Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Moving Day at the Dome! It took me nearly five years, three contractors, and a husband, but the day has finally arrived.

Nothing but boxes all aroundThe move actually took place over two days -- one day to pack up the old place & load the truck, one to move the stuff into the new place. Since I recently had minor surgery & am not supposed to be lifting heavy stuff, I paid extra to have the movers come in & pack up all of the household goods (kitchen, &c.) Worth every penny. They did in one day what would have taken me a month, didn't break one dish, and I didn't have to hoist a single box.
Loading up the truckWhen we moved from California to Missouri, we transitioned from a fairly large house into a much smaller (allegedly short-term, temporary) residence. We thought we had pared our belongings down pretty well when we set out, but there was still so much stuff crammed into that tiny house that it was kind of comical. The head mover told me that I won the award for having the most things in the smallest space. It'll be nice to have a little room to spread out at the dome. I am determined to not bring in a lot of new belongings there... I want to keep it comfortable without being overcrowded. There will obviously have to be some new furniture (guest bedroom, &c.) but I'm going to make do as much as possible with what I already have -- for both monetary & aesthetic reasons.
The cupboards are bareEverything was eventually packed up & moved out. Goodbye, little house. I'm thinking it will need a tiny bit of work before I get ready to sell it in the spring, but it wasn't a bad place.
Unhappy FridayThe cats, naturally, were quite displeased with the whole process. We kept them crated up while the furniture was being moved. Oh, the indignity of it all.
Unloading at the domeDay 2, the day of the actual move, was bitterly cold. The poor guys were bundled up like snowmen while they were out at the truck, but if they were inside for more than a few minutes (shuttling cartons upstairs, or something,) they would shed the heavy jackets & hats as they worked up a sweat. So, all day long, it seemed like there were jackets going on & off just inside the doorway. It was actually pretty funny to watch.

Now, I'm just unpacking boxes & getting settled in. More later as I get this place knocked into shape.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Tub

Rub a dub dubAhhhhhhhh.

(The access panel still needs to be stained. But other than that, it's done. Finally.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


ShowerI think I might have a contractor-crush on my tile guy. Look at the beautiful job he did on the shower in the master bath. Love!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Indian Summer at the Dome

Gaia's MeadowIt was a beautiful Indian summer day today, and things are moving along nicely at the dome. I walked down along some of the lower property -- it's a bit soggy after all the rain we had last week, but quite lovely as the trees shed their leaves.
Finished floor in family roomThe hardwood floor is done throughout the first floor. It has a semi-gloss finish which I think brings out the natural variations of the wood quite beautifully.
Master bathtubI have been waiting for over four years to use this tub. Once I finally do, you had better believe that it's going to be the biggest candlelight-scented-bath-bomb-whirlpool extravaganza ever known to womankind.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Have the Floor

Oak flooringDoesn't it look incredible!?! This is the master bedroom.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Everything but the Kitchen Sink, part deux

Kitchen sink cabinetsWe're actually a lot closer to the kitchen sink these days... countertops are in. I also picked out the drawer pulls & knobs; they have a pretty antique-bronze finish that I really like!
CountertopThe countertops are a manufactured stone product. I would have loved granite, but just couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money... these have the durability as well as the colors of natural stone. I chose a colorway that encompasses tans, browns, and near-blacks. It's quite lovely under the dust!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More Colors

Master bedroom, with unfinished shower in the backgroundSome more progress pictures of the dome... I'll also show you the other two wall colors. The master bedroom is painted in Ruskin Green...
Kitchen...and the kitchen in Hubbard Squash. (Totally aside, I am wearing what is possibly the Most Unflattering Dress In the World. Can you believe this thing used to be too small for me at one point? I refuse to get rid of it, even though it now fits like a potato sack, because it is just that comfortable. But it has now been relegated to a weekends-only, wear-around-the-house role.)
Hunter rocks outThe second-story flooring is about halfway installed. They were apparently working in Hunter's room when they knocked off for the weekend.
Jump, jumpAli & her friends finished the splatter paint project today. There was a good bit of jumping to get the paint up high enough... a bit funny to watch.
Washing upOf course, once again, the girls ended up wearing as much paint as the walls.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Entry way & stairsThe oak flooring is going in at the dome. It looks more fabulous than I could have possibly believed. It's slow going, though, it will probably take the crew two or three weeks to get it all down, sanded, stained, and sealed. And that's without doing the basement.
What a mess...Ali was quite adamant about doing something different, paint-wise, in her room. She settled on choosing three of her favorite colors to do a splatter-paint pattern in her room. I was rather apprehensive that it would just look messy, but it's actually turning out quite nice. She (along with two friends) did half of the room last night, adding a few handprints too. The girls ended up wearing as much paint as the walls did...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Meet the Contractor

Chad installing a ceiling canHere's the dome's last general contractor, Chad. We <3 Chad. He's working on the electric finish today, should take another day or so. Paint is finished! Tomorrow the floor installers start. That's a big piece of the schedule, they'll probably be laying floor for the next week or two.

Three of the five colors in the dome's final color scheme are visible in this picture -- the dining room walls are painted Antiquarian Brown, then you can see just a little sliver of the family room's Roycroft Copper Red, and the far kitchen wall (and the ceiling) are done in Roycroft Vellum. (The other two colors are Ruskin Room Green, a medium sage green, and Hubbard Squash, a rich yellow.) I chose all of the colors from the Arts & Crafts palette by Sherwin Williams. I'm doing a lot of the finish work & decor in the Craftsman style -- bronze fixturing, stained glass, mission wood, &c. Perhaps I'm mixing metaphors here; there's not a lot of intersection between the square pillars of Prairie School and the ultra-modern triangular panels of the geodesic dome. But heck, they're my metaphors and I can mix them if I want...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Work continues.

All hands on deckSome new pictures from the dome. The front deck is just about finished...
Kitchen confidential...as are the kitchen cabinets. The original plans called for a curved kitchen island, but I've decided to put a little bistro table on the far wall instead.
World's strongest man?The crew brought in a little bobcat to do some earth work. Hunter thinks it's pretty cool :-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Update from the Dome

Dome in the morningSadly, for the second time in the Great Dome Project, I must report that my general contractor has skipped town and left me hanging. This time, it was because the general contractor had some kind of a midlife crisis and divorced me. So, hopefully the third time's the charm! I have hired a new general, Chad, a local fellow who is turning out to be very reliable. Work is once again proceeding apace, both inside and out. The new front deck has been framed and should be finished next week.
To cap it allThe deck rail has black metal spindles, and some really cool-looking copper caps on the support poles. I imagine they will develop a pretty verdigris patina over time, but right now they twinkle like a new penny.
OvenThe new oven has been delivered, and is sitting in the entryway (the waiting area for all appliances, it seems, until the cabinets are ready to receive them.) We originally wired for an electric oven, but I really wanted gas, and Chad was kind enough to re-plumb it at a minimal charge.
Oven cabinetThe kitchen cabinets are in! The oven's days of hanging out in the entryway are pretty limited, I think. The cabinetmaker did a really fabulous job. Everything is a blond honey oak color, which will look great with the oak flooring.
Tiny appleOne of the apple trees produced a single fruit, several years ahead of schedule. It's not big, but it's my first apple. I can't wait until we start getting a regular crop from these trees... visions of canned apples are dancing in my head.

Chad thinks he'll have us in the dome by Thanksgiving. So far, he is on schedule and under budget. Expect more regular updates as we get closer to move-in!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We have drywall!

Family room, from stair landingCeilings!
Upstairs bedroomWalls!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Springtime and a new year

We didn't forgetI'll bet you thought we had abandoned the dome project by now. Not true! I'm just a very bad blogger. It's coming up on four years (!) since we broke ground, and the work is pitifully slow sometimes, because we're doing it all ourselves in between all the rest of the stuff that goes on while one is just living one's life. Since I last blogged, there's been vacations, a gall-bladder surgery, and a thousand other little non-newsworthy things. The dome still has one small, elusive leak, but it only matters when it rains really hard, and Mike thinks he has it tracked down now. The footers for the new, less saggy front deck are in place. Warmer spring weather has come to the region and we are hoping to finish up this year.
Chai to goArmed with caffeine, we headed out this morning to get some work done.
Mike & his trusty power drillMike worked on the wall in the downstairs bedroom. The exterior dormer walls are well insulated, since they are really the worst heat-loss points in a concrete dome, and then covered in plywood in preparation for the drywall guys.
Sweeping up about a million dead bugsIn the meantime, I'm under orders to not do any heavy lifting (long story), so guess who got to sweep upstairs? We're both wearing dust masks, by the way, because there were some of those rat-poison cakes scattered about the dome to help get the rodent problem under control. No more mice, but the poison cakes are now all half-disintegrated; neither of us was much inclined to breathe in the dust as I swept it up.
Red tailed hawksAfter the upstairs was as clean as I could get it, I went outside and wandered around a bit on the lower half. Two red-tailed hawks were circling the second lot, looking for a late breakfast, I suppose. In spring, the hawk activity increases markedly as all the little creatures become more active, so they are a welcome sign that winter is just about over here.
Three LadiesIn the meadow to the west of the dome (which I have started calling Gaia's Meadow), there are three stately trees standing in a triangle at the westmost point of a little natural glade. I call them the Three Ladies. They are, oh, forty-fifty feet tall. I think they are elms, but I will have to get someone who knows more about trees in Missouri to confirm this for me. The stone circle is going to go here.
Tiny creekApparently, in the springtime, we have a little creek. It will dry up as soon as it stops raining, but for now, it winds down to the southwest corner of the property in a very charming way.
The pondThe pond is quite full, and looks weedier than ever. This is the same pond that I said was on the neighbor's property way back on the second post of this blog, but then we bought the adjoining lot, so it's our pond now! Mike has plans to clean it up once we get moved in, but for now, it belongs to the frogs. There was a raucous bullfrog making quite the racket as I walked around the pond. (Another sign of spring...)
Old fencelineThe pond was fenced at one time, and about three-quarters of the fenceline still stands, although it is quite rusty and overgrown with vines. We'll have to pull it all down eventually. We're not going to run out of projects anytime soon, I assure you.