Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First night

So we stayed in the tipi on Saturday night. Wes, Katy and Jadin spent part of the evening with us. We warmed up by the fire, the adults drank wine out of plastic cups, Jadin helped Charlotte drink her bottle and told us knock-knock jokes, and the dogs went berserk running around outside.
Things got a little weird after they left. Maybe it was the shadows the fire cast on our new liner. Maybe it was the sense that we truly were outside, a much different feeling than camping in a sealed tent. Maybe it was the peyote.
We all slept pretty well, considering the three of us were sharing a small futon in a new place. That is, until the cat found us. Adam woke up to animal sounds outside, and not long after I turned over, opened my eyes, and was nose to nose with Oso. In the morning I got up to let the dogs out, and found his housewarming gift to us just inside the door:
The night left us with many different feelings and ideas. We need to make the floor better, the liner tighter, and figure out how to keep the baby out of the fire. Our dogs were chilly and restless all night. The baby can't sleep with us if we want to sleep well. We want to stay here all the time. We were sad to leave and return to the grind, and trudged down the dewy hill thinking about the next time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." ~William Morris

Monday, April 19, 2010


This weekend we worked on some floors for our tipi. Adam and I gathered wood chips from up the hill, and leveled out the ground inside the tipi. We got some sweet subfloor left over from DA's old dance studio, sort of pallets, yellow pine. Wicked awesome. We laid four down, then Adam cut the remaining two with a chainsaw (watch those screws!) and we filled in the remaining odd spaces. Sort of like a jigsaw puzzle. It still needs work, but it's pretty level. And it really changes the space, makes it feel brighter and more like a home.

Family Spring Outside Tipi Goodness

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Rumor around campus is there's a group of little girls, faculty kids, who are obsessed with our tipi. I think they imagine it to have bunk beds, rabbit fur floors, and fairies. We'd love to camp with them, but I bet it will be a bit more rough than they're expecting. And probably not as magical, though we certainly think it is.

Looking forward to sleeping in it myself. Right now all I do is see glimpses of it through the trees, and walk up there once in a while to sit in it. Last night the wind was fierce, and Adam almost went up to check on it -- not that he would have staked it down at 11 p.m. Turns out it survived the wild night, once again.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thankfully, the tipi came with setup instructions, because while both of us have a good deal of outdoor experience, we have very little with tipis. This is truly an experiment for us, but something we're committed to making work. To be honest, we only have our romantic ideas about how this is all going to go. I do know that we're going to have to be pretty dynamic and that a good deal of trial and error will be necessary before we're totally comfortable, but that's what makes it feel adventurous. We won't be making an attempt to really live in it until June, so that will give us the next two months to learn the ins and outs of the structure. Already, we have been hit with some pretty awful weather since the tipi went up over the weekend. After two days of soaking, steady rain, it is a bit wet inside and it's clear that dampness could become an issue. The canvas itself proved to be water tight, and I've dug a small drainage ditch around the outside of the tipi. However, because of a slight slope to the ground, the water running off of the canvas is slowly working its way across the ground inside, making a muddy mess by the door. I think we can take care of this by putting a layer of cedar chips down as a floor (which will also help to keep the insects out), followed by a few tarps and then some old rugs that we have. This should keep out any water from underneath...we'll have to see. It seems to be a well tested strategy, based on what I've been able to find. We've been getting a lot of great information from a book that Erin's father gave us, The Indian Tipi by Reginald and Gladys Laubin--great resource. Interesting coincidence that I've only recently been made aware of--I work with a woman named Sally Laubin, and the authors of this book are her aunt and uncle!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Up goes the tipi!

March 27th, 2010 ~ With help from Chad & photos by Jess, Adam and I started out with some poles and a canvas and ended up with a home. Pretty neat. Check it out: