Thursday, August 26, 2010

It has been a GOODYEAR

Enough with the puns already! I'm killing myself over here.

The work piles up and piles up higher. We can work non-stop for five days and barely notice any progress. It's like watching someone loose weight. You don't notice the difference unless you are gone during the whole process. Our house, in fact, is just like a fat man on a diet. The progress is slow and seemingly unchanging. But in reality, we'll put up ten or twenty more tires, only to notice the difference when looking at photographs from the past few weeks.

Speaking of which, I've been a dead beat about taking progress photos. Mostly because I'm tired, but also because it's so dusty out here that I take my camera out only every so often. Excuses, excuses. This will not do. That said, Dain and I had a full blown photo shoot yesterday afternoon.

We had such a guest filled past few weeks that we cracked the whip upon our own selves and got super busy these past few days. We have about 40 percent of the kitchen wall done. In order to build a room, you have to incorporate the "wings" of the surrounding rooms walls. The kitchen is going to be in between my bedroom, and the living room. So, we have to build about half of those walls as well in order to finish the kitchen. The tires, being like bricks, have to maintain a pattern throughout. This give the house its structural integrity. Unlike a traditional home, we do not have a "foundation." Quotation marks are being used due to the fact that we do, in fact, have a foundation. It is the earth itself. And boy oh boy, do I know how sturdy our earth is, first hand. Digging this hill out has been as difficult as I was afraid of.

Dain standing proud.
These tires are ten levels high. We have reached our full height! Our ceilings will be around nine to nine and a half feet high. The tires reach almost that high, and then, we'll have to put a slanting roof up. The slant of the roof will allow for the rain water collection.

Yesterday, my neighbor said to me "it's good to meet some other people who aren't scared of hard work." And I responded matter of factly with "Jason, I don't know about you, but I am very, very scared."

Here I am, scared out of my mind.
The right side of the photo is the rear wall of my bedroom. The left, the rear wall of the kitchen. This is the back corner of both rooms, a birds-eye view. They will eventually be covered in mud, cement, and plaster. Only to leave behind just about zero trace of a tire. I would love it if I never had to look at another tire in my life.

Hangin' tough:
I do understand that this is difficult to understand. But hang in there, it'll develop into a house, I promise. Here is a view of the house from behind. Looking towards the front of the house. I am, in fact, standing where the back of the roof will be, on the hill that our house will be buried in. This is the kitchen, the first room we are building. The room we are hoping to have done by mid December. As you can see, it's a bit "dirty" right now.
In the mean time, we have also been doing other "home" improvements. Most of our improvements for the shack are for aesthetic purposes. Which, as you may see, is we're in dire need of. When our friends Kristen and Sarah were here last week, we finally finished lining the path from the parking spots to the house, with stones. It looks beautiful. We will therefore proclaim this portion of the path the SARAH & KRISTEN PATH PORTION.
Kristen also gave me a new beautiful Moleskin notebook. I am thrilled to own this thing, with its silky paper and leathery binding. It just makes my skin crawl! But, with this new pseudo work-aholic lifestyle, I have decided that I am obligated to make one "draw or sketch" entry per day. So far so good, a week strong. The only problem besides my lack of energy, is my lack of skill. When I come up with something worthwhile, I'll post it. For now, I just show a funny collage I sent to my cousin Sam. New sketchbook:
As always, more is going on above us then anywhere else around us. The sky in New Mexico is a real thing of its own. It has such an amazing personality, I can't get over it. Georgia O'Keefe said "there's more sky than land," and the second you get out here, you realize why. Besides the sky there is also strange military happenings constantly fluttering by. Silent smoke-less jets. Jets that drop straight down for a second, only to realign themselves with the parallel ground. It's scary. The military is definently to blame for all the UFO sighting in New Mexico. But regardless the sky is a mysterious thing out here, and I know like all the native and non native New Meixicans, I'll never get over it.

Monday, August 23, 2010


It has been a long hot month. I have been an absentee blogger, I am aware. This is because, of course, I am trying to build a house. A house built with close to no money, with no water, and little power is, as you would assume, a quite difficult feat.

That said, complaints are not welcomed. We work under the law of one named Murphy. For example: if we need 15 inch tires, we find 16 inch tires. If we need to get our friends to the airport, our truck battery stops working 85 miles away from the airport. But, as always, someone has jumper cables, and we can find a place to put those 16 inch tires.

We have been busy building and entertaining all month. I feel strained and weak. We had 10 guests and a big pizza party on the night of August the 16th. It was fun. Hosting guests out here is amazing. Luckily our friends are as flexible as us, sleeping in trucks, on floors, or just plain old in the dirt!

The house is progressing. We have filled over 75 tires, and are maybe nearing the 100 tire mark. That throws our estimations out of proportion. I guessed we were going to need about 1200 tires total, and I'm thinking now that that was a low ball estimation. Hopefully we aren't too much above that mark because we are finding it hard to collect tires! Only in New Mexico I'm sure, are tires hard to come by. We'll pull threw though. I suppose.

Speaking of tires, that is why I am in town right now. Dain and I are off to collect some more. I wish I could update this blog more often, and I will try hard to do just that starting NOW. Lately I would rather dig a hole, fill a tire, or just read when I can get a chance, rather than drive to a library to update this thing.

Wish us luck, winter is just around the bend. Here are some pictures to tide you over.

Enlisting some slave labor:

Tuckered out on some tires:

BEACH party:
Picking Pinon sap off our dead trees:

A beautiful landscape of our beautiful land after a beautiful rainstorm:

And I realize now that I didn't take any pictures of this past MONTH of work! I will update very soon with those pictures. Please excuse spelling errors and typos, I'm off to run errands.