Thursday, December 25, 2008


Last friday night the 19th of December the temp went to -24F and since we have had several nights as low as -10F. We have also received 24 inches of snow since the 4th of the month. The average for all of December is 16 inches. I have had to plow snow every day for 3-4 hours just to stay ahead of it. Everyone is staying warm and seem to enjoy the winter weather.
The Monks we had staying with us ended up getting to stay an additional five days as the weather closed down the Spokane airport on the day they were to leave.
More winter pics in a few days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

winter and monks are here.

We have started getting the winter weather.....Some snow and temps to -10 degrees.

Two Monks from Wat Metta arrived on the 4th of Dec. They will be returning on thursday the 18th.

The fifth building was semi-completed in time to house one of the Monks.

We have had five guests for the last two weeks and will continue hosting the three yogis after the monks leave.

The building in the pics is the fifth kuti/sauna.

Receipts will be going out in the next week or so for all of you who have been generous enough to contribute to our work here.

Thanks much.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

almost ready for the Monks

Number five is getting near the "Dried in point". Monks are due next thursday and the sauna/kuti will be ready. Got the sheathing and felt on the roof today and moved the wood stove in. Tomorrow I will finish the walls and install the stove and give it a "smoke" test. Still need to install one window and build a door and install the insulation in the walls and ceiling. Then of course there is also the interior panelling as well as the shingles on the roof and the benches inside the sauna and the porch roof and the privacy screen and the....and the....and the.... and on and on and on.

There is 20 acres for sale right next door to use with some beautiful building sites and a spring as well. Wish we had the $49,000 they are asking........actually a pretty good price. This piece would make a great monastic area.

Pictures are of number five/sauna and from the front porch.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

still working

Even though the season is winding down I am still working. Trying to get the fifth building up and ready for the Monks that are coming in early December. This building will also double as a dry heat sauna.

I am doing most of the work with help from the three yogis only when I can't lift something by myself.

Siding goes on tomorrow.
the view is from the porch of number five.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

End of the Building Season, 501(c)3

The snow is flying at OGM and our meditators are buttoned up in their kutis. The building season is pretty much over, save for some bits and pieces here and there. Looking back it has been an amazing season - we went from one half-finished kuti to four kutis using all volunteer labor and a shoestring budget. We're broke and exhausted, but very happy.

Many thanks to all who contributed, especially the volunteers poured their personal time into the place. Without your help we would be still working on the 2nd unit! A special big thanks to Mischa and Brendon who stuck with it all season and became fine builders in their own right. I hope you guys build your own houses someday.

I also want to mention that very recently we received the official IRS paperwork affirming our 501(c)3 status. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent the tax laws permit. It was harder than we thought, but now it's done. If you've been holding back making a donation for this to happen, now is the time!

Hopefully we'll get some photos of snow and mountains up here now, and not so much shots of folks wielding tools.

May all beings be happy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Well the IRS finally came through. Talked with the IRS representative on thursday, last, and she said we had been approved.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Winter is nearly here.

All three meditators are now in full retreat.
Brian was here for a few days and helped with some electrical work and with the well.
We still have great water and more of it than the neighbors do but the water table is down from the 5 year drought.
I am now working on building a Sauna which can also double as a residence if need be.
We have two Monks scheduled to arrive the first week of December.
All paper work has been corrected and returned to the IRS for the 501C3. We hope to hear from them shortly.
It has been a very busy season but we did manage to get done what we wanted to get done. MOSTLY!
In the next month or so I will be posting the preliminary figures on volunteer hours worked and yogi meditation days/weeks/months for this year to date.
Thanks to all of you who have helped by working, donating and sending metta.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

number 1 is done for now

We have gone as far as we are going this season with number 1 shot gun shack. Number two and three will get a little more work but they will not be finished to the extent number is until next season. Pictures are of Mischa and Brendon inside number 1. Terran has now moved in and continues the retreat he started last month in the VIP Kuti.

We are now working on the central kitchen and bath facility. Pictures of it will follow in several days.
Brian is expected to arrive tomorrow for a weeks visit.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Well and interior of number 1

Had a new pump put into the well yesterday as the old one was failing. Pictures of the old and the new.

The crew is panelling number one and I will post the pics in a day or two.

Next week off to buy materials to winterize the Central Facility.

Still no word from the IRS on the 501c3

Monday, September 1, 2008

winding down for the season

Our three meditators, who will be with us for the winter, are moving into their respective cabins over the next few days. We have been doing cosmetic work and have a little more of that yet to do. There will be some things left undone for the winter. Such as: Siding and interior furnishings. We just haven't been able to fund everything this season for three additional buildings.
We are still waiting on the , ever so efficient, IRS for the ruling on our 501c3 status.
There will be a few more entries with construction updates but the end is near for this season.
Temps are dropping into the 30's and snow is not all that far away.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just finishing up number three

Had nearly three days of thunderstorms,wind and rain so we got slowed down a bit but will still be done tomorrow with number three except for a few small cosmetic things.

We will now spend several days just cleaning up the three sites and doing some general beautification.
The three meditators; Mischa, Brendon and Terran should be in there respective Kutis by next tuesday. The work crew; Mischa and Brendon will probably continuing working for another week or two depending on what materials I can get purchased.

The IRS is now working on the 501c3 applications that were recieved in April of this year as was ours. We hope to hear from them very soon.

It was 39 degrees for a low temp two nights ago and I heard reports from the locals that there was some frost in the low lying valleys. We really haven't had much summer this year but yet I am looking forward to winter and all the snow.

I would like to say again how much I appreciate and how important to OGM the volunteers have been this summer. Without them we might have gotton one building done. As it is now we have four structures ready for the winter months. Also without Brians good help we would not be where we are today. He gets to spend far too little time here at OGM!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Porch railing and the roof

Porch railing went on yesterday and the roof got started but then the promised rain showed up and chased us off. Rain again today with temps in the 50's-60's. All in all a very pleasant change from the 100 degrees of the preceding few days. The thunder storms knocked out the Internet again yesterday so wasn't able to post until today. No work on the cabin today but did grade the road and the guys did some work in the Central Facility area getting ready to winterize it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

moving slow but moving forward

The heat and lack of funds has us moving slowly forward. The flying rafters went up today and tomorrow should see the sheathing on the main roof and the beginnings of the actual roofing. The weather forecast is for thunder storms and rain the next few least that will cool things down a bit.

Sunday, August 17, 2008




Saturday, August 16, 2008

lot's of work but little show.

Have done a lot of work but most does not show. Did get the rafters up and tomorrow will be a big day. Things are moving a bit slow as the temps have been going over 100 degrees y'day, today and tomorrow but then will drop into the 70's next week. Summer is almost over before it even got here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Walls up

Walls are up and sheathing is almost complete. Roofing in a day or so.

Did some clean up below the cabin today as well. A few dead trees were pushed over by Mischa and Brendon.

Mischa is now living in number two.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Number three walls go up.

Today the work was WALLS. The crew is getting good at framing.

Brendon makes the sawdust fly. The cutter ( Brendon ) makes the framer ( Mischa )

look good by providing the cut boards accurately and on time.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Been away for a few but the work continued.

I was entertaining family for a few days but the crew kept working.

Number 2 is dried in except for hanging the door which I will do tomorrow and then Mischa moves in.

Went out today and bought enough lumber to do the porch and framing on number three. The crew ( Mischa and Brendon ) and I put the porch on in under two hours, they're gettin' good, and then tomorrow will be the beginning of framing. Time us!!!!! we will have number three dried in by the 25th of August and then it will be time to put the siding on all three units and do the interiors ( if we can afford it )?

We are seriously movin' ahead now!!
Pictures today are of Number two and then several shots of the floor and porch of number three and then of the path the guys cut through the aspen grove to give access to the Central Facilities from number three.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

just another day

I keep trying to get the crew to take a day off but they want to keep at it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Main roof is done

The main roof was shingled today so it is done. The crew started on the porch roof but it got to hot to finish.

Friday, August 1, 2008

#2 porch roof goes on and veggies from the garden

The sheathing goes on the porch roof. Maybe the windows need be a little higher next time.

Dug new potatoes and picked peas today. Gave some to the work crew to make "creamed new potatoes and peas". Explained a "basic white sauce " to them...............We shall see? Mine was great!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Roof and stairs to the deck.

The "work crew" Mischa and Brendon put the sheathing on the roof today and have started the felt paper. Tomorrow is a shopping day to Spokane so they will get back to the roof on Friday. We are hoping to move Mischa into a "dried in" number two by mid next week.

The stairs also went in today...That was my contribution.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rafters and flying rafters

Came up with a really easy way to put up the flying rafters.

Cut the slots in the two outside rafters, lay in the appropriate length support boards for the flying rafters. Place a 2x4 over the inside ends of these supports and clamp the 2x4 to the rafter thus sandwiching the supports between the two. The supports are only extended a few inches beyond the side wall, now install the flying rafter. Now slowly move the entire flying rafter out until you reach the proper measurement. Now screw down all of the supports where they are exposed before removing the clamps. Remove the clamps and fasten the rest of the supports.

No fuss no muss and it is totally adjustable so you can make sure you have the "EXACT" width roof you want to match the roof sheathing.