Cows in the Kitchen
Browsing Archive

July, 2016

Stopping a train. . .

By July 27, 2016 General, Planning
stopping a train

I feel like a stranger to my blog right now.  Although we were graciously given a loaner computer while this baby was getting a new mother board, I just was having a time with my blog for a while because I didn’t have easy access to all of my pictures.  (They were/are all backed up, but just the hassle of temporarily moving them to a loaner computer wasn’t my idea of fun, nor a necessity since I hadn’t actually lost my data, for which I am VERY.THANKFUL!)

What has been happening?  Well, I left off with us planning to meet with the excavator for our water/elec. lines, and our foundation.  Wonder what he really thought when he graciously came to meet us at our property; and I am having him follow me around the property as I am showing him where the water lines will need to be placed, and then the electricity will join in there, and this is where we plan to build, so the foundation needs to be dug out in roughly this spot.  .  .  It was at that point he tells me he doesn’t do excavation.       WHAT!?!

YEP!  He is wondering why I am showing him all of this.  Whoops!  My husband thought and told me that this guy was an excavator.   BUT. HE. ISN’T!   OOPS!  He is a ‘foundation layer’ and ‘wall builder’.   WHAT!?!  I’m so confused~~ OKAY!  Big REGROUP going on now.

I had to totally stop my train, and get it going in another direction.  Wonder what I was thinking?   Yeah, even writing this feels confusing.

I’ve been known to be able to regroup before.  You know, roll with the punches.  And I did, but sometimes I don’t do that as graciously as I did that night.

So~~~Let’s start over!  “You do foundations.  We will need a foundation, so. . . I have a few questions for you!”  I tell him our plans with a walk-out basement with slip form masonry, with a log home built over that.  He understands.  He then proceeded to talk about the type of log home he lives in, and how he built it.  His log home was built differently than ours will be built.  He was so totally nice, and helped me with a bunch of tips on building.  I had a ton of questions for him, and he graciously answered all of them, and then some.  What a blessing! (even considering we have no excavation happening yet for him to build onto)~~

We spoke about the footers, and the foundation, and the supports for the first and second floors.  He was very gracious, made the most of the time we had since he had made the jaunt all the way to our property, and is willing to help us when we get to that point of our build, AFTER we have ‘someone else’ excavate it.  So it goes. . .

A main point he made to us before he left was that we should make sure and get our house plans finalized, so that when the excavator does come, we will have something concrete (no pun intended) to show him.

No logs yet, but God is good, and will lead us!  I have to trust in Him~~a faith walk, I would say~~

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NKJV)

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

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ROCKS . . .anxiety. . .

By July 20, 2016 General, Possibilities, The beginnings!

My husband has finally gotten the new “NEW” tires mounted on the trailer (HUGE blessing!), and has a couple of small things to tweak, and then we can start utilizing this trailer that we got for a ‘deal’.   This is a good thing, because now I feel safer driving with a trailer behind us!

With that in mind, knowing that I want to be getting rocks to use on the basement and the extension room walls, on Sunday I asked my daughter to go out to dinner with me in a neighboring large city so that we could travel on the expressway to get there.  That way,  I could look at all of the rocks along the way that I have been dreaming about and anticipating would be a part of our build.  I have driven this way many times, and always loved looking at where the rocks have broken off~~and in my mind, these were going to be the perfect rocks for what we want to do.

REALITY CHECK!. . .  Driving along, I couldn’t believe it, but it seemed there were no rock faces along the expressway with rocks that had broken off laying in the ditch.  Seriously, there was grass that had grown up tremendously quite thick along the route, but I wasn’t finding or seeing any of the amazing rock walls.  WHAT!?!  Seriously. . . I was kind of in disbelief.  Did I imagine these beautiful rock cut-outs we had driven by in the past, that had fallen rock from them?  (shaking my head in utter disbelief. . . )

We kept driving, and finally I would see slightly rocky hillsides, but with so much grass it was really hard to see if there were the smaller type rocks that would work in the walls.  (You know, I have to be able to lift it; and I am not a total weakling.)

So, with that being said, I finally asked my daughter just to pull off for me so that I could kind of walk along and see up close (verses moving at 65 mph trying to eye them up as we whizz by, hehe) if there were rocks among the grass that we could use.  I got out of the car, started walking along, found some about the sizes I would like to use, and I did start picking some up. YAY, huh?   I ended up putting some rocks in our trunk so I could show my husband.  (I was slacking on taking pictures.  I will download a pic once I get some.)

We kept driving after I picked a few up, and then my daughter asked me how many rocks do I anticipate needing.  Really. . . hadn’t calculated that. . . hmmmm???  So I throw out a number~~”2000??”  I have no idea!  Then she proceeds to tell me we got 14 rocks so far, and with that I am almost 1/100th of the way there. So thankful she was there to let me know I had gotten so much accomplished~~ Way to encourage, right?!?  ;-0

Now this is more like it!

As we drove further, traffic started picking up, and it was not that easy to just pull off, especially when you are driving a hybrid that takes about 3 minutes (just joking) to accelerate to a rate of speed 65 mph on takeoff from the side of the expressway.   It is just really slow out of the gates, to say the least.  Plus we were getting hungry.  We did not stop for rocks any more on our way down, HOWEVER, as we continued on our journey, I did happen to see the rock walls that I remembered.  They have the thick rock layers, not the shale type layers, so that is good.  I just couldn’t easily see what rocks had fallen in the ditch as we were driving by.   Plus, that wasn’t the only reason I was journeying with one of my precious daughters.  I wanted to spend some time with her.

But then there was the next concern.  I am honestly not sure if the rocks I got are thick enough for the wall to be used in it, or if I need to get some that are thicker.  Back to my resources~~need to read up on that some more.

Did I get disappointed?  YEP!  I did . . . it kind of bothered me.  Not lying, it bothered me a lot!  I don’t want to pay for rocks when there are rocks galore around here.  But I wasn’t seeing many of them.

Then today, when I was going through my morning routine, I picked up a book (about home schooling for some encouragement in that segment of my life,) and in the chapter I was reading, a mom was telling of how she was so afraid that she wouldn’t be able to teach her little ones well, especially history.  As I continued reading, I knew the Lord was speaking to me about our log home build, and my ability to find the rocks I am needing.  He reminded me, through this fellow home schooling mother, that:

Matthew 6:34  (NIV)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Isaiah 41;10 (NKJV)

“Fear not, for I am with you.”

She went on to say, “Do not worry about what you do not know.  Keep studying and walking in the path that God is showing you.  One step at a time.  God wants you to keep depending on him.  Work diligently in the tasks He gives you, and trust Him.”

Just “THANK YOU Lord!”


And tomorrow, we meet with a local fellow who does trenching and excavation.  We are hoping to get rockin’ on our water and underground electric line trench.  EXCITED about those possibilities! ! !


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So the hitch is on. . .

By July 17, 2016 General, The beginnings!

(Yes, that is the awkward reflection of me there in the ball~weird!)

And the trailer is in our driveway!  (But you knew that already, because I have already been telling you of our TIRE saga, so this post was not published when I first wrote it.  OOPS on my part, but here is the delayed post about our hitch.)

Made it home safe and sound!

Made it home safe and sound!

Unfortunately, when I checked the tires while there initially, I did NOT do a very good job.  One of the tires has dry-rot, and should actually be replaced before we ‘use,use’ the trailer for really heavy items~~like tons of rocks we plan to haul, or bags of cement we are going to need, bricks, riding mowers, electric cement mixers, or whatever else we will be hauling down there.  We need to make sure we are not having a blowout.  “Darn rotten tire!”  Sooooooo, new tires are in the plans before we actually use it for HEAVY hauling.

It’s okay!

And although most people are buying tractors at this point in their build, for us, it is two steps closer in the preparation of beginning our build!  Who’s comparing, right?

Psalm 37:23 (NASB)

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.


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By July 17, 2016 Planning, Possibilities
peeling logs

I have a daughter who has interned on a sustainable farm in the beautiful state of Kentucky near here.  I think I have mentioned this previously~~so it has got me thinking. . . . Would it be possible for us to get help with some interns too, for our build?  I am sure there are some strong, energetic fellows that would love to learn how to build a log home, right?

Anyway, interning is a great way for people interested in learning new skills to learn and determine if in fact the work they do while interning is something that they may want to pursue as a career.  It helps the farm, organization, company, etc. to get energetic help from willing workers in return for pay in creative ways~~such as living quarters for the time they intern, all of the main basic staples needed for eating/living through the time of their stay, a stipend for extra necessities they may need~~you get the idea!

Some people would say “Cheap labor.”  Yes, I would agree, but I also think of it as a great way for interested parties to learn life skills it is something they want to pursue, and it beats paying for college to learn something they WON’T pursue later.  So, I see it as a win-win in a myriad of ways~~just my thoughts!  {Not everyone is meant to be college bound IMO.}

With that being said, it has certainly been on my mind, AND I have researched the possibilities of having interns come and help us build stone walls, stack logs and chink, put in joists, a roof, etc.

This is in the infancy stages of thought, but I can’t see why it couldn’t be a possibility? ? ?  Whether we do get interns or not, our build will work out, but I do quite like the idea!   Keep posted~~I will be looking into this more as the days get closer to us really getting rocking (no pun intended, hehe) on our foundation, and the basement ‘stone’ walls.

Isn't it lovely?

Isn’t it lovely?

And it is all with stone found locally!  Just beautiful!  I think there would be some that would love to learn how to do this, right?

Matthew 7:7

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

What an encouraging verse!  Just “THANK YOU Lord!”




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The RACE is ON!~~~countdown. . . and the TIRE saga!

By July 16, 2016 General, The beginnings!

We closed on our refinance the other day.  WOOHOO! ! !   Now we just need to wait for a check, and silly me. . . you know. . . I figured that for us to utilize this tremendously GREAT rate that we got on our refinance,  we have roughly ‘1825’ days (give or take a day due to a leap year) to get our current house sold so we don’t go into an A.R.M. with a higher rate.  That means we have to have 1825 to get a log home built.  So, the race is on!

We believe it is doable, but on the other hand, I don’t want to assume anything.  We will do everything that we can to get it done before then, right?

A couple of happenings. . .

The original guy-that-can-assist-through-all-the-stages, such as digging a trench, our foundation, putting in our septic system, etc. . . DID NOT RETURN our calls recently so that we could get started.  Kind of Bummer, right?  Maybe not~~

We know God has all things in His hands, and so. . . there is another fellow recommended to us, and we are checking him out.

In the meantime, my husband was being so economical, and he went to a salvage yard to get replacement tires for the trailer so that we could put ‘new’ER tires on the trailer.  YAY!  So he brings them home and takes the tires and the rims off of the trailer, takes them to our ever faithful auto repair shop, and they took the old tread-coming-off, and dry rotting tires off, and put the ‘new’ER tires on the rims.  Still saving us money, and we have 2 ‘new’ER tires.  I went to pick them up for my husband, and the repair shop owner let me know that he was concerned about one of them.  Even though the tires had great tread on them, one of the tires showed signs of dry-rot down in between the treads that we hadn’t noticed.  It is something that is hard to see (or notice) if you are not a tire expert, and there was a concern of slight dips in the side wall of that same ‘darn‘ tire.  “It could go flat, OR it could last you a while.” but he wanted to make sure he told us that that particular tire wasn’t in the best of shape.  I’ve got this!

I went home and passed the information on to my husband; and as disappointed as he was in that information, he decided to go for it.  I was a bit concerned~~thinking I wasn’t too keen on driving the van with a trailer with questionable tires on it, but who am I to argue?  So that was on Wednesday, and on Thursday my husband put them on the trailer!

Yep, that would be the tire right there!

Yep, that would be the tire right there!

That was Thursday. . .

Friday morning. . . (yes, just the following day), he came home from work, popped his head in from the garage, and says “Guess what?”  I reply that I have no idea.  Okay, so maybe you have figured it out already.  The ‘questionable’ tire> > > > > yep, you guessed it, it was FLAT!   Oh, all of that work he put into getting ‘new’er tires.  Ughh!  He was SOOOOO trying!

Saturday morning. . .he comes home from work. . . and proceeds to let me know a fellow he works with, Jason, who is a ‘car flipper’ (you know, there are house flippers, and there are car flippers, who buy junk cars~fix them up~and then sell them again) has purchased 71 cars (crazy, huh?) to date, and gave my husband some good advise.  “Just go to Wal-Mart and buy the Goodyear knock-off brand for less than $50 each, get the road hazard on them in case something happens, and you have 2 new”~~not ‘new’ER tires~”that you have more confidence in knowing they are going to last.”~~

Some lessons are certainly no fun to learn.  But we have to learn lessons in life.  This isn’t the first lesson we have learned, and it won’t be the last one.

I am thankful that he was trying to be resourceful.  Sometimes it works better than others.

Next step:  Go to my FAVORITE store for some ‘Goodyear knock-off tires’.

God is still good ALL.THE.TIME.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.






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