Cows in the Kitchen
Browsing Category

The beginnings!

Cypress logs?

By March 20, 2017 General, The beginnings!
Some of the cypress trees standing near the water.

Cypress logs for our log home!   Sounds good, doesn’t it?  And don’t those look nice, tall, and straight?

They are strong and rot resistant.  They are decay resistant because they sit in water the whole time they are growing, so perfect for a log home, right?  Also, because of some chemicals in them, the bugs don’t like them either.  I was going to try to explain why the bugs don’t like them besides the chemicals, but hey, I don’t really get it, so it was coming out sounding really badly here.

Why am I bringing up CYPRESS?  Well I am glad that you asked.

‘Our’ logger lost the option to get the pine trees that he told us he could get.  You know, the ones I took pictures of the day we drove for hours to look at them.  The trees we stood in front of and took pictures of.   Well, our logger wasn’t able to get them.

This was partly okay.  There really wasn’t anything we could do with the logs if we got them over the wintertime anyway.  No stress.

And as I blogged a month or so ago about the happenings in my life, you know there was a death in my immediate family, then we had the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.   A lot was happening in our lives, and then. . .

Our logger ended up in Florida.  He is a snowbird.  He goes down there and logs in the wintertime.  We can tell you that he never stops.

So, he tells us a few months ago that he is going to try to convince us to get ‘cypress’ logs instead.  And there are very good reasons that cypress is better.

I do my investigative homework, and. . .   Yes, way stronger!

The butt end of a downed cypress.

The butt end of a downed cypress.

And . . . . Yes, more rot resistant!

A shot looking up the length of a cypress tree.

A shot looking up the length of a cypress tree.

 

And . . . .Yes, more bug resistant!

A view of another cypress.

A view of another cypress.

Oh, and. . . .Yes, heavier logs!

Measuring the top ends so we can see the diameter of them.

Measuring the top ends so we can see the diameter of them.

Another diameter measurement of a downed cypress.

Another diameter measurement of a downed cypress.

Oh, and Yes, more EXPENSIVE!

But hey, he is going to get them for us for the same cost as the pine trees, since getting the pine trees ‘fell through’, and now all we have to pay extra for is to have them hauled.  Okay, so that will be an extra $4500 that we weren’t expecting.

But okay, we’re game.   Cypress will be better!  Maybe that is why we had to wait.  We don’t know God’s plans, and we don’t have the trees sitting on our lot, so we are trying to go with what we can get.

We are expected to start getting the logs in 2 weeks.  I have truckers set up to help with the hauling.  We call to make sure of when the logs are going to be ready.

NO ANSWER!  NO call back!

Next day, aaaaannd the next day, aaaaaand the following two weeks:  Call the logger, NO ANSWER!  No call back!

HMMMMMMM?!?

Not good vibes going on here!  The logger has dropped off the face of the earth.  Not really, but he had obviously decided to not follow through for whatever reason.

At this point,we need to move on.

A movin’ we will go~~

Just “Thank you LORD!” that our hope is in you.

Psalm 3:2-5 (NKJV)

Many are they who say of me,
There is no help for him in God.” Selah

But You, O Lord, are a shield for me,
My glory and the One who lifts up my head.
I cried to the Lord with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah

I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.

 

 

You Might Also Like

E-lec-tricity! ! ! the drama of this “shock”ing scene!

By March 20, 2017 General, The beginnings!
IMG_4088

Never thought I would be so excited about an electricity pole!   Isn’t that a cool picture of our electric pole!

REALLY?  Yes, pathetic as it is, I was excited that after all of the complications and delays, we had our electricity.

FINALLY!

And we had our meter hooked up too!

There's our meter sitting on the transformer base.  Oh my!

There’s our meter sitting on the transformer base. Oh my!

Then we got our first bill!  WHAT!?!

Yes, of course, now we are paying for the use of a meter, and electricity.

We HAVEN’T even used the electricity, and the bill was close to $100.  You have got to be kidding me!

I was shocked to say the least.  I had been told that once we got the temporary meter up, we would ONLY pay for the electricity that we used.

Which would be a $0 bill in my book!

So I call!  UGHH!

What is have is not ‘temporary’.    We are paying $65 monthly for the rental of this meter, since it is not a ‘temporary’ set-up.  Can you say, “I’m confused.”?

I was thinking that everything we had done was for the temporary service, and we were just connecting it underground because we ultimately did not want the wires above ground.

Whatever!

THEN, this is the kicker. . .wait.til.you.hear.this!  We got charged $25 for the base cost of the electricity whether we used it or not, and then they added on for the electricity that we used.  We got charged for one unit of electricity on top of the base cost.  No biggie, right?

WAIT!  We didn’t plug anything in to the outlets on this meter hook-up ONCE.  Not once!   So how is it that we are being charged for ‘using’ the electricity (albeit a teeny tiny amount) when we haven’t even used it???

I have to say this whole bill thing for our electricity was NOT making sense to me.

What’s a girl to do?  Call the electric company, of course.  So I did.

We decided to unhook the meter because we weren’t using the electricity at this point.  It was too cold to do any work down there anyway.  So why pay for it when we are not using it, right?

So unhook it already!   (After all of that, we want it unhooked~~  Yeaaaaah!)

I know, wishy-washy here, but there were some things not really clear.

To proceed from here, we had unhooked that ‘rental’ meter and determined to get a ‘temporary’ underground service set up.  That way, we don’t have to pay for the meter every month.  We just have to pay for the electricity that we use, and we will start using it soon, so . . . .

Here we go again.

1) We had a company put in our temporary underground service.

2) It has been inspected.

YAY, now we can use the electricity, right?  WRONG!  The meter has to be put on.  WHAT?  I thought that came with the temporary underground service.  WRONG again!

WHATever!  (note the cynical tone there!)  So. . .

3) I send the required paperwork to the inspector so that he can release the work so the new meter can be put on.

Then:

4)  I call the electric company to make sure everything is a go.  NOPE!  They tell me they are waiting on a check for the meter, AND. . .ba dum bum!  There have been tornadic storms in our area lately, and they are still cleaning that up, so they do not know when they will get to setting our meter up.

As I write, it still has not been connected.  It is okay.  We haven’t had a chance to get down there and do any work.  It has snowed, been cold rainy, and we have traveled on some other days.

Just “Thank you LORD!” that my trust is in you, and now I won’t have much to do when it comes to getting our permanent meter put on our house.  We are all set with basically everything!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Might Also Like

Electricity complications! Ready. . No. . .Yes. . .OOPs! WHAT!?!

By March 19, 2017 General, Our log home journey!, The beginnings!
IMG_3452

*I wrote this post a while ago, and didn’t realize that I hadn’t published.  So, this story happened last fall, and I have the update on our electricity connection with the next post.*

We got the trenches dug out and the conduit placed in our trenches leading to the house.  However, the base that the transformer sits on was not placed where it was supposed to be placed.

But Jay thought that they (our electric company) would take care of that.

I called to let them know we were ready eons ago.  The field engineer told it would be roughly 7-10 business days.

No worries!  We are not in a big old hurry~~

10 days goes by~NOTHING!  So what do I do?  I call the next week. . .

Turns out they are delayed~~they had sent quite a few of their fellows to work on the electric lines down in South Carolina, and then we had storms locally in 3 counties where the electric got knocked out, and they were in the process of working to get power on for all of those people.  No problem.  I don’t mind waiting for them to take care of that.  Not at all.

Another week passes, and I call just to make sure we haven’t been forgotten.  OH, it wasn’t because we were forgotten.  There is something that I apparently had not done that I was supposed to do.  I have no recollection of being told I was required to do X-Y-Z.  So, I call the engineer back, and he returned my call after checking in to my concerns.  I was right (for once).  I did not have to do X-Y-Z.  YAY!  Victory for me.

He will let them know to come and get it done sooner than later.

Two days goes by. . . The engineer, who is as nice as can be, calls to let me know the construction foreman for the job to put the electric pole and underground wiring in just stopped out to our property, and noticed the base for the transformer was not placed down in the ground over the conduit like it was supposed to be.

YEP!  I THOUGHT SO!

Okay, truth be told~~The engineer had told me we were supposed to do that.  I passed the information along, and was informed that it was not necessary.  OKAY~~I hate these situations.  But I have to face them and deal with them.  And you know what?  It isn’t the end of the world, or the most catastrophic happening of the day.

If I cannot deal with these things, this build will be impossible.  Not stressing, but just not wanting it to be our fault that it is delayed, right?

I called Jay to let him know, and he was on it.  He sent a fellow (who knew what he was doing with this) out to our property to look and it, and then about 1 week later. . . Voila’!  we have our base set in with the conduit sticking up out of the base just like it is supposed to be (I think).   It is as I understand it should be, at least.

Did you notice the days and weeks passing for this electric pole and underground wiring to be placed?  It is taking –for. . . ever!

The engineer has been once called again at the beginning of the week, and hopefully it will work to have it hooked up.  some day.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for taking care of the electricity when you see fit.

Psalm 27:14 (NKJV)

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

So we wait~~

You Might Also Like

Spraying the logs~ Part 1! Or NOT!

By March 19, 2017 General, The beginnings!
IMG_4071

It was time to spray the logs, but we determined the sprayer that we had gotten (really cheap) would not work, and we had to get another one.  My husband found one online that looked good, and asked me to order it.  I think I ordered the wrong one.

But we were going to try.  It was new, what could go wrong, right?

So we take it to the property load it up with our ‘preserving’ concoction, and I get to go spray the logs.  So, I pump it, and try.

I got this! I can do this easy job of spraying the logs~~

I got this! I can do this easy job of spraying the logs~~

No I don't! HELP me!

No I don’t!. . . . HELP me!

Notice I have the directions that I am holding on to between my legs there.  They would’ve blown away otherwise. So, I was reading directions, but it still wasn’t working.

Coming to the rescue, he was!

Coming to the rescue, he was!

Trying anything to get this to work~~

Trying anything to get this to work~~

Even doing a dance, or were we just really praying at this point?

Even doing a dance, or were we just really praying at this point?

Yes, I was cold, and look like a stick stiff figure here.  But we wanted to get our logs sprayed! ! !  And here we are now. . .

Is there something wrong with the flow? Obviously, something was wrong, but we weren't figuring it out.

Is there something wrong with the flow? Obviously, something was wrong, but we weren’t figuring it out.

We tried over and over again to determine what exactly was NOT working on our 2nd sprayer that we bought.  All I can come up with is that the ‘concoction’ was not diluted, and had crystallized somewhat, and therefore was clogging up the sprayer, or too thick to get through the sprayer.

WE’RE DONE!

 

At least for the day!  No more trying to spray logs with a sprayer not working.  It’s okay.  Really, it is.  (I think I am still trying to convince myself.)

As it turns out, our 90 day return window for taking the sprayer back has come and gone.  We decided that we would try again with it after we heat the solution up again and dilute it.  So there you have it.  Part 1 ~Failure!  But we did learn that what we were doing was not working, and we have ideas about what to try next time.

In the meantime, we will have our little lunch at our little picnic table in our little spot.

 

Warm soup on a chilly day is always a good thing! Yummy!

Warm soup on a chilly day is always a good thing! Yummy!

And maybe we will just work on leveling the ground for the outhouse in the meantime?

And so we need a level spot for this outhouse~~don't want to be leaning in there!

We need a level spot for this outhouse~~don’t want to be leaning in there!

Looks level, but we still have a bit of work getting it totally level~~

Looks level, but we still have a bit of work getting it totally level~~

It was such a pretty evening that I took a picture of our hillside.

It was such a pretty evening that I took a picture of our hillside.

 

Oh, and BTW, our logs look terrible now.  What did I expect??

Yeppers, this is what they look like when you don't get them sprayed!

Yeppers, this is what they look like when you don’t get them sprayed!

IMG_4461

I still have hope.  We can clean them up, and then spray them.  We have to get on this!

Just “Thank you LORD!” for practices so that we have the chance to get this right before we get our REAL logs.

 

 

 

You Might Also Like

Our (not-gonna-kill-the-van) truck!

By February 15, 2017 General, The Gatherings
IMG_4087

A truck again!

My husband was a scrapper.  Yep, you heard me.  He was someone you would see driving around in his pick-up . . .picking up the metal left for the trash man, and make money off of it.  And then there were the people that would call him to pick up their stuff so it would help both of us out.  And then, you know, there is Craigslist where people list things they want to get rid of if a scrapper wants to come pick it up. This was when the metal was worth something!   It was a little market, per se.  Or was it?

We got smart.  The truck ate more gas than the money made from the metal that was scrapped.  And besides, the truck kept breaking down.  Something about this just didn’t work?

And then there is the time.  It takes time to go perusing for the scrap metal, and then to ‘break it down’ so that the recycling business will take it.

YEAHHHHHH!  ~~

NO!     

That truck was put up for sale.  We couldn’t afford the time or the money this truck was taking.  So, see you later truck.  I was not too disappointed, and actually, neither was my husband.  It was a little venture he had tried.  And now it was done.  So there.

And then comes along this log house venture.  We have a little Honda hybrid (great gas miser for trips to the property) and a van.  As you know, we got a hitch kit put on it for pulling the trailer that we bought to haul the stuff that we need to take down there.

Then there were the logs that we got from our church.  The three white pine trees that my husband  felled from the church we belong to.  We hauled them down to our property.  After the incident with our van after hauling them, my husband determined we needed another truck.  A Dodge Ram at that.  Nothing else, and he was getting advise about what year, etc. to get.

Looking, looking, looking pursued.  Some calls.  Some tests drives.  Climbing under and checking them out.  No~~ No~~ No~~

And then finally he found the one that he thought would be it.  This after calling and searching for weeks/months.

He took our boys, AND our handy dandy mechanically-minded neighbor, and they drove down into Kentucky to look at this truck.  Seemed well enough for an older truck.  It is a Dodge Ram 1500 4×4~surprise!  with an extended cab and an extended bed.  It has a lift kit on it, and those ‘fog’ lights that are apparently blinding (quite hilarious for us 50 somethings to be driving around).  It has low miles, and a remote control for a CD changer (hehe~no lie), and it is mostly in good shape for a 2000.  It has lots of power, no problems with the transmission that we can tell.  But there were/are some other features, I mean ‘issues’ that come with an older vehicle.  The roof lining of the cab of the truck was coming out.

We have a friend, Art, who is also a car guru,  who offered to help with that ‘issue’.  He has a lot of the adhesive needed for that exact purpose.  YAY!  So glad he can help.

Oh, and there is no bumper.  Need to get a bumper.

And oh, when my husband was pulling the truck into Art’s garage, scared to death it would hit the top of the garage because of the lift and the lights, he tried to open the window to talk with Art, and the window would not open.

You know, some things you just don’t think to check.  And would it be a deal breaker if a window doesn’t open?

Does it matter now?  NO, it just needs to be fixed, so before they could start on the lining for the cab roof, they had to take care of the window problem.   AND so they fixed both things.

We took it to the property to haul some stuff around down there.  And I convinced my husband to test out the 4WD.  He did, and we drove all around the area of our property that has been cleared.  It’s not like we were 4 wheeling like ‘crazies’, we just wanted to see this truck work!  And it did great.

Then as we were pulling out of our driveway, he changed it back to 2WD, and we got stuck!  It is funny to think about now.  Like, it would not pull us out.  We have mud at that part of our driveway, and it is down lower than the road, so there we sat.  I was not impressed.  We both were thinking it was still in 4WD, because that is what it showed on the dashboard, and here we are stuck in our driveway.  When it was actually in 2WD?  Yeah, I’m confused.

Seriously!  Not joking~~UGGHH!

But we weren’t stuck for long.  He had to back it up, and get it going a little bit faster out of the driveway.  (The driveway still needs more gravel on it~it just has the base right now on a good portion of it.)

But then there are some other features~~oops, I mean issues.

Like the ‘check engine’ light that just recently came on.

Then my husband says, “Remind me to stop buying old vehicles, and just get something that doesn’t have a lot of problems.”

YEAH!  I am thankful that our van and car do not have issues.  He takes good care of them.  We were in our van over Christmas (that has 161,000+ miles on it) and headed to Wisconsin.  It was running great!  Although we were getting beat up by the wind.

My point being that the truck we got isn’t a show truck, it is going to be a work horse.

But, just, “Thank you LORD!” for this truck.

You Might Also Like