Some have asked us about cleaning. If you know me at all, you know that cleanliness is not a strong point of mine. But I have improved a bit because keeping messes contained reduces critter stress. That being said, we use a cleaning solution made of vinegar and essential oils. Smells good and clean with no noxious chemicals. For mild abrasive, add baking soda. Clean, healthy, safe and cheap!
Back up goes the kitchen. Back up go the tarps. A new delivery of dry wood. Remove some nails. Pound in new ones. Dash outside when the sun shines. Hole up with a warm fire and a movie when the rain pours and the wind blows. I can see spring just around the next bend.
The ground is frozen. The snow doesn’t melt in our little pocket of Oregon’s Coastal Range. We are now regretting not working harder in the summer to get ready for winter. Oregon isn’t known for it’s cold, icy winters. I always considered all parts of Oregon (except higher elevations, of course) to be moderate, warmish winters. That’s when I had four insulated walls and central heating.
The wood stove is toasty. The change from oh-my-god-I-can’t-handle-this-freaking-frigid-see-my-breath cold to ahhh-fire-warmed-cheeks-melt-into-the-chair warmth is (as the Deaf say) CHAMP. But the time in between those two states of being could have been better had we planned ahead.
If you plan to do this, get FULL INSULATION. I know it makes the yurt more expensive. But do it. Do it. Believe me. We got roof insulation and added floor insulation ourselves. The walls get damp and tend to drip at night and when we aren’t there. The furniture swells so we can’t open the drawers. I had to practically take apart the dresser to pull pants out of the bottom drawer the other morning.
We should have put up more pole-buildings, even if we didn’t know what would go there… Just a dry place to stand with a pocket rocket (Not the sex toy! The rocket stove!) The toilet is a flimsy frame with a tarp thrown over it right now. One morning after a rainstorm filled the tarp with water, I tried to just gently ease under it. I didn’t mean to hit it with the back of my head. Yes. It was 5:00 am and at least 10 gallons of water dumped itself all over me in my compromising position. I believe my scream was returned by a pack of coyotes. We are now building a sturdy roof on what we call, The Thump.
We could have made a better icebox, tested the outdoor kitchen for convenience, built a woodshed and storage shed. Ah, hindsight is 20/20, of course. Sitting here in almost-February in 29 degree weather, I have never been so excited about spring coming. Ever. It’s just like waiting for the stove to heat up the yurt.
Spider Spring is an acre of land in Oregon where we live with our dog, Pixie. We currently live in a 16 foot yurt and are preparing to build our little Cob House. We have an outdoor, wood-heated bathtub, a sawdust toilet, a solar shower, a little roofed outdoor kitchen (the future outdoor dining room), and a cob oven near the future garden and permanent indoor-outdoor kitchen site. We have no running water, electricity or phone lines. We use filtered water from the creek, rain water, and town water we pilfer from my mother’s house. Our yurt is heated with a Pocket Rocket wood stove with a brick, mortar and cob base. Come back for pictures and progress! Learn how to play in the mud and come on out and help us build this spring!