Settling inside the circle

You might imagine we’d be climbing the walls living in 450 square feet of space with two adults, two children, and one dog.  And, well, some of us are!

We’ve been living in this little circle for almost a month and the space is just amazing to me.  I was not expecting to love this.  I was expecting to feel like we were completely on top of each other constantly.  But somehow it is just enough space, for now anyway!

Caden has sat at the dining table in the middle of the yurt and gone around the circle naming the “rooms”.  It’s true, there are very distinct spaces here that flow around the circle.  As you enter, the “mudroom” is to the left, followed by the “living room” with the fireplace, then “the office” where my desk is, then the “bedrooms” where our bureaus and beds are, then the “bathroom” that comes the closest to actually being a separate room, then the “kitchen”, and you’re back to the front door again.

We’ve slowly been setting these spaces up and some of it is still a work in progress.  The beds have been set up and working well, in a very Little House on the Prairie way.  There is a high bed and a low bed, which apparently naturally equates to a jumping off spot and a landing spot.

The first few nights were a challenge, as the dome gives off so much light and the firelight flickered on the wall all night.  Accustomed to black out shade darkness, we all woke up often and early.

Thankfully we all adjusted.  Moonlight and firelight, how can we complain…

The bathroom…  The backs of kitchen appliances serve as one “wall” and the dining hutch another, with curtains to close it off.  I’m not sure it could be much more basic – a sawdust toilet, a washstand, and a bookshelf for storage.  Again, somehow it just works, for us.

But where is the bathtub?  Cozied up to the fire…

The kitchen has had the slowest progress.  We love to cook.  That comes with lots of kitchen gadgetry and a whole lot of dishes.  Small space and no running water, and all around this has been a challenge, but often in an adventurous sort of way!  Dish washing on the picnic table, at the dining room table (in shiny red shoes, of course)…

We’re getting there.  Many kitchen items fit nicely in our hutch.  But we still had this to contend with:

Josh has also been constructing counters and shelving.  This man who knew nothing about constructing,and is just throwing himself in and figuring it out.  I was ready to buy anything, ANYTHING just to have a counter to work at.  Thank goodness I held out because he came up with these lovely pieces that actually work with the circle in a way nothing from a store does.  And even used wood from our land.  Love.

Just yesterday I finally got to use a real sink!  Granted it empties into a 5 gallon bucket that needs to be emptied outside.  But this is way beyond wash tubs on the picnic table!  Yes, getting there.  Next plan, shelves under the counters and curtains for the front of them.

We’re getting settled into this hut in the woods.  And so are the raccoons and spiders that somehow find their way in…

22 thoughts on “Settling inside the circle

  1. Melanie, I am fascinated by this journey you guys are taking. Is there a plan for running water in the yurt or will pumping continue to be the plan for the foreseeable future? Do you have plans to build your timberframe home? What kind of timeline do you have for this yurt living? How well are you dealing with heat/cold as winter approaches? What kind of work from home job do you do? I have interests in these areas as well as the idea of living internationally. Have been reading more lately about sustainable and earth-friendly moves to make as far as lifestyle (though nothing quite as off the beaten path as you) We have been composting and planning more gardens and just begun out first cold-frame garden for this year. I’m really looking forward to following your posts here and seeing the ways you practice your ideals. Very inspiring.

    • How wonderful that you’re doing all of those things! I’ve been fascinated by your laundry detergent creations. So far the heat/cold in the fabric yurt is not too much of a problem, but haven’t seen what it’s like in full height of either yet. No plan for running water in this yurt. We’re seeing how this goes and will decide down the road what we’ll do in our permanent house here. No more plans for a timberframe. At the moment we’re on course to build a wooden tapered yurt. I’m trying to just be open to whatever timeline this all takes. That feels a bit easier now that we’re actually on the land. If all works as hoped, this winter we’ll mill the wood we cleared, wait a year for it to dry, start building the tapered yurt Spring of 2014. Boy, that sounds far away. But we’ll get there, or wherever else this path takes us!

  2. I am so very proud of you all. You have made a wonderful life for yourselves. Mel, your writing ability is masterful, the pictures are great. Josh, who knew where this was going to take you? Oh, the learning curve- and it all looks beautiful. Your happiness is the best!!!

  3. Sooooo happy you are posting your adventures! Writing suits you! It brings back so many memories of my childhood – challenges of dishes, cooking and washing – all fun for kids but takes time for the adults. So wonderful you are figuring it all out! Hugs!!!

  4. This is really so fabulous! I have avoided any and all blogs, but know I will often be checking for updates on this one. Makes me feel “closer” somehow. 🙂

  5. That wash tub reminds me of my own childhood. We didn’t have as good of a water supply. We had a dug well that went dry every summer. Good for you!

    • Thanks Dad! Ironic, isn’t it, that you’ve come so far and here we are going right backwards again. But I am certainly thankful that we shouldn’t have a dry well. Maybe too much water won’t be such a bad thing!

  6. Mel,
    Such an amazing and powerful journey. You all are brave and remarkable and I honor your abi
    Ith to follow your heart and dreams.
    Love julie

  7. I’m your Dad’s cousin. I love your story and life adventure. Let me know when you build the Guest Yurt. With love , Diane

    • Thank you Diane! Ironically, we’ve already built the guest yurt. 🙂 It’s just not ready for guests yet because we’re living in it! Originally we were going to put up the fabric yurt and then sell it once our house was built. But we’ve all already become attached and it is likely going to stay put.

  8. I love your blog! I love even more hearing your family chime in. Such love all around… Thank you for what you are creating. Your blog is perfect timing for us because we are house hunting. We just moved to a new area so our 3 kids could attend the Waldorf school. Now I am thinking we should be buying land (which I have always wanted to do) and a yurt! My husband is NOT handy nor has any desire to be so not sure how all this will play out. In the meantime, your blog is fun to read. Thank you!

    • I love that kind of synchronicity! Lucky children that you made that change for them. Good luck picking out your path. What an exciting point to be at where so many options are open to you! I’d love to hear how it plays out for you.

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