The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Eye injuries and the Great Smoky Mountains

Alas, it has been several weeks since I last posted to my blog. It was a lot of work getting ready for the raising and then getting the frame completely assembled after the work on Labor Day weekend. It was great though! I had as my goal to get the roof on before the end of September. At least in the theoretical sense, it was an achievable goal. However, it didn't happen. I can explain why, of course.

In order to get the roof on, I needed to do several things. First was to get the boards for the cathedral ceiling prepared. This involved edging the boards I already had planed and cutting a rabbet on the edges in order to lap joint them on the frame. After that was completed, I needed to build a framework to hold the metal roof at least 14 inches above the ceiling boards (gotta have room for the blown in cellulose insulation). Then, the metal roof could be put on. So, naturally, I started at the beginning by beginning the work on the ceiling boards.

At this point let me offer some important advice: when using a table saw, wear eye protection.

I had barely begun the process of edging the ceiling boards when I wished I had taken my own advice. A piece of board chipped off of the edge and hit me squarely in my left eye. Had I been wearing the eye protection I knew I should be wearing, I would've been fine. But, I wasn't. My eye was injured. It hurt. A noticeable indentation or scratch (corneal abrasion) was left across the pupil of my eye and my vision was blurred because of it. Since my left eye has been my dominant eye, the blurred vision affected what I felt comfortable and safe doing. Driving and using the table saw were two things I wasn't comfortable doing for a couple of weeks after the accident. Currently, six weeks later, my vision is still affected, but I have adjusted so that I am able to do things that I did not feel safe doing in the first couple of weeks after the incident.

So, I didn't get very far on the roof. Then, at the end of September, my family and I left for a week long visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We rented a house and spent a week there three years ago, and the children have wanted to go again. So, we saved some pennies and did so. We stayed in a nice house near Cosby, TN, which we rented through Smoky Dreams Cabins (very nice). We visited several areas of the park and walked a few miles on trails to see some of the old buildings they've preserved in the park. We had a great time.

Here are three photos from our trip:


Sandy said...

I can just smell that Tennessee air (my Mom was from TN) -- I am glad your eye is going to be OK.

Anna said...

I love that picture of the light coming through the trees.

SandyVTW said...

Fabulous photos! Glad you eye is okay.