Ceiling and Shiitake

As spring continues to be sprung, we continue work on the ceiling. By the end of April, we finished the larger of the two sections, the area over the second floor:

Knot bad!

At this point, things get a little trickier. The outer edges of the second floor ceiling will eventually have walls built up to them. You can see where those walls will go in the photo above, between the top of the cordwood walls and the ceiling. Because of this, we didn’t have to worry about keeping a straight edge when we got to the end of a row of paneling; the edges will be covered so we could leave it a bit ragged.

The ceiling in the living room not only has to butt up against the top of the existing cordwood wall, but there are a whole bunch of crazy angles where it does so.

Revenge of the twelve-sided house!

In addition, it’s much higher above the first floor than the section we just finished was above the second floor. This makes for some slow going.

In the meantime, the snow slowly melts from our over-eager winter (340″ of snow at the Big Snow Thermometer, a bit less at Nerdwood). Large bergs of snow calve from the glacier on the roof:


By May, we’ve made pretty good progress on the living room ceiling:

Wood on wood on wood!

No snow on the ground means it’s also time to work on the garden. This year, we are inoculating shiitake mushroom logs. The spawn comes in little plugs:

Not all spawn is alien in origin

Lightly coppicing a single cluster of maple trees yielded plenty of logs to drill.

It may not get us into "Fine Mushroom Log" magazine

Holes drilled and plugs inserted, all we do now is keep them moist in the woods all summer. Then next spring, lotsa tasty ‘shrooms for the next three or four years.

Champagne dreams and mushroom wishes

Finally, in mid-July, we nailed in the last ceiling board.

Aspen a long time coming


I feel it closing in

Day in, day out, day in, day out...

Well, we survived Peak Log and Peak Sand and we laid up the last log in the outside wall on October 6. Whoooo!

The logs we just cut and put in the solar log-drying kiln were plenty dry after a month in there. We worked feverishly the last two weeks since we were having visitors come in on the 8th. While they were touring the house on Saturday we popped open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate the last outside log. My sister and brother-in-law protested, saying they had not done any work on the house. Madness, I say! You needn’t have lived another’s life for a year to celebrate their birthday, right? Luckily they relented and enjoyed a toast to Nerdwood, otherwise I would’ve been a bit tipsy on the way home.

While all this was going on, Matt has been working on framing the third level, including installing windows and housewrap, and flashing the bottom:

That's Clare's story, and she's sticking to it.

Our neighbor sawed up some cedar logs into one-inch thick planks with a natural edge. We dried them and are using them as siding on the third level. I think it looks pretty cool with the cordwood:

I generally side with wood

Now we can concentrate on the many many tasks necessary to get the house insulated and heated so we can continue working on it this winter.

We missed a mushroom in the Winecap Stropharia bed, and it grew enormous before we noticed it:

Mushroom, mushroom. Snaaaaake! Snaaaaaaaake! Oh, it's a snake!