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October, 2016

Walls poured, forms off. . .Looking good!. . .

By October 22, 2016 General, Our log home journey!, The beginnings!
Looking at the north wall with the notches for the floor joists.  Nice looking wall, huh?

The rain stopped. . . (actually for a week and a half or so. . . until just the other day,)  it had stopped. . . and we were ready to take off the forms.  But they had gotten soaked the day before, and had moisture on them still.  Oh my. . . .

What to do?  Well, we took them off, laid them in the sunshine temporarily, and then went to stacking them on top of one another to keep them strong and straight for our sub floor or roofing.

And here are pictures of our walls!

Looking at the north wall with the notches for the floor joists. Nice looking wall, huh?

Looking at the north wall with the notches for the floor joists. Nice looking wall, huh?

The window opening on the 'south' side~~hoping to get sun coming in the window and doors for added warmth in the winter.

The window opening on the ‘south’ side~~hoping to get sun coming in the window and doors for added warmth in the winter.

Brian knocking out the blocks that forms the notches for our joists to sit in.

Brian knocking out the blocks that forms the notches for our joists to sit in.

So they are up, they are solid (with a few ‘honeycomb’ in them), they are ready with the notches,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

AND we figured out that we made the doorway too short.  WAAAAAAAH!  (next post)

Just “Thank you LORD!”  We are blessed that the walls are strong and solid.

 

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Oh my goodness, pinch me. . . .

By October 21, 2016 Blessings along the way!, General, Our log home journey!, The beginnings!
Early in the morning of the pour.  Everything seems ready here.

Blessed and overwhelmed, to say the least!   I have pictures. . . a TON has been going on! ! !  So much going on, in fact, that I haven’t had time to keep up on the blogging.  But I am trying to catch up here somewhat.

We have even had a laptop that has been fixed for 3 weeks now, but we haven’t had a chance to pick it up.  It is a hike to get to our property, and I am there almost every day!  I am not complaining, mind you.  But working at the property takes most of our day up, and we are normally driving home at dusk of the evening.

However, we did have a break the other day, went grocery shopping, did a better day of school with the guys, caught up on several other fun things~like the checkbook!  FUN!,  and we actually ended with a fun family night playing GUESSTURES!    It is a hoot to see the fellows act out charades~~they did pretty good for being 7 and 8 years old.  So wished I had taken pictures~~instead, I just savored the moments!

So, I will catch you up with all that has been happening, and use pictures to tell the stories!

Working hard on the framing, and placing loads of rebar for support.

Working hard on the framing, and placing loads of rebar for support.

Helping to put a frame in the wall forms for our window in the basement.

Working together to put a frame in the wall forms for our window in the basement.

Measuring and squaring off to saw the frame for the double door in the basement. (I was not doing the sawing.)

Measuring and squaring off to saw the frame for the double door in the basement. (I was not doing the sawing.)

The forms for the basement walls being put up.

The forms for the basement walls being put up.

The forms up for the walls to be poured.

The forms up for the walls to be poured.

Taking lunch under our only good shade tree the build.

Taking lunch under our only good shade tree near the build.

Thankful for this hickory nut tree, but the nuts are falling. We can hear when a nut starts falling, so you have to duck and cover your head, just in case~~

Thankful for the shade this hickory nut tree provides, but the nuts are falling. We can hear when a nut starts falling, so you have to duck and cover your head, just in case~~ ;-0

Framing up the door here~~quite the dilemma we are in now with this.

Framing up the door here~~quite the dilemma we are in now with this. (story later)

They were so kind to help one another 'get fat'! Not having any fun here~~

They were so kind to help one another ‘get fat’! Not having any fun here~~

No, no fun at all!

No, no fun at all! (Can’t stop laughing!)

Wing walls prepped in case there was extra cement!

Wing walls prepped in case there was extra cement!

And the next day, we were headed down to help with the walls being poured~~EEEEEEH!

Traveling down~~okay, so I think the fog in the valley is one of the coolest things. #beautifulmornings

Traveling down~~okay, so I think the fog in the valley is one of the coolest things. #beautifulmornings

Early in the morning of the pour. Everything seems ready here.

Early in the morning of the pour. Everything seems ready here.  See the extra steel braces on the corners.

It kind of makes me nervous even blogging about this after the fact.  I had asked Jay,  our basement builder, (and a.k.a. our logger) if there was anything else we needed to do before the cement trucks came that morning, and he folded his hands to indicate praying.  You can bet we had already been doing that.

You know, it is sometimes a concern for builders of the possibility of the walls blowing out when the cement is being poured.   I wasn’t actually concerned about that.  Of course, in my naive state of understanding, I was probably not concerned about that enough.  However, the 2×4’s that were bracing the wall frames (which may not seem strong, but were ash and oak tree 2×4’s, and they) were stronger than any 2×4 you would get at the local hardware store, and actually 2×4, not 1 1/2″ x 3″.  It was mega strong.   I think I was just nervous that our walls were.already.being.poured, oh my! ! !   Everything is happening way FAST!

It was actually sweet~~that morning, I was the first one to show up at our site, and I was all by myself.  (first time that has ever happened)   The sun was rising.  There was dew on the grass.  Such a sweet time out there. All was quiet.  EXCEPT, I heard a train blowing it’s horn in the not-too-far-off distance.  God knows me!  I LOVE planes and trains.  I think I have already expressed that on here, and I couldn’t believe my ears because I did not realize that trains were so close.  How fun to hear the train as the sun was rising that morning.  So, an airport going in right next to us, and trains coming and going near us (somewhere) makes me happy.   Even though we are not in a metropolis!     (insert contented smile. . . .)

A good picture of the frame all up, and ready for a pour (taken with a child's vantage point of view).

A good picture of the frame all up, and ready for a pour (taken with a child’s vantage point of view).

So everyone started showing up. . .

HERE COMES THE CEMENT TRUCK! Are we ready?

and HERE COMES THE FIRST CEMENT TRUCK! Are we ready?

Everyone get in your positions!  So, our basement builder had rented a vibrator for when our walls were poured, but funny thing. . . .it was not being used between the forms down in the cement like I have seen it normally used.  When Jay picked up the vibrator, they warned him that several people who had used it had their walls blow out because the vibration was too much.  We (or I should say my husband, got the job of using the vibrator on the outside of the inside basement walls ? ? ? is that clear as mud?)  He was inside the basement, and using the vibrator against the wall forms.  I had started using it, and man, the vibration was way too much for me to handle, so I gave it to my husband; but that thing gets uber hot, and was then burning his hands.  The rest of us were pounding on the walls with rubber mallets just to get the cement to settle, while he was getting his hands burned trying to use the vibrator.  We got him some old rags to help him hold it, which made it way better, but still not great.  He hung in there, and our walls look mostly amazing with a few ‘honeycomb’ spots where we missed a spot here or there.  Not a big deal.

Here are some pictures of the pour. . .

The cement is rolling~here we go!

The cement is rolling~here we go!

Getting muscle here~~when you don't want to pay for a pumper truck, you work a little harder to move the cement.

Building up some muscle here~~when you don’t want to pay for a pumper truck, you work a little harder to move the cement.

It's easier to straddle the top of the frame and work the cement, so I went to a different spot, and hammered on the walls.

It’s easier to straddle the top of the frame and work the cement, so I went to a different spot, and hammered on the walls.

Notice the rebar in there to hold the logs when we go to set them.

Notice the rebar in there to hold the logs when we go to set them.

I got to work on the leveling of the top of the walls.

I got to work on the leveling of the top of the walls.

 

Finished and starting to set up.

Walls all finished and starting to set up.

PRAISE the LORD!  NO wall blowouts!  Truly, truly thankful for our 10″ thick walls to hold the future logs. . .

Nothing else to do for the day, so what to do?

Get bush hogging, of course!

Get bush hogging, of course!

Everyone else had taken off for the day.  But it was still early in the day, so I had time to bushhog.  I was trying to get the field cut to make it look better.

In the meantime, there was a movie premiere.   It is a fun thing to see your daughter on the big screen, albeit a small part.

The 'Orphaned Courage' crew.

The ‘Orphaned Courage’ crew.  She’s the one with the movie ‘clapper’ thingy, and also had a speaking part besides.  What fun for her!

Rolled out the red carpet~~How fun!

Rolled out the red carpet~~How fun!

orphanedcouragepremiere2

Stunning! That’s my girl!

orphanedcouragepremiere3

And we all traveled to see her in her first speaking part in a film.

And boys having their campout for a few days. . .

Manning the fire they got going from embers that hadn't gone out completely.

Manning the fire they got going from embers that hadn’t gone out completely.

Boy love!

Boy love!

 

At the Big Bone Lick State Park museum.

At the Big Bone Lick State Park museum.

We went to a beautiful God honoring wedding. . .

 

Such a sweet couple wanting to please God in/with their marriage. How sweet to be a part of! LOVED it!

Such a sweet couple wanting to please God in/with their marriage. How sweet to be a part of! LOVED it!

alis-wedding

And our sweet Motley crew. Yep, we can get cleaned up sometimes. 😉

And then it was ~~~ back to the build . . .

After the walls were poured, we left the forms on for the weekend so that the concrete would cure a little more slowly.  However, we wanted to work on taking the plywood frames off of the walls because rain was expected on Monday, and BECAUSE we are planning on re-purposing the plywood for our floors and/or roof, so we didn’t want them getting all wet. . .

Sooooooo, the concrete on our walls had set up all weekend.  We were ready to work on taking it off, and I was really praying hard that the rain would hold off. . . but God had other plans.

Praying that the rain holds off, and it was holding off. . . until I pulled in to our property!

Praying that the rain holds off, and it was holding off. . . until I pulled on to our property!

I sat in the car waiting for my husband and boys to show up (they drove separately) . . .And thanked God because He knows better than I what I need. . . so there you have it!  I sat there and listened to the beautiful rain coming down, and thanked the LORD for it!

So, what does a home schooling mom do when it rains?  We head to the library, of course.  I headed to the library, met the librarians, got a library card for the county we WILL ultimately live in, and the boys and I did school together.

Then I put a call in to the mason that will ultimately build our masonry heater in the next few years~~ when we are to that point~~ and he met me down at the library to return my “Living Homes” book (that has all of the information about how to build the masonry heater as well as building a rock wall), and then he took the time to explain to me about building a flagstone wall.  (He told me he wants to be there when I start that so he can help me get a good start.)  YOU BET, Stan!

Then on the way back to our property after the rain stopped, I got a call stating that a plumber was planning on meeting me there to talk about roughing in the plumbing.  So much going on. . .it makes my head spin!

I think I have put enough on here for one day.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for the help you have provided for building our basement, protection from the walls blowing out, for the rain you saw fit to bring, and for libraries!

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For 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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Three Mahogany doors, and some ideas. . .

By October 9, 2016 General, Planning, The Gatherings
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We picked up 3 mahogany doors today, and I have a place for each one of them of course.   They will be beautiful!  Clean ’em up, and put a coat or two of varnish on them, and I think we will be in business!

They even came with the frames! (I think this door got stored up-side-down.)

They even came with the frames! (I think this door got stored up-side-down.)

 

You know, it is so interesting to meet other people who are also repurposing items.  The fellow we got the doors from is fixing up a rental property that he owns, and so it was fun to get to see some of his work.

I also got some great ideas from the bathroom he had fixed up~~ways to save money and it looks still very nice.  I asked him if I could take a few pictures. . .

He framed in a mirror with this crown molding~~How cool is that?

He framed in a mirror with this crown molding~~How cool is that?

He made this wall with bead board, and told me about how to get the most out of it based on the size sheets it comes in.

He made this wall with bead board, and told me about how to get the most out of it based on the size sheets it comes in.

Just a close-up of the details~

Just a close-up of the details~

 

And, unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of this, but my little fellows were having a BALL with the ‘Lazarus’ lizards (see story here about the origination of these lizards to this area: http://www.nkytribune.com/2015/08/leapin-lazarus-lizards-or-podarcis-muralis-are-legends-with-a-colorful-story-of-their-own/).   This fellow transplanted some of them to this house years ago and they have also multiplied there.  There is an abundance of them~~they are all over the place.  NOT actually all over, but you can spot one frequently enough if you scan the outside of the house.  AND you can imagine how much fun that was for my 7 and 8 year old boys.  OH MY!  They were entertained!  And did not want to leave without one of those lizards.

UH. . . . . .Not yet, not now!  But maybe later. . . .

Just “Thank you Lord!” for the mahogany doors, and the great ideas! and the fun the fellows had while I checked out the remodeled bathroom!

 

 

 

 

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Our house plans are finalized. . .

By October 9, 2016 General, Our log home journey!
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So, our house plans are finished.  Can you say “YES!”?

I am sure that the civil engineer is thankful it is done.   I’m sure it was kind of a challenge~~the guy that we used from Italy was so gracious (“Thank you Andrea!”), albeit he didn’t say if he was upset about it~~when I asked him to draw out the entire house larger after he had completed everything for a 32’x32′ house.

Everything was positioned just as I wanted it, and in an efficient manner, just like I wanted. . . HOWEVER, everything was just squashed in the space. Talk about efficient!  Like our bathroom showers were only about 2’x3’~~so we would have been standing in the shower with no space to move, right?

Not good! . . . Oh my!

I needed to make the footprint of our house bigger.  Here I was wanting a tiny house in the beginning, and now I am wanting it bigger.  (I know, just like a woman, right?)  There were several reasons for this besides the small bathroom showers, mainly being that none of the bedrooms in the plan were any larger than the master bedroom than we have now.   Kind of a biggie~~my husband had only a couple of requests with the house design (I had free reign otherwise), and really wanted a bit bigger bedroom so accommodate a recliner in our room.  We ARE getting older, and his shoulder does not like being crunched in the bed when he is sleeping.  So, I wanted to make sure that the ‘bigger bedroom’ thing happened.

. . . and then. . . . the kitchen.  It just seemed like it was going to be too small.  I mean, I would have made it work, but really, we cook almost ALL of of our meals there, (you know, vs. making our meals in the living room or a bedroom-hehe).  What I am trying to say it that we do NOT eat out much.  I can be a food snob~~ I like our cooking, it is definitely healthier (as I sit here blogging and pigging out on M&M’s), AND costs us a lot less to make our own meals than eating out.  Hence, our kitchen is used often in a day.  We eat a big breakfast with eggs (everyday!), and although I have been packing our lunch for at the property, I normally have a full meal planned for when we get home~~that I have one of my daughters make for us~~or there is something already in the crockpot.

So definite changes needed to be made.  Back to the drawing board.  But not really, right?  It can’t be that hard, right?  Just spread a few things out.

(BTW, I am well aware that I blogged about our footer already being poured, and it was poured before I got the house plans back.  It may seem silly that our house plans, in fact, did get finalized after that, HOWEVER, just in case you are wondering. . . 1) the house plans took a while to complete, and although I was making changes to it, and we ultimately went with a bigger footprint, 2) we knew it was going to be a  square, so we were able to pour after it was decided to make it a 35’x35′, and I could still work with my plans no matter what got changed on the inside.)

Oh, I could make changes to the plans until the cows come home~~but yeah~~ don’t want those cows to come back! 😉

So, here are a couple of pictures of the finished house plans, but alas, I have already changed a couple of things on paper and in my head, and before the inside is finished, I know I will be making changes.  Nothing major, just things to make the build easier or even more efficient.  It is only on paper right now~not set in stone (or logs) yet!   Seriously, how can you decide on everything ahead of time?

The main floor!

The main floor!

Kind of cool, huh?  And then. . .

The second floor!

The second floor!

So, there you have it. . . check it out. . .and on we go!

Just “Thank you LORD!”  that that is done!  Now we have something to go on when we are talking about our plans!

 

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