Friday, August 17, 2018

Building a (not corn) Cob House



When I first heard someone talk about building a cob house my first thought was, "Wow.  That's gonna take a lot of corn cobs."  I'm not alone.  My friend thought the same thing the other day.

Cob in the way I'm using it is a mixture of about even parts clay and sand with some straw mixed in.  No corn cobs needed.  I won't get into the details of tensile strength and sand sieving right now.  I just want to give a little introduction of what is to come, hopefully, for me at Dancing Rabbit.

Rabbits can and do build their own houses at DR.  About 35 houses are inhabited with at least one if not two more possibly being worked on as you read this.  Seriously.  Right now, someone could be sticking their thumb into some cob being applied to a  wall to merge it into some cob that is already on the wall.  Think Play-doh on a liveable scale without getting yelled at for "getting it on everything."  The idea is to get it on everything.  It is everything.  The whole house is made of clay and sand and straw cob.

Cob is strong.
It must hold its own weight plus any roof that is added.  The walls are wider at the base, maybe around a foot wide, with a slight taper as they rise.  Want extra strength?  Curve the walls a little.  Curves are stronger than straight lines.

Cob is easy.
In a technical sense, cob is easy.  No special tools or seven year apprenticeship needed.  It can be physically demanding, but take a lot of breaks and get some friends to help to spread the labor around.

Cob is cheap.
A few straw bales are about $10.  If you have to buy sand, it's like $4 for 100 pounds.  Clay?  At DR, clay is free, because the soil is mostly clay.  I'm going to track what it costs to build my house so I'll keep you posted. I'm shooting for it to cost less than the last Stickley recliner I bought.

Cob is pretty.
Cob can be sculpted like clay because it is largely clay.  Want a salamander climbing the side of your house?  Sculpt it.  How about a built in tiki pole with a mouth that holds your bird watching binoculars.  Sculpt it.  How about outdoor seating to lounge on built right into your wall?  You can sculpt it.  A cob home is a work of art.

I'll begin helping on a strawbale house that will have cob-like plaster and perhaps other elements with cob beginning the first week of September so I'll keep you posted.


Saturday, August 4, 2018

Thou Shall Not Dither

So I've been working on my memoir.  Section by section I'm answering questions posed in a great interface at Memoir Workbook.  As I feel the urge, I answer a few more questions.  In the last several days, I've been answering questions in the Religion section, and it is revealing something that has been poking out of my subconscious for awhile.

I'm going to start my own religion.

As Perfect Timing would have it, (Perfect Timing will likely be a tenet in my new religion) a quote came across on one of my feeds today from Findhorn pioneer Eileen Caddy:

You must learn to see things clearly, know exactly where you are going and what you are doing and go right ahead and do it without any hesitation.  Never be indecisive and stand out on the brink and dither.  Plunge right in when you have sought and found the answer and do what you know has to be done.


I"m plunging into Dancing Rabbit because I sought and found the answer, and I'm doing what has to be done.  It is clear to me.  That's where I'm going.  I wonder how much of the depression over the years was caused by dithering in particular situations or beliefs.  

If you are reading this in Perfect Timing, I simply urge you to stop dithering.

Stop dithering.

Make the change today.  Even making the first step of a larger change provides the relief and energy to confirm the rightness of it.  I didn't move to Dancing Rabbit the day after it became clear that's what I was to do.  What I did do the first day was read all about it on the website and planned to attend a Visitor's Session.  I filled out the application the first weekend after I had the idea so as not to suffer with Dithering Depression (perhaps another tenet of my new religion).

By the way, I also signed up for Singing Rabbit over Labor Day Weekend which is my official move-in date to DR.  It kept coming up as something I wanted to do.  But what about the money?  I can't really sing?  What if not many people do it?  Dither, dither, dither - Do IT!

I signed up.  I get a discount as a Rabbit.  Someone recently told me I can sing.  I will enjoy it.  It is a great way to kick off my residency, and just exactly the right people will be there.

I would love to hear about any actions you take!  I'll keep you posted on how the religion thing is going. 

Thou Shall Not Dither