YIPPEE, Vol. III
February 9 - April 18, 2004
YIPPEE, Volume Three, February 9th through April 18, 2004: Ten Haikus for Ten Weeks
Welcome to the third issue of YIPPEE, the journal of Chris and Cassandra's Adventure with Yurts.
First, Volume 3 provides some quick answers. Yes, C&C are still living in their little yurt, behind the Poocham Road house, using that house for plumbing and power needs. No, C&C have not yet bought, found or decided on a land parcel. Yes, Chris is still 'on the bench' and employed.
These answers give the appearance that C&C are essentially in the same place as two months ago. That nothing has changed. Or, that not much has been happening on Project YIPPEE. Not true! Not true! (So much has been happening that condensing into a newsletter may be difficult.)
Volume Three, to you.
(Sections labeled with haiku.)
'Five hundred forty dollar
electric bill means,
"Yikes", not yippee. OW!'
After receiving their February electric bill of $544, C&C discovered that one heater in their horrid rental house was mysteriously attempting to heat the entire first floor, despite being turned off. Unfortunately for their pocket books, this unique heater is located on the north side of the house on a not-so-unique uninsulated wall. Chris turned off that heater's circuit to stem the outpouring of funds. The following day, after seeing their breath in the house, they reversed course for fear of freezing the pipes. C&C could only hope for a quick end to winter.
March and April's electric bills were lower. Sadly, as of this writing, the heater is still working intermittently, undoubtedly attempting to heat Poocham Road during the below freezing nights.
'Boston, Rhode Island,
Maryland and Atlanta.
Fifteen days for job.'
Chris' job took him away from home to training in Boston (PeopleCode 8.44), on sales calls in RI and MD, and for a conference in Atlanta. He has also worked some from home, in the house's upstairs office. He has not yet been assigned to his next project.
Whether Chris is working at home for his employer, working at the computer for Project YIPPEE or doing tasks involving unsafe materials, he and Cassandra have logistical problems to solve. Any trip to or from the house's upstairs office means Cassandra is banned from the house for an hour until the air is safe enough for her to enter. Therefore, C&C must spend significant time planning task sequences.
Lowell, Ripton and
four Westminster Wests.'
Recovering from unsafe exposures during travel involves several days of difficulty for Cassandra. C&C's trip to Westminster West on February 17th prompted them to change their land search process. They realized it is more effective to have Chris do the initial review on his own, having Cassandra make the trek only if the land parcel proves worth additional consideration. This saddens them both: Cassandra because she loves hiking and exploring, Chris because he knows exactly what she is missing and would prefer to share it with her. He takes pictures with the digital camera, which is later hooked into the television for sharing. This does not compare with being on the land itself. Yet, it is far superior to the consequences from having Cassandra travel.
So it happened that Chris made several day trips for Project YIPPEE. He had already traveled to Baltimore, VT on February 14th to talk to the town clerk and some neighbors. Cassandra would not have gone on this trip regardless because it involved lots of unsafe exposures.
So, on Feb 26th, Chris went back to Westminster West. He snowshoed with the realtors in an attempt to locate the boundaries that C&C could not locate earlier in the month. On March 14th, he snowshoed in Lowell VT, on a property which had several parcel options: 35 acres, 40 acres and 200 acres. The lower acreage parcels got ruled out right away. C&C have also ruled out the larger parcel due to cost. On March 22nd, Chris snowshoed in Montgomery, VT on a 75 acre lot. On April 6th, he stumbled around on a Ripton, VT parcel. Chris knew right away this lot was not right; its only positive quality was the presence of at least one regular moose. Snow covered the ground on all these trips, but Chris didn't mind snowshoe trekking. He had ample supplies in his pack, including chocolate bars.
Chris & Cassandra did make two more trips together to the Westminster West property. They snowshoed and roped it on March 3rd. "Roped" means they used a 100 foot rope to measure approximate distances between the points described on the deed. It proved a useful effort as they left with a better understanding of the 47.7 acre property's boundaries. They returned on March 15th to hike (yes, hike... no snowshoes involved) the interior. With almost all of the snow melted, they discovered the interior land to be rocky with numerous ponds. They realized how few possible building sites the property had for their particular needs in creating a buffer between home and neighbors. Nonetheless, they found two potential areas and went home to weigh the pros and cons of this land lot. A contract offer made later that same day by other folks quickly resolved the issue, and C&C moved on to review other properties.
For each property that is visited, there are numerous others that have been considered, researched and ruled out. The listing agent for the Westminster West property was quite agreeable to C&C; Chris got a good vibe while meeting him to review the goals. This agent got C&C registered for email notification of statewide Vermont listings, using Project YIPPEE's land criteria. To catch C&C up on all current listings, the first few notifications included a long list of properties. In subsequent notifications, listings had slowed to a trickle, adding only newly listed properties. Since the listings could only be viewed online, Chris would spend some time upstairs going through and capturing the text for each. Afterwards, it was sent to Cassandra for review. She made notes of each number, locating it on the map and perusing the description for obvious disqualifiers. Wording like "right next to VAST trails!" (Vermont's snowmobile trail system) or "long narrow parcel" or "great road frontage along Rt. x", (x being any paved highway) or "only 1 mile from the McDonald's!" or "abuts an orchard" or "marshland", resulted in an immediate cross-out from the list. Also, some listings were not appropriately zoned for residential full year living and got excluded. There was a long list on February 16th and this took up much of Cassandra's day. Remember, she was working with pen, paper, map and Palm. No Mapquest yet. After Cassandra had whittled down the list, she reviewed potentials with Chris to get his take. Then he went back to the agent to request more info. A map was key. If the online listing had one, Chris could go upstairs the next time their scheduling allowed for it, transfer it to his Palm, which at that time had better resolution, and share it with Cassandra. Often, after analyzing the map, properties could be ruled out. If it was still in the running, C&C attempted to find the exposure and snowmobile situation. If this proved acceptable, or if everything else seemed promising and Chris was going there anyway..the two made plans for Chris to visit.
The review procedure continued like this until April 11th when C&C started looking online for land, from the yurt, using their new Palms.
When it comes to taking a trip to look at land, the following things are gathered and packed into the XTerra: oxygen tanks, air filter, snowshoes and poles, t.p. and a pee bucket, ample water and food, backpacks, ample outdoor wear, emergency kit, cell phones, camera and Palm Pilots, shots/needles, root beers, baking soda, chocolate. Directions to the property, a map and deed of the property along with rope and compass are, of course, critical to every trip.
These parcels are wooded, remote, large and usually without internal pathways. Not for your average city slicker to be sure! Finding and walking the boundaries of these land parcels can take several hours. Combine that with time to assess the area, sense the vibe, traveling to and fro, packing and unpacking, and then helping Cassandra towards recovery. An entire day can easily be made of one land look.
The one-way driving distances and times (per Mapquest) from Poocham Road to each property's town follows:
- Westminster West: 22 miles, 38 minutes.
- Baltimore: 39 miles, 1 hr 4 minutes.
- Lowell: 161 miles, 3 hrs 8 minutes.
- Montgomery: 167 miles, 3 hrs 32 minutes.
- Ripton: 101 miles, 2 hrs 25 minutes.
Now you know.
'Chris and Cass would like to sing,
"Goodbye to Winter,
and Welcome to Spring".'
Maybe they will one day soon. For now it is enough to know that, according to the calendar, C&C survived winter in their little 14' yurt! YIPPEE!
Here is a sampling of the weather fluctuations.
- Feb 8th: C&C can see their breath in the house. Brrrrr! "Let's get back to the yurt as fast as we can!"
- Feb 16th: Those noisy tractors are still working despite the -10F midday temperature!
- Mar 1st: It is a freaky 40F after being only zero degrees a few days ago. Still have a foot or more of snow on the ground, but it is now getting mushy and around the trees it has mostly disappeared.
- Mar 16 and 17th: Beautiful, fluffy snow fall! Ahhh! Snowshoeing is fun!
- Mar 21st: More snow falls after most prior snow had disappeared.
- Apr 15th: While hiking at Westminster West, C&C see an ice covered pond and spot a few lingering snow piles. The serenading bullfrogs didn't seem to mind.
Yup, just another typical springtime in New England. As of this writing, the leaves are beginning to form and open. The bright pale green hints at Spring's presence, lurking just over yonder. She'll be here soon, won't she? Yes, soon. They can hope!
'Laundry, garage, FedEx, mail.
Cass is stuck in yurt.
Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad!'
Spring may be welcome. But, the many unsafe substances lurking near and about the yurt are not, and continue causing problems. Coping with these detracts from time spent on Project YIPPEE. Cassandra's suffering will be greatly alleviated by moving to a safe environment. Yet, her dire health situation is a major impediment to completion of tasks needed to make that move. Pervasive conundrum. A nightmarish circle to which the only obvious answers are perseverance, patience and continued steps congruent with the ultimate goal.
What caused the excruciatingly difficult illness during this time?
First, unrelenting exposures to many types of unsafe substances. Laundry chemicals, air fresheners and personal care products drifted or were blown nearby and even seeped into the yurt itself: from delivery people, passers-by, Chris' work clothes and the house's dryer vent on the outside of the house. Various solvents and chemicals from the house's drafty garage also blew around, leaking out through all of the three doors. Toxins inherent in postal mail were practically a daily problem with every delivery, even though Cassandra does not ever go near the mailbox or the mail itself. Early in February a FedEx delivery person ventured around back to the yurt, ignoring the note out front giving permission to leave the package, insistent on obtaining a signature. As careful as C&C are, they cannot eliminate the occasional possibility that Chris might carry some lingering contaminants to the yurt after travels, trips to the store or the upstairs office. Recovery from the exposures described here varies depending on the intensity and duration of exposure: the FedEx delivery (the third of its kind since moving into the yurt) took two weeks. Other less direct exposures generally take 24-72 hours. With the exposures happening on a daily basis, illness was a virtually ceaseless condition.
The second cause of difficulty arose from detoxification symptoms. For a variety of reasons, Cassandra's body has not always been able to properly purge toxins. These have accumulated over time. Now that Cassandra is healthier, her body is better able to detoxify and therefore working overtime at this function. While this is definitely a positive development and necessary for Cassandra's optimum health, it can also be excruciatingly painful and debilitating. Until Project YIPPEE is complete, C&C avoid doing anything which will encourage deep detoxification. But her body strongly desires to rid these deeply held toxins now, and can hardly be convinced to wait until Project YIPPEE is finalized.
Making matters worse, one normally wonderful aspect about the yurt began to turn into frustration towards the end of March. The yurt's dome skylight lets in light so that on wintry days the yurt is bright despite having all windows covered. The 14' yurt never felt confining; no "cabin fever" for C&C! With the sun's rays streaming in, the heater could also be turned off or down. However, once outdoor temps began to rise, the greenhouse heating effect became a big problem. The prevalence of illness-provoking substances nearby outside meant that C&C could not open the windows or dome to reduce the temperature, without risking getting Cassandra sick. The unsafe exposures and heat conditions were so unbearable on March 26th that on the following day, C&C actually considered whether they should move back into the house (which won't warm up for a long while). But the house is absolutely detrimental to Cassandra's health. So, she was left with no place to go: inside the yurt was stifling hot with frequent unsafe exposures, outdoors was virtually continually unsafe and inside the house was absolutely always unsafe.
C&C made several changes in hopes of mitigating Cassandra's health difficulties and improving progress on YIPPEE. More accurately, Chris performed the tasks as they would have further debilitated Cassandra. Besides, during much of this time, she was focusing a lot of energy on surviving each minute, hour and day. Not only for the sake of Project YIPPEE, but also for their spirits, the two strived to provide her a break from the relentless agony. Their cheerful optimism was challenged more frequently than at any other time in the past few years. Often, all that Cassandra could manage as description of a day's troubles was "bad, bad, bad".
- In mid-February, after his Boston class ended, Chris blocked and covered two of the garage doors. The one out front, where Cassandra never goes and where deliveries are made, was left alone.
- Chris originally kept the house's external dryer vent covered in snow. (C&C use a ventless clothes dryer and the internal dryer vent access had long ago been blocked.) On March 12th, after various work travels were finished, the snows were melted enough and that area was dry, Chris blocked and covered the house's dryer vent.
- C&C also installed better weather stripping around the bottom of the yurt on March 12th.
- Cassandra continues to wear her mask between the yurt and house, and inside the house as much as possible.
- Chris tied bright yellow rope between the house and the trees, on both sides of the house, to prevent further delivery person exposures. He printed explanatory notices which were sealed in Ziploc bags (for Cassandra's protection as well as weatherizing) and then attached to the ropes.
- At the post office, a P.O. Box was obtained and all mail delivery stopped to the Poocham Road address.
Finally, C&C addressed all the unsafe exposures that are outside their sphere of influence and could only be avoided by living elsewhere. NAET treatments were done on April 1st, 7th and 10th. After some time for detoxification and assimilation, these did help to alleviate the problems. Cassandra still has to detoxify from the unavoidable exposures, but the symptoms have either been eliminated and/or are not debilitating anymore.
As for the detox aspect of Cassandra's symptoms, C&C explored an avenue they discovered in early February. The basic method is called ion cleanse and uses ionized water to pull toxins through the feet, reducing stress on the kidneys, liver and lymphatic system. Chris looked up information online and Cassandra made calls to investigate and learn more. They purchased a unit called an Ion Spa from Wellspring Products and tested it for safety. On March 16th they gave it a trial test run and proceeded to make sure it would be safe and beneficial for Cassandra. It has turned out to be an excellent purchase; helpful in keeping the detoxes from carrying on too long. An important factor in helping C&C do all that they must do to get onto their own land.
Hopefully C&C will find their land soon and start building their safe retreat, which remains the ultimate step they can take towards healing.
'Ken March twenty first
visitor to yurt.
(go to Healthy Brew dot com)'
[Get it? Ken MARCH...MARCH twenty FIRST...FIRST visitor to yurt! Witty, eh?]
On March 21st, the first visitor to the yurt arrived. Ken March (President, CEO, BraŁmeister and IT Consultant of Healthy Brew, as well as brother of Cassandra) coordinated a quick visit to the yurtlings while passing sort of nearby on brewery-related business. 'Sort of' because truly...what is nearby Poocham Road? Not much. Boston surely isn't. Nonetheless, Ken made the 2.5 hour drive and arrived in his PT Cruiser rental car around 6PM. Standard decontamination procedures commenced. Chris and Ken traveled through the snow to the yurt (not much of a walk) to meet Cass for dinner and conversation in the yurt. Ken retired to sleep in the house's upstairs den. They were all up having breakfast by 5AM, with both Ken and Chris heading out by 6AM.
'Help and hindrance.
Palm Pilots suck. Thus,
seven Palms for Cass and Chris.'
Chris' frustration with the Palm corporation began long before C&C knew they'd be living in a yurt. But that's another story not worth going into here. That story intersects with YIPPEE when Chris' Palm Pilot had so many problems that he could no longer put up with it and sought out a replacement. The model he got was a Tungsten C, with built in thumb keyboard and web browser. Like his prior one, it is compatible with Cassandra's Palm modem. Her Palm Pilot, an M505, had been upgraded to handle emails back in January. Since then, it completely crashed several times. Each time, it had to be restored from backup the next time Chris was home. Both he and Cassandra spent significant time restoring data and settings. (Think, 'distraction and time that could be better spent on YIPPEE') Also each time, Cassandra lost up to a week's worth of information. Thus, Chris suggested that Cassandra purchase a Tungsten C as well. She did. Or rather, Chris did it for her.
Pretty easy so far. Four Palm Pilots. But, Palm doesn't make it easy and from here the story gets convoluted. For simplicity, due to a problem, Chris' Tungsten C gets returned for a replacement (#5). Cass' also gets returned for a replacement (#6), due to a different problem. Getting her the replacement did not resolve the problem, a high pitched whine, and a new keyboard problem showed up. Chris returns it and attempts to gets another, but the store has no more. None of their other stores have any either. The online stores all seem to be out. Chris breaks his vow and buys one directly from Palm (#7). This one ends up having the original problem, a high pitched whine, but is otherwise acceptable. Exasperated, C&C switch Palms; Chris doesn't mind the high pitched whine as much. According to research he did online, most all Palms have it and the only fix he found was 'put up with it, nobody can do anything about it' and 'its just a price you pay for more features'. C&C are interested in leaving Palm devices entirely, but they will save that adventure for another year as it would have taken even more time.
As it was, the time from start to finish of this entire Seven Palm Shuffle spanned two and a half months. Some of this story actually bleeds over into YIPPEE Volume 4, but C&C don't want to think about it anymore! Each of the replacements involved data restoration and various reconfigurations, before the problems were apparent. For Cass' there were also extensive email process changes which involved Chris. All Palms are dependent on a laptop or desktop; Cass cannot access hers.
Setting aside all the hindrances encountered, the new Palms have turned out to be a help to Project YIPPEE. There have been no complete crashes yet. Chris is not constantly on the verge of chucking his Palm out the window. Cussing about Palms has subsided to a reasonable level. And most significantly, Cassandra has access to the web. This will alleviate some of the obstacles to project implementation that arise due to her inability to access stores, magazines, papers, catalogues and the like. Even before Project YIPPEE, Chris had to place orders and look up information. Thankfully, C&C's hunch was correct and all the hassle during this phase does end up working out later in April.
Now, if only they could only get a faster dial up connection!
P.S. If interested in Chris' full 'Palm Sucks' rant, send him an email.
Towards the end of these ten weeks, C&C addressed another technical issue: mobile phones. For those of you living in cities, this may seem simple. Not so in these parts! Coverage is spotty and many areas only have one viable carrier. Make that one carrier. Viability remains an open issue. Since Cassandra's plan ends in May and Chris expensively exceeded his allowed minutes a few months in a row, they explored this issue. Cassandra cannot safely use any of the landline phones; her mobile phone is the only safe option. So it is important to keep hers active. But, with their final destination unknown, C&C opted to only gather information about potential areas they might settle. They will continue on with month to month plans for now and make a decision once a land choice is finalized.
At the beginning of April, as C&C were in the midst of working out Palm Pilot issues, Chris setup an official YIPPEE email. Both C&C can access it which makes things lots easier for the project.
'Heavy, box spring, mattress, drill.
Bed goes up and down.
Chris and Cassandra can now do it on the floor. Yoga, people. Yoga. When these ten weeks started, the fold up bed was too heavy to healthfully lift and pull down. Most mornings Chris did yoga on the floor between the bed and door, with Cassandra doing bed yoga.
At the end of February, C&C switched the mattress for the box spring. Not only was sleeping on the box spring uncomfortable, but it was still not light enough. It stayed that way though, as Chris was traveling. There was another hurdle. Each time the mattress and box spring are taken out of their protective coverings, a necessity for the rearranging tasks, Cassandra has a few days of miserable reactions to tolerate. C&C carefully plan Cassandra's exposures to unsafe substances based on what else must be accomplished. Finally after two weeks, they switched back to using the mattress in their homemade fold up bed frame. And left it down. Back to many mornings of bed yoga and floor yoga.
C&C considered buying a futon, which is of course meant to go easily up and down. Chris looked online and at a few stores. They got a note from Cassandra's doctor approving C&C to forego flame retardant, and get an untreated organic mattress. By U.S. law people cannot buy them without doctor approval. Cassandra cannot tolerate the mattress and box spring as they are now, after numerous years of out gassing. No and low chemical options in the U.S. society are often considerably more expensive. Even if C&C had been ideologically open to it, buying an 'el cheapo' futon bed to get them through the next six months was not an option from a health standpoint. So, buying a futon was eventually nixed as an option. It would have entailed too many risks for health, too much time that could be better spent on YIPPEE and additional expense that could not be easily justified.
On the 31st of March, C&C rearranged the yurt to a much better scenario. The table got moved to the other side where the sunlight wouldn't be blinding them as it passed across the spring sky, and as they sat there eating or planning. The phone connection for dial up was already located on that side, making checking email much easier. With a few other little adjustments the layout was greatly improved; important for living in such a small area.
With this revised layout, C&C had the idea to turn the bed so that the hinges are on the longer side. Chris got the drill out and change commenced. With less height to lift, enough weight shifted to enable the mattress and frame to be lifted more easily. Still heavy. But doable.
Thus, by the end of these ten weeks, the bed goes up: yoga space, sitting space. Bed goes down: sleeping time.
'Builder, bank, busted.
Yurts, notes, fax, mail, sheds, loft, deck.
Many Ziploc bags.'
On February 21st, the first 'YIPPEE' notebook, a tree-free hemp sketchbook, was created. A little over a month later after an extensive planning meeting on March 25th, C&C decided to make this The single official 'YIPPEE' notebook. Cassandra subsequently organized all the various notes and such into one place.
Also on February 21st, Cassandra's sister told the two about an off-the-grid yurt home on 54 acres for sale in VT. Intrigued, Cassandra followed-up. It turned out to be expensive, given that C&C could only use the fellow's yurt structure for the Welcome Center, not the Main Living Area. The seller's yurt was a different kind than C&C had seen in prior explorations; more of a regular house shaped like a yurt. Chris went online to Oregon Yurtworks' website and converted information to text for Cassandra to review. She determined that, while these yurts are kinda neat, they are definitely not viable for C&C's project as they are considerably more money, take lots more time and would involve overcoming essentially the same health risks as a normal house.
Later on, after gaining internet capabilities, Cassandra explored other yurts online. The design challenges encountered by C&C prompted them to consider yurts of different dimensions and search out ideas for interior layout. Larger yurts could not be found except by specialized construction. A company with similar yurts to the one C&C currently have is Nestingbird Yurts. Because that company's website is not PDA friendly, additional information was requested on April 2nd. After receiving it in the mail, Chris separated and put the brochure and sheets of information into Ziplocs for Cassandra's review. She did this, and contacted the sales agent with questions on the 13th and again on the 14th, in attempts to ascertain the details.
Many Ziploc bags have been used during Project YIPPEE, as protective yet transparent barriers. Bills and notes received in the mail, catalog pages of interest, brochure pages, faxes received showing detail on land, information printed by Chris, any item that must be viewed or read: these are sealed into bags prior to bringing them into the safe zone (the yurt). To keep organized, a separate YIPPEE storage bin was established. Once the bagged papers no longer need to be available for reference, Chris can take them back upstairs where he removes them to be filed or recycled and can reuse the bag. This continues until such time as the bag gets worn out or perforated so that it no longer provides protection.
To reiterate the plan, C&C had decided on January 25th that the optimum configuration was to keep the safe living space, or Main Living Area (MLA), and unsafe work and storage space, or Welcome Center (WC), apart. The MLA should be pretty near the middle of the property.
Since C&C are creating this home from ground zero, they have spent time considering every minute aspect and need. Throughout February and March they reviewed their preferences, needs and desires. They separated items into three areas: fixed costs, design dependent costs and land dependent costs.
Using the YIPPEE notebook, a pen and small metal ruler, Cassandra began sketches for floor plan designs at the end of March. She had previously made measurements of many of their belongings. Chris helped her obtain a few more. He also Ziploc-bagged several floor plan and photo examples from 30' Pacific Yurts. C&C soon realized that their needs were different than many people's. They cannot use a public laundry and must allow space to do it at home. They have several large health related items which eat up space: a sauna, inversion table and stationary bike. The massage table sets up and stores easily so is not a factor. Cassandra enjoys creating food and Chris enjoys eating said creations; plus, the two aim to eventually have a garden and put more food away. Thus, having a tiny kitchen is not a good idea. Having survived for years without adequate and safe kitchen space, C&C are looking forward to using a good kitchen.
Trigonometry again became useful for C&C as they analyzed the compatibility of a loft and the roof angle. A few days later, Cassandra began working on ideas for a central loft which provides more room. Having had to move furniture out of the way for years, C&C are dedicated to creating a yoga routine and relaxation space. Originally, they thought the loft could be used for this. To test, they measured and taped out comparable loft space on the 14' yurt floor, then did yoga inside it. But their concern was having enough height to do standing stretches. By April 5th, a better plan was under way, having the living 'room' up on the loft with storage and closets beneath and other 'rooms' surrounding it below. C&C used the house, which is only a little longer than 30', to help them visualize space. They taped various points on the floor, and masked out the loft. On April 10th, string was taped up to estimate the roof and skylight proportions. Later that day, C&C decided on their 30' yurt floor plans and with minor tweaking over several subsequent days, it has remained to date. Cassandra also began working on designs to connect the 30' and 14' yurts and decking.
For the Welcome Center, C&C thought perhaps a ready made shed might work. Because Cassandra will not use the WC, there is leeway in use of unhealthful, more 'normal' building substances. While Chris was out traveling in early April he obtained several brochures from a shed company in White River Junction.
Earlier in February, Chris had searched online and found two 'Green Builders' in Vermont. C&C crafted an email inquiry and sent that out when they were planning on February 21st. C&C hoped for help figuring out a few things. One of the builders did reply from his small off-the-grid winter home in Hawaii. After a few explanatory emails back and forth describing C&C's project and what the builder does, all parties agreed to talk in mid-March when the builder returned to Vermont. They talked a couple times but it became apparent that C&C needed to finalize their plans before much progress could be made.
Cassandra had spent some time with a mortgage officer over the phone in the fall to determine C&C's pre-qualified loan amount and obtain information on various scenarios. On March 30th, with more details in hand, Chris met with the bank in person to review the YIPPEE project. Whether or not that particular bank will finance the yurts and construction is still a pending issue. They have no problem financing land and improvements. But, despite C&C's intention to make their yurt complex a fully established home, these financiers consider yurts too portable. Once C&C have more definitive pricing and plans, Chris can revisit the bank which has a 'Socially Responsible Banking' division which may have more leeway in financing a yurt project.
Busted! Since Cassandra cannot go to stores or even see catalogues, Chris took his camera with him to Home Depot on April 4th to take pictures of various appliances to show her. But this caused suspicion in the store personnel and the manager was called over! Fortunately he accepted Chris' explanation and so... Chris was allowed to continue. Cassandra was able to see the appliances Chris wanted to show her. But, that methodology has not been tried again.
'Now our tale is spun.
YIPPEE three is done.
Peace and joy to everyone.'