Welcome to my new blog and website: buildthathouse.com!  I'm so excited with my new wesite which will feature this blog.  Jeff Wolfe (my nephew) finished most of it last night as a irthday present for me. What a wonderful present it is!

As The Land is now covered with a solid inch of thick ice, and no one seems to be going anywhere on this frosty January morning , it is my pleasure to invite all of you to follow the progress of the house-on-the-hill that I will be building. The purpose of this blog is to give a play by play description of what happens as I build my low-cost (out of necessity), energy-efficient, (out of conviction) and recycled wood home on the hill. In the process, you will come to know my lovely family and friends, and of course, my little slice of Paradise - Willow Creek Organic Farm. May you love it as much as I do!

As I write from my primitive cottage (without running water and no septic), I see a squirrel proudly loping across the lawn between the cottage and the frozen pond. He carries a stolen leftover ear of corn from the adjoining cornfield. He's beside himself with joy. The blue jays flit from Willow Creek to the large cottonwoods nearby, being their usual nosy and busy selves. Ah, here the squirrel comes back. He jumps on a wooden bench parked under the Norway maple, then leaps over to his favorite (and mine, also!) wooden slatted recliner usually kept in the summer screen house -which has long been taken down. He only rests for a moment before he's gone again. No bird or animal likes this layer of ice covering everything - their access to food is so limited right now.

There is a tap on my window. No one there. A blue jay flies off. Hummmm! He must want to come in for tea and a chat. I hope you will feel the same way!

I would like to start off my first blog with hope for the future,with hope for the home I am undertaking to build and with thanks to all those who have been involved with this collossal undertaking. A deep-felt thank you goes out to all my family who have been so suportive, especially my dear son, Jeff (not to be confused with dear nephew Jeff) and my lovely daughter-in-law Angela, who is truly an angel. Thanks to my mother, Marge ("Nonnie" to her grandchildren), my sister Judy, my sister Linda and brother-in-law, Pat.  Their children, Patrick, Nicki, husband Jeff Wolfe, and Britney also deserve a huge thank you - for it was at Linda and Pat's home at Christmastime that all of us worked on the start of this website. We were joined by Patrick's girfriend from Spain, Christina. Thank you all! 

And special thanks to my friends who have helped me: D. S. (David) Vanderbilt who took many of the photos you see on my website. David is multitalented and helps me out whenever I call. He is patiently trying to teach me to take good videos but unfortunately he has a very poor student! None-the-less he continues to be a huge help to me and this project!

A special thanks to Smitty and Chris, who are my ice fishermen. Smitty has taken some great footage of Chris catching a LARGE catfish in the pond. His footage will be part of the video David is helping to assemble for your viewing pleasure.

I would like to introduce you to another friend, Dave, who deserves a special thank you. Dave has been my right arm on the farm for the past 10 years. Dave helped erect two gates across my two entrances, and has helped me out immeasurably ever since. He will be doing most of the building, I suspect, along with me, and hopefully, along with YOU. His specialty is masonry. I'll  have to take a photo of his newly constructed stone pier, but Dave can do almost anything from fixing tractors and cars to building homes. So you'll be hearing a lot about him and his hard work. In fact, today I'm hoping he will be able to "slide" into my driveway and bring more water for my daily cooking and bathing.

As they say..."It takes a village"...and so it does.

On this frosty, frozen morning with its stark look of black and white - black tree trunks as a vertical statement against the white snow and cloudy white sky - I hope you, dear reader, will want to be a part of this village. You are cordially invited to help build a cozy home on top of the hill. Right now I sit next to my toasty woodstove...it's already up to 66 degrees in here, after a chilly 58 degrees this morning, and ....

... life is good.

Thank you to ALL of you for ALL you have done and for ALL you will be doing. I appreciate it so!



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