Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

Lot – View from street looking north

Michelle has granted me access to her site so that we (mostly I) can document the journey we are starting now in building the home we’ve always wanted and at the same time attempting to minimize the impact this home has on the environment.  This has been a pipe dream for us over the last three or four years, but has really materialized in the last few months as we’ve decided there’s really no better time to do this.  In a nutshell, we’ve selected plans for a beautiful Craftsman home (we both have loved this classic American design since I can remember) with a matching carriage garage and have purchased a south-facing lot just four doors down from our home now to start building and eventually live in a home that produces as much energy as it consumes (about 8kWh of electricity per year).

Felled tree looking west

We’ve lived now in a wonderful custom home at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac in Janesville for almost three years.  To say our house is more than we need is an understatement, though I must admit that having a three car garage that is larger than a good friend’s apartment in California is a bonus.  There’s never a lack of room.  We really enjoy our house now and in particular the large green space protected lot we live on that provides us with an endless assortment of roaming animals both big and small, furry and winged.

Cherry tree – I cannot tell a lie.

Perhaps it’s the encroachment of middle age that is driving me, but I’ve always wanted to build my own home.  I lost my father this February to Lewy Body Dementia (learn more at and I know that one of the things he had always wanted to do was build a dream home that he had designed about 30 years ago to be built on a lot my parents owned in western Pennsylvania.  Time passes, life carries on, and we find ourselves long past the moment when action can be taken.  I don’t want to wait and miss the window of opportunity.

Lot – Street view looking northeast

So, I’ll be posting here as things move along talking about the fun and the challenging, the “ah ha!” moments and the “DOH!” ones too.  I think this is going to not just be a journey, but an adventure for our family.  Check back for updates and more photos.


Middle of lot before clearing commenced – looking south

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