From April to September, we laid foundations for the little, ultra-sustainable house we're building at Joyfield Farm. We had a double rainbow on April 12, when we got our building permit. We've had blessings along the way, especially friends and family and Phillip's vision and tireless research.
The house will be heated with passive solar, with a back-up of compost-heated water. We'll have an evapotranspiration system for the gray and black water from the house (all the things that go down drains and pipes).
This gallery of photos just skims some highlights, but the best way to tour Little PAL* House is in person. You're most welcome!
More photos on instagram and facebook.
The framing and closing-in will be in another post.
*Phillip & Anna Lisa
We're addicted. We can't drive by overflowing dumpsters without checking the contents. Usually we find treasure: a working Soda Stream, an unopened box of key lime tea cakes, a working in-table sewing machine, shoes in the box.
We find clean clothes on hangers, a carton of canned sausage, countless brita pitchers, microwaves, backpacks, vacuums, dressers and desks that broke when thrown into dumpsters.
So many mattresses and bedding and recliners. I now want to invent disposable bedding for students. I don't need to invent anything - people have been sleeping on straw or cornhusks for thousands of years, and those mattresses would last a school year and could grow a forest rather than grow a landfill.
Someone(s) cut cords off all the appliances to sell for copper. We try to find the appliances first, since they are virtually always in excellent condition. Are you picturing hills of working appliances without cords growing landfills, perhaps leaking heavy metal? I gag, and turn away so I don't vomit on this bag of mostly-full shampoo and lotion bottles.
Where are our reuse/repurpose comrades? In Mexico we had many.
Cutting the cords for copper doesn't count - that's downcycling, not upcycling. I'm all for poor people finding quick cash, but I'd like to pay them more than what they'll get for the copper to help us move the appliances to local thrift stores.
We've been filling the van (sometimes multiple times a day) and delivering stuff to the sharing shed in our neighborhood as well as Goodwill. We could easily spend all daylight hours in this pursuit, but we're taking a break to, like, get some other work done.
But my dreams are haunted by the disease of dumping dandy desks and dressers into dumpsters which dismantle upon discard.
Two weeks from now, students will move to Purdue and buy desks, dressers, shampoo, mattresses, sheets, microwaves, pots, pans, silverware, paper towels, vacuums....do you think Target and Walmart are secretly spreading biological warfare (the dumpster disease) over 5G?
We can't find the cheese.
It's not in, behind, or under the fridge. It's not in the microwave or blender. We haven't found it in a drawer, under a table or in my yarn collection.
"Is it this cheese?" Phillip asks, holding up an unopened Vermont extra sharp.
"No, it's the one we opened last night, remember?" I respond.
But he doesn't remember eating cheese. He barely remembers dinner. He was about to get a migraine so drank a couple quarts of water and went to bed early.
I had a second glass of wine while talking to my bosom friend.
Therefore we're both prime suspects for misplacing the cheese.
If it was Limburger - even Brie - we would have found it by now.
We'll keep you posted.
We slept through the night, our first night without puppies. We miss them, but we also missed sleep, exercise, complex thinking, and we are so excited about all their new homes and families. We felt great about every person who adopted a puppy.
Mabel is still available for adoption. Now that she's got an empty nest, we wonder if she'll be ready to befriend other dogs. She sure loved playing with her puppies and we'd like her to have plenty of companionship in the future. She is in heat, and will be spayed July 2. Maybe after that she'll be ready to meet new dogs without barking/growling/lunging/whining/worrying. We've tried walking near another leashed dog, and she couldn't bear it. That was always my first step for dog introduction, but Mabel needs other first steps.
Let us know if you have any tips for Mabel's canine socialization, and contact Pawswap if you're interested in adoption - Mabel or another future friend!
Down to three puppies and Mabel - by tonight I expect we'll have three dogs total! We've heard from nearly everyone and it's wonderful to see pictures and get tidbits of the puppies' new lives.
It's unreal, bittersweet, all the emotions you would expect. Click each face to decide which puppy you'll adopt. And contact Pawswap ASAP before they're all claimed!
Birds are nesting in various parts of our roof (soffits, maybe?) and we say we're going to repair them after they all fly south. We'll see if we manage that.
In the meantime, they enjoy eating the puppy kibble strewn throughout the yard. Last week we found a dead nestling on the ground. So today when we found a live nestling on the ground, we wanted to rescue it.
We made a nest out of paper for it and put it on the porch roof, 4 feet under the soffit. We watched its parent fly with worm toward the baby several times, but never land to feed.
So Phillip put the bird back in the roof. We may never know its fate (especially if we don't get around to fixing the roof).
Click photo to learn more about each puppy. (beware: a few are spoken for)
Don't want to deal with teething and house-training? Mama Mabel is also available for adoption.
Little Benjamin Button was nicknamed Booker because he was skinny, bony, thin-skinned like our beloved Booker. Now he's one of the heaviest and definitely tied with Rosie (always one of the heaviest) for tallest. The thrill never ends, as we watch them change and grow.
Their personalities are taking shape, too, though we expect they will change a lot as they go to new homes and settle into lives as only dogs, or one of two dogs. How will their humans socialize them, especially with covid-19? Will these puppies learn to trust and enjoy strangers or be afraid? When will they get to play off-leash with new dogs? We know some will get their exercise only in fenced yards, and end up barking at anyone who comes by. Still, they will be adored by their humans!
I mean, assuming you're not a jerk. Mabel loves people - everyone. She barks at cars or people outside her fence, then they come into her yard and she loves every single person. Even the people who pick up her babies. Including kids - she plays well with kids and tolerates them climbing on her!
While Mabel plays with the puppies exuberantly, we don't know how she feels about other dogs. We've only known her about-to-give-birth or as a mom. Plus, she was attacked while walking with us by two loose dogs (no injury, but shook us all up). And she does seem interested in chasing cats and birds, but we've never tried introducing her to a pet cat. Proceed with caution - but Mabel is seriously worth it. She's loyal, playful, adoring, quiet, and just likes to be around you and chew rawhide.
She needs play and walk manners. She gnaws on our hands while we're playing - just like her puppies do - no one ever taught her not to! It's clearly playful and not injurious, but this is a habit to break. We're trying the go-limp-and-yelp method, and have read that if we have to do that more than 3 times in 15 minutes she needs a time-out on playing. Any other tips?
Mabel also pulls on walks, and acts like she's never been on a leash before (gets in the way of the human and so forth). I mean - maybe she hasn't been walked much! No one knows this young lady's history. Now we're walking with her breakfast in a bag that gets handed out a few kibbles at a time to keep her attention on us and reinforce staying next to the human. It's definitely going to work with time - maybe that is YOUR time rather than ours? Training is deeply satisfying for dogs and will bond you for life! Apply to adopt this wonderful friend today.
She was the runt but now weighs more than a few of her siblings! Hannah hops, happily. She is the most obviously joyful of the 9 and we adore her happy hops. We're truly grateful that she's going to live with someone in our extended family so we can watch her grow up. He picked her because she was the smallest - now that she's not so small, he's already smitten and won't change his mind:-)