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July 2nd Onward...

Project Planning via Palm Pilots

Welcome to the sixth issue of YIPPEE, the journal of Chris and Cassandra's Adventure with Yurts.

In this Volume:

  • Moose Count Elevated!
  • At Rainbow's End?
  • Q&A
  • Contests, Mugs, Money and More!


    The Moose Count has finally reached one! After years of listening enviously to stories of moose sightings by friends and neighbors, Chris saw his first moose, on 7-16-04, at 4:42pm! Do moose gallop? It sure looked that way to Chris as he joined fellow travelers in pulling off the highway...to let the moose canter on his merry way. The moose's destination remains unknown. Chris carried onwards to his meeting with a solar power installer in Cavendish. On the trip home, Chris caught sight of a rainbow which cheered him nicely. Did the moose see the same rainbow? And if so, was he cheered by it as well?


    Rain, rain and more rain, metaphorically and meteorologically, has dampened much during the past couple months. When the sun appears, shining through the rain, it is cause for cheer by anyone. If one also happens to be in the right place, at just the right time, with eyes focused in just the right direction, (as Chris was that rainy July day) a beautiful arc of colors shall further grace their day. If one traversed those ethereal colors, sliding round the arc to its very end, and found a pot o' money waiting, that rainbow would be even more cause for good cheer!

    In a manner, C&C have done just that. No, the Arkansas lottery ticket was not a winning one. That might indeed have resulted in a literal pot o' money! Instead, the rainbow C&C followed was one of their own making, created by shining universal optimism into their current condition. They persevered in their trek to locate the magic mix of funds to enable building of their safe home. Therefore, they did not give up on the bank. Lo and behold, the bank did not give up on them! After some emailing and a meeting, this rainbow end's pot o' money was shown to be a *potential* loan from the bank.

    Do not sigh or despair! While not an outright gift, or even definite yet, the bank's loan is still an enormous boon to Project YIPPEE! Admittedly, prior to meeting with the bank, C&C did themselves sigh and lean towards despair, a few times. After all, riding rainbows, whether of one's own making or not, can be a slippery endeavor. Its not all sunshine and lollipops!

    The loan officer and SRB contact have rallied on behalf of C&C's cause, to make this unique project more appealing to the financiers. As of July 28, the bank is in the final stages of preparing their offer to loan C&C funds for Project YIPPEE implementation. If given final approval, the loan will be for 95% of the appraised value, understanding full well that the appraised value may not be near true costs to construct. C&C will provide cash funding for the difference; a difference they hope is not more than $30,000. The possibility of having one mortgage, versus owing several entities and individuals, is appealing to C&C; especially when the lending institution seems willing to accommodate the project's special needs.


    No, that does not stand for Quails and Ants (though there are plenty of both at the rental house)

    Questions and Answers:

    Q: Who was beeping repeatedly in C&C's driveway, for three days in a row, the last week of June, at around 4PM each day?

    A: That was FedEx. While somebody surely knows why the driver didn't call, C&C do not care. That particular package was later picked up by Chris.

    The problem has also been solved for the future. After closing on the land, a 'Mailboxes, Etc.' address was obtained in Brattleboro, to handle all package deliveries. This will immediately benefit Cassandra by eliminating the exposures inherent in deliveries to the rental house. Once C&C have moved to their new abode, this will become their official mailing address for all mail, as well as packages.

    Q: Have the house's phone lines and internet connection been fixed?

    A: Yes and No. It was determined that there is a problem somewhere inside the house's phone wiring. A work-around was established so that Cassandra has a consistent (albeit still slow as molasses in January) connection. Chris reconfigures the work-around each time he needs to work upstairs in the house. He is subjected to the same crawling connection rate.

    Q: Have there been additional 'kick-self-in-ass' performances?

    A: Yes. Chris has arrived home at ridiculous times. C&C do not ever get good sleep on Thursday nights (if at all, since it is usually Friday AM when he arrives home). In Chris' defense, the airlines and job constraints do not always give him much of a reasonable choice. There are some things that no amount of butt kicking or Frequent-Flyer Status can solve!

    Q: How did it go with the excavator?

    A: Initially, quite nicely. A few days after closing, Chris met him at the land to review driveway placement. C&C already liked his prices and attitude. Meeting him and hearing his ideas, the choice was definitive. So, the excavator suggested that C&C first mark a proposed path. After that, he would meet Chris again to approve or alter the path as needed. Then, C&C could apply for the permit and commence clearing trees along the designated path. The excavator would then create the driveway.

    Q: That sounds like a good plan. But, what happened? Is the driveway done now?

    A: Um,...no. Unfortunately, no driveway is yet in place.

    A potential driveway path was flagged by C&C (well, yes, mostly by Chris) on July 11th. The excavator was called promptly thereafter, to make arrangements for his review. C&C continued to leave messages for him throughout the subsequent weeks.

    As nearly everyone knows, the Olympic games are getting under way this summer in Athens. Unbeknownst to many people, other feats of endurance are being attempted right now in Newfane Vermont (and on Poocham Road)! As Volume Five may have indicated, C&C prepared vigorously and expended massive efforts, gearing up for their final sprint after closing. Lined up and ready to go, they sprang into action after closing. Shortly thereafter, a huge blockade sprang up to greet them: the excavator. Not that the excavator is huge himself, nor scary, nor even unpleasant. He certainly wasn't wearing Evil Villain garb, a cape or even a dark mask. Nonetheless, he wielded a mighty power and threw up a hefty blockade. Pretty nifty trick, considering it was accomplished merely by doing nothing.

    Nearly everything for construction is dependent on the driveway being in place first. Untrained and lacking the proper equipment to tackle driveway installation themselves, C&C were stalled by the excavator's lack of response. If, at least, the driveway was definitively marked, some tasks could have proceeded slightly. In rocky, hilly terrain, placement makes a significant difference. Dwellers of the city and flat lands who read this tale will just have to trust the truth of that statement. Sure, any path can theoretically be made into a driveway with enough money to throw at the endeavor. C&C are not going to waste time and money on a path ill-suited to their land and budget.

    The woman who occasionally answered the excavator's phone effectively prolonged the obstacle; she always seemed convinced that he had gotten C&C's phone messages, and was about to call back. But, after almost three weeks with no response whatsoever, having not seen or talked with the excavator since the first week of July, C&C knew other tactics were required to complete this particular obstacle course. It was time to attempt vaulting the hurdle. With cell phone in hand, Chris ran for it and jumped! (A mighty leap it was too, since he was calling all the way to Vermont from Arkansas.) He called the land's prior owner, who had mentioned another excavator's name during closing. This call turned out to be a very good maneuver indeed. The prior owner said he'd go out to the land himself and take a look, to assess the feasibility of C&C's marked path. And, he may even be able to do the work!

    As long as a decent job can be done reasonably and quickly, C&C don't mind who does it. Winter is drawing ever closer...

    Q: Will C&C be living in their yurt haven by winter? What's next? When will building begin? How long will it take?

    A: Slow down, one question at a time...

    The first answer is an emphatic, 'If at all possible!'. The delay from the excavator was indeed disheartening and a huge setback. However, it is theoretically still possible to push forward on construction so that a transition to the new abode could occur before winter starts seriously setting in.

    Surviving life at the horrid rental house is arduous enough. Cassandra's overall recovery from MCS is prolonged every minute that she must withstand conditions there. C&C have aggressively, actively and attentively been working to extricate themselves from said miserable house for a full year. Faced with the prospect of another winter, six additional months, without safe access to air, water and food...

    C&C will shake off the violent shudders at imagining such a possibility, and once again place their trust and hopes with the universe.

    August 20th has been determined as the "Latest We Can Go For It" date. If at that time, their diligence and preparations have not produced enough results to warrant ordering the yurts (which take 7-8 weeks for delivery), then Phase III will be postponed until the Spring.

    Q: What is Phase III (and for that matter, what about Phase I and II)?

    A: The construction will be implemented in three phases, and is described in the accompanying "Construction Overview". (See the Construction section)

    This schedule will also come in handy for answering, 'What's next?'

    This newsletter's single picture belies activity level at command central. Of the 200 tasks entered into the management worksheet thus far, 52 have been completed, 50 are in progress and 98 have yet to begin. More tasks will undoubtedly be added before the project is complete; some of which will, also undoubtedly, continue to be done whilst on airplanes, or from computer and phone locations in other states.

    Chris' work schedule will undoubtedly continue providing ample opportunity for butt kicks. Undoubtedly, conditions at the rental residence will continue kicking Cassandra around. Tractors and trucks have proved incessant this year, with mold and rain filling in on other days.

    Sore and aching or not, "bad, bad, bad" status notwithstanding, C&C will, undoubtedly, continue to exhibit excellent coping skills and maintain their sanity amidst it all. Such will be the status quo throughout the remainder of this project. This has been happening all along, and will, undoubtedly, continue to happen 'next'. And next, and next and next. Until the yurt haven is established.

    Q: There are no dates in the Construction Overview. When will building begin?

    A: That depends. As soon as possible. It will happen in phases. Phase I is already in progress.

    Q: OK. Well, how long will it take?

    A: Once again, everything is hinged upon successful driveway implementation. (The new plan for that does seem like it will work out. But, it is really too soon to tell.)

    Reasonable approximations (barring any other sudden blockades, hurdles or pitfalls) for each phase are as follows:

    • Phase I: Two months
    • Phase II: Three weeks
    • Phase III: Ten to fourteen days

    These approximations are subject to change. Phase I is largely dependent on outside contractors and has already been pushed back a month. As stated previously, C&C will assess the status on August 20th and determine how to handle implementation of Phases II and III. Snow and cold must be considered. If Phase I cannot be completed by the end of September; if Push Week cannot happen before the end of October, then alterations to the plan must be made.

    Q: How can I get my very own official YIPPEE hat?

    A: Finally! An easy question! Become a member of Team YIPPEE and you will not only be given an official YIPPEE hat, but some brand new shirts, pants, socks and boxers!

    Q: How do I get onto Team YIPPEE?

    A: Team YIPPEE is comprised of anyone willing and able to assist C&C with one or more aspects of construction. The more, the merrier! The more, the faster! And, for raising the yurt (which requires 5-7 people), absolutely necessary!

    Contact Cassandra or Chris to let them know you are interested. Once more definitive dates are established, they will contact you to make arrangements.

    Q: So, who should I vote for in November?

    A: It is outside the scope of this project to answer such questions. One would do better to ask elsewhere. Besides, Project YIPPEE is not a person and not eligible to vote. It is not a corporation and has not dropped coins into the pockets of any elected official. Nor, does it employ lobbyists of any kind.

    If Project YIPPEE were concerned with voting, it might ponder the following: Do any of the candidates practice yoga? If they drink coffee, is it organic? Have any of the candidates ever done yoga and then sipped organic coffee whilst inside a yurt? How many live moose have the candidates seen, in person? How many rainbows? How many moose looking at rainbows? And, do any of the candidates wish to offer assistance to further the success of Project YIPPEE?

    This concludes the Question and Answer section of this newsletter.

    And now, onto the final, fun section of this newsletter. YIPPEE!


    Announcing two exciting Project YIPPEE Challenges! Both are open to all ages. So, please do have some fun and join in!

    The YIPPEE Logo Design Contest

    C&C are both adept with computers, but also both handicapped by things like jam-packed schedules and a total lack of access to a computer. The website logo was thrown together quickly and serves its purpose. But, C&C have desired to issue a YIPPEE mug for some time now, and need to come up with an appropriately formatted logo. Somehow this task keeps getting relegated to lower and lower priority. Go figure!

    C&C know quite a lot of fun, creative, inspired people. So, a challenge is being tossed out to all readers: come up with a YIPPEE logo.

    The YIPPEE logo should have the word YIPPEE in it, but no other text. Submissions should be via computer in high resolution (300dpi) GIF or PNG format, roughly 3" x 3" (if in doubt on size, make it bigger and we’ll reduce the size later). Submission deadline is Wednesday, September 8th. C&C will choose the winning entry. The winning entry will be issued on an official YIPPEE mug. The mugs will be available for purchase later in September, just in time for fall and a nice steaming hot mug of apple cider! The grand prize is: A warm fuzzy feeling from participating in Project YIPPEE! As if that wasn't enough incentive, the creator of the winning entry will also be shipped a completed mug (bearing their logo, of course), and their choice of either organic coffee or tea.

    The YIPPEE Acronym Challenge!

    Long ago, when C&C first moved in together, they were the privileged owners of a huge, old, but solid and sturdy, sun baked and somewhat threadbare in spots, couch. C&C were never quite sure how to describe the unusual color. Thus, at a party, they held a 'Name the Color of the Couch' contest. The winning entry has never been forgotten. To this day, if the couch is still in existence, it undoubtedly still prides itself on its hilarious and oddly fitting color, determined at that party to be... 'baboon ass red'. Now, that is one color not to be found in your Crayola set!

    Reflecting on their prior success in naming contests, C&C are now opening the virtual suggestion box to find a new set of words for the YIPPEE acronym.

    As everyone knows, Y.I.P.P.E.E. currently stands for "Yurts In Progress, Pretty Exciting Eh!?". At some point though, the yurts will be raised, and so much more than 'in progress'! Life at the C&C land will probably still be 'pretty exciting eh!', and 'yippee' will surely not be the only joyful refrain that escapes their lips. Once C&C are ensconced in their wonderful new yurt haven, they will be keeping the YIPPEE acronym, and may even put it on an archway over the driveway. But, they will need a new set of words.

    Please submit all Y.I.P.P.E.E. acronym suggestions to Chris and Cassandra for their consideration. There is no solid deadline. Maybe they'll give away a mug or something else to people whose suggestions are used. Maybe they won't. Kinda depends on how big a pot 'o money they end up with!

    YIPPEE Mugs! Coming in September!

    It's easy to become a proud supporter of Project YIPPEE and drink your coffee too! All while impressing your coworkers and friends with your knowledge of yurts and yurt dwellers.

    Why a mug? First, C&C drink lots of organic coffee and teas themselves. Then there's the fact that CafePress makes creation and distribution of logo mugs easy. And, last but certainly not least, every bit of financial assistance C&C can get is a good thing. For each mug purchased, $100 will go towards Project YIPPEE. Just kidding! The actual amount will be very much less than that, and not a huge sum, but every little bit helps.

    If mugs aren't appealing to you, and you would like to support Project YIPPEE another way, there's plenty of other ways! (If you do want a mug, and also want to do more, by all means, go for it!)

    Money and More...

    C&C subscribe to the 'ask and ye shall receive' type of philosophy. They are not ashamed to admit that this project is not only overwhelming energetically, but a little daunting from the financial angle. Being an unusual project, and trying to incorporate strict safety protocols is a very real burden. So, C&C are not above letting everyone know that they are open to considering a variety of donations. They sincerely hope their openness in this regard is not offensive to those who are more guarded in financial matters.

    That said, there are plenty of ways to contribute to, or support, Project YIPPEE (not all of which involve money!):

    • Positive vibes and love are always welcome! Keep 'em coming!
    • Join Team YIPPEE! Contributing your time and labor is very valuable indeed! (and will hopefully be joyful and fun as well) Thank you!
    • Donate to the General Fund: $5, $50, $5,000,000,000 (send a lottery ticket?) Any amount will help. It may buy a box of screws; it may pay for the steps to the deck, or the internal walls. Gift certificates, to stores where C&C will buy supplies, are an acceptable idea too.
      • Donate on-line using Paypal with our YIPPEE e-mail address.
      • Donate Home Depot Gift Certificates
    • Donate Materials: Maybe you have some materials you can part with, or maybe you have access to materials at a reduced price. Project YIPPEE will require a variety of lumber, plumbing, fixtures, electrical, etc. materials. Note, however, that many materials cannot be previously used, as they may be contaminated and thus defeat the whole purpose of building the safe residence. But, all ideas will be considered.
    • Buy Some Used Stuff: C&C have amassed a collection of items over the years that are no longer useful. They had hoped to list a bunch of it on e-bay but haven't gotten around to it yet, and probably won't until after the move. They plan to have a moving sale eventually, but maybe you don't want to wait that long. A current list of items to be sold will be provided upon request.
      • Visit Chris’ ebay listings.
    • Sponsorship: If you would like to have your corporation, organization, or business sponsor Project YIPPEE, C&C will gladly display your logo and contact information. (Healthy Brew has already signed up as a sponsor and will be providing refreshment to thirsty Team YIPPEE workers in Phase III)
    • Come up with your own unique way to benefit and further Project YIPPEE's success.

    Contact Chris & Cassandra via e-mail or phone to discuss any donation possibilities. Thanks! (Visit the Shop & Donate page for links and more info.)

  • Project YIPPEE - An Adventure in Safe Living
    Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & - gods when will this end - 2011