Cows in the Kitchen

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

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

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Spraying the logs~ Part 1! Or NOT!

By March 19, 2017 General, The beginnings!
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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!

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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.

 

 

 

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

By February 15, 2017 General, The Gatherings
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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.

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Bushhogging? ME?

By February 11, 2017 General
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Still catchin’ up. . . .this is from back in November when we were still having some warm days. . . . And so it goes. . .

 

My husband’s most recent pet name for me has been ‘Bushhog Mama’.  I guess I do love that thing.  I like what it does.  And so, I had some time, the weather was good and I wanted to get our fields cleaned off before it got cold.

Gettin' it done!

One section done!

One of the boys working on his schoolwork as I bushhog. Way to use our time, huh?

One of the boys working on his schoolwork as I bushhog. Way to use our time, huh?

Here I am going for it~~the weather was still good, and the sun hadn't gone down.

Here I am going for it~~the weather was still good, and the sun hadn’t gone down.

It started to get late though, and I had to quit.  I do.not.like.quitting. when things are going so well, but there is dinner to be made, (although I need to give my daughters credit in that they make dinner many nights when we are coming home late~~and I don’t take picture of that) and the rest of the family to come home to, la la la.

And so I must quit.

I load up the bush hog, bring it home, and we left it on the trailer all hooked up because I was planning on going back the next day.

Then it hits me that night.  UH, the key is still in the bush hog, and it is sitting out in our driveway.  Now, we do not live in ‘crime’ city, but it is good to take precautions anyway.  RIGHT?

My husband agreed and ran out to take the key out of the bush hog and bring it in to the house.

Next day, I get up and I’m rearin’ to go!  Woohoo!  The weather is great for being late November, and I don’t have much to do to get on the road, since the trailer was still hooked up and the bush hog was still on the trailer, etc.

I just needed food and water, and to gather school work for the boys, and we were on our way.

YES!

I drive all the way down to the property, open the hatch to get out my gloves for the day, and I am thinking, (no lie)  “Thank you God.  It was so easy to get our day together and get down here.”

I put on my gloves, close the hatch, go unhook the ramp to our trailer and lower it, un-ratchet the straps we use to hold the bush hog securely on the trailer, and I climb up in the trailer to start the bush hog, and. . . . . .

THERE.IS.NO.KEY!

OH NO!

THERE.IS.NO.KEY!

Do you hear me?  UGHHHHHHHH!  I drove all the way down here, and there is no key for my bush hog.  We took the key out last night you know, and NOPE, I totally spaced out about grabbing it to have with me.  DUH!

What now?? ~ ~ ~

I can salvage this, but first I have to call my husband to let him know this ‘lil’ bit of information’ about my ‘slightly’ wasted trip down to the property.  You see, he was supposed to be sleeping because he worked all night the night before.  But I called him because I knew he might still be up, and he was.

Here is my call:

Me: “Hey Diester!  You’re never gonna’ believe this.”

D: “What?”

Me:  “Remember when you took the key out of the bush hog last night?”

D:  “OOOOOOH no!  You forgot to get the key.”

Me:  “Uh, yeah!”

D:  “Do you want me to bring it down?”

Me:  “No, I know you have to sleep.  I just wanted you to know what happened.  I can work on digging out the outhouse hole.  I have other things I can do for a while.”

D: “I’m sorry.”   (I really appreciated that.)

Me:  “Yeah, I just had to tell you.  I hope you sleep good.”

And that was basically the end of the call.

Well there I was~~~ trying to regroup.  And then the thought hits me:  Remember, I had just been thanking the Lord for making it so easy for me to get it together that morning?  He was probably chuckling the whole time.

So onward I go.  Boys, today we are going to work on digging more for our outhouse spot.

And I start. . . . digging, digging, diggin, and then 45 minutes later. . .

I look up and my husband is driving in our driveway. . .

to

 

bring

 

me

 

the

 

key.

AWWWWWWW!  So sweet!  AND, I am so thankful!

He didn’t stay long. .  .  he needed to get some sleep, and this cut into his sleep time by roughly 2 hours.  He was my knight in shining armor that day.  WOWSA!

So, here I go again.  I will drop the shovels any day if it is a choice between diggin’ and being “Bushhog Mama!”

Got another large section done. . .

Got another large section done. . .

and another. . . .

and another. . . .

and another.

and another.

There were some really rough spots on this hillside.  We had those ‘cows in our kitchen’ you know, before we decided to move where our kitchen will be.  And so, the terrain was kind of crazy sometimes, but I was rockin’ it.  And I was burning up.  One of the neighbors’ nephew came by, and was working at the church a bit, and offered me a water.  A COLD water.  It was so good!

And I had the hillside almost completely done.  WHEW!  What a day!  I was getting things so cleaned up, and it looked good, if I do say so myself.  That DR Field and Brush Mower (a.k.a. Bush Hog Mama’s bush hog) is the best.  I have been using that for days and hours on end, and it works like a champ.  I know it has a Brigg’s and Stratton engine.  I have never messed with anything that has that brand of motor, and this thing rocks.  The smaller trees that it takes out are down in no time flat.

Can you say?  GREAT Craigslist find???

Time to load up my baby, and my boys, and take them home.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for my husband that will spare some sleep to allow me to be able to bush hog, and for a bush hog that rocks it!

 

Note:  It was really too dark when we were leaving to get a good overview picture, but let’s just say, “It was looking so good!”   EEEEEEEEH!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AAAAAAAH! Fire in the pot!

By January 31, 2017 General, The beginnings!
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Our pretty logs from our church~~we want to keep them pretty, you know~~

AND so. . . .we need to treat the logs, so the bugs don’t start eating them.

(BTW, we started on this a few months ago, and so, this is me working on catching the blog up to present times.)

So, there is a recipe for the treatment of our logs.

We went to get the ingredients.  One we had to order, the other of which is anti-freeze, and the third we could purchased when we went for the anti-freeze.

We had everything we needed.

OOPS!  We also need a LARGE pot to mix. . .and cook this stuff before we could treat the logs.

Here we go~~

Getting this started with our fire going strong.

Getting this started with our fire going strong.

Manning the fire~

Manning the fire~

It is starting to steam.

It is starting to steam.

Now this gets interesting!  We are heating this up, and it is supposed to get to a certain temperature. but we did not have a thermometer.  OOOOOPS!  So, let’s just make sure it is REALLY hot!

So, it gets really HOT. . . . and then YIKES! ! ! !

. . . it catches on fire!  The concoction is on FIRE!  AHHHHHHH!

OH MY GOSH!  

What are we supposed to do?  

Thank goodness my husband had his head on straight, and told me to put the lid on.

Simple. . . . quick. .  . AND effective!  Good thinking, hon!

Woohoo!  That works!  And now take it off of the fire.

I guess it’s hot enough??????

You think?

I DO.

HOT~~now let's add the other stuff!

Been on fire~~now let’s add the other stuff!  (hehe)

Adding the other ingredients~~

Adding the other ingredients~~

And we stir, and stir!

And we stir, and stir!

. . . and stir~

. . . and stir~

Is this working? I thought the other ingredients would dissolve quicker than this. . . .

Is this working? I thought the other ingredients would dissolve quicker than this. . . .

Back on the fire you go. . . .with a little fear this time.

Back on the fire you go. . . .with a little bitta’ fear this time.  eeeks!  Please “no FIRE!”

We FINALLY get this concoction mixed together, and now it just needs to cool.  So we move the pot to our open basement, put the lid on it, and add a weight (you know, one of the heavy pieces of metal that we unearthed) on the lid just so that no little curious creatures might be harmed.   Then we will mess with the spraying another day.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for keeping us safe, and letting us get our mix together, with a little bit of drama.

And, stay tuned.  Next, we had to get this concoction sprayed on our logs.

 

 

 

 

 

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