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Blessings along the way!

And the logs were coming, but first. . .

By February 10, 2018 Blessings along the way!, General

We had a ton of things going on.  Let me just take you through a couple of weeks of activity that we got to enjoy between finishing the “Blue Light Special”, and getting our logs.  Yes, I am so excited to show you the take of our first set of logs.  I know. . . you are saying “FINALLY! They are getting logs!”  ~~I get it.  I was saying the same.

So, let’s get started so we can get on with the show.  We traveled out of town to go to our niece’s wedding.

My husband's niece got married to a wonderful man.

She got married to a wonderful man.

And my son and his second (?) cousin caught the garter and the bouquet.

And our son and his second (?) cousin caught the garter and the bouquet.

We went out of town to celebrate with them, and were having a great time.

We were having a great time ourselves.

. . . dancing the night away.

. . .and all were dancing the night away.

Time to head home. . .

Who are these urchins we saw hanging around? Oh, those are our kiddos.

Who are these urchins we saw hanging around? Oh, those are our kiddos.

And the neice/cousins followed us home to have some more fun!

And the neice/cousins followed us home to have some more fun!

More fun, and they turned it into a slip-n-slide.

AND more fun.  They even turned it into a slip-n-slide.

See what I told you?

See what I told you?

And they were enjoying the pool.

And they were enjoying the pool.

Then it was someone's BIRTHday!

Then it was someone’s BIRTHday! This is what  turning ‘8’ looks like for him!  Octopus in the sea!

And his out-of-town sister joined up by 'skyping' in.

And his out-of-town sister joined up by ‘skyping’ in.

. . . and celebrating Father's day with that! Whirlwind of activities happening~

. . . and celebrating Father’s day with that! Whirlwind of activities happening~

There are times when you have to stop and enjoy the fun moments along the way.  You can’t just keep going and going with a break.  We enjoyed those couple of weeks traveling to see long distant family for the wedding, having some of them overnight with us traveling home too, celebrating and doing so many fun things along the way.

And we are getting ever closer to getting out logs.  WOOHOO!  I. CAN’T. WAIT!

Just “Thank you LORD!” that you are the author of life and you appreciate that we find pleasure in this life you have given us.  And now, the logs will be here any day! ! ! !

 

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Working on the outhouse (SOME more. . .) AND we are done!

By February 10, 2018 Blessings along the way!, General, the outhouse
IMG_5562

It is really nice to be getting to this point in the build of our little outhouse.  Just the fact that it is mostly square is a feat for us.  (no kidding here~) And now, all of the finishing touches along with some miscellaneous things that we are taking care of . . . while we continue to wait on our logs. . .

This is a shot from below the frame for our awning.

This is a shot from below the frame for our awning.  We will need to caulk for sure.

OOPS!  We got the frame up with the screen on it~~~And then . . . . my husband put the drill through the screen on our frame after he put it up.  So SAD, too BAD!   We had to take it back home and remeasure for the screen ~because why would we even bring extra screen along since we had the frames all made up?  Right?  Oh well, there are worse things to deal with in my opinion.  Screen is EASY to fix.

But that meant we couldn’t finish up our little ole’ awning that day.

There are always plenty of other things to do though, so we closed up shop for the day, and headed home. . .     and the next day, we were starting on miscellaneous to-do list chores.

Working on mowing along the roadway to clean it up.

Working on mowing and getting it cleaned up along the roadway.

And. . .we had some brush to clean up.

And. . .we had some brush to clean up.

Starting to man the fire.

There he is starting to man the fire.

A makeshift head covering~~He wet the neck cooler, and he put it on under his hat.

A makeshift head covering~~He wet the neck cooling rag, and he put it on under his hat.

I was having a good time with this~maybe thought it was too funny.   I was chuckling, but he did not care.  It was protecting his face from being singed, and that’s all that mattered to him.   It was getting pretty hot.  The boys and I were manning the hose (we had hooked up the hose to use the water from the little church next to us ~~ JUST IN CASE!) while he was ‘in the heat of the battle’ (pun intended).

See him swinging his head covering around there.

See him swinging his head covering around there.

side note * I kind of like this shot with our property and tree line behind him.  I seems quite private (although it is not perfectly private), but we do have some space and I appreciate that.

And we got this brush cleaned up.

And we got this brush all  cleaned up.

Oh, and we found some wild berries. . .

. . . just a few. . . but we found some.

. . . just a few. . . but we found some.

Do you see a little boy in that patch of berry brambles? He reminds me of "Edmond" from Narnia~~he couldn't get enough once he tried one of the berries.

Do you see a little boy in that patch of berry brambles? He reminds me of “Edmund” from Narnia~~he couldn’t get enough once he tried one of the berries.

And Grandpa got in the action helping to clean up some brush near the outhouse.

And Grandpa got in the action helping to clean up some brush near the outhouse.

And then cleaning up the area around where the equipment had been hauled from.

And then cleaning up the area around where the equipment had been hauled from.  Our ‘mighty men’!

And then there was the bees nest that was quite alive and buzzing left behind after the equipment was towed.

And then there was the bees’ nest that was quite alive and buzzing left behind after the equipment was towed.  We needed to get rid of THAT!

And here he is finished up the 2nd awning over the vent after replacing the screen.

And here he is finished up the 2nd awning over the vent after replacing the screen.

Getting the inside all finished up.

Getting the inside all finished up.

I like this shot of the fly swatter we took of the inside. . . .because you can see the 'blue light' coming in.

I like this shot of the fly swatter we took of the inside. . . .because you can see the ‘blue light’ coming in.

Getting the inside all stocked with the additional necessities.

Getting the inside all stocked with the additional necessities.

Introducing . . .The "Blue Light Special".

Introducing . . .The “Blue Light Special”.

With a little shot of the front view. . . with the cedar handle and our lock to keep the door closed when not in use.

With a little shot of the front view. . . with the cedar handle and our lock to keep the door closed when not in use.

 

Just “Thank you LORD!” for helping us see this project through to the end.    We have a “Blue Light Special”! ! !

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And our RV gets delivered~

By January 27, 2018 Blessings along the way!, General

This is all so new to us.  We are such novices.  We did not feel we had the means, or knowhow for that matter, to bring the RV to our property, so this is a snapshot of getting our RV delivered.

Pulling through our neighbor's front field~~the easiest way??

Pulling through our neighbor’s front field~~the easiest way??

That went over like a lead balloon.  I had called our neighbor the day before having it brought to us, and they agreed that it would be fine for us to pull in through their front field if the field was dry enough.  It had been raining a ton the day before.  Sooooo. . . my husband and I were actually down at the property earlier in the day on the day of the RV getting delivered.  BECAUSE, we wanted to determine and agree on where the trailer should be located.  AND. . . .we wanted to make sure that the field WAS indeed dry enough to bring the trailer across on.

We decided where to place the RV, which was a chore in itself because our land is so ‘rolling’.  We each had ideas about what would or wouldn’t work.  There was really no good place~~ honestly ~~for us to put the RV.  Ughh!  What to do~~

Short of landing it in our driveway (which happens to be the O.N.L.Y. flat spot on our property) we came up with a spot close to the neighbors land where it starts to level out at the top of a hill.  That is what we agreed upon.

And then we wanted to check and make sure their field was dry enough, so my husband drove across the field in his truck to determine how the ground was.  It seemed totally fine.

So that night I had to go down without my husband because he had to work.  I took Grandpa along (for moral support).

They saw us coming ~the neighbor lady anyway~and she was not excited.  She was on her riding lawnmower, and said she could see where we had driven through earlier in the day, and left tracks in their field.  OH NO!  That is NOT good!  It made sense that she was not really hip on us coming through.  NOW WHAT!?!

The RV hauler had already pulled up into their field, because they had told us they could, and we HAD checked the field.  NOW what????  Seriously, I was starting to panic.

And then she said for me to talk with her husband.  Whew!  Maybe?  So I immediately went and greeted him as joyfully as I could muster.  And I asked him, and he said it was okay if we would just not drive over his water line.  He came out and graciously helped the driver determine where to drive through so that we were ALL happy!

Here is comes. . .

They let us know where they wanted us to pull it through. THANK YOU!

They let us know where they wanted us to pull it through. THANK YOU!

Hoping he would not hit our telephone pole. . .which he didn't. He was a pro~~

Hoping he would not hit our electric pole. . . which he didn’t. He was a pro at this~~

Getting it swung around the telephone pole, and pulling it into place.

Getting it swung around the telephone pole, and pulling it into place.

Now to pull it past and to the side of the tree.

Now to pull it past and to the side of the tree.

Now to back it up. . . .

Next he had to back it up towards the tree. . . .

Figuring it out. . .

Figuring it out. . .

And it was starting to get dark fast. . . .

The silliness never stops. This is just one of the shots he was posing 'CrAzY' for.

The silliness never stops. This is just one of the shots he was posing ‘CrAzY’ for.

We had to situate wood and blocks for under the tires so they don't sink??? into the ground?

We had to situate wood and blocks for under the tires so they don’t sink??? into the ground?

Just tell me what to do.

Just tell me what to do already.

Don't know what I am doing here, but we are trying.

Don’t know what I am doing here, but we are trying.

Yeppers. . . almost have it positioned with the help of the fellow that delivered it.

Yeppers. . . almost have it positioned with the help of the fellow who delivered it. But notice it is obviously NOT a level spot.

Hot, tired, and dirty working hard for mamma! getting those bricks so they can act as chalks for the tires.

Hot, tired, and dirty working hard for mamma! getting those bricks so they can act as chalks for the tires.

And Grandpa was my sidekick for the evening since DH had to work.

And Grandpa was my sidekick for the evening since DH had to work.

At that point, we had to get the RV leveled, which ended up being quite the chore, BECAUSE the spot we picked out, although level in our minds, was actually so NOT level that we had to jack it up as high as we could jack it up,

and then. . . we used the stabilizers to help support the front end that we had jacked up.  It had to do for the night.

We got it delivered.  We positioned it and leveled it.  We were done.  . . for the night.  Time to pay the fellow who delivered it, and go home.  We need to get it hooked up to electricity and water eventually.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for providing a place for us to stay in while we finish up our sweet ‘log home’.

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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

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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