I think there are some new readers around here and I think they are confused by the we-built-our-house thing.  As I’ve mentioned before, there’s an old blog, with lots of broken picture links, covering the entire episode in exhaustive detail.  If you want to know what a rat slab is and why we have one, go there.  This here is the short version.

October 2003 Michael and I get married.

2003-2005 We lead a blissful, simple life in a centrally-located, completely affordable rental house with ample amenities and generally pleasant landlords who like us. Naturally, we decide this situation must change.

Fall 2005 We look for houses in our area. Everything is either 1) twice as much as we can possibly get a mortgage approved for or 2) thirteen seconds and one strong wind from collapsing into the basement.  We decide building a house is the most brilliant idea ever and plus it will be so much fun. We can’t imagine why everyone doesn’t build a house!

January 2006 We buy a 3.5 acre parcel on a wooded hill with a lot of granite ledge.  We take the first picture of our house.


We are young and stupid and it still hasn’t occurred to us that this is a really bad idea.  Even though it was about ten degrees that day.

March 2006 Foundation is poured.


Yes, that’s me. I have no idea what I was doing.

April 2006 Exteriors walls are up.


That’s our friend Mark. I have no idea what he was doing, either. Look, I kept a blog. I didn’t keep notes.

April-September 2006 We work unbelievably hard, hemorrhage money in a spectacular fashion, and fight almost daily.

September 2006 We move in. Most of the house looks like this:


We eat, sleep, hang out, and generally live in our bedroom, which looks like this:


Basically, we are camping in our own house.  These are grim days, as you can tell from the dog’s expression. Grim days, indeed.

September 2006-February 2007 We steadily chip away at making rooms habitable. Gradually, we have a fully functioning kitchen, a bathroom with an actual sink, and a guest room that serves as our living room.  We are still living almost entirely on the second floor.

February 2007 Uh-oh. Cherie’s pregnant. The kid’s probably going to want a living room, eh?  And it’s probably not supposed to have a table saw in it, right?

February-November 2007 Hurry, hurry! Get the downstairs finished! Hang drywall, install floors, make a nursery!  Other women buy fluffy crib bedding when their nesting instinct hits. I shingled.

November 2007 Annabel is born.

November 2007-October 2008 Nothing happens. I mean, we make a few kitchen drawers, we put up a few more shingles, we tinker here and there, but for the most part, there is no significant progress.  It turns out that having a baby makes building a house nearly impossible. We probably should have thought this whole thing through a little better.

November 2008 We install the woodstove.


That may not seem significant, but that’s only because you aren’t me. Trust me. It was significant.

November 2008-May 2009 Nothing happens.

May 2009 Uh-oh. Cherie’s pregnant again. Hurry! Hurry! Finish the larger spare bedroom and move Annabel in! Except not really, because who can summon that kind of energy with a two-year old around?

May 2009-January 2010 Nothing happens, but we talk a lot about doing something.

February 2010 Sam is born.

Not coincidentally, Annabel gets a new bedroom.  I don’t have a picture of that for some reason.

February 2010-October 2011 Nothing happens.  Well, you know, shingling. That happens in fits and starts like always.

October 2011 The shingling is done!

October 2011-January 2012 Nothing happens.

So! There we are.  I plan on doing a little tour of the house soon for those interested in such a thing.  Also, if you would like to see the vision for the house, how the house appears in our heads and not in reality, I’ve added a tab at the top for it.

There’s the full story to date. Now you know. And that twitch in my left eye is fully explained.

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