Learning curve

Josh has been milling wood in a t-shirt, the children keep running outside barefoot, and there is a new kind of snowdrop in the rock gardens where snow so recently retreated:

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I think it is safe to say our first winter in the yurt is behind us.  We made it.  Phew.

Here are a few things we learned about living in the small curved world that is a fabric yurt:

Snow:  Snow sliding off the yurt roof sounds like a giant zipper.  A really giant zipper.  Make that many, many really giant zippers given that the snow doesn’t just slide off all at once, but in random sections.  Fall asleep, wake to giant zipper, finally fall back asleep, wake to giant zipper…  Meditative silent snowfalls?  Not in a yurt.

Dust:  Dust collects on all of the upper sides of the lattice on the walls.  Of course it does, but this is not something I had anticipated, the need to dust the many, many pieces of the walls…

Sticking Door:  There are many occasions where the door doesn’t shut completely.  Thanks to the deck being on cement footings, the deck heaves in various ways as the ground freezes and unfreezes, warping the rectangularity of the door frame as the deck settles and resettles.  The children have given up trying to wrestle it open and have taken to knocking to get into their own house.

Sun Path:  The change in the angle of the sun in the sky is obvious on a daily basis because it beams through that dome in the ceiling, clearly marking its course along the yurt walls, with a slight difference each day.

Creeping Sounds:  There is a strange noise that happens as the air outside warms during the day.  It sounds like many feet creeping through the wall layers.  At first, I thought it WAS little feet.  Little mice or bugs that had collected there.  But it turns out to be the sound of the walls warming and condensation running between the layers as the sun warms it.

Puddles on the Floor:  Related to the last point, streams sometimes run from between the walls out into puddles on the floor.  This is new.  I’ve never cleaned up puddles from leaking walls before.

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We have a sneaking suspicion that the puddle situation was exacerbated by keeping a pot of water on the wood stove, something we instinctively did to offset the dry air created by burning wood, not realizing that the extra moisture in the air would also result in a surplus of condensation between the walls.  Alas, we didn’t learn this until after the lower bed, (aka the “jumping bed”) met its demise via puddle.

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Puddles and mattresses on the floor do not mix…made abundantly clear when I lifted the mattress one day to try to determine why the top of the bed felt a bit damp.

Out with the mold and in with the new…

My first thought was to bring Caden’s twin bed out of storage and put it length-wise up against this wall.  This would also create a need to get some kind of trundle to go under for Aria, and a trundle mattress to fit in that….  In the end it did not seem wise to spend a  few hundred dollars on a setup that would be awkward at best, with big gaps where the straight line side of the bed and curved wall meet, and a trundle that couldn’t pull straight out or it would bump into the other bed.

Then Josh decided to make one that WOULD fit the space.  Josh, who has never made a piece of furniture before, decided a bed would be his first project.  Milling was put on hold and trapazoid bed construction commenced.

There’s a good chance it’s going to be tilting, it’s the first bed I’ve ever made…

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The curved walls made this a challenge, to say the least, leading to comments like:

Well, that should be in the general vicinity of being correct.

The two rectangular beds we had in here before fit only because they overlapped each other, a triangle of the floor mattress tucking under the post bed.  To have both beds off the floor and fit in the space required thinking outside the rectangle.

Somehow or another, Josh did it.  In the end it cost nothing at all other than the time taken away from milling.  It is mortise and tenon using leftover wood from the milling process, and no need to even purchase a nail.

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The mattress for it was of course tricky as well, given that there are not many (any?) trapezoid options out there.  But what better use of those couch cushions that we have in storage?  It is ridiculous to me now to think that we spent $3,500 on that couch, more than 1/5 the cost of our yurt.  But it IS comfortable and filling a need now…

Of course this is only 1/2 of the bed, as there will also be a trundle portion to make that will wheel under this bed, despite Aria’s insistence that this works fine as a bunk bed as is…

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For now she will sleep on another of the nicely twin-sized couch cushions, loving Momma’s old college sheet set that I knew I was hanging onto for something…

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Best of all is the happiness of the first new bed owner.

I love my bed because Daddy made it for me.  Aria, can you please move so I can hug my bed?

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With the very unexpected side effect that this 6.5 year old is happily sleeping in this bed, all night, every night.  Finally.  The magic of being held in a bed that is created just for you by your dad, no matter how strangely shaped or how many areas of imperfection there might be.

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Sadly, the era of the jumping bed is over…  But now there is a new balance beam in the yurt!

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8 thoughts on “Learning curve

  1. I love reading about your lives. I also appreciate that you keep it real – not everything is going to be 70 degrees and sunny and yet I can tell underneath it all, you are glowingly happy. I admire your resourcefulness, humor and altruistic efforts. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Josh, this bed is terrific. Nice work you guys. We missed you at the beach Melanie. Hope you enjoyed some quiet. ~Suzanne

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