Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Video 2008

A short video to share our holidays with family and friends. If you are unable to view this, the pictures are also in our Gallery.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

from a cold blustery Maine - happy holidays to all

Friday, December 12, 2008

Computers and Energy

I podcast this on my school blog and since it relates to energy - a main topic in this blog - I thought I would cross post here. Why don't we turn all our computers off in my school district?

Monday, December 08, 2008

When is 62 degrees F not cold inside?

When you wake up to 0 degrees F - no furnace running and one firing of the Tulikivi the night before - the wind howled all night (gusts to 40 mph according to weather men). This is when 62 degrees is really not cold!

Today the sun is to shine - although temps are to stay below 20 degrees. Oh well, sun means warmth in our house! Still loving the passive solar solution.

And the garage - also bermed but only on 1/5 sides - no heat at all was 45 degrees at 7 am. This can be the solution to a huge portion of our energy crisis.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pond in the Maine Woods

As we approach the completion of our passive-solar bermed home (although a home is never complete), we have decided to concentrate on another goal - a pond.

Our hope is to have a medium sized pond (1/2 acre or less) close enough to the house to enjoy but far enough away for wildlife to feel comfortable. Our first choice of location was not possible when we had an inspection completed and discovered it was "wetland". Maine has many regulations about working in a wetland and we were not so set on the location that we wanted to start the 'process'.

So, we went to plan B -
The pond will be behind the detached garage and down the grade (to keep it lower than any house drainage). Of course, this ended up being one of the wettest Falls ever and it has been a muddy challenge to get it shaped in. But, it is presently in good shape for Spring. We hired the digging after David dropped the trees himself.
I will get a few more pictures as the surrounding area gets cleared (still this month if the weather cooperates) and then we will wait for the Spring thaw and keep our fingers and paws crossed for a full basin.
The full sized pictures are in the Gallery. Under Industry>Lot>Pond

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election day - any questions

Election 2008 Voting Information

Today, November 4th, is Election Day! Remember to vote

Where and when do I vote?

Find your polling place, voting times, and other important information by checking out these sites and the hotline below. These resources are good, but not perfect. To be doubly sure, you can also contact your local elections office

* Obama's VoteForChange site:
* League of Women Voters' site:
* Obama's voter hotline: 877-US4-OBAMA (877-874-6226)

What should I do before I go?

* After you've entered your address on either Vote For Change
<> or Vote411
<>, read the voting instructions
and special rules for your state.
* Voting ID laws vary from state to state, but if you have ID, bring
* Check out all the voting myths and misinformation to look out for:

What if something goes wrong?

* Not on the voter list? Make sure you're at the right polling
place, then demand a provisional ballot.
* If you're voting on an electronic machine with a paper record,
verify that the record is accurate.
* Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
* If you encounter a problem, try to videotape the situation and
submit it to <>

Now, everybody go vote!!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election nears end

It is incredible how everyone can become part of every inch of this election. I am ready!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ready to burn

It's done - we have the wood ready for this winter and next (actually starting the stock for 2010-11.
There is this winters pile - about 2 cords split and stacked in the attached garage - ready to burn in the Tulikivi (thank goodness for it, and its clean wood-saving burn).
We should make it through the winter with this - way less than 2 cords - and no furnace. We only supplement the back shower room with a boost from the electric heater occasionally before morning showers.

Stored in the back garage to finish drying over this winter. Dave built two woodbins that sit by the south facing windows. Using the solar design as a winter drying facility. Yet another use for the sun and our berms.

And outside is the beginning of the next pile - quite a system.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why I'm voting Obama

Why I, as a friend of the environment and a bermed home owning, blackberry gathering, educator, will not vote for any ticket with a member like Sarah Palin.
Because she:
  • supported the Alaska Department of Fish and Game policy allowing Alaska state biologists to hunt wolves from helicopters
  • disagrees with strengthening the protection status of the beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska
  • objects to the listing of polar bears amid fears that it would hurt oil and gas development in the bears' habitat off Alaska's northern and northwestern coasts
  • ran on a "build the bridge" (to nowhere) and kept the money when finally cancelling it
  • does not support the right to choose
  • does not have enough experience to lead the country and would be sitting behind the oldest president in history
  • does not attribute man in any way with climate change
  • supports ruination of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
  • has absolutely no foreign experiences
  • tends to be too militaristic and does not have any diplomacy
  • gets her health insurance through government, but opposes helping more than 45 million uninsured Americans get affordable health care
  • wants to control what our kids learn in school about sex and about science - actually want to have more control over what our kids learn than any other time in history.
  • does not believe in spousal benefits for same-sex couples
  • believes that schools should teach creationism and intelligent design

Why wouldn't I support McCain / Palin - because they are NOT the right choice for this country.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Adding to the Harvest

The last several years we were working on our garden, which is still a work in progress. And Dave has been mowing strips through the berry areas on the lot to help propogate more harvest. Well, this year it is beginning to pay off. We had fresh veggies to eat most of the summer (carrots, lettuce, spinach, beets etc.) We also were able to fill the freezers with beans, corn and berries.

Not only were the blackberries great, but for the first time our elderberries also gave us a sweet crop. I made elderberry sauce, juice and jam - hope the healing properties are as good as advertised. Only one minor accident which "tinted" both Dave and my tees.

I had forgotten (from my growing-up years) how messy cutting of corn can be. Dave picked up a cutter - which worked pretty well, but we still had kernels all over the kitchen. But, in the end, we will be enjoying fresh corn this winter along with the beans. The cost and additives in grocery store food is going to make it more and more important that we go "back to the soil".

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Friends, Family and Bedbugs

As you saw from the last post, we made a trip from Maine to Indiana for a family reunion. Stuck the dogs in the kennel and took off on a Wednesday morning. Since we moved to the foothills, this trip has extended another 2 hours and now averages about 16 on the road (to Ohio - base). The journey down was pretty uneventful with Dave and I taking driving turns. We landed at Mom's around midnight and after some greetings headed to bed. Spent Thursday and Friday gabbing and enjoying a look at the "old home-grounds" - I made a trip to the cemetery where my parents are buried.

Then Saturday - off to Indiana and the big day. Of course, the sky was black and stormy with some rain as we started out. Now one of the reasons I really don't want to move back to the midwest is the hurricane season - which Dave reminded me was now. Ugh.
But, wonders of wonders, we managed to escape the rain - just had to wade through a moat around the camp shelter for a couple of hours. We celebrated at Pokagon State Park in Indiana - a very nice place with shelters, hikes, horseback riding, nature trails and a medium sized lake. If you are in the area, check it out.

We left around 9 pm and started the trek northeast - stopped in Mentor at Motel 8 - where I slept deep and warm with the bedbugs. Really! Discovered a line of bites on my legs and one on my arm the next morning. Just a minute while I continue to scratch - never had anything itch so much unless it is our famous Maine black flies. I had read about hotels having trouble, but never thought...... Oh well, I survived and guess it could have been worse. We got back to our house late on Sunday and picked up the dogs the next morning.

Long drives - but great reunioning.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reunion 2008

It was a long trip to Indiana - but we sure enjoyed the family.
I will also post the pictures in the Gallery (tomorrow). The Direct Link to slides.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Snakes in the Grass

Nice day yesterday - exactly the "way life ought-to-be"! Sunny with a breeze and temps in the high 70s. Since there haven't been many of these this summer, it seemed like a great day to bring in some wood for the winter to come. Dave has an plan for getting it much of it out of the weather - he has built several bins in the back garage (enough to hold a winters worth - which for us is less than 2 cords!). That will be for the next year. There is enough space in the attached garage for the coming year. Anything outside (usually on a tarp and a slant for drainage) is for 2 years down the calendar. Should be a good plan. But the cycle is just beginning - so, this was to bring seasoned wood into the attached garage. As the first bucket (using the tractor bucket) was being loaded, a resident made him(her)self noticed. A small snake (2 feet or so) slithered around the pile from section to section as the wood was being removed. Now, this was kind of interesting and even a bit funny to watch. However, on the second load - it slid into the bucket with the wood and took a ride to the garage. Luckily, Dave noticed and unloaded while I stood guard with the broom just in case it escaped (the plan was for me to then scoot it out the door). That wasn't necessary though as we saw it hiding and drove the tractor back outside, lowered the bucket and got it into the grass. Problem solved. Back for another load - oops, another snake! Process starts all over again. Soon - snake number three (or the one we had rescued found the way back home). Anyway, it was like playing hide and seek. Trying to load the bucket, keep them out but not injure either one. Seemed really strange that they didn't just crawl away with all the disturbances. Finally, the pile was gone and we were down to the planks which had been used to keep the wood off the ground. Dave lifted a plank - and there they were, the rest of the family. It really was a reptile home. Slowly lowered the board over the 5 or so "teenagers" and mom and dad to give them time to move away before actually removing the roof from over their heads. Later in the afternoon, we went back and got the boards. Only one youngsters was to be seen, but both parents were all over the grass. After Dave hauled away the remaining planks, I waited around with the camera and managed a couple of shots of mom and dad. Two of the young came up out of holes in the ground, but I was unable to catch them before the hurried into the grass. Sure hope they found a new condo............

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tile - down to two

The only concrete floors remaining are the two bedrooms - and we have the slate in the garage! I highly recommend all tile floors for passive solar homes -

and for anyone owning large dogs in the hills of Maine! Several people have asked to see the final combination in the dining / living / kitchen / hall - we have

tried to blend patterns in a comfortable way. As you can see, our dogs love the coolness in the summer. The only issue is the blowing hair when we turn on the

fans - no carpet to grab it as it goes by.

Here is a short video of the above areas - hope you enjoy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lights, Gardens and Dogs

Memorial Day weekend 2008 - the weather is great and we are spending some time outside before starting up the grill. The boys are coming later in the week for a couple of days, but the weekend is just us (and the dogs). As you can see, we got some bales of hay, manure and also loam to help boost our gardening. Dave is busy putting it all together.

Inside we now have the tile all finished in the living/dining area and the lights and fan are installed. So, it can get dark and warm - ha.
There are more shots of Hubbardton Forge lights in the Gallery.

The dogs are also enjoying this great weather - except for the black flies which are battling even the strong breeze today. It is hard to believe they are 9 and 3 already.

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend - and during this time of war, remembers its real meanings.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Passive Solar Works - Build a Fire!

Its a rainy Spring day in Maine! The temperature is 30 degrees higher than the sunny day I blogged about no heat last January. What little sun we have today only comes into the house about a foot inside the southern windows. Due to the height of the sun, the berming and the depth of the overhang, it all works to keep summer heat out. Last winter, we had rays bouncing off the back living room wall (18 feet into the room). Being a fringe season (Spring, Fall and Mud), we are cool and actually started a fire in the Tulikivi. Not a problem, as we didn't use as much wood as we had estimated and there is still some stacked in the attached garage. Rather burn it than have to carry it back outside. That will keep the house around 70 - very comfy.

Another success is the tile flooring. It is nearing completion, too. Not only do they serve as heat storage during the winter and remain cool to the touch throughout the summer, during these rainy days it is easy to mop the puddles left by 245 pounds of wet double coated dogs! Doesn't do much for the perfume of wet fur - but is certainly easy to sop up.
I highly recommend it to anyone with 4 legged pets.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spring Tails and Trails

The snow is finally melting and temperatures are forecast for the 60s in the next couple of days. The waiting is nearly over (see pic) and everyone is feeling Springish including the dogs. Tracks are appearing in the shallow snow and mud - this makes for very interesting walks. The latest: squirrels, skunks, chipmunks, deer, fox and a mystery animal which we think could be a bobcat. As the snow melts, the mice tracks become evident in the damp ground - this is a cause for major digging and massive mud-feet. Sophie has spent 9 years trying to rid Maine of those troublesome chipmunks and Milos is certain that he can clear the skies of all flying objects. Unfortunately, there are some crows that seem to taunt him daily.

Can't believe it has been over 9 years since Sophie came into our home. She is doing extremely well and still gives Milos a run for his money in the nightly battles. Milos was 3 on December 20th. He has filled out and although not a large leonberger, weighing around 130 pounds, he has a beautiful coat and is the most loving big-boy. It has been quite different to raise a male for me. I have (and still am) working on understanding his spirit. He looks at me with those beautiful brown eyes and reads my every thought - his word recognition is also quite admirable. We find that we can pretty much carry on conversations with both of them. Call us crazy!

I would like to get back to therapy work with Sophie when I retire in a few more years. I am back in class with Milos once a week now - we are working on some of Brenda Aloff's "Get Connected" protocols on canine body language which are really fun. It is great to watch him try to figure out what will make the clicker click and the bananas fall. Finally, we can get out for our walks again, too. I still can't trust him off leash when we are in the woods as we are not "connected enough" for me to be more interesting than the track-makers. That is a goal which I hope to reach someday. I remember thinking that we would never be able to hike with Sophie off leash, but it happened. Maine in the Spring is a joy to experience.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Top to Bottom

Ceilings are done - as posted earlier (still a little trim to go). So, down to the final floors with the dining - living next. The border has been done for a long while and we planned on filling in the main portion with that same tile. A polished brown separates the border from the floor. Last week we painted with a dark blue - this week the tile is taking shape.

Don't know if I blogged about our TV's mishap. While working in the living room a couple of weeks ago, the TV slid off its stand and didn't survive. Yesterday we joined the new generation and purchased a new LCD HDTV - went with Samsung 650 model. Had to add a Blue-Ray player and rush home to plug it in. We need to trim the wall and then mount. Such a great idea to have all the cords inside the TV wall.

The April snow is going away slowly - Spring must be coming (immediately after mud-season).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Videos - Leos and Morning

The dogs love to watch the morning arrive across the hills - just waiting for the sun to warm their backs while they sleep on mother nature's largest cool-pads.

And Milos takes his morning snow bath - each day after breakfast. What will he do if it ever melts (this was taken on March 29th!)

Turbo Tagger

Study has furnishings

Well, the "pumpkin room" as Dave calls it - the "morning bright" as I think of it is nearly finished. Just a the windows to go. All the windows will be done nearly last. I took some short video clips and put some pictures in the gallery (check out the last editions at the bottom).

Turbo Tagger

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Building further south?

So long between posts - guess this long winter is getting to my enthusiasm. But, finally some of the over 100 inches of snow are melting.

We had another request for some info - but way south of Maine:
I live in Spartanburg, SC where most of the time it's in the 40's & 50's during the winter days and in the 30's at night. It does dip in the mid to upper 20's at night but not very often.  I would really like to build an earth shelter. My plans are similar to yours except my front garage corner will not angle away from the front but will angle towards the front, giving me a workshop inside against the back wall. Planning on 3 bedroom, 2 bath. It'll come in somewhere around 2700 sq.ft. not including garage/shop. Plenty of south facing windows where the bedrooms & living room will be.  Also planning on radiant floor heating to the bathrooms, kitchen & TV room using Thermomax.  What's the square footage of yours & how much heat is generated thru the windows? Winter? Summer?  Are all those windows a big source of heat leakage? Do you have any sort of ventilator installed or mainly rely on opening the windows?

Wow, with those temps, there are times I think we should head south.... Here is the answer - most of the items were mentioned in a blog post during construction.
Your questions are all good ones. Our house is around 1900 sq. ft. Two bedrooms, two baths and a study in the 'kink'. We wanted to get our house size down to something easy to maintain and clean, etc. The ten large, fixed windows are 46"X72" each. They are a commodity item used in sliders and commercial store fronts. We paid around $125 per window, which is way less expensive than a ready to hang window unit. These come with just a rubber or butyl liner around the edge, you have to build your own jams. So, how much they leak sort of depends on how well that is done. Mine aren't done yet, just some caulking most of the way around them. I think we most notice the radiant losses at night, like standing next to any large window. Thermal drapes would stop a lot of that, but I don't know if we will get those. We also have four casement windows for ventilation and fire escape code. The large window glass is clear with no inert gas between the panes. That may not be the correct thing for your climate. I chose clear due to the higher light transmission compared to low-E coatings. A really important aspect of windows is your overhang width. 26"-28" is considered optimal for this latitude - just under 45 degrees. Yours would be different. You definitely want to keep direct summer sun out of your rooms. The heat gain in winter is phenomenal, if anything, it can be too much on a crystal clear day in Jan.-Feb. We have some roll-up bamboo blinds we lower once in a while. The house will go up to 80 degrees no matter the temperature outside on a clear inter day. We crack a few windows open as needed. The temperature drops back to low to mid 70's by early evening. We have only lived here one summer, we did use fans to stir the air during warm spells. I suspect there is a fair amount of radiant heat gain through the windows in summer even though they are shaded by the overhang. Of course, heat in Maine is relative. We get so used to moderate temps that 85 deg. is a scorcher here. It rarely hits ninety, maybe 6 days per summer, sometimes it never hits 90 all summer. In any case, summer is short here, so we just put up with it. Based on our experience and trying to guess about your climate, I think you would make different choices on windows. We optimize for winter here. I wish I had a more technical answer. It pays to read up and talk to people in your local area. We were able to visit three homes of this style before committing to the design, that really helped to frame our expectations. Ventilation in these homes is very important. For the first 6-12 months they are loaded with residual moisture in the concrete. We have interior plaster and it also takes a while to really dry out. For ventilation we have an outside air inlet for the wood burner, a high capacity kitchen range hood fan than vents to the outside and four fans in the ceiling that exhaust into the attic space. There are attic exhaust fans at each gable end of the house that are controlled by a thermostat switch. The four ceiling exhaust fans are on individual switches. The attic exhaust fans turn on around early afternoon on hot summer days. They pull air through the soffit vents to cool the attic space. The four ceiling exhaust fans are used only in summer. We open windows in the evening and let them pull fresh, cooler air into the house. That air pressurizes the attic space and pushes air out through the soffit vents. With so little air infiltration through exterior walls, getting air in is really something to plan for. Are you planning on air conditioning? I think it would be a good idea just to control summer humidity. You don't want to have moisture build up through condensation, which will happen in rooms that are on the 'back' side of the house. The earth berm will keep those walls and floor pretty cool compared to the outside temperature. For heat, we have a radiant heat system installed that rarely gets used - thank goodness, given the price of propane. I ran a couple zones for about 4 hours twice this winter during an extended cloudy period. We burn just under two cords of wood in the fireplace stove. It is a Tulikivi soap stone masonry type stove. There are over three tons of soap stone in it, once it is warm, it radiates heat for the next 20 hours or so. We usually burn it once per day but skip a day now and then depending on sunshine. For the bedrooms and bathroom in the far end of the house, which don't receive much heat from the wood burner, we use electric heaters to take the chill off during cloudy spells. That is less expensive than running the radiant heat - go figure. I really think our house would never go below the mid-fifties with no added heat, just the sun. I haven't tested it since sitting around in a house that is in the low sixty range isn't comfortable. A regular framed house around here will freeze up solid in about 2 days with no heat. Given the cost of a radiant heat system and your climate, it must be hard to choose. I think our radiant heat was really not a good use of the money, it works just fine, but is not really needed. When you consider we can go for weeks at a time here where our high temperature for the day is well below freezing, and we hardly use the radiant heat, your climate may not need any sort of central heat in a solar house. Maybe electric heat combined with an air conditioning system would be better in SC? Our water heater is a zone on the boiler, someday I might get into a solar pre-heat set up. We have a propane range/electric oven combination. For hot tap water and stovetop cooking we use about four and one-half gallons of propane per week. A flow through on demand water heater might save a little, but our tank is well insulated and the boiler hardly ever runs unless someone is using hot water. One thing that takes getting used to is how earth sheltered homes don't fluctuate in temperature very much and certainly not quickly. We can go to bed after being too lazy to make a fire in the Tulikivi with a temperature of 68 or 69 degrees; it will be 64-66 degrees the next morning with no heat on anywhere. That's with an outside temperature in the low teens. It really demonstrates what thermal mass does. Well, I hope I answered your questions helpfully. Good luck with your project. We really like our house, and the higher fuel goes, the more we like it! I would be glad to answer other questions you may have. Have you considered earth sheltered roofs? I have never been sure which is better - bermed walls and regular roof or go all the way and have an earth covered house with just the southern side exposed. While I was cleaning the record amounts of snow and ice off my roof this winter, I was sure the sod roof would have been the way to go - Ha! Regards

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Several items - Shower Vanity and Living Room Ceiling

A quick catch up on interior work. We have finished all the tongue and groove! Wasn't sure that I would ever be able to type those words. We have tongue and groove on nearly all the wood framed walls and most of the ceilings now. Some still needs polyurethane - but it is up. Took a break from the tiling to install a vanity in the shower bathroom. Our cabinet maker, MidMaine Furniture (did such a fabulous job on the Hickory kitchen) is extremely busy and won't be able to get to our final work until summer. We can wait for the pantry, towel closet and dressing table - but really needed a sink in this bathroom. So, here it is - he is going to match it as well as possible. It is a good brand, but I can certainly see the difference in this and his products.

The last few days have seen Dave back outside - he discovered that he needed to take some of the winter build-up off the roof (I'll blog that separately). We have had some ice and that makes the driveway a skating rink - slid down it using the piles of snow as bumpers last week. So, he is working to try to get some traction somehow - next year we are going to get a pile of sand to use when this happens. Having sun today and yesterday - brought the house temp up to around 80 and helped a little.

The study floor is filling in - having a non-square room is not conducive to quick tiling. The den is where the jog in the floorplan appears - lots of triangles....
We now have the fan and wall lights ready to mount in there - that may be the first completely finished room! It will be good to get my corner cabinet and the computer back into that room and out of the garage and dining areas.

Looking at a Vermont company, Hubbardton Forge, for the lights in the dining and living room - Love their products and like the idea of purchasing from a US company (especially one in the NE).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Piles of snow and lots of clouds

This has been a very snowy and cloudy 2008. Last year, I was complaining that I coudn't get away from the scalding sun and the house was always heading above 80 during the days. So, we worked on some bamboo shades for this year, and have used them some very successfully. But, we really haven't had much need to drop them. Snow - snow - clouds - rain - snow - clouds have led to a real test of our bermed concept. We found that if we add nothing except the Tulikivi and get no sun for 3 or more days, the temps in the back bedroom drop a little too much for me. When it hit 62 degrees, I flipped on our portable electric heater - cheaper than using propane to run the radiant heat. That worked like a charm.

Today, the sun came out - the house warmed and we are all cosy watching the mountains of snow outside the windows.
click on the picture to enlarge it -----------------
You can see more pictures of this winter at the Gallery.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Bold but Covered

The last tongue and groove is being stained as I type! There is a lot of concrete in this house - and now there is also a lot of tongue and groove. A long time ago, we decided that we really disliked any form of wallboard. So, we have covered as much of our walls and ceilings as possible with wood. Using stain and bold colors for some walls, we hope this makes it both warm and easy to maintain. But, it is a challenge. There are some pictures of other ceilings and walls in the Gallery. The weather isn't being passive-solar friendly today. Warmish (around freezing) and cloudy. The last storm was messy ending with fine rain which froze to a crust on the pretty snow. Not hard enough to hold even the dogs, it is miserable and we can no long hike through the woods on the logging paths. That is really discouraging. We will see what the next weeks bring. The Ford Sport Trac is doing quite well on any slush and snow - I recommend it to anyone who must have a winter vehicle although it is only getting around 20 mpg. I look forward to going back to the Civic and doubling that in the Spring. So, the fire is burning in the Tulikivi and I am about to settle down for the Super Bowl - not usually a football fan, but this year....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Updates on Perfect Passive Solar Day

Since the berm construction is pretty well complete for the house and the detached garage only needs a ceiling and insulation, I haven't posted much lately. But today is just too good to pass up. It is 12 degrees outside with the sun shining - our house is around 75-78 inside with no heat . smile.

Work on the interior is progressing also. We are finishing the ceilings followed by the woodwork. Nearly all of the ceilings are tongue and groove - which means some sanding, staining and poly before putting them up. Since I am still working, the actually hammering is only on weekends. Even at that, we finished the study and are now working on the dining room.
Floors will break the monotony of ceilings. There are still quite a few concrete floors - which although utilitarian, are not very attractive. The tile is ordered for the study and should arrive in the next week or so. We have picked all the others out -some slate and some tile.

I plan on posting more information about "rural Maine living" as Spring approaches - and promise more updates on the finishing touches of the house.
More pictures of everything at our Gallery.