When we removed the forms made from highway construction signs. they left an impression. I guess the concrete acted like Silly Putty.

We now have the north entry arches in place.  These were much lighter than the main arches so Jeff and I were able to put them up ourselves.

pastedGraphic.pdfOur new hammer-drill made it easy to set in the concrete bolts.




All the house arches are in place.


Now we just have to figure

out how to get these big pastedGraphic_3.pdfretaining wall arches up.


Hi Steve and Jeff,
I think your project is just amazing.
My partner and I are looking to do something
similar as well.How is the project going?
Have you stopped because of weather?
I a sooooooooooo looking forward to more!
J Robert

Saturday, February 21, 2009 – 01:08 PM
Hi J Robert
We’ve had some rainy weather and we are currently building a beam to support the large arches when we erect them next. It might be a few weeks until we get to those.
Let us know if we can give you any info on your project.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 – 01:37 PM

More friends, more Steel up in the air.

Jody called this morning and said that since he had so much fun helping us erect the steel structure last week, he would like to help us continue.  (before the rain starts up).  So we got together some friends and had another go at it.  Thank you Jody, and your daughter Morgan.  Also thanks to our friends Miguel, Anthony and Karen and Beckett.

pastedGraphic.pdfLike father like daughter, Morgan has a mastery with lines.


pastedGraphic_1.pdfJeff, Morgan and Miguel doing the heavy lifting.


pastedGraphic_2.pdfAlthough he would rather be enjoying the view, Anthony kept a firm eye, and grip, until the steel arch was secured.

Our first big erection…..of steel

It’s been 5 days since pouring the foundation and the concrete is set enough to erect the steel arches.  A crew of friends showed up this morning to help with the task.  First we had to haul up the last of the large arches that took all our effort to move. It was a bit of a struggle for Dozy hauling the trailer up the hill but she made made it with the very heavy loads.

I felt like a kid with a big erector set as we started to bolt together the beams.  We are especially grateful to our friend Jody for his skill with rope and tackle.  Also many thanks to our friends; Eric, Paul, Miguel, Khat and Rory for their many – hands – make – light – work, assistance.

With the concrete set we started bolting together the steel arches, compression ring (for the cupola), and cross pieces.  Most parts matched up perfectly with just a few joints needing a little “convincing”.  There are still 7 more main arches, the entry arch and the retaining wall arches (3) to go.

The foundation is revealed.

Yesterday, Jeff spent a busy day removing the form stakes and some of the form boards.  We continued that today.


Jeff removes one of the axis rods that was so important in the layout of our foundation.

pastedGraphic_1.pdfUsing Dozy, we hauled up some of the steel arches that had been stored down by the trailer.

pastedGraphic_2.pdfpastedGraphic_3.pdfStanding in our future kitchen.

The Big Pour


The first “lift” being poured into one of the wings


Beckett, the superviser


Well, it’s 7:30 am Ryan and his crew from RK Concrete have arrived to pour our foundation/slab.  The first two concrete trucks arrived on time to feed the boom truck at the bottom of our hill.  It was an amazing feat pumping all that concrete up hill nearly 250 feet.  An unfortunate delay after the second truckload  a bit of stress.  We were able to continue the pour within 45 minutes.

The pour went along well until a 12 foot section of the form blew out under the pressure of the concrete.  More stress.  Ryan and his crew jumped into action resetting the form and also added extra reinforcing all around.  With the delays and blow-out, placing the brackets turned out to be a bit of a challenge into the ever-hardening concrete.

Success!!  69 yards of concrete and 7 hours of non-stop excitement.  We have a foundation – something to build on.

Boom truck next to trailer
ready to pump up hill.

Beckett holding down the
extra 70′ of concrete hose


It was a crazy day with the stresses of concrete delivery delays (mid-pour), a big blow-out, and trying to get all the steel brackets correctly placed in the ever-hardening concrete.  Kudos go to Ryan and his crew from RK concrete for their professionalism and grace under pressure.

Thank you Joey, Doug, Grant, John, Mike and Eric.  Also thanks to our friend the engineer, Paul Brookhyser for his we-couldn’t-have-done-it-without-you help.


Thank You Mother Nature

It was a tight fit and we had to put in our trailer slide, but we were able to shoehorn the pumper tuck into position.

While the rest of the country is enjoying the frigid temperatures that we had around Christmas, this week turned out to be one of those rare Oregon winter breaks.  Starting last Sunday.  the skies have been clear and dry.  I didn’t think this was going to help us though because the ground was still so wet and we would not be able to get concrete trucks up our driveway until we had several weeks of dry weather. (maybe June).  Well we heard from Ryan at RK Concrete yesterday that if they pumped the concrete up the hill, they could pour on Thursday. WOW!!!

So now there is a frantic effort to get ready for Thursday.  Joey and Doug from RK Concrete showed up to set up the big pumper truck.

pastedGraphic.pdfYou can see from this picture and the one above that the boom truck had a tight fit getting into position.


Joey the boom operator deftly maneuvered the boom up the hill and through the trees.

pastedGraphic_2.pdfDoug helped position the “working end” of the boom.  Now all we have to do is lay about 100 feet of hose up the rest of the hill.


A Dream Come True, But…..

Jeff told me that he had a dream the other night where we were having a party on our property and people were swimming in pools created by a waterfall running down the ravine (up behind the trailer and shed).

Well, after replacing our pressure pump and filter (see previous post), I went to turn the valve on our water tank and found myself standing in about half a foot of muck and running water.  We had nearly 8 inches of rain today and around 7 inches within the last week.  Evidently the hill up from the ravine couldn’t hold it in any longer and let loose a torrent of water.


It made it’s way down the ravine and into the garden area behind our trailer, along with a lot of mud and debris, before flowing into the pond.


I think we’ll call it DragonflyHill Delta