Archive for November, 2012


We live on the prairie so wood is hard to come by. Not so for pallets though- it seems there are always a surplus of pallets being thrown away. We collect them wherever we go. We even have a friendly store owner who saves them out back for us.

Of the many uses we’ve found for our pallets: perfect firewood for the rocket mass heater, a temporary front landing for our new home (perfect for scraping off muddy boots), compost bins, bins for sand, and sturdy platforms for our lime and cement bags (to protect them from moisture). We’re also planning on using a few in the construction of a new dog house and recently came across a great idea for “pallet gardening” on Grow Food, Not Lawns facebook page.
Gotta love it when free stuff turns out to be so darn useful!

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Well, the updates continue to be slow to come and sparse on detail but that’s because we are still working away. I had hoped we’d be in by now, with only floors and ceiling to complete before we could start moving stuff over. Who knew floors and ceiling would be so challenging in round(ish) rooms? We were going to go with a natural feel to the floors, a lime finish, but changed our minds at last minute. Partly for the convenience of cleaning and in part for the extra buffer from the cold we decided on a dark laminate flooring (I know, I know- not very ‘natural’ but gorgeous) and it turns out I suck at cutting laminate floor boards, much as I love the power tools. 

Our ceiling took us a while to decide on. All of the aesthetically pleasing options seemed too rich for my blood and the cheaper options were not at all appealing. We finally settled on buying 3/8 inch plywood, cutting it down into ‘planks’ and staining them a cedar colour. Very pretty effect and well within budget. Since I was ‘off’ floors and able to finish insulating the place, I decided to try my hand at ceilings. I wasn’t particularly discouraged the first couple of times I had to take down an entire day’s work and replace it. I’m used to the whole trial and error thing at this point in the game and I’m nothing if not tenacious. But having viewed my latest efforts Shane demoted reassigned me to chopping firewood. 
Fine. I’m good with an axe after years of camping and I don’t mind chopping wood all day. Not as fond of the hatchet but I’m mixing up the bigger logs and smaller kindling to give my shoulders a break. But it does mean that the entire burden of finishing the house is on Shane now, and that’s slowed us down a fair bit considering he does work full-time. Nonetheless, he’s making good progress and with any luck we’ll be in some time in December. I hope. 

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