First day

This morning was the first time we could see the shape of the roof but without the cover of the blue “nightgown” all the way down to the “ankles” of the chapel ; )

AND it was also the first day of snow for this season.

This is how it looked when I served breakfast to our sheep this morning:

You also see Kalle tasting some hay : ) And far in the background You see the roof of the chapel.

Assisted by Vincent Lärkan changed to winter tires:

 

He had planned to go to the glass master with the broken window but the glass master said no!  -Do not come today, I have to change tires on my car and get the snow chaines on the tractor and also scrape the road in the steep slope to the workshop. Wait until tomorrow before coming with the window.

OK.

During the day it has snowed for 14 hours, all together about 25 cm of snow.

 

Preparations for the winter

We had wanted to put the tarmac paper on the roof before the winter. But we were too late… Lärkan and Vincent really tried one of the last somewhat non frezing days…  but it was too cold. Even though they thought of warming the glue and working with a heater… impossible…  So we had to prepare for a temporary solution to protect the wooden roof from snow and rain until the warmth comes back next year. Lärkan bought some new tarpaulins big enough, and that we could cut to fit the roof.

But we had to wait many days before it coud be done. First of all we also had many other things to finish before it becomes too cold… one of the most important was to move the hen, smaller chicken and rabbits into their just finished house. And finally this Thursday they all could move in to their nice new home.

After that we have had snow falling already two times. Not that it has stayed on the ground, but still, the first snow of the year.

Also we had to take care of many other things before the ground will be totally frozen, like cleaning up around all places where we have built and prepared different things. Put some poles and sticks in the ground for different purposes and  many other small deeds… Little by little we are getting ready for the winter. It seems to come quickly now. And finally some days when we thought we could work with the roof of the chapel it was far too windy. Impossible to struggle with the big tarpaulins under such circumstances. So many days we had to wait for the suitable opportunity.

But finally, yesterday, Saturday it was sunny and not so windy. The chapel finally got rid of its blue “night gown”. Now it is folded and waiting to be returned to its owners, Olle and Gudrun who also is the couple that has given us all the glass blocks that is the lower part of  the wall between the entrance and the chapel-room.

Below You see how Vincent captured me and my husband Lärkan together with our three family dogs on the doorstep of Chapel St. Joseph, the first time we could see it without the nightgown but with the wooden roof  in place : ) Here also You can see the single little piece of tarmac paper that was put up in the cold weather… More to come next Year – GOD WILLING!

Below here you can see the perfect, nicely homogen surface that Manuel from Germany has made over all wall areas inside. This is a very nice gift! And has made it possible for me to paint during the winter.  Look how nicely smooth it is! Here the entrance room wich Manuel completed one of his last days here.

Unfortunately, during the windy days that has been lately the window there, that was not totally closed crushed…

Tomorrow Lärkan will have to pay a visit to the glass master to have this window mended. Our young sheep guardian dog Kalle is checking out our activities : )

Now Lärkan and Vincent could put the new tarpaulin over the chapels roof, This one we nailed to the wooden roof.

Then the plastic crystal was hoisted up to where in the future the lantern will be placed.

And then it had to be scruwed in place to cover the hole in the wooden roof:

Finally we could cut the edges of the winter protection.

After the winter – when the warmth has returned, we hope to take off the winter tarpaulin to find that the wooden roof has “survived” the winter well. Then we will fasten tarmac paper over the whole roof and finally put the shingles on. Now they also are embedded to endure the winter:

 

Next year also we hope to put the lantern in place. But first it has to be built!

Smoothening inner surface

For many days now, Manuel has patiently worked with making the whole inside of the little chapel totally smooth and with a uniform surface. In some places he has had to “build” with a clay mixture to even out the unevenness that had occurred when we at different times have worked on different places of the inner walls. But mostly and finally all over all surfaces he has “painted” with a “slicker”, a thin mixture of just clay,  sand and some water. Now there is a unified and consistent surface waiting for me to paint during the winter!

 

Here from another angle, I hope that even though You see it not in reality but only on a picture You can see that there is a harmony and uniform surface:

Today he finished the walls of the main room. Tomorrow he will start the same work for the small surfaces of walls in the tiny  “entrance room” .

Among other tasks I today ordered some natural pigments that I soon will blend with water, eggs and flax seed oil and then use for the paint job inside the chapel. I rejoice when visualizing the future result of all our labors… Uncountable hours accomplished already now… and we are far from done with the work…  But, God willing; some day in the future we will reach the goal.  : )

Lärkan and Vincent had hoped to work some more on the roof of the chapel today, but again the weather made it impossible. (=Rain, rain, rain….) But there are always other things to be done. For example today, the clay floor in the future hens house that we have painted with flax seed oil tree times over, finally had dried enough so that we could enter the house and walk on the floor.  Then Lärkan and Vincent made some plans and started to build the parts of the walls that will be built out of wood. Here You see Vincent standing in the “corridor” on the other side of where we soon will have built a wall with nest boxes where we hope for a lot of eggs in the future. : ) 

 

Hopefully the hens can “celebrate a house warming party” in a week or so… It is needed because it is cold out now. They still live outdoors but every night it is around or under freezing.

One of the WWOOF-ers that kindly helped both in the chapel – as You have seen on earlier blog posts – and in this hens house earlier during the summer, Fransesc, from Catalonia (Spain) wrote in a mail recently that he thinks this will be the most luxurious and best insulated hens house in the whole of Scandinavia : )

Many small steps

This week we have taken many small steps…

Yesterday Lärkan went to the glass master to have one of the glasses of the altar window exchanged. It had cracked when a beam fell down from the work on the roof a while ago. Today he  put the window in place again – nice!

 

Monday I finished the row of “truth-windows” in the little entrance room. There is a small shelf under the window, the shelf that Sasha so nicely put up there back in July! Already then we started making the truth windows. The first one, the furthest away from this angle is showing the rods that the house is entirely built of. The second window shows how it looked after the first rough layer of clay mixture. Then there is a window showing the cocoa-net that is arming to the clay on many places where it is needed. The next window shows the surface a little more even. And the window I prepared this monday shows the wax candle and the few spruce branches that His Eminence Bishop Kyprian held in his hand back in June 7, while blessing our foundation and the coming building process! The wall is still not totally finished, but at least the row of “truth windows” now is complete. You see that the clay mixture around the last few windows is still wet.

 

Today I finally was captured while working! Manuel took a picture of me while painting the ceiling with egg-oil-tempera lasure.

 

You do not see much of me – but at least it is obvious that the ceiling gets lighter! AND I want to point out that in the square above my head (You can see a corner of it, still blue from the plastic tarpaulin over the chapel) – where in the future the lantern will be placed – there is now a piece of lexan, plastic crystal, that will let some light in but not the rain or snow during the winter. When Lärkan met the glass master yesterday he asked for such a piece to take us through the winter – and we were given this piece for free! Thanks!

Manuel is continuing his good work with smoothening the surfaces of the walls, preparing them for the coming paint later.

 

Three Day was working with several tasks, one of them was sweeping the floor  for … Oh, I have lost track of how many times we have done that and collected all the clay mixture that has fallen down from our work with the walls.

 

Behind her back You see the electric fan. This is actually the first time we bring it in this chapel. We  think that now we have to hurry up the drying process so we won´t have “frost roses” on the walls. The clay is to DRY not to freeze…

Vincent and Lärkan was today working with covering the gaps between walls and roof.

 

Strange picture huh?! I was standing by the outside wall of the chapel, looking up to the roof sticking out. Vincent here is measuring the “hole”. Then he and Lärkan were sawing pieces of wood to fill the gaps.

 

Here You see the result in another position. They only started this job today. It will take at least the whole day tomorrow to come around all 12 wedges of the roof. But when this is done the warmth will stay in the chapel and hopefully warm the roof enough so we can put the tarmac paper up with the bitumen glue. Lärkan and Vincent tried the other day, but it is too cold… it did not go well… So now we hope for this “step” – that was planned anyhow of course, but if we do it in this order it might make it possible for us to get the tarmac paper up with the bitumen glue. Otherwise we will seek another temporary solution for the winter and continue the work with the roof in spring… we will se…

Final sprint for this fall is started

Now the final sprint for this building season has started. Soon it will be to cold to work with clay. Also soon it will be very cold also for the “carpenter´s fingers” . We also very soon will HAVE to have the roof covered with tarmac paper so that the planks with tongue and groove will stand the coming rains of late fall and then the snow.

The tarmac paper is now bought and stands waiting in our living room ; ) It has to be kept warm until it is put on.  In fact it might already be a bit too cold outdoors for optimal circumstances… but we have no choice! We have not been able to finish the planks of the roof earlier… Now Lärkan and Vincent has worked several days to put on the last few planks at the bottom edge of each wedge. And according to weather forecasts it still can be some rather “warm” days to come… that is temperature around 8-10 degrees celsius if we are lucky.

At times it has been difficult for Vincent and Lärkan to build the roof while “fighting” with the blue tarpaulin (the “nightgown” of the chapel) to work “squeezed” under it but still be able to get some room for arms and tools… But soon they are done with all planks and can start to glue and nail the tarmac paper on each wedge.  The wooden roof has to be dry and clean when it is painted with that bitumen glue and the tarmac paper to be attached, that is why the tarpaulin is still on…

Yesterday Vincent also put up on the wall, close to one of the coffee-jar-windows, the disk of minerit that will be the fire protection when sometime in the future the small fireplace will be put in place… For a long time we could not put that piece of minerit up since the clay there was not dry jet. But now… little by little we begin to complete what we wish to have done before the winter. On the picture below You see that the spot on the wall where Vincent is putting up the disc it is all dry, but the clay mixture around the coffee-jars is still very wet – from one and a half weeks ago when Kristin worked so nicely with making all the edges invisible and all surfaces around the jars smoothly embedded with organically curved bends and shapes : )

Friday afternoon we also got a new friend-to-be, Manuel, who is the last person to arrive this year as a “WWOOF-er”. Manuel comes from Germany,. He is one of the absolutely first persons I communicated with about coming here this year. Already in March we started our mail communication. He has postponed his visit here a couple of times, due to circumstances in his life, but he was eager to pay us a visit at last, and it is very much appreciated! He is now helping out to smoothen up the walls inside the chapel with a thin mixture, a “slicker” of clay and some sand. I had actually started to think that maybe we would not be able to have this work done before it is too cold – wich would have as a consequense that it would be impossible to paint the inside during the winter. (Since I thought the walls were too uneven to be painted on as they were.) If the “smoothening” was not to be done right now we would have to wait until March or April next year with that task, which would delay the painting of the inside til some time after that. But now – since Manuel agreed to that task and also he seems to enjoy it – I have hope again that the winter will also enclose some time for me to paint the walls inside the chapel. But I think first I will have to have some rest… But still it will be a while before resting time… still l a lot has to be accomplished…”hibernation” has to wait : )

Here You see Manuel “painting” above the altar window. He paints with a slicker to even out “scars” and marks from plastering tools, he is also carefully filling in uneven spots and pits in the walls.

 

So thank You Manuel, for coming to help us out in finishing what we have been hoping to have accomplished  before the winter!  Thank You Saint Joseph, for sending us so many nice, friendly helpers! Each one of them “hand selected” by You I suppose! : ) The building of Your chapel appears to be blessed by You in so many ways, in so many small details! Glory to God!

 

 

Yesterday, as usually, there was no picture taken of me working… but it is all right : ) I dry my hands from clay ever so often and capture what everybody else is doing! But my camera is starting to look a bit worn… and the camera case is full of stains from clay ^^

 

Sisyphean labor

For several days we have not worked in the chapel. Many other things also has to be done before the winter is upon us.  And it is coming… we already have had several nights with freezing temperature (below zero degrees celsius) and frost on the cars and all the grass. And many trees – especially birches – now have lost most of their leaves.

One of the things that has been a worry for me is how we would have time and how we should manage to empty the byre (where the sheep and horses have had their winter shelter). It was a big job… a LOT of manure had to be taken out and put in a pile (from which we will take a lot in a few days when making additional vegetable gardens). We had been speaking of taking ut one or two wheelbarrows a day for many days… my knees could not take it if I were to work for a long time with that heavy job. But can You imagine: Eusebio – as his last gift to us – worked hard, full days, several days in a row and emptied the whole area in the byre! To me it seemed like a  Sisyphean labor… but he worked consistently and finished the whole work! Thank you Eusebio! And thank heaven for his visit with us –  all the way from Mexico –  and also all the other kind helpers from all over the world!

Eusebio did not like us to take photos of him… But one photo he accepted and maybe even wanted to be portrayed in – with growling face –  is this:

This photo is taken about a week ago when also J was still here. My husband Lärkan took the picture when he went with the guys to our local grocery shop. The bear is a real bear, stuffed and used as an advertisement for a certain kind of bread : ). The boys thought it was extra fun since the latter few days a living bear just had been observed lumbering along the road close to us. The bear did not stop at our farm this time, but the boys who did stay with us for a some days have now travelled on!