When you walk through the yard and into the woods, you come across a wooden skunk cut in half. One half nailed to a stump of here, one half nailed to a stump over there. Then you notice the wooden structure with the camouflage roof, advertisements near by for tomatoes and basile. Though, why anyone would come lloing for these tastes here, I do not know.

I am moving into a three walled hut in the woods.

       I live in a house where the rent is too expensive, the bus stop is too far, it is (inconveniently) without internet, and the exterior walls are filled with mice instead of insulation. Really, a whole house that is uninsulated.  However, it is a great house.  It was built in 1740, there are some aging gnarly looking chickens, a wood burning stove for winter heat and it is a month to month lease.  The landlord seems communicative and open; I could approach him with any project ideas and use the expansive property with its years of left-by-past-house-livers’ resources.
        I guess the biggest problem is that there is no wood for the wood stove and no one really wants to buy/put the time into finding wood.  It is not even cold out yet, lows at night being in the 40sF/≈7C and it is cold in there.  I moved there September 1st.  The person who lived in the room before me said that he knew it was cold when he woke up to find his water bottle frozen next to his bed.  With a North/East facing room, it is going to be cold not matter what.
        I started thinking about exterior insulation for the bedroom but realized I don’t have much energy for a project in that room because I don’t feel connected to the house or most of the people in it.  Not true of two folks I love a lot who do/will live there.  I was planning on moving out in November/December time to live with two beautiful people coming back East.  So I am not interested in putting time into making my space there comfortable or warm because it isn’t worth it to me.
       So I am giving my landlord my month’s notice.  I will live there through the end of October.  The rest of September and all of October will be spent winterizing a three walled plywood hut in the wood behind my friends’ house.This blog will cover the process of winterizing a “summer shelter” using earth building methods including Slip straw, earth bag, and a small bit of cob as well as brick or stone work.  This will be a space for me to process my ideas and show the progress.  Eventually, this structure which is a three sided, plywood shack will be properly insulated structure with a wood burning stove.
       Things I will accomplish through this (beyond having a space that will be rent free, warm and cozy, much closer to friends I want to see everyday) will be becoming a more confident slip-straw builder, builder in general, learning how to cheaply winterize an already standing structure, learning how to properly install a factory made wood burning stove or (if I am brave) how to make one myself, I will be able to run my first workshop about earth building through this project which would be rewarding for everyone involved. An infinite amount of things to learn; let’s see what happens.