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In the backyard of our forested suburban lot, large rocks, boulders and outcroppings form shelves or layers of frozen time.

On one of those rocks, I slowly build an enclave, a getaway-from-it-all, a meditation garden, complete with writer’s cottage, treehouse and platform/deck for outdoor entertainment such as watching nature and dancing.

I have a public persona but I also value my privacy.

I consider myself a monk who practices the art of living in the midst of the joys and sorrows of modern society, despite his wishes to live alone on a mountaintop, knowing that his extroverted self provides more entertainment, insight and guidance to his species than his seclusion.

I debate extending permanent water pipes out to the cottage since the cottage, with a modular design, includes a conservatory in which plants will grow.

I definitely will extend permanent electrical power to the cottage, an extension cord currently serving temporary duty, powering rope lights in the treehouse.

This weekend I plan to complete clearing the forest floor and installing foundation footings and/or concrete piers for the first three modular units of the enclave — the conservatory (a greenhouse kit from Harbor Freight), writer’s cottage and workshop, the latter two using shed kits called “Stratford” from Heartlandind.com, linked in an L shape. 

The conservatory will have a drain hole in it to let water drain off of the waterproofed floor.

All three units will need reinforcement like screws instead of nails, more studs and more floor joists, the conservatory raised a foot higher via 2×12 foundation lumber pieces.

The deck will tie the enclave to the treehouse via a stairway to the treehouse that connects to the deck.

Current plans for now, as budget and new ideas allow!

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