Friday, December 31, 2010

Cottage Door

I got out of bed early because I heard our neighbors' dog attacking the trash bag I left on the porch. I threw on my boots but he had already dragged it down into the woods. AND I'LL SAY IT AGAIN: Sometimes there is not enough land, and there are too few snipers. Immediately following, Caramel started mooing since he saw I was up and wanted his fresh morning hay. Who needs an alarm clock?

SO! This has been a weird week for me. It's usually my big goal planning week- one of my favorites of the year; but basically this year I just need to scratch out '2010' on last year's list, and put '2011' minus the things I've already crossed off. We know what we want, we just need to get it done. Most of the week, I have spent quite a bit of time drafting some final design stuff for the house so that I could finalize everything and spec out the glass panes for the windows and doors I want. That's right ladies and gentlemen. The little lady is adding millwork to her list of dive-in-and-do-it-yourself absurdities.

Monday, for under $30, we bought a pipe clamp and a ten foot iron pipe. The door in this picture is on one of the cottages that Hugh Comstock designed in the 1920s for his wife, which spurred the look of what has grown into an entire storybook cottage town- the town of Carmel, California (type in Carmel Cottages in Google and sit down with a cup of tea to have a really enjoyable afternoon). I read about the cottages in the one magazine I ever really enjoyed- Cottage Living- which is now out of circulation...I'm still not over that. Anyway, I copied the design of this door in a larger scale for my front door. I have begun to glue wood together and clamp it with the pipe clamp. It will form a panel from which to cut the arch. See- you can do anything if you break it down into tiny steps. No big whoop, as Linda Richmond would say.

I still have leftover hardwood flooring in the garage so I am fabricating the door with it. The price tag to have it made was more absurd than the thought of doing it myself; and unfortunately, living with a generic door is more absurd to me than that. See the logic? Some people are into clothes, jewelry, cars, hobbies... I am into doors and windows- cottage-y ones. I am currently waiting on a quote for the panes from the glass fabrication shop. They need to be double pane, Low E since they are on the exterior of the house. The glass for the interior doors I can buy and cut myself from Lowes. This will be my first door. I have a slew to do after this one, so I hope it goes well.

I have been reading about passive solar heating for a year or so since a friend let us borrow a book about it. I have also been reading about masonry stoves. The back room that will be expanded to be the family room is on the south and east sides of the house. With the window and door design, roof design, proper materials, and a masonry stove, we should be roasty toasty in winters without having to pay ridiculous energy costs to a power company that very often burns fossil fuels to provide electricity.

Masonry stoves are fireplaces designed to burn wood very efficiently and store heat to be released radiantly from the brick work. The wood box only needs to be loaded once every day or two. Passive solar is simply designing your house to be heated by the sun during the winter when it is low in the south sky by having a ton of windows there and a material (like the brick of the masonry fireplace) that will absorb that heat and continue to radiate it out at night. During the summer you can prevent overheating a number of ways, but I like high eaves that act as a visor in the summer when the sun is high in the sky. Both are very earth- friendly and cost efficient.

Did I mention already how intimately God loves us and how well He knows us and how He truly does work all things together for our good? The back left corner was all that was needed to get the look I want, so he set us here in a house with the least required to get the look and function I wanted instead of letting us get our plan (which I begged him for)... which was to build a house. I guess He knew the little glitches of where to live while we were doing it and how to find the time when you are so busy were more than little glitches. I also like how He included a lot of efficiencies I couldn't fit in myself.

I have a lot of hopes for 2011, but mostly I want to finish the house and homestead, so that we can nestle in, get set, and be ready to fly out with the confidence of knowing the nest is in tact for us, friends, and family. What are your hopes for 2011? I want them to come to fruition too. Kelly Carr told me once about something God showed her and I hope she won't mind if I shared it with you, though I couldn't be as eloquent as she was in the telling. She saw people marching along in darkness and drudgery looking down and right next to the path was a waterfall of light. When you stepped into it just a little, the light and beauty and joy were overwhelming... but so few would even look up to see that it was there. The scripture says that in God's presence is fullness of joy and my prayer for you this coming year is that you step into it more and more and more and more.

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