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Blessings along the way!

Moving on here. . .

By August 5, 2017 Blessings along the way!, General, Our log home journey!
These look so straight and tall!

We may be slow, but we do catch on . . .eventually!

Moving on here. . .

No calls back from the logger we were working with, who has done a lot of work for us with excavating, setting up forms for our basement, and having the basement walls poured, having our basement floor poured, putting in our water line, excavating and putting conduit in for our electricity.  He has done a lot for us, and done it well.

We do have a lot done so far. . . however, no logs yet!  And quite frankly, that is why we connected with him in the first place.

But God had other plans. . .

We were supposed to be getting cypress logs (after the pine logs promised did not pan out), but we weren’t getting any calls back from our logger, and he hadn’t initiated calling us to let us know the cypress logs are ready.  Bummer!

Some people may think we did something to ‘tick him off’ or something, but actually, we were ‘warned’ (you might say) about him before we even started to work with him.

And then there is his equipment that had been on our property since last summer.

One piece of equipment we need to get moved.

One piece of equipment we need to get moved.

See in the background? ~~this along with the boom truck had wintered at our place, and they were 'springing' at our place too. They were not going to summer at our place.

See in the background? ~~this along with the boom truck had wintered at our place, and they were ‘springing’ at our place too. They were not going to summer at our place.

 

He needed to at least come and get his equipment from our property.   After many different attempts at asking, calling his number with no return calls, resorting to contacting his wife to see if she could help in this situation, contacting the police to determine how to handle this ~~ OH MY GOSH!  Just come and get your equipment already, and let’s be done.  BUT NO!  It was not removed from our property, and we need to get it out of our way.  So, the state police did go and talk with them to let them know they had a deadline before the equipment would be towed.  They understood.

AND STILL IT WAS NOT RETRIEVED FROM OUR PROPERTY!   Kind of weird, huh?

We had contacted a local towing business to make sure they could handle this, and they came the day after the deadline and towed the equipment away.  I really wanted to be there to see this take place.  We were headed there that afternoon to watch it all happen, pulled onto our road, and saw unusual ‘new’ markings on the blacktop.  (We were guessing all kinds of things as to why there were markings, like a black streaks ~~it’s hard to describe, but it looked like the markings were put there purposefully because it was a very consistent pattern.)   But alas, the towing company had gotten to our property, and the equipment had already been taken away.  WHAAAAA!  I wanted to watch this happen with my own eyes, (and document it happening with my camera).

I did ask the neighbor ladies if they saw it taking place, and they said, “Yeah, they actually didn’t tow the equipment.  They worked on them, got them started, and drove them off.”   WHAT?!?  Seriously?  So, turns out the backhoe was ‘limping’ as it had a huge flat tire, so it was scraping all they way down the road.   Ahhhhh, the black scraping from the backhoe going down the road!  Now it makes sense.

As I write this, there is sadness really at how things turn out sometimes.  So sad that people are not responsible, and you even have to do things like have their property removed from your land.  Ughh, but we had to do something.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

But I am not deterred. . .

So here I go. . .

I check online to find out where white pine grow more densely somewhere near our area in the United States.

I check to see if there are any ‘telephone pole’ suppliers locally.

I look at maps of where pine trees grow.

These 3 sentences above do not begin to describe the amount of work that I put in to looking for trees, and loggers of those trees, AND pine trees that we could get our hands on.

As I was researching, I came across this article. . .

Jack Swanner New Leader Of N.C. Loggers Group

www.southernloggintimesmagazine.com/jack-swanner-new-leader-n-c-loggers-group/

Jul 21, 2014 – Jack Swanner New Leader Of N.C. Loggers Group … developed, trained, and operated cable logging crews in western North Carolina.  . . . . . 

 

Okay, so it was an old article, but I was desperate, and so I clicked on it.  Here is a fellow who KNOWS loggers in NC, where I found pine trees grow and would be slightly close to Kentucky for our purposes.  At the end of the article, it gave a phone # to contact him, but as I said, the article was 2 1/2 years old at this point, and people change numbers like they change  . . . what?  what is a good comparison?  I was willing to try this # anyway.

I get my phone and dial the number, and guess what?  He answered.  It was the Jack Swanner live and in person.  Here I go, picking his brain for loggers, etc.  and asking him for help.  He proceeds to tell me, “Oh, you don’t want to get logs from NC when you can get them from Kentucky.  Let me give you some names of loggers, and lumber companies in Kentucky to call, and see if they can’t help you.”

Praise the LORD!  If we are going to build a log home, we kind of need  . . . .LOGS!

Like a mad woman, I am writing down (more like scribbling) as quickly as I can the names, and even some phone numbers of these loggers, as he is telling me the names and towns where they are located.  He even told me a story of one of the loggers whose wife makes the best cooked kale dish, and how they won’t let you leave without having some of the kale she has made. And he was so nice, one of the numbers he couldn’t remember, so he called me right back with the number.   NOW THIS GUY knows loggers! ! !

Gratitude expressed for his time and information, I get off of the phone with renewed excitement that it may be possible to find someone in Kentucky that can help us get logs.

The calling begins as I start on the list of names and numbers he has given me.   I am ready to start again.

So I start.  .  .

The lumber companies turn out not be be much help.  Either they don’t get much white pine, or they don’t get logs that are longer than 16 feet in length.  Oh.  (sigh)  One lumber company was going to check and took down my phone number to ask if anyone would know of any loggers that could help, but normally, they also do not get logs longer than 16′.  (I was sure that little piece of paper that my number was written down on would soon be pitched.

Then I try loggers~~multiple loggers, and multiple locations throughout Kentucky, and they don’t have white pine.  It is not a tree they log often.

A little discouraged at this point, but not giving up~~my husband and I decided we needed to pray about this and fast, and that is what we did.  We started on a 3 day fast on a Wednesday asking the Lord for help with this.

On Friday (day 3 of the fast), as I was walking out the door for a meeting, I got a call from an unrecognizable number.  I answered, and on the other end was a fellow who identified himself, and told me he is a logger.  He said that a lumber company had given him our number and told him we were looking for white pine.  He is logging a boundary, and has white pine on it, and did not have a need for it?

“Would we be interested?”

MUSIC TO MY EARS! ! ! !

Would we be interested?  Are you kidding me?  Would we be interested?  UH, YES! ! !

YES!  YES!  and YES!

WOWSA!  Here we are, finishing up our fast, and I am totally confident the Lord was hearing our plea for logs.

So, into our lives comes a new logger.

To make a long story short, we made plans to meet up with him.  We drove to the boundary that he was logging.  We hiked into the woods.  AND we got totally excited! (Okay, so my husband does not get ‘excited’ about much~~I get excited!)

Here are some pictures of our little trip~~

Some of the tall straight trees that will hopefully make our house a home someday.

Some of the tall straight trees that will hopefully make our house a home someday.

These look so straight and tall!

These look so straight and tall!

Hiking back up in the boundary with the white pine!

Hiking back up in the boundary with the white pine!

My husband took a 'selfie'? WHAT? I can't hardly believe it, but here it is. So cute of him!

My husband took a ‘selfie’? WHAT? I can’t hardly believe it, but here it is. So cute of him!

Talking with this logger about the possibilities and how it will all work out.

Talking with this logger about the possibilities and how it will all work out.

FINALLY!  We are onto a new logger who actually has a boundary of trees that he is actually in charge of logging, and has white pine he knows there is not a market for.

So the LORD had something else for us, and we needed to line up with His plan.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for leading us to this new logger.  Woohoo!

And if you compare the trees in this boundary (in these pix) to the trees (in the pix I posted back when we thought the logs were coming from a different spot) we were originally shown by the logger that did not come through, the difference is huge.   They would have been monster logs~whoa!  God knew we needed different trees for our purposes.

 

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Church trees! and white pines at that!

By January 19, 2017 Blessings along the way!, Our log home journey!, The beginnings!, The Gatherings
Helpers bringing the tools!

Here is Roman heading out to where the trees would be cut down, with the tools loaded in the wheelbarrow, getting ready.

There were 3 pine trees that had been planted years ago at our church.  As they grew, they seemed to be in the way of the electrical lines, and had to be trimmed to maintain the distance from the lines.  That causes a bit of misshape to the tree, you could say.

It was time!  Our pastor wanted them taken down, and my husband volunteered.

Then I asked if we could have the logs once we felled them.  He said yes.

My husband isn’t in the log hauling business, so he was asking me how we were going to get them to our property.

UHHHHHHHH!  Yeah, I don’t how we are going to get them there either.  But we will work something out, right?

First they needed to come down though, and that is just what my husband did.  These weren’t terribly tall, but tall enough.

Gives you an idea of the height.

Gives you an idea of the height.

So, down they came.  YIKES, this is scary business.  I helped with the last one (that happened to be growing along and around the electrical wires, so that needed to be taken care of before they came down, snapping the lines in the meantime.)  So he sawed off the branches that would grab the wires on the way down, and then we went to town on them.

Starting to down this tree!

Branches trimmed off, and ready to fell this tree!

Wheelbarrows and boys! They go together!

In the meantime, wheelbarrows and boys! They go together!

No fun at all, right? This is training for learning to balance a wheelbarrow!

No fun at all~~ but this is training for learning to balance a wheelbarrow!  Right?  😉

Down came the trees!  There were some scary moments~~seriously!  Trees do have a mind of their own, and I know that.  I wasn’t snapping pictures of me helping to pull it towards me, trying to make sure it went down the right side when he sawed into it.   We survived it!  And . . . . .

 

And down it came!

. . . down it came!  This was the last one down!

 

Branches go over the hill! Great little helpers!

Branches go over the hill! Great little helpers!

 

No surprise! He started peeling the first tree!

Surprise! He started peeling the first tree, AND HE WAS GETTING THE BARK OFF!

WHOA!  YAY, this is how this works!  Go for it, little one!

And then we peeled~~it wasn't too difficult! But these hadn't grown their cambium layer~~still had sap running through them.

And we peeled~~it wasn’t difficult! But these hadn’t grown their cambium layer~~still had sap running through them, so easier to peel!

 

Pretty, huh?

Pretty, huh?

 

And G'pa came along, as always, to supervise!

And G’pa came along, as always, to supervise!

Then to haul them to our property!  We got the sections we wanted from the trees, because we could have never hauled the entire trunk.  We got them loaded, headed to the property, but~~

Not strapped down~~so . . .

they were not strapped down because they seemed weighted enough.  We were going to be getting on the expressway, and. . . .

I GOT SCARED!  YEPPERS!  Didn’t want tree logs flying off our trailer, and I am sure no one else wanted that either!

 

Seemed heavy enough to ride, but got kind of scared, and wanted to make sure they weren't going to go flying out down the expressway, so we stopped and made sure they were strapped down GOOD!

So we stopped and made sure they were strapped down GOOD!

Off we go again!

We got down to our property, and headed up to one side of the hill to offload these babies!  They weren’t light~~”Use your legs, Michelle!  Use your legs!”  when lifting, right?

See them sitting there~~I am thinking posts, and stair steps! EEEEEEEH! FUN!

See them sitting there~~I am thinking porch posts, and stair steps! EEEEEEEH! FUN!

We got some logs pieces from back on our property, and then brought them up to use to set the logs on (as a sort of rack)!

Next step~treat the logs soon!

I left then to go and say “Hi” to our elderly neighbor ladies, while he finished up and got the van and trailer off the hill and ready to leave.

I came back across and hopped in the van, and my husband says to me, “When I was backing the van down the hill, it kind of got stuck, and when I tried to keep backing up, it started making a funny noise.”  Nonchalant, he was!

And me! ! !  I am thinking, “WHAT?!”

I.do.not.like.the.sounds.of.that.at.all!   But there was no noise now, so maybe it was just a fluke thing, right?

Just “Thank you LORD!”  We got them there safe and sound!   Sound?

What was that noise, anyway?  (see the next post)

 

 

 

 

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Ceiling fan for $75~~going once, gone!

By November 17, 2016 Blessings along the way!, The Gatherings
The lovely ceiling fan.

Ceiling fan for a bedroom, hanging lights for hallways, fa la la lala la  la  la   la.

So I have been perusing Craigslist, and recently I have purchased a BEE-U-TIFUL ceiling fan.  It is the one pictured (albeit very tacky! as my husband found a spot for it in our over-stuffed garage) at the top of this post.  The Craigslist seller~~an older fellow who lived with his wife in a sweet retirement community~~ had won it as a prize, and did not want/need it.  He said he found a price for it online somewhere for $175.  I cannot find it online anywhere for under $400, and one of the prices listed for it was $660.

REALLY?  Who pays that kind of money for a ceiling fan/light?  Really?  Not me apparently!

And it is BRAND SPANKING NEW!  YAY for us!   I thought it was beautiful, and I thought the price was right, so I went and got it.  Woohoo!

This is one of the reasons that we are taught to take our time building our log cabin~~ so that we can find deals along the way, and make our build even more economical.  AND, my husband has requested ceiling fans in the bedrooms, so there you have it.

I also talked a fellow down a bit on a hanging light fixture,  and went to pick it up just last night. . .

Hanging light fixture~~now don't you think that will look nice in a log cabin? I do!

Hanging light fixture~~now don’t you think that will look nice in a log cabin? I do!

and then he offered . . .

The throw in light fixture. . .he thought maybe we could use it (YES we can!) and that way, he doesn't have to post it on Craigslist. FREE! Love that price!

The throw-in light fixture. . .he thought maybe we could use it (YES we can!) and that way, he doesn’t have to post it on Craigslist. FREE! Love that price!

I have also recently gotten a Kohler drop-in vanity, and the gentleman also offered me (at an amazing deal) an entire shower set with the handles, faucet, shower head, etc.  BRAND SPANKING NEW!  LOVE it!  I also found a great deal on a Kohler toilet NIB!

Just “Thank you LORD!” for your blessings.  It is nice to be posting ~~it makes me realize how God has been faithful to continue blessing us with good deals.    Just SWEET!   He is good~~even though we are still waiting on our house logs.

 

 

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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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And me? I am learning. . .

By September 18, 2016 Blessings along the way!, General, The beginnings!
img_3207

to drive a big piece of equipment.  How fun is this?  I am loving these toys.  First my little DR bush hog, and now a big excavator type machine with a bucket on the front.  (Is this a bulldozer~~I don’t know ~but something akin to a dozer.  It has a big excavator bucket on the front of it.)

Yeah, I know that these huge pieces of equipment are NOT toys.  I know this.  AND I am being extremely careful driving them, (because I have 2 little ones running around our build and I love them, and I don’t want anything to happen to them~~that would kill me!) but it has been a blast learning how to drive it, and I have been driving it with a purpose.

I didn't think anyone would believe me, so I had Roman take a few pictures!

I didn’t think anyone would believe me, so I had Roman take a few pictures!

For those that don’t know me well, I’m not too frivolous of a person.  My older girls will even tell you that I am quite practical.  Not to my face, but they might also tell others that I am ‘too’ practical.  They remind me that my birthday and Christmas should be times for me to ask for ‘fun’ stuff.  BUT I WANT PRACTICAL stuff!

It makes me think of a story.  My dad once called all of children into the bathroom at our house, and talked with us about how much toilet paper we were “allowed” to use.  With 7 kids in the family, you can’t have wasted commodities, so you have to put the limits somewhere, right?  That has never left me.   Years and years later,  a friend even got me a HUGE bag (think BIG birthday bag size) filled with t.p. so I would not be so wound tight about the t.p. being used in our house with my now family.   Kind of funny, huh?  But, I don’t like to see things wasted.  (Done with my embarrassing tightwad story.)

Point being. . . I wouldn’t get in and just drive around in a dozer for the fun of it~~seriously, that’s a waste of gas (diesel?), and it would be a waste of my time.

Another interjection story (kind of long):  The fellow (a.k.a. our logger~how do you like that?  ‘Our’ logger!) is also a jack-of-all-trades. He is the one putting in our footer, basement walls and floors, and also our gravel driveway.   I think that he could do almost anything.  He is one of those people who has a lot of irons in the fire~~one of those people who get things done because they are focused, and have contacts and they know how to get things done.

And he likes Craigslist too!  You gotta love a guy who is about getting us some good deals!

He is also forming up our walls with new plywood that we can also repurpose for our subfloors or our roof.  Okay, so I think that will work as both, and also save us some money.  Both of which are important in this build!  Totally!

He is fully aware of our intention in wanting to build it ourselves so as to save money.  (God also is more fully aware and knows it would take us mega months and even more headaches to do what our logger has done in days, and so he sent our logger into our build and our lives.) Yes,  I want to help with our build, and he is letting me.  So cool!  There were builder fellows that we spoke with who were like “uh, we have our own guys.  The forms are too heavy, blah, blah, blah. . . . ”   So, I am stoked that he lets me help.  That saves both of us money, right?

Back to my story:  I did ask up front if he would let me learn to drive his excavators and cranes.  He nodded his head with a grin.  Probably not everyday that a woman is asking to do that.  (Hopefully, you already know that I am not your typical person.  I like to try new things, and I am a little bit crazy!)

Back to me driving the big piece of equipment!   First off, he showed me how to operate everything except the bucket on it, and then he let me practice by driving over all of the excavated basement area to pack it down.  This jaunt being after he had already leveled our land for the footing.  He did all of that.  I was just packing it down.   That allowed me to get a grip on the movement of the machine (for the life of me, I cannot remember the name of the type of excavator it was~and it’s kinda driving me nuts because I don’t like blogging ‘machine’ for it~but that is all I have), and the forward – backward – turning of it.  That worked, and I got to do that while he was doing other things.  I LOVED it!

Then, the next day, he let me drive over the CrAzY big ruts leftover from the cows being on our property over the winter (even though the ground was extremely dry and not budging) to try to smooth them down.  Try as I might, even though he had filled the bucket up with dirt to add weight, just going in reverse and forward was not working out the ruts.  So I started to kind of shimmy the “machine”.  Side to side, kind of weaving, as I moved forward and back.  And don’t you know, that started to break up the dirt.  YES!  This is a good thing, and I was really kind of having fun.  It was better than working in the hot sun, even though I did get kind of hot in that glass box.  I can’t complain~~Sitting and just moving your arms isn’t too hard.  Pretty cushy!

So, I was learning how to drive one heavy piece of equipment.   It is something I have always wondered if I could do.  Now I know!

Just “Thank you LORD!”  for this opportunity!

 

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