Friday, June 27, 2008

Plants, deer, new kuti and temp facilities.

Mischa and I have been really putting in the work. Don't know what I would do with him helping.
We have gotten temp kitchen, bath and laundry facilities up and running. Mischa built wire deer proof cages for ALL of the landscaping trees and shrubs, about 100, and installed them as well as weeding around every plant. We poured the concrete footings for the first 2008 kuti today with Mischa doing most of the mixing and me helping when it was time to set the beam clamps.

I spent time in the VIP kuti putting in the safety railing in the loft. Pictures of that when it is done.

Here are pictures of the deer cages, and the temp facilities.

We had a different sort of visitor last night - some creature tore through the stacked trash and left a few mementos. Apparently it was a large black bear.

OGM is really rolling along.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Continuing to work

Since Brian left about two weeks ago Mischa and I have been steady working at many tasks.

We completed the hookup of grey water lines at the Central Bath Facility (CBF) and covered that trench. Have completed the installation of the cedar ceiling in the VIP Kuti. Thought we had finally finished with the water leaks/cheap valve replacements at the shop area but now it seems we still have some problems there. I will dig again ( fourth time ) in the next day or so.

We have almost completed "deer proofing" all of the vulnerable shrubs and young trees. We have been building wooden frames in three sizes and then covering them with poultry wire. These work well and can easily be removed to allow for weeding/pruning. The deer here are voracious feeders and what they won't eat today they will tomorrow or next winter. I have found that plants listed as, unappetizing to deer, are not always that.

I have now installed the "temporary" kitchen at the CKF. Last friday I purchased a new refrigerator and used gas range and installed those along with a counter top. Today I will hang a sink and plumb it as well. This "temp" kitchen will serve until we install the permanent one next month. The temporary one is in another area from where the permanent kitchen will go so will be usable the entire time we are building.

The CBF is up and running except there is no sink as of yet.

All in all things are rolling along fairly well. Facilities are coming on line even if they are still in need of much of the cosmetic finishing touches.

Coming up in the next week or two is digging and filling in electric line trenches. More water line repairs and digging. I have some work to do in the VIP to install a railing in the loft and some "temp" facilities in the kitchen. When Brian gets the electric hooked up I have a small sized refrigerator for the Kuti as well.

Brian's last visit of three weeks was a great help here at OGM as it always is and we thank him for it. Also the good work we are getting from Mischa is very much appreciated. As soon as we get three cabins up for him and his two fellow retreatants they will be going into retreat. We hope that will be by Oct 1st of this year.

We are still waiting on the IRS to rule on the 501c3 application. Last we heard was they had recieved the paperwork and cashed the check ( of course ) and that they would be in touch within the next 60 days. That was 35 days ago.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


The plans for what we've been calling "shotgun shacks" - the design doesn't actually qualify as such since it doesn't have a back door - is nearing readiness. It's basically a one room cabin with a door and 4 windows and a propane heater. There's a small porch, a little loft, a sink and a small counter, a bit of furniture, and that's about it. No electricity (yet), and no other plumbing. The interior area is about 80 feet square. It would make a nice artist's studio or small office, or small crafts workshop. We'll see what the hermits think of them.
The roof profile is based on the practical rural buildings found in Arkansas and Missouri.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Broken pipe, Electricity!

The electrician came today and did the hookup. At long last we have juice at the barn! Since we actually spend more time in the barn than anywhere else when working on projects, this milestone is very significant to us.
I had also planned on completing the supply plumbing and getting the bathroom up in the barn today, but Murphy's law asserted itself: The buried valve we found last week that supplies water to the barn broke when we tried to turn it on. It now needs digging up and replacing before the barn water can be re-established.

Wat Metta Monks

The Ajahn and another of the monks from Wat Metta near San Diego came for a visit. They chanted a long blessing for the place and Roger's amulets.
Pictured here are Roger, Ajahn Thanissaro, Tan Dan, and Brian.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Supply plumbing, rock wrangling, rainbow

Roger digs a big boulder out of a trench

The supply plumbing is about 85% done and we can see the way clear to getting the toilet and shower online tomorrow. Also tomorrow the electrician is coming and Roger had to cut some more trenches for the conduit. Along the way he hit a very big rock. After 1/2 hour he finally wrestled it out of the ground and dragged it away in triumph! At the end of the day the rain finally quit and a big double-rainbow graced the eastern sky.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Interior walls, Vent plumbing

Our internet service has been out for 3 days due to the ongoing storms. Now we're back online.
Partition walls went up today for the barn bathrooms, along with vent plumbing for the wet wall. It's all looking straight and tidy despite our amateur status. Mischa is learning how to properly swing a hammer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Plumbing milestone, more wire

Today I closed the barn subfloor, having *finally* finished the DWV plumbing for the central bathing area. Michael and Mischa continued doing conduit and wire work. Later this week we hope to have the local electrician make all the connections. Shown here are M & M gluing up some conduit in the ongoing rain. The order errors were corrected today with an afternoon delivery from Omak, so we're back on track. Tomorrow we start putting up walls and vent plumbing, then supply plumbing, then flush!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

More wire and conduit, a change in the weather

Today the conduit to the barn was completed. The weather turned from sunny and warm to cool and rainy, with lots of lighting last night. Late in the afternoon we had a ferocious rain and hail storm. There's nothing like the sound of grape-sized hail pummeling the metal barn roof. We discovered that our big materials order had some serious errors in it. Have to call and hassle the vendor on Monday.