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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Saturday, July 12, 2008

"... a perfectly round door ..., painted green..."

It finally cooled down to the 80s, so after a 3-week hiatus, I finally made some more progress. Today, I painted the door green, put a brass door knob in the middle, and attached the pre-constructed (by me), round door jamb/threshold. This not only adds some dimension to the door, but it also ensures that it won't swing outward. (There is a gap on either side which I will fill in. The threshold structure itself wasn't wide enough to cover the full space. I just needed it to be wide enough to accomodate the doorway.)

Below is what the door looked like right after I painted it this morning, and before attaching the threshold. The last time I worked on it, I had added a stud on the left, flush with the door, and installed a ball latch, so the door will shut and stay shut, but can be simply pushed open with a little shove (or pulled open with a little tug from the inside.)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Best & Worst of Middle Earth

I'm starting a list of the best and worst of Middle Earth, which I will keep posted in the left sidebar on this blog. Please comment if you have more best and worst suggestions.

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

As I mentioned in my last post, this is the chapter I just read to my boys from The Hobbit. It also is an apt description of the weather for the past 3 weeks. After an early spring, and a cool May and early June, it suddenly jumped up to 100+ degrees and has stayed there for weeks. So, I'm afraid I have not made any progress on the hobbit-hole. It is hard to feel motivated to work on it when it feels more like the slopes of Mt. Doom than The Shire.

(It finally cooled down today, so I hope to be able to get back to work on it this week.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happiness is...

... reading The Hobbit to your 5 and 7 year old sons inside of their very-own hobbit-hole.

The other night, I slept out in the hobbit-hole with my two older boys. We stayed up late reading from the chapter, "Out of the Frying-Pan and into the Fire", when the eagles save Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Dwarves from the goblins and wolves (wargs). Although the hobbit-hole is far from finished, it was still a lot of fun to spend the night in there. Even without the back wall, and with the door only partially done, it is dry and comfortable. It is just wide enough for two adults or one adult and two small children, to lay there with their sleeping bags. It is long enough that we could fit six of us in there, three on one end and three on the other. The only trouble is that we get strong canyon winds, so without the wall and door finished, it was pretty loud. Although we were protected from the wind itself, the noise of the wind in the trees outside was bothersome. I look forward to finishing it, because it will be pretty quiet in there once it is done.