We’re Building A House!

Why is January always the month that seems to last eight thousand years?

Seriously. January is the worst month. Why does it have to be the longest too?

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. And being a bit of a baby about the snow, negative degree weather, pitch black evenings, and icy roads.

Wait a minute.

No, I’m not.

Guys, I haven’t been able to get my car out of the driveway for weeks. Weeks, I tell you!


January is fired.

I’m moving to Mexico to open a chinchilla farm.

Okay, whining aside, I promised y’all a house update. Remember at the beginning of 2022, I told you that we bought an airplane hanger and had broken ground at our new house site? Everything was great, we were excited, progress was happening after a year of waiting, and we were finally going to move out of our 400 sq ft cabin and into a house that was big enough for us to walk by each other in the hallway without turning sideways.

And then . . . reality set it.

Because the next step after breaking ground was to get our plans approved and get our permits in order so we could start building.

Which means . . . the government got involved.

It took months, guys.


We couldn’t pour concrete for the foundation, we couldn’t get the plumbing in, we couldn’t do anything. We had to sit around on our hands trying to fix all the nitty gritty details so that the government would finally give us permission to build a house on our own land.

I’m not bitter about it at all.

Thankfully, we had an actual angel—for real, I’m actually pretty sure he was a real angel from heaven, you know, the ‘do not be afraid’ ‘I bring you good news of great joy’ kind—who finally got us around the last tripwire, and permits were issued.

After that, we sat around on our hands some more, waiting for the foundation guys to have time in their schedule to come out.

Building a house sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually three or four days of crazy activity followed by weeks of waiting followed by three or four days of crazy activity followed by weeks of waiting followed by—

You get the idea.

On top of that, winter has set in. Which means icy roads, way too much snow, mud when it all melts (if it melts), and extreme cold.

Okay, maybe not extreme.

Extreme for me.

Oh yeah, and I had a baby and spent a month and a half recovering from a horrible breast infection because apparently breastfeeding is not intuitive and it’s harder than it looks so education is really important, guys, please always remember to have sunflower lecithin on hand before you start breastfeeding and don’t be afraid of pumping right from the beginning, especially if you have a clogged duct.



The foundation is in. The metal building is up. The support beams for the second floor have been installed, as has the plumbing. Once the snow is gone and temperatures are more moderate, we can pour the concrete pad. Until then, we will be working on framing the upstairs, getting in a gas line for our propane stove, leveling the dirt work, and installing the pipes and insulation for our in-floor heating.

In other words, we have plenty to do.

Thankfully, after a year of drumming our heels, we have reached the stage  where most of the work is on us, and things will proceed as quickly as we can handle.

Since both of our little families are living in cramped quarters and have been going crazy with cabin fever this winter, we are pretty motivated. Our hope is to be in the house before we have to spend another winter in our tiny cabin.

Actually, what my sister says is, by the end of summer.

That feels ambitious to me.

But you never know!

Yikes, that was a long update! Let me know what you think in the comments, and any advice you may have for lasting through a long project like this!

Woodpiles and Coziness

Is anyone else terrified of the idea of winter this year?

I am.

Just a little bit.

I am the kind of person who is cold. All the time. I sleep under a heavy blanket in the middle of summer, and my wonderful, loving husband is constantly shocked by my ability to have cold hands no matter where we are or what is happening.

Last year, I’m pretty sure I almost froze.

To be honest, there are things that I really like about winter. Hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, warm fires, cozy soups—because soup in the summertime just hits different—and even the occasional snowstorms. Really, it’s just the wind that I resent. And the freezing days were the sun is shining down on our frigid world and mocking me by pretending to be warm. And the icy roads. And snow inside my socks. And . . .

You get the idea.

I’m pretty sure that I’ll have warmed up to the idea of winter by the time it actually gets to us, but until then I am enjoying our crisp fall days, the changing leaves, the glorious weather . . . and my husband’s and my current project of attempting to construct the largest woodpile known to mankind.

Okay, not the largest.

Maybe the second largest, or something like that.

Basically, we heat our little cabin in the woods with a wood-burning stove. And unless we want to be out foraging for wood at 17 degrees Fahrenheit— we do not—we need to drag all the dead branches and old logs out of the woods around our house, chop them up, and build an enormous woodpile that will last until spring arrives.

This usually takes more than a single weekend.

In fact, it’s been going on for several weekends now, and probably will continue until winter comes knocking. It might possibly go a tad bit faster if we were the kind of people who chopped trees down for firewood, the way they always seem to in books and movies, but in real life, that’s a no-no, unless the tree was dead anyway.

In Colorado, trees grow about an inch every year. We have several trees on our gorgeous property that are probably several hundred years old, and you don’t chop down a three hundred year old tree just because you need firewood.

Not unless you’re a psychopath, anyway.

So, we’ve just been picking up the windfall and using up the trees that die and have to be cut down so they don’t fall unexpectedly. It seems like kind of a pain, but really, when it’s all finished, a good woodpile is the perfect way to get into a wintery mood. We can see ours out the front door, and it gives me a kind of safe, cozy feeling that makes winter feel less intimidating and more like something to look forward to.

As long as we can get it finished before it starts to snow.

How are you getting ready for winter this year? Tell me about it in the comments!

“Then the cold nights crept in…”

“… and all the colors of fall faded with the frost.”

Time to admit the truth.

Fall is fading fast, and winter is just about here.

I can tell because I’m freezing 90% of the time instead of just 50%.

I’m usually cold. My husband will tell you that. But in the winter, I’m almost always cold.

Thankfully, my amazing husband has helped build up the woodpile for this year, and our wood burning stove is up and running. Our little house is getting ready for all the cold weather, and that includes taking care of the wildlife around our home too. The deer have a new salt block, and I’m starting to remember to put out corn for them too.

Not that I’ve actually seen them eating it.

The bluejays get most of it. And the squirrels.

It is amazing how much corn ten bluejays can eat. Where do they put it all? Their tiny bodies can’t fit that much, yet they never leave the bowl alone until all the corn is gone.

Maybe there are more of them than I think.

I’ve got birdseed out too, in case you’re wondering if they’re starving. So, so much wild birdseed. This has attracted literally everything from magpies—which are MUCH larger than I realized—to chickadees, and I’m loving the variety I see gathered on my porch every morning.

My cat is also loving the variety.

She sits by the window, making funny chirpy noises and waiting for me to let her out so she can eat all the tasty birds flying around.

I do not let her out.

Or if I do, I make sure she doesn’t get anything.

She has yet to catch one.

But I let her dream. It keeps her occupied.

How are you preparing for the winter? Any sweet visitors outside your doors now that the cold weather is moving in? Tell me about them in the comments!