Saturday, November 25, 2017

I did a major restoration job on the front end this fall, reinforcing the front wall, re-caulking seams, and giving it a fresh coat of exterior paint. I also redid the patio and stairs and improved drainage on the left side from underneath the wall down under the stairs and patio. The drought conditions have not been kind to the grass this year. I hope to green things up next year.

I've been working on adding a floor covering and paneling to the interior. Life got super busy there for a while, so its nice to have a chance to return to this project.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I put a new coat of paint on the back of the hobbit-hole and did some touch up work on the weatherproofing to keep the place cozy and dry inside.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

This year, we took the Slip & Slide to a new level. This slide was going continuously for days during the summer.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

We had a deep, deep snow right after New Years--21 inches to be exact! The hobbit-hole was almost completely buried.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Romanians love the Hobbit-hole

We hosted 24 Romanian dancers and musicians this evening for a picnic in our backyard.  They all recognized the hobbit-hole and were delighted to have a look inside.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Slip n' Slide

We had a big party with some friends, and busted out the big slip n' slide for the first time.  The kids played on this for hours, and even those who didn't want to bring their swimsuits couldn't resist.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit...

Here are a few angles of the completed hobbit-hole in the springtime.  It looks like it has just always been there, as part of our backyard.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


The boys decided to sleep out in the hobbit-hole in April.  Little did they know that there would be a blizzard.  I woke up at about 5:00 a.m. and this is what I saw. (Actually, I didn't take this photo until later. It was not as bright at first, and it was still snowing like crazy.  You can see my lone track coming back from peeking in.)

When I first saw the snow, I ran out there to check on the boys, worrying that they might be frozen to death out there, then ran back for my camera, as this is what I saw inside:

Snug as a couple of hobbits at home.  I ended up coming in and sleeping the rest of the night with them, just in case, and also so I could carry them in the house, since they didn't have anything but jammies and socks.  It was toasty warm inside, thanks to the space heater.  The boys were none the wiser until they woke up later.  They couldn't believe their eyes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The perfect sledding hill

I have neglected the hobbit-hole blog for too long.  I guess I have been enjoying it so much that I have been forgetting to share.  I still haven't finished the inside yet, but the kids are not letting that stop them from enjoying it inside and out.

I will post some pictures and video to show the history of the hobbit-hole over the last few months, starting with these pictures of the kids sledding:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Antecedent to the hobbit-hole?

white trash repairs - Eiríksstaðir
Look familiar?  This is a replica of Erik the Red's home in Iceland, but you might mistake it for the home of a hobbit.  Apparently, the majority of homes in Iceland were made of turf well into the 20th century.  My ancestors came from Iceland and may well have lived in such homes.  In fact, when my great-great grandfather first came to America, their first home was a dugout with a turf roof.  Tolkien was a scholar of the Norse languages and cultures and one wonders whether the Viking turf homes served as inspiration for the dwellings of the gentle folk of The Shire.  You can learn more about Icelandic sod homes here:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It is finished!

Well, the outside is at least.  We had 1500 square feet of sod delivered the other day, and today, with the help of my kids, we laid it all out on the hill.  The result is stunning.  You know how a room looks that is all finished except that the carpet is not in, and it looks so, well, unfinished?  Then you install carpet and it transforms the entire room?  Well, putting sod on the hill is like that.  I worked like crazy today to get this all done, and when I finally stopped, all dusty and sweaty and pooped, I sat down and just stared at it, laughing and exclaiming, I can't believe it!  It's done.  Look at it!  When my wife got home, she just stood and stared, realizing that her dream had come true.  Her vision for a wonderful grassy hill in our yard for the kids to play on, combined with a playhouse underneath--an actual hobbit-hole, had come true.  She is not one to show emotion very much, but she teared up as she admired the completed hill.

Here are some more pics of the finished hill and the work in progress:

Now all that is left is to finish the inside.  I say, all, but of course, that will still be a fair amount of work, because it is currently at about the state of an unfinished room, with the walls framed in, and the wiring and insulation done, and the floor is done, but the walls and floor aren't finished and the fixtures are not installed--oh and the electricity circuit is not hooked up yet.  So that will keep me busy this fall.  

Topsoil on the hobbit-hole

We got a big load of topsoil to cover the hobbit-hole hill, so that it wouldn't be rocky, and so that we could shape the hill a bit more and extend it out a bit at the bottom.  I was going to get some neighbor boys to help, but I got carried away a couple of Saturdays ago and just shoveled it all and raked it all myself--about 10 tons of it.  I subsequently shoveled another five tons from a secondary pile to shape it a bit more.   As you might imagine, the pounds are coming off as I work on this project.  When I started, I was hovering close to 200 lbs.  Now I am down to 179.  (I know I don't look like it in this picture, but my t-shirt is hanging down, making me look fat.)  So, I guess you could say I have discovered a new weight loss secret.

I unfortunately did not get a picture of it with the topsoil completed before I started laying the sod, which I will tell more about in my next post.
A hobbit-hole in my backyard? It may sound crazy, but I can tell you that my kids love it. It is the coolest playhouse ever. Plus, they can enjoy the grassy hill for sledding in winter and water sliding in summer. This was all my wife's idea. She dreamt it, and I got to be the one to bring it to reality. I'm not a construction expert; this was a total do-it-yourself job by a complete amateur. It has turned out rather nicely, I think. Here is the story of how it came to be.

Since this is in blog format, the posts are in order from newest to oldest. To read this in chronological order, start with How it all Began and use the "Newer Post" links. Or click on the links under Blog Archive, in order.
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