There was enough of a break in activity over the weekend that I finally managed to plant some tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and cabbage. It's a little later than I would like, but according to the planting chart that I have from West Coast Seeds, I'm pretty close to being on schedule.
You may be asking yourself why I'm bothering to start seeds when I won't actually have a garden this summer. Call me crazy, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to put a garden in on our property, fence it off from the deer, mulch it well, and check in on it periodically while we're building over the course of the summer. Option two (and perhaps the more realistic choice) is that my mom will take pity on me and share her lovely garden with me if I promise to share my plants with her (we will be living with them while our house is being built). Option three is that I leave them here as a housewarming gift for the woman who will be moving in when we leave.
Speaking of building, we've been consumed lately with trying to settle on house plans. I've always dreamed of building either a cob or strawbale house, but that doesn't seem possible when we have such a short period of time in which to build (maybe we'll build a strawbale or cob guest house or chicken coop one day). With the location being somewhat remote, and contractors being in short supply, we are looking at using a company that will build our house here in the city in a warehouse, send it in pieces by truck to the property and put it together for us in a few short weeks. That will get us to a "lock up" stage, which essentially means the outside of the house (siding, decking, windows, doors, siding, roof) will be ready and waiting for us to come in and finish the inside. This company uses locally sourced woods, builds smaller homes, and has many green options, so we're feeling pretty comfortable with this option.
So lately I've been pouring over Sarah Susanka's "Not So Big House" books, and have spent a lot of time on Ross Chapin's site (his small houses and cottages are so beautiful), at the Robinson Residential site (gorgeous Craftsman style cottages), as well as at BC Mountain Homes (a local firm that designs wonderful "West Coast" houses). There are so many to choose from that it's really hard to pick one. It's also difficult to find a plan that squeezes 3 bedrooms into a small floor plan that works with the layout of our lot. We're slowly getting an idea of the things that are most important to us, and will hopefully settle on something in the next week or so.
If you happen to like looking at house plans and feel like sharing your opinion on any of them with me, please do! (I would also really appreciate being pointed toward any other sites with plans for small, efficient homes).