Travelling through central Europe a few years back we were encouraged to visit castles and cathedrals. Built by lords and popes with riches either taxed or stolen, they seemed self-aggrandizing, to me. Well, (swallowing judgement here) I’m changing my mind. We have our own cathedral of sorts – minus the overt theft. And we like it!

The Breadth. This is the first time we’ve seen the inside of our new house as a whole. You see, until now it’s had a temporary second floor – built as scaffolding so we could put up the rafters, build the cupola and install the ceiling – ever since the walls were built. We had little feel for the space. This last week, all was revealed.

Here Ezra is taking the scaffolding (that Svenn built) down. It took a full morning and created an impressive pile of reusable lumber.

And now, a short video taken from the entry – to (until you come for a visit!) offer the best sense we can of the revealed space.

The Warmth. The taking-down-of-the-scaffolding event was inspired by the prospect of our masonry stove builder coming with his family for a visit. We wanted him to clearly see the stove foundation while we had our design chat. We’ve asked Matthew Kroeker from Clear Lake to build a northern European style masonry stove in the centre of the house – nestled between the four hardwood (darker in colour) posts you see in front of Maggie. (Try to ignore the blond coloured framing that will come out soon.) The stove will include a fire box, bake oven, warming bench and two burner cook stove. I’ll speak more about this as we build with Matthew this summer. Yay!

Got Brick?? Matthew will provide the internal fire brick for the stove, but Maggie and I are giving lead to designing the exterior look of the stove. We’d like some field stone on the exterior. But the majority will likely be brick of the red, orange, rust colour range. We’re keeping an open mind  though, as we might find darker charcoal coloured brick or rock. Please let us know if  you hear of brick or stone we could pick up (and trade or pay for). To better get a sense of the design options here is a link to the Masonry Heater Assoc. of Canada – the gallery page:

The Depth. The most exhilarating part of my late winter, hands down, was finding water (with essential help from friends!) in a hand dug well right under the house. Here’s a short video of the result. The flow is low but the water tastes great. Wow. I’m in the process of gathering the pump and storage essentials. If you have ideas for getting the water to a holding tank with minimal power use, please let me know.

Blessings from our home(s) to yours.