The guesthouse is to the left, the main living is to the right, and straight ahead the bridge connects the two. The large boulders in the foreground are for the stream that will go under the bridge. All of our roof water (from all three buildings) will dump into the stream, which will flow into a pond. The pond has an overflow rain garden to handle any storm water excess.

Windows next...

The guesthouse is now fully sealed in tar paper and ready for siding once the windows are installed.

Getting Closer...

The cold frame is getting closer and closer to being ready for this spring's use. Tomorrow the glass will be installed in the roof and the side windows will be put in place. The north wall is solid, except for one small window, with garden tool storage under the overhang. The north wall will be fully insulated, as will the north roof, except for an opening skylight for ventilation. From the windows to the skylight to the 2x8s to the plywood and insulation this is a recycled building.

This second picture is of the site showing the location of the barn (left), cold frame (far distant), guesthouse (right) and main living foundation (foreground).


Guesthouse Electrical

Ed is wiring away these days. All the home runs are in and the outlets wired. Until interior walls are constructed he's as far as he can go. With Golda's help yesterday there are functioning lights and an outlet in the machine room as well.



pays us a spring-break visit.


Cold Frame Roof

The cold frame now has all its walls framed and the roof begun. It just gets cuter and cuter!


Easter Sunday Visitors

Kathlees & Jay drop by to check our progress.

Joe & Brad are fitting Joe's new boots to his bindings as they talk architecture.


Getting Ready for the Pour

Yesterday the form work for the main living advanced considerably. The entry is in the foreground; the covered porch is under the stack of pink insulation; and the kitchen is the remainder of what is visible in this photo.

Cold Frame's North Wall

Yesterday the cold frame's north wall was framed.

The Guesthouse gets its skin.

The guesthouse is getting its tar paper skin, in preparation for windows and siding. Here you see two views. One is east/north and the other is the south/east side

The Recycled Cold Frame

The first photo is of the load of lumber Brad and Barb picked up a few days ago, full of nails and looking quite ratty. The second picture is of the wood, after the nails are removed, ready for framing and rafters. The cold frame will be almost entirely constructed of recycled material. The only two exceptions are pressure treated timbers forming the base and the insulation in the walls.


Wise Use Solutions

Here are the thermal images Eric of Wise Use Solutions took of our barn's bed/bath.

Eric and Brad spent "curiosity" time checking the heat loss in the heated bed/bath portion of the barn. Eric's sensor was so sensitive it could detect where a nail was releasing heat through the roof. More details about the images will follow.


Main Living Porch

The grading and drainage work is being done in preparation for pouring the main living floor in the next week or two. Forms still need to be built plus the electrical will need inspection before we pour. The plumbing is complete and inspected.

Weather Proofing the Guesthouse

Josh & Barb start putting tar paper on the north side of the guesthouse.

It's Done!

The guesthouse roof was finished up on Friday.

Squeezing in the cold frame

Between other more pressing tasks, the cold frame advances bit by bit. Today the side windows were framed and are ready for glass plus yesterday the metal doors received their first coat of paint.



We've talked a lot about our town, Langley, where we're building our new home but we've never taken you on a stroll. We've lived on Whidbey Island for 24 years now and all of those years we've had a Langley address, but 16 of those years we were 3 miles outside Langley's city limits. When we decided to sell our Saratoga home and move within walking distance of the services we needed, it was back to Langley for us.

With a theatre, bookstore, clinic, grocery store, drug store, library, and many other delightful places of business, Langley was our choice. We're also on a great bus system, Island Transit, with free bus service six days a week. Langley, with its shops, services and transportation, serves nicely the sustainable life style we are striving for. With 1000 residents, Langley is small and charming with a wonderfully close knit community.

But we're not perfect so don't just jump on the ferry and come on over. We have lots of rain, wind, power outages and expensive ferries to deal with. But those of us who have made the commitment love our choice and mostly, without too much complaining, put up with yet another ferry breakdown or power outage or challenging weather day.

Small Boat Marina

Dog House Tavern

First Street

The Clyde Theatre

Second Street


Closing in on Done....

Brad & Josh work on the guesthouse roof, almost finishing up today with just a few pieces of flashing yet to be installed.


Putting on the Roof

Late yesterday the first piece of roofing was installed. Early this morning it was shrouded in fog. Later in the day, once the sun came out and the tar paper dried, the guesthouse roofing continued.


Cold Frame Beam

Preparing for the cold frame roof. Brad and Josh lift this heavy old, recycled beam into place.


New lawn was planted today.


Mulching, mulching, mulching!

The gardens to the east of the house are happening too. The native plants, installed last year, have been recently mulched with chips. The steeper areas are mulched with straw to both control the weeds and improve the tilth of the soil. The bench is presently sitting in the future wetland (or pond's winter overflow) area.

Cold Frame Details

The Cold Frame is progressing with insulation, flashing and growing space. The entire cold frame will be built slowly all year, adding framing, more windows, roof, skylight, etc. as time permits. In the meantime, the bed will house lettuce and tomatoes this summer.

Slats will be horizonally added where the vertical wood is now. The slats will hold the soil in the planting bed.

This is the storage area behind the cold frame for tools, compost, etc. When the building is complete the tools will hang, under the overhang, on the back (north) wall.

Guesthouse Roofing

Frontier Building Supply delivered the roofing for our guesthouse today. Tomorrow is roofing day.

Marty & Peggy


Guesthouse from the East

Our guesthouse passed framing inspection yesterday, so we can now move forward with tar paper, siding, windows, electrical and plumbing.

The Cold Frame Advances

Barb and Gena work on building the cold frame. We struggled with using pressure treated wood, but due to expense, time and ease, we finally weakened. Our other options were concrete or untreated wood. One was very expensive; the other would rot too quickly. To protect the vegetables, the inside of the planting area is lined with black plastic (reused) and then insulation. None of the chemicals used to treat the wood should find their way into the vegetable growing areas.

Once again, tradeoffs! Avoiding the negatives of our culture is an ongoing challenge -- a challenge we fail to meet all too often, despite our commitment to living lightly on the earth. The market place offers such a vast array of choices. Although it's not easy to shrug our shoulders and go for the modern solution, we do submit to the ease of doing so (or need?) on occasion.