em', so people would rather be dead. Me? I just love weddings.

Here is the new couple!

Chase, Miles, and Lillian looking at something.

Me, Katie and Lillian.

Aiden was feeling needy and decided to use Katie's dress as a security blanket. :)

... and off they go, into the woods to dwell among the fairies!

Actually, the dog in the photo was quite hilarious! And extremely curious as to why these two people were wandering out there when the party was behind them!

Sometime after this, we managed to make our way down to the reception. It was very nice. I met a bunch of people who apparently met me at some point in the past, and met people who I haven't seen since sometime in the past. Meeting up with friends, old and new, is always such a good time.

What was especially entertaining was the kids. Here is Aiden conjuring the ghost of Bruce Lee.

Kids going crazy popping balloons!

Summer, Catherine, and Chris - a couple of my dear friends!

Lillian ..

" ... and here is every reason for why i know that you are absolutely wrong in your thinking about whatever it is you are thinking!"

HAHA! Actually, I have no idea what I was talking about! But check out that mark below my eye! That was caused by jalapeno peppers that I was working with! Crazy, huh? I was being (kinda) careful with my hands, but I rubbed around my eye and it got me! That lasted about a week.

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 8th - Labor Day

I like Labor Day and what it stands for. Might sound a little "socialist" to you ... but it's a celebration of the worker and what we can do if we all band together as a team to throw off the shackle of the corporate debt machine. Word.

I spent my time off of work to continue work on the green house.

I spoke with one of the local farmers about getting a few bails of straw for the mud cement exterior. It'll be a few days, so in the meantime I decided it was time to start rigging up the tarp.

This is the interior of the dome. The tarp will be pulled in and under the dome struts at the bottom. When the earthen wall is packed onto the tires, it will form a drip edge so it will shunt any water away.

While I toiled, the kids played on the trampoline!

The tarp at the beginning stages. Just getting it up and on was the biggest task.

Now we are getting somewhere. The initial stabs at rigging it up were only to get the general shape. Now I have to undo some of the rigging to get the angles right for this particular situation.

Alas, dinner! On Labor Day, what could be either more appropriate or more cliche than to grill something on the grill? Sweet corn, bathed in butter and brown sugar (oh, yes i did!), Johnsonville cheddar dogs and some cheap (tasting) American schwill??

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 7th - hard labor day

Well, we are still hard at work on the garden dome project. It's almost a little lonely, considering the groups that I had on hand a week or so ago. But it's peaceful and serene after work-work, going out into the backyard to cut cables, etc.

This weekend, we put the door frame in. Dug the holes, cut the timbers, poured the concrete, leveled it out. We had to remove a few struts. The rest of the struts around the frame will be fully connected to the frame for added stability.

Over the course of last week I cut and fit pieces of cable wire and connected them to the anchor rebar. This will (hopefully) keep this thing tied down and not floating like a kite when heavy winds come.

It's time to start covering up the tires. I want the wall to be a thick earthen mass, like adobe you see in the south west. We have been mining for clay - and there is plenty of it if you are willing to work for it. This is a 100 gallon reservoir filled with clay and water. The clay needs to be in water for at least 24 hours if you want to use it in concrete or pottery or anything useful.

Here is Jim and Matt down in the hole. The hole at this point is around 7 feet deep and the clay down there is awesome.

This picture probably does not do it justice. There are all sorts of color differentiation in there. I would love to know what it all is. Pretty incredible stuff.