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hello. This is a potentially tasteless topic. So I’ll just come out with it.

Many of you have been asking about the progress of the Boreal Modern house. Some of you have also been asking how you might be able to contribute something to it. So we have had a little fun, and started a “wishlist” of things that we’d like for the house. Some we will need. Others–just plain fun. We welcome you to take a look and dream along with us. We may update it from time to time–again, for fun. And to dream a little bigger dream than the one we have been working on for the past four or five years.

Go to our wishlist.



Patience seems to be a key state while building. Tolerance follows close behind. The past several weeks have been spent waiting and tolerating. First, it was waiting for the stairs to be built. Then, it was fixing the built-and-installed stairs. After that, waiting to hear back from someone who might be interested in building railings (there were several who couldn’t be bothered to even place a quote. Apparently, the economy has picked up). It has taken some time to hear back on concrete finishes for the basement exposed walls. And, although the genie-lift has now been returned (the rental cost of which could have put a student through college), the exterior finishing work continues. We had a short hiatus to tear up the sidewalk and street and hook up to the town’s sewer system. And the drywallers couldn’t start putting up drywall until the stairs were functional. Once the dry-wallahs worked their first day, they promptly went on holidays. Patience. And pictures to follow.



Living in a two-traffic-light town, people need to find their own fun. We don’t hang out or wander; the Internet is our shopping mall. When we’d like to try a new food, we learn how to cook it. When we want to do something fun and meet new people, we join the garden club.

But there are still so many people who can’t try these things. Talking seems to be their entertainment.

So we, over at the build site, would like to clear a few things up.

1. There is no elevator in the house. It might be something to think about as we get older and, well, older, but no elevator yet.
2. Yes, there is a model of the house. No, we didn’t pay twenty thousand dollars for it.
3. And if we were going to spend one point four million dollars on a house, hmm, what would we do? Well, it would sure make things like solar panels a no-brainer. And grey-water return. Maybe we could even find a way to put a light in a closet with one point four mil. (Note: we are not spending one point four million dollars, of anyone’s money, on our house.)

Anybody else have anything they’d like to clear up about the BoMo?


oh, it’s fun to make fun

Go check out the modern fun going on over at Unhappy Hipsters. . . .

There’s genius over there!

(With credit and cheers of genius-finding to swissmiss.)

christmas ladder

Christmas ladder

I’d like to say that we were going with the building theme at the old house this year. . . but really, most years we cut some spruce branches, put them in a bucket, decorate them, and keep our presents underneath. This year, well, our present is the house; so really, there was nothing to put under the tree (those are presents for others under there). And it was -40 for so long and neither of us were driven (or burly, or cold-loving) enough to get out to collect branches at that temperature, so we decorated the ladder instead.
And seeing as we’re not quite at Orthodox Epiphany, it’s okay that it’s still up, right?

Hello world!

About a year ago, we started talking about building a new house. Seriously talking. With an architect and books and meetings about our research. This was after about three years of sitting on a beautiful piece of land in an Alberta town in the southern Boreal forest.

Our goal, in this first house that either the Tomato-Making Guy (TMG) or I have attempted to build, is to create a modern home that takes in our views to the north yet has minimal operating (read: heating) costs. We have cold winters. The prevailing winds are out of the north. Early on, we knew we’d need an architect to help us figure out how to enjoy the view that faces the prevailing winds, and also capture passive solar energy.

Our plans include hyper-insulated walls and roof, passive solar energy collection to the south-southeast, and a sawtooth perimeter to the north, enabling views and wind-blocking potential.

We are poised to start building. Any second now, the general contractor will have machinery on site. Here, we will document this journey.