Monday, May 15, 2017

And then Some.


Some dry weather we've had here lately. Typically, I don't write about dry weather. But not because I don't like dry weather necessarily. Because it just doesn't happen often. I live in a swamp. Well, technically I live across the street from a swamp. But one thing about swamps is, they really don't like to be dry. 

Because it's been a good 6 weeks or more without any measurable rain the bogs are all dry. The most amazing thing happens when you dry a bog. It's flammable. Seriously. 

So the past 2 weeks my home has been surrounded by wildfires. We spent an entire week packed and ready for mandatory evacuations. Luckily that never happened to us, but across the street it did.



It's truly unnerving to look out your widow to see this sight. I could actually see the flames for 2 nights, and I didn't sleep much either. Now we wake up to the smell of fire every morning and as the morning warms and the breezes kick in the haze lifts. It's not so scary any more but we all know it wouldn't take much for this to happen again.

I am so thankful for my wonderful life, for my home and children. Believe it or not thousands of acres burned and no homes were lost. A few outbuildings, but no homes, and all humans remain safe as well.

Hope you are all safe.

Barbie~

Monday, April 24, 2017

Shutting off Vs. Shutting down.

I thought I would shut this space down. I thought by now it would be gone. But, I was wrong.

It's been well over a year since my last post and by some insane twist of fate my blog appeared on my screen today. I started typing something and hit enter, without even looking at the screen. Next thing I knew I was staring at a picture of the cabin in Alabama. I found myself wondering why I never post any more, and then looking back at the last few posts.

I know why I stopped posting. I was caught up in the devastation of how many hours, days, months, years - how many thousands of dollars and how much hope I had for this next adventure in my life. I knew it would cost sweat, tears and yes even blood. I didn't expect the emotional toll that it would take.

That beautiful cabin is still unfinished. The contractor fell very ill. (Passed away in February) He was unable to finish the job and his son stepped up to try to complete our project. Instead he left us worse off. We are yet to finish the basement out. It floods every other time it rains.  We have plans to beat this, but we have planned before. Each time I think will be the last, and then it rains, and floods again.

Because we are spending so much time and effort on the basement, things like painting the interior and finishing the trim work, all are falling to the wayside. I haven't gardened properly since this all started and now my garden is so far gone. I will be starting over. A new plan is under way to make the space usable again, but like all our projects it's second fiddle to the cabin.

So my day to day life grinds on with all of the normal ups and downs. Life is busy, work is busy, kids are busy, but it's just an excuse I used to turn it off.

So - here I am again. I need a new outlook, and I am hopeful to continue in this space once more. I think my first few posts will be updates. It hasn't all been bad after all. There has been plenty to share, I was just not thinking that way.

Barbie~


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cabin







Sent from my iPhoneIt's finally coming together. The next 2 -3 weeks promises a whole lot of blood sweat and tears. We will be doing the floors, cabinets, doors, baseboards, painting and I am sure the million other things that will come up between now and finishing this project. I'm looking forward to finishing this up and at the same time I am dreading the work that must be done to finish it.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

HOME

The progress may be slow on the cabin, but meanwhile at home there is a lot going on...


The travertine tile we chose arrived. it was 5 crates and just enough room to get it into the garage and still be able to pull the mower in.







After we got the delivery we went right into destroying renovating the house. While some parts were fairly easy, just time consuming, like pulling up the carpet and the tack, Other parts were quite a bit more difficult.











After several days of back breaking work trying to lift the old tiles out with a hammer and a chisel we finally rented this machine. It was kind of a mini jack hammer and that make the work much easier. Not that holding up a 40 pound jack hammer and chipping away tile is easy, but it was better than the weeks that it would have taken us to do it by hand.

Unfortunately once we got the tile broken up we found a few things that we were not expecting....at all! First and foremost the concrete was not poured evenly. For the most par this was fixed with varying the amount of mortar used under the tiles that were affected. In one instance we were left with a 'hollow' tile. That isn't pleasant sounding and may last a long time, but will be more susceptible to cracking and breakage in the future. Unfortunately at the double doors you can see in that picture there is a 6-8" gap that will have to have concrete poured in. Thank goodness for the easy DIY self-leveling stuff at Home Depot. We haven't done it yet but it's one of the next things on the list.

We have already laid the majority of the living/dining area (first picture w/couches) It's not complete yet, but getting there. It looking like another 2-3 weeks before it will be complete. Because the tile is being laid in a pattern I can't go tile the bathroom from the back forward and you can't tile from the front back because you are not supposed to walk on the tile. That means I have to do about 4 ft in and then one side leave it until the following time I can spend on it and then fill in around the toilet, bath, etc and only walk on the side that is set. There are a few areas like this otherwise we'd just work through it and finish this weekend.
daylight

I like the variability of the tile and when we are finished laying it all it will need to be grouted and sealed. The sealer will enhance the color. I imagine it will make it look more like the night time photo once complete. The grout lines are super fine as we abutted the tiles as much as possible but there are also small holes that will need to be filled. I think I'm dreading the grouting more than I did the demolition.

Needless to say the garden is still sitting on the back burner. I'd love to pay attention to it but there are not enough hours in the day. Of course right now even if I had more hours, I'm completely exhausted so I wouldn't be accomplishing much else anyway. The lemons and limes are coming in steady and nothing else is producing right now. I pulled up all the sweet potatoes. We had such a wet summer that most of them rotted. The ones I did pull up are already gone. I didn't let them cure this time, just ate them.

Tonight I go to a play my sons been working on N3RD and tomorrow the birthday fun begins for my twins. They will have the classroom cookies/cupcakes and a fun night of BINGO at school. Saturday will be spending dinner and the evening with the BFF and Sunday is church pick up pizzas & cake and then their party. 

Call me late for bed! It's only just after lunch and I'm pooped already. *sigh*


See you soon!

Barbie~












Tuesday, October 27, 2015

3 more weeks, and still slow

It's been another 3 weeks and things are still not moving along. The only thing that has really gotten done is the back porch, and the window framing for the picture windows near the roofline. But otherwise construction in general is just not being done. We were there for 3 days and saw the guys for a total of 2 hours. The 2 hours directly prior to dusk, and of course that ruined the one opportunity we had for archery season. Ah well. Rifle season will be open next time.

3 weeks ago...............................................................................................This weekend
 






So some tar paper is the only difference in the front.
But the back is showing a bit of progress finally! The porch is on, YIPPEE!! We have stairs now to access the house and no longer have to climb a ladder or scaffolding.

In addition to that, the ability to sit on the porch and dream is a God send. It's really easy to get lost in the day to day of the construction when you are waiting so that you can do your portion of the work. We were told it would be done by October and then one delay after the next and we are looking at being lucky if it's ready by the end of November for us to do our part. That stinks because it will put a major damper on hunting season. Then again it will only be one season, right? RIGHT!?!?!?!  Yes. This I am sure of. So there might be a few less pounds of meat in the freezer but the home being complete...will make it all worth it. :-)


We are traveling up every 2 weeks now because the final stages need so much input. How many sockets, where will they go? Where should we wire for this lighting or that lighting, what fixtures will we use, etc. It makes it feel exciting until the fixtures have been sitting for 3 weeks. Looks like they will still be there 3 weeks from now as well. So I'll update again soon. Hopefully the roof will be finished and the walls will be up at least mostly by then. *Crossing fingers*

See you soon!

Barbie~

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Still progressing

The building has suddenly taken a turn for the slow. As in it's been on the back burner for a while.

The only thing that has managed to get done is the roof structure. Last time I posted pictures the frame was going in. Now 3 weeks later the tongue in groove is on, but so far the insulation plywood and roofing materials have not been finished. While the weather hasn't been helpful it also hasn't been the only reason things aren't getting done. I know that everyone who has ever built a home has some sort of horror story to tell and I consider myself lucky that so far at least what we have been dealing with is comparatively minor. But the contractor actually ran out of OlyLogs. Olylogs are the fasteners used to hold the logs together. Yes, the logs are jointed and there is a male side and a female side to make the fit perfect by itself, but these fasteners make the home just that much stronger.


Here is an illustration of the D logs that have the male and female joints. It's like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle.

So needless to say not much got done without those fasteners. The building supply house couldn't get them in for 2 weeks and essentially it shut down all productivity.

Gripe over. things are beginning to move along again and here are the latest pictures.



Here is the view looking up from inside the cabin. The wood interior isn't going to be stained. We plan on simply sealing the wood. We absolutely LOVE the look of the wood just the way it is. The sealer should enhance the tone and knottyness.... Is that a word? I don't think it really is. LOL The floors and the exterior of the cabin will be stained and then sealed but we wanted to keep the interior as light and bright as we could. 

The parents are heading up this weekend and we are hopeful they will bring back good news with them. Meanwhile we will be going up in 3 weeks. I can't wait. It's time to take measurements in the old cabin to figure out what is going where, and also time to pick our light fixtures and other such necessities for the new place.

See you soon!

Barbie~


Monday, September 28, 2015

Harvest Monday 9.28.15




So many eggs I started experimenting with baking. Some things have flopped but other are a hit. My favorite but not the kids is a savory crust less quiche type dish. I made it in my cast iron skillet. It fluffed up like a soufflé and taste like a cross between soufflé and quiche. A keeper for sure.

This weeks harvest is actually much larger than it looks but it does consist of only these things. Lemons lines eggs and the very last beautiful yummy avocado.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sept 16th

It's been 2 weeks and progress was slow recently. A bad pattern of raining during the week and not on the weekend led to a large amount of down time on the cabin.

However - they were able to get the structure walls framed and they have begun framing on the roof. If it stays dry they'll be able to seal the concrete this week and get the dirt back around it.

Another 10 days when we go back and things should be buttoned up. We'll see. We are already past the original due date and as I stated to begin with I thought it was a ridiculous timeline. I just want it all done by October 20th so we can start working on getting the flooring started and cabinets installed.

Things are looking good!



The view is from the back of the house.

The "T" structure is made out of 2x4's for an idea of the size of the beams. They look little from here, but they are actually quite large.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

3 more days.

I'll get to see it for myself in 3 more days. Meanwhile the builder took pity on us and sent some more pictures. Good thing. I was so anxious to see the color and texture of the planks. Now at lease I have an idea.

Of course now I've gone from wanting to see the planks to wanting to see the walls up. Can't please me, huh? hehe. Really though I'm just excited because this is the part of the build where every single day shows a drastic change. Once the walls are up and the roof is on the changes will happen slowly and there won't be much to look at. I mean, really - how exciting is it to see a plumbing doing our rough in? It's when the toilets and counters and tub goes int hat will make the difference. Same with the electrician. Wires? Big whoop - Light fixtures? COOL!

So since he let me see the last few days progress, I shall show you. Aren't you glad? ;-)
OOOhhh.... I can smell it from here. That fresh cut wood scent is intoxicating to me. It ranks right up there with the smell of leather and horses. Pure Bliss.


The dirt is still moved away from the cinder block/basement portion and I'm a little in the dark as to why. I thought they sealed it already, but I could be wrong. I'll find out on Friday night or Saturday morning I guess. 

Just look at those teeny tiny windows in the basement. It makes me nervous for just how dark it's going to be down there. That and the fact there are a DOZEN columns through the basement... Eh it's supposed to be a safe room and storage mainly. I must remember this. Trying to make it somewhat functional is going to be challenging.

See you soon!

Barbie~


Thursday, August 27, 2015

EEK! It's wood, isn't it!?

Haha. What you see is the delivery of the planks.

 

The builder must think I have a sense of humor here, because it’s just about killing me to see that wood he’s got under the tarps. Surely I won’t have to wait until  next weekend, right?

 

Oh- and check it out. The plywood and framing you see is our FLOOR… well the subfloor anyway. It’s also the ceiling of the basement. *Big cheesy grin*

 

I’m stoked they were able to deliver today instead of tomorrow, but really? Is it too much to ask to actually get a picture of the actual wood?

 

Barbie~