Cows in the Kitchen
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May, 2016

Totally got derailed today!

By May 31, 2016 Our log home journey!

Today was kind of odd, and with it, I got totally derailed.  It is Memorial Day after all, and there are parades to attend, the day off to enjoy, and mostly having a thankful heart for the service that the men (and women) gave to make our country what it ‘was’.  (I will not say “is” there, but that is for a political blog, and this is not a political blog.)  So, I took my little guys to the parade this morning, but I had other things on my mind.

You see, we are having trouble finding tall enough trees in our general vicinity for building the log home that we would like.  They don’t have to be huge tree, just straight and tall.  So, last night, I did what I do a lot of. . . hunting around on Craigslist.  LOVE Craigslist!  There are a lot of good things on Craigslist, and it saves you from driving around to yard sales.  I used to love going to yard sales to see what I could find (kind of take after my mom there~~she loved a deal.)  But lately, it doesn’t even seem worth the gas money.

As I was on Craigslist, I started to hunt in outlying areas, and found that some people are actually giving their  20+ trees, 17 pine trees, 25 pine trees, 60-80 pine trees away.  WHAT!?!  Why have we not been looking at this option up until now?  So there are people just getting rid of their lot of trees!  Amazement!  Yep, DH was excited about it too, and came home this a.m. from work with his list of people with free trees for me to follow up on.

The late morning was spent calling some of the people with these trees listed.  Of course, sheepishly I called, because who wants to answer their phone on Memorial day?  Well, no one apparently.

But everyone ended up calling me back!  The first guy’s trees (20 of them- 80′ tall) were in a place where a huge hauling trailer would not be able to traverse. Really?  BUMMER!  They are beautiful trees, and he was even thrilled with the idea that they would be used for a log home.  That door was closed.

But wouldn't these make a great looking log home?

But wouldn’t these make a great looking log home?

The next woman called me back, and their trees (only 17 of them-50′ tall) are located really close to their house, and their wooden fence.  We wouldn’t be able to take some of them out of the yard in the length we need them to be.  Really doesn’t seem worth it if we can’t get enough trees from them.  That door was closed.

Then one fellow had 25 trees, but he was just so far away that I could not justify it at this point.   In the meantime, there was another listing that I found that had 60-80 straight pine trees, and they were closer.  So that door was closed on the trees further away.

Now, we are honed in on these 60-80 pine trees.  We have made contact, and are working out a deal with a logger in that area, AND this logger knows of someone that has a hauling truck that could be used to deliver the trees to our lot.  REALLY!?!

Could these be the ones?

Could these be the ones?

The next thing to do was to find a logger~~so what did I do?  Well, there are Master Logger websites for almost every state, and so I perused them for the 2 states nearest these trees I am wanting, then I was trying to find a logger member that was close to the city where these trees are located.  Nothing concrete, so what do I do?  I start looking for them on Craigslist, of course!  And I found a couple that are bonded and insured.  One is even driving to this property tomorrow to check out the trees, AND he even knows someone with a hauling truck that can possibly deliver them?  REALLY?

So excitement sets in, but that kind of happens with me. . .  and then I get let down because what I think is going to work doesn’t, and then I have to start over.  I can’t tell you how many different avenues I have taken so far to find trees for our log home, only to come to dead ends~~but you know, I realized that I don’t NEED trees yet.  God knows when I am going to need trees, and He will provide in His time.  So, I had a revelation and perfect peace about this a few days ago, and was even sharing this realization with a friend just yesterday.  And now, here we are finding more than a couple of FREE tree options.  That is just how God works, coming through when you have surrendered to Him.   Not that it is easy weeding through them, but I still trust that God is in control, and He knows we need trees.  Now, I am just praying they are the kind of pine trees that will work well on a  log home.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

I am thankful to be able to rest in the Lord!  The trees will be there when we God deems we are ready for them.


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Yippee! Cabinets. . .

By May 30, 2016 Blessings along the way!

Well, you know, if we are going to build a log home, we are going to need items to put in the cabin, and a good deal is always the best way to get it, and so. . . . .  as I was perusing Craigslist looking for items that we will one day need, I came across an AMAZING dealio on some cabinets.  Now:  doo,doo,doo,doooo!  The CHALLENGE:  Get in touch with the person before anyone else!  The race is on.  Let’s go!  I e-mailed the fellow, gave my number, and told when I was available to check out the cabinets, IF the cabinets were still available.  You know, whatever works for the sellers. AND, they WERE still available!  The fellow called me back.  We set it up!  YES! ! !  I gathered up my kiddos, headed over to look at the cabinets!

18 cabinets for $800! ! !  Can you say SCORE!?!

Nice oak cabinets!

Nice oak cabinets! (Oh, this is just the face front with no cabinet!)


Inside the sink cabinet! (Don’t laugh, but what is that for?–I’m guessing to hold the dish detergent bottles???)


One of the two cabinets with the frosted panes, and lights inside! Kind of cool, huh?


The lazy susan~~I do know what that is!


Isn’t the handle just pretty? I love them!


And this cabinet even has a garbage can holder!

Pretty amazing, huh?  Do I want them?  I would be crazy not to want them!  So, we set up a time for me to come and get them.  18 cabinets doesn’t fit too easily in a van, so we decided (were forced–hehe) to rent a U-Haul. . . a BIG U-Haul.  I figured out the dimensions of all of the cabinets together, and was pretty sure they would fit in the U-Haul we got.  Off we go!  It’s kind of fun to ride in those big trucks~I know, I’m weird.

We get up to the place where we are picking up the cabinets, and the fellow throws in the 2 ovens that came with the cabinets.  2 ovens! ! ! ~one convection, and the other regular!  (Now. . . I have NO idea how to use a convection oven, but if I think I can build a log home, then I should be able to figure that out.  😉  )  So now in the deal, I have 18 cabinets (that have all slide-out shelving), a butcher block, 2 ovens, and then he threw in the hanging lights that will look perfect in a cabin kitchen setting.  

Which one is this?

Which one is this?


See, I told you there were two ovens. I think this is the convection oven.


And the butcher block for the top of one of the cabinets we got!







This all happened about 4 months ago, and as I sit and type about this deal that I got, I am overwhelmed by God’s blessings to us!  I was looking for cabinets, and got so much more.   WHAT A DEAL!  God is so good to us!  

Next was the chore of finding a place to store them.  Our garage was the only place to put them, and we had to ‘put them’ quickly to get the rental truck back.  So the cabinets got set in the middle of our little garage.  Actually, it is a 2 car garage, but once the cabinets got put in there it was more like a 2 person garage.

Just the other day we actually organized the cabinets.  I (actually my DH) measured them for me while I took notes and pix; and we reorganized the garage to that my husband wasn’t going nuts.  It really was bothering him that there was so little room to move.  Yeah, we took mostly everything out of the garage expressly for the purpose of re-positioning the cabinets, making space in the garage, and keeping my husband from going nuts.  We had so much stuff in our driveway and yard that a neighbor stopped by to see if we were selling our lawnmower.  A couple of others asked if we were moving.  Goodness, it was crazy full of the things we are keeping.  So now I’m a little paranoid that you might be thinking we’re hoarders!  I want to set the record straight:  When we were done, I did joke with my husband that now I can pull our car in, but he didn’t appreciate that much~~ He likes to have room in the garage ~~you know, his “Man Cave.”

The sign that you are in the "Man Cave".

The sign that you are in his “Man Cave”.


He has to have room to move in the “Man Cave”, so our day yesterday was a ‘going nuts’ reversal!  He is all good now. And I got to chronicle my cabinets for log home kitchen planning.  Yippee!  Cabinets. . . Done!

James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”  




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Basement or No Basement? (part 1)

By May 30, 2016 The beginnings!

We go back and forth~~Basement or No Basement?  We do live in an area where tornadoes are prevalent.  And you know, tornadoes are no respecters of people or houses.  If you are in the way, you will get damage!  So, one of the stipulations that my husband had was that we have a basement for protection from storms. (it kind of makes me think of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz~~hehe)  And extra storage space never hurt, or a place to hold our freezer and our canned goods, right?  So, as I played with house plans including a basement, and was drawing them up, I  added up the square footage of what would someday be our house if we went with the size we were thinking at the time.  It was adding up to well over 4000 sq. feet.

AGHH! ! !  WHO NEEDS A HOUSE THAT BIG???  Certainly not me!  I, quite frankly, do not want to clean a house that size.  I mean, before we even started on this log house journey, I was spending tons of time looking at the tiny houses, and how they are made up, how efficient they are,  easy to maintain, less stuff!, more family togetherness.  Ahhhh, the sweetness of a tiny house.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  If this tells you anything, when I pull up my Pinterest account, it is ‘Tiny House Love’ that comes up as my front page, and then there are a ton of wonderful pictures of these brilliantly perfect tiny homes.  Type it in for yourself, and you will see what I mean~~Just saying!. . .  But, you know, my husband is not a tiny house kind of guy, and so wasn’t keen on a tiny house.  He did not want to have to squeeze past me every time we moved around in the place.  hehe And, we do have kiddos, so there is the issue of privacy too.  Plus, since our DD’s are still living at home, all of us fitting into a tiny house kind of did seem IMPOSSIBLE.   So, that wasn’t going to work.  I digress~~

Basement or no basement? When my daughter just asked me what my post was about, I told her, and she said “You need to put Part 1 on that, because you guys keep changing your minds.”  Yeah, okay, so we have.  There really are more parts to this all important question.  I will start at the ‘4000 sq ft’ size though.  I was honestly feeling overwhelmed.  It sounds all nice and grandiose to have a large home, but really, for me, I wanted to crawl in a hole.  I am scared to death of having a home that big.  YIKES!  I don’t want the responsibility of it.  I want simple living, not a ton of house to take care of!  But a basement was what my husband wanted, and so I was trying to figure it out~you know, costs of insulated concrete forms (ICF’s) for efficiency, cost of poured concrete, and all that went with it.  Then I thought of possibly a partial basement, but was told that if we do that, we still have to have a 4 ft. supporting wall in all of the other areas, so why not go ahead and do the full wall around the entire perimeter, and make it a real room?  This is all a bit much for me to think about!

How can we do this within our budget,  not have too much square footage,  still have a storm shelter, be efficient, etc., etc., etc.  AND, the thought has crossed my mind that it could be used for housing missionaries or people moving through that need a temporary place to stay??  There are many options, huh?

I know the Lord knows what we need, and He will guide us.  I just need to hold on, and be quiet so He can tell me what to do.  😉   Stay tuned. . .The sage continues!

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On his Terms!

By May 28, 2016 The beginnings!

Yes, my husband, he did agree to buy some land so that we could build on it!  There was a catch though! It was on his terms!  He told me that if we were going to buy the land, he wanted to cash out some of our IRA’s, pensions, etc. to get the money that we would need for it.  He didn’t want to be in debt paying on land, on top of trying to pay for building our log home.

NOOOOO! ! !  Can you hear the stubbornness in my answer?  I.DID.NOT.WANT.TO.USE.OUR.SAVINGS!    You see, I had worked for an investment company, and in 99% of the conversations (okay, so maybe I am exaggerating), I would tell the customer how important it is to save for the future.  Makes sense, right?  Invest for the future~~that was the motto (not really), but it was pretty much what we worked to convey to everyone.  All of those people who were pulling their money out for this and that.  All of the people who thought they could borrow from their 401K to get the latest toy they wanted.  All of the people . . . You get the idea.  And to top it off, if you are not really old and you pull your money out, the government gets a big chunk just because you broke the rules.  You see, I know this is not a good idea.  See, another reason NOT to pull our money out!

You get the idea~~

You get the idea~~

And now my husband is saying we needed to take our money out.  Ohhhh!  (BIG SIGH!)   Really?

You know how it goes, or at least it goes like this in our house:  A subject is not agreed on, so it needed to be talked about AGAIN!  So, he brought it up to me again as we would discuss actually purchasing the property.  AND again.  AND again.  UGHH!  No, I don’t want to get in to our savings like that!

But he was not backing down.  And where else did I think the money was going to come from anyway?  I didn’t have the answer to that, short of selling our home outright, using the equity in our home, and then where would we live, AND more importantly, how are going to afford to build a log home after we’ve used all of the equity to buy the property?  A couple of big issues to contend with perhaps?

I know what you might be thinking:  You agree with me that >That is NOT a good idea. You won’t have money for your kid’s college tuition. You won’t have money for retirement.  You won’t have money for _________.    OR, you may be thinking: Marvelous idea!  Buying land IS an investment!

I just knew that I didn’t have a better answer really.  I wanted the property, and it had to be paid for, right?

Isn't it sweet?

Isn’t it sweet?

So, the day finally came when I agreed to get in to those investments.  We were in the kitchen, and I just finally agreed.  You know that moment when you are done fighting about it.  And WELL. . .  I was the one with this dream, right?  He is just helping me do it, but on his terms!

And then the revelation hit me:  The Lord says “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”  JUST.LIKE.THAT!  I was being so stubborn, and wanting it my way, but as soon as I submitted to my husband (which is something I am still learning to do~~more on that later), the Lord blessed me by reminding me that He wants us to live by His rules.   And one of those is to not store up treasures on earth, which I was fighting so hard to hold on to.  So, with that being said, I don’t think that savings is a bad idea.  Obviously.  However, we have something else we are going for, and once we get our log home built on it, we can and will start saving money on food, heat, housing, sewage, etc.  The Lord knew!  He is so good!


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Being debt free sounds good, doesn’t it?

By May 27, 2016 The beginnings!

It is easy to get into debt, right?  We did.   I am not going to talk about all the ways to get out of debt, but there are some good ways, AND it is freeing to be ‘debt free’!  😉  But, we have had our house debt for 21 years now, and are past the point of being more in debt than out of debt.  Is there an easier way to say that?  Basically, we have more equity in our home at this point.  Our house has served us well, is located close to many wonderful locales, and close to a big city with many events going on, and for that I am thankful, but I still don’t have to like owing on it.  And, I grew up in the country, and am not particularly keen to living in the suburbs.  So, although we have lived here many years, I wouldn’t say it is my ‘ideal’ spot.


This is our color scheme pre-paint last summer.

Don’t get me wrong.  I do like a lot of features about our home.  We have added our special touches, and although it is a bi-level (which BTW, I always said growing up that I would never live in~~HA, never say never, right?), we have made it our own.  My girls have grown up here.  This is all they know.  But for me?. . . welllll. . . my husband finally heard my plea for this dream, and said that if we didn’t do it soon, it would never happen.  WHAT!?!  You are willing to do this with/for me?  REALLY?  REALLY?   I am so thankful. . . I am sure it is all in God’s time.  You know, He kind of works like that.  It is when God is ready that He changes the hearts of those He wishes to change.

New paint job on our home!

New paint job on our home!

I would like to think I was not being a nag about this desire.  My husband says lovingly that it was a dream that never really died.  You know, I was always looking. . . okay, ADDICTED to looking  for pieces of property locally that were for sale.  I would stay up late when I should have been going to bed, and look. I would look at land for sale, house for sale in the country, foreclosures, anything that would work.  . .  And when I would find something, he would graciously go look at it with me.  Sooooo, lest you think that it was happening daily, or even weekly, it was not.   We first looked at property many moons ago when our beautiful girls were still in their single digit years over 10 years ago.  (Yeah, I guess I have been dreaming about this longer than I realized.)  And, since then we have only physically looked at property maybe 8 times.  There really is not a lot of good property for sale around here.  And I do love this part of the country!  But, I digress . . .

This is about being debt free, and that is what I am really looking for.  So, we are at the point of him agreeing to this.  Took some years in our marriage to get to this point, but it’s all in God’s time, you know. . .  I say all of this and need to interject something:  From the time that we originally looked for property when our girls were young-in’s to this time, we did adopt our 2 little fellows from Russia which was a HUGE undertaking, and took a ton of energy, time, and money to invest in their lives.  Something that took years for my husband to agree to, but thankful that he came around.   That has been a total blessing for us, and for them.  I blogged the story of our adoption so that our friends could keep up on the happenings in Russia.  I will try to figure out how to link that story later.

Back to being debt free.  .  . I have this grandiose idea that we can build this log home on the property that we purchased (story about that coming later), sell our house, and then be debt free.  My ideas. . .  but I don’t know what God has planned for us.  We will see how it all plays out.  Being out of debt sounds good though, right? Stay tuned. . .

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”     Proverbs 3: 5-6


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