Concrete piers finished and waiting for slab prep on our off grid cordwood home

BMR Update – Concrete Piers and a “Home” Tour

Finally! We’ve had a very unusual stretch of dry weather that has turned our mud into dust and allowed some wonderful guys to drill and pour our concrete piers! (SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO!) 19 holes. 4 feet deep. 24 inches wide.  And our land is all clay and rocks! Fortunately for me, one of my […]

There's a line missing between the left bedroom and bathroom, but otherwise this is a solid version of our 30'x34' house

Accidental Update – House Plans and Prep!

Hello, dear friends! It has been entirely too long since I’ve posted an update, but as usual it was all because of exciting things happening for my students at school.  I finished a very long project AND hosted a multi-school concert in celebration of Music In Our Schools Month. It was the eighth time I’ve […]


Homestead Update – Concrete and Timber at the Big Muddy Rock

Hello, dear readers! I figured I’d take a break from all the diaper talk to give you an update on the property (which Anthony has named Big Muddy Rock). We’re continuing to use the winter months to save up our pennies for the big build in the spring and summer. Not that we haven’t gotten […]


Winding Down 2015, Big Things Ahead

Hello, dear readers! I realize that I have taken quite the hiatus from writing, but it’s all in the name of doing good things for my students and my family. Here’s what we’ve been up to! Since the last post, our little boy was the world’s most adorable Charlie Brown with his Snoopy for Halloween… […]


Permit Approved!

After months of frustration, we finally have our building permit approved and in our hands! We have an address now and everything! (I edited it out so we wouldn’t have creepy internet weirdos trying to find it, obviously). So now Mark is sitting here brainstorming the next moves with our house plans all over the floor […]


Working hard or hardly working?

A week ago, Mark turned in our heavily revised building permit with the blessing of our local building inspector. This is a LONG time coming after our county changed inspectors and the new one wasn’t familiar with our plans. Mark had spent so much time in private meetings with the previous inspector discussing our options […]


Yes, we’re still alive over here…

I’ve been struggling to summon the will to type an update for a few days now. There are many reasons for this, most of which are not very shocking. 1. School started! My class load has pretty much doubled for this year, so I’ve been spending way more of my free time either writing lesson […]

Clearing the way to build our homestead

Homestead Update: Blame It On The Rain

Things are really getting busy around here! We’re playing the musical “Ragtime” at the Commonwealth Artists Summer Theater in Fort Thomas (come see it!), Mark is teaching at a band camp, and I’m getting my classroom materials ready for another school year. All this is of course in addition to our building project…which we may […]


Homestead Update: The Dirt’s a-movin’!

So for all of you who didn’t see it on Facebook… We finally got to start excavating yesterday!  The sun was shining for a WHOLE DAY so, as the saying goes, our guy set to “make hay while the sun was shining”.  I couldn’t believe how different it looked when I got up there!   […]

Cordwood masonry is a time-tested green building technique that is costs next to nothing and is practical for many homesteaders. If you want to build a chicken coop, shed, playhouse, garage, or even a house out of cordwood masonry, then preparing your cedar trees correctly will make the job a lot quicker and easier. In this step-by-step guide, we lay out the exact process we use to cut down and prepare cedar trees from our property to use in our cordwood building.

How To Prep Cedar Trees for Cordwood Building

Since school let out, we have spent nearly every day working on our property prepping trees!  Any time NOT spent working on the property has been spent working on school stuff for next year, practicing/gigging, or spending time with our adorable little boy.  Or doing all of the above!   We’ve been steadily prepping our […]

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