Here we go now, to the southside.

No, I’m not quoting Moby. I’m pointing to the south side of the house where Jesse is cranking away on the patio, deftly moving around 88 pound pavers.

I’ve had barely a minute to think about building this week. Two out of town work trips will do that to a person. But check out this picture. Jesse texted it to me in the middle of a presentation I was giving. Thankfully I waited to respond until I was done talking. While I loved getting the text of his iPhone pic, it really doesn’t do his work, or the house justice. This is meticulous work.

Click for the big view.


In person this is downright amazing. And the best part? L has come up with a set of rules for “extreme hopscotch,” that involve jumping between the dark gray pavers. If you’re under 10 years old there are special rules that include throwing stones and sticks. I love this. Up next is building a small retaining wall that will create a lower part of the patio that will die into the meadow. Awesome. I’ll take better pictures this weekend.

Last weekend the Spokane Green + Solar tour was a wild success. We moved our random boxes into the garage, which now looks like a bad episode from the TV show Hoarders. We had about 100 people come through. Thankfully the rest of the place looked great. Well, except for some of the missing trim, cabinets and shelving.

What a great group of people. Really thoughtful questions about how we built our house, what we would have done differently and the materials and systems we put in place. I was a little worried about some of this. Well, not worried, but at least aware that our place, while energy efficient, doesn’t have the geothermal/solar panels/water catchment/recycled everything (including nails) that some homes include. Like I said in a previous post, we have a celedon house. But our visitors were fantastic, understanding and seemed happy to share a beautiful pre-autumn day in the Palisades.

A special thanks to the organizers, and Sarah McGovern in particular who not only helped make our life easy during the tour, but even brought by some of the most delicious croissants I’ve had in a long time. Also, Matt Melcher spent a few hours on Saturday and Sunday helping to get the place ready. This went way above and beyond. Jesse, too, came early to help clean things up, spread fresh gravel over the piles of sawdust I created the day before, madly attempting to finish a set of cabinet drawer fronts. And Scott McSpadden? He spent five hours with me spraying lacquer on Saturday. Thanks!

I wish I had some pictures of our smiling guests during the tour. Sadly, I spent too much time talking.