Building the Temple in the Woods

I told you the story of my house fire (and my religion) in Burn Fire, Burn Bright.

After the fire, we rebuilt. Here are some of my favorite photographs from the two years it took to create my little Temple in the Woods.


We traveled to Marietta to learn to cover our interior walls in American Clay, a gorgeous, green product from New Mexico.
The compass rose in the center of our hardwood floor took longer to plan, create, and lay than the rest of the Great Room floor altogether.
Except for a little rebar and some carefully-placed crystals, these polystyrene walls were empty until the concrete filled them.
Sunshine, flowers, and coronas, all in the West bathroom tile.
The courtyard of a convent in Peru inspired this masterpiece of a bathroom.

Skilled Labor

During one of the coldest Tallahassee winters I can remember, we often had to break ice off of our materials in order to work.
Climbing in the trusses became a pretty easy task.
Kilts up, baby!
Learning how water, power, and waste move under the floors and inside the walls is one of the best parts of building a house.

Friends and Romans

Dennis helped put down the dance floor.
Fors and Shari helped us put in the bones of the loft.
Without Debra we’d have put our spiral staircase together backwards.

Outside of Our Comfort Zones

Take a look around the house — the more beautiful the feature, the harder it was to construct.
Perching on top of a very overloaded trailer after driving one for the first time.

Plans and Templates

Plans, plans, plans.
Templates helped us negotiate the strange octagonal shape of our house.
Electrifying the lights and fans near the main door.

Half Done, Still Epic

Braces before the cement walls were poured.
Early February morning before a cement pour.
Roof trusses in place.
Almost ready for the stucco!

Coming eventually: more detailed writing about the construction process.

2 Replies to “Building the Temple in the Woods”

  1. It seems like a lifetime ago- and then it feels like last year! Out of your comfort zone on 20 foot high scaffolding- sure was out of MINE! I walked in, looked up and thought….today you are NOT a mother. Otherwise I would have screamed- what are you doing??? Get down THIS minute!
    I love your home- for a dozen reasons. But it always feels like love…
    And I always feel your Dad there…

  2. Adventures come in all sizes and shapes. And it can’t really be an Adventure unless there is at least some small chance you’ll break down along the way. But this…this was an Epic Adventure. And we never left the property (except to go to Home Depot every day). And we only broke down once in awhile.

    We spent a lot of time thinking about how we wanted to live and then we worked our ass off to make it happen. This is house is a metaphor for the rest of my life. It’s one of my gurus.

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