And…she’s up!

I am writing this from the living room in our city house. This room is about the same size as our new cabin that we BUILT last week!  Perriee and I took the week off of work to get as much done as possible and let me tell you, we needed every day of it to get the frame up and cover it with a roof.  As it stands, it might already be drier than the tipi and the end walls aren’t even up yet.

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My dad, step-mom, brothers, sister, and brother’s girlfriend came in on Saturday (from Cleveland)  to kick everything off. My brother, Carm, and his girlfriend, Rachel, helped us with some amazing math skills to figure out how to make these beautiful angle cuts on the miter saw with the wood that goes on the end walls.  My sister, Crystal, picked up lunch on her way in and took three, hour long trips to Lowes to make sure that we had the correct fittings for our hose that connected to our nail gun and compressor (just when we thought we had all the pieces, we discovered that the compressor hose we bought months ago did not come with any fittings on it- who woulda thunk?).  

We got the end walls and the ridge beam up on Sunday with the help of Matt and my family.  My brother Mark helped us get up 10 of the 30 rafters before he headed back to the city.  Perriee and I worked on the rest of the rafters, including floating “cat ladders” on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, we put up the nailer boards for the roof and two roofing panels. Brother Mark came back Thursday to bring it home with putting up the rest of the roof and a temporary ridge cap.  It was then that you could see how happy that cabin was to be in her place. That spot beckoned for her. She is settled in there like she has been there forever and we can’t wait to spend the rest of our forever with her.

Friday, Perriee and I decided our bodies needed a couple of days rest, so we tossed up a bit of Tyvek wrap on the back wall and organized everything before we left for the week.  I must not neglect to mention one more pearl…that we moved one of our homemade sawdust toilets into the cabin before we left. Not only did we build the shell of our home, but we also started design on our bathroom.  It is glorious. No more long, muddy treks to either the house or the “Number 2 Room”. From now, until we start sleeping in the there with the potty, there will be only short muddy treks to the cabin. It is even complete with a hand washing station, thanks to Ms. Gwen, Perriee’s mom, who gifted us a water cooler to keep out at the farm a while back.

Before we go back, we will have another consultation with neighbor Mark to talk about how to fix the ridge cap and get some guidance about putting up some of the plywood on the exterior walls. We may need to run some extra wood around the eave ends to give the plywood a place to latch on to.   It seems we may be getting a ladder soon, one long enough to get back up to the top of the roof. We rented ladders for the week, which were picked up on Friday, so we will let our savings recoup a bit before we get one.

Homework:

Need to work on a relationship?  Build a cabin together! Ok, maybe not a cabin, but work on something as a team that neither of you know how to do already.  Change a light fixture, put up some drywall, build a cat house, tile a floor. It might not be cheaper than therapy, but you will get to reap both the benefits of the project as well as grow stronger together in the process.  Perriee and I already have a solid relationship, but i realized this week, that every project we embark on together is like a team building exercise. It is almost comical to think about, but it is true! I am going to miss her so much next week when we go back to our regular jobs.  This week doused a load of fuel on our fire to move towards our goal of being together full time. We had roller coasters of emotions this week, but we were able to problem solve amidst all of our frustrations, and when we were packing up yesterday, it was apparent that not only did we build a strong cabin, but we made our marriage stronger as well.

You can jump for joy because we have a floor to jump on!

Oh my goodness we made a floor.  It took about 10 hours to Tyvek the underneath, insulate, then cover it with plywood.  We had some help moving the plywood around which saved us some time and energy and overall, we did not come home feeling the most exhausted we have ever been.  Because the weather called for rain through the night, we decided to make it a day trip, which ended up working out perfectly. We left the site with a solid floor, covered in a big tarp, secured with bungee cords. a2007f02-e37d-4ad5-9080-86df5ad4ac0b

Taking a weekend to recreate in Louisville with my sister, we will be back the following week to frame it up. Hopefully, we will be able to get it roofed and framed over the weekend so we will  have the rest of the following week to tinker around the site and the cabin.

Since we are now on this stage of the build, it has allowed us to start speculating on the interior and exterior finishing plans.  This has had my mind spinning with excitement, thinking of all of the custom things that we can do to make our cabin comfy, efficient, and unique.  

Interior plan ideas:

Dead space: This is an a-frame, so with this style of home comes 14 feet of dead space on each of the sides where the roof is.  I have been dreaming about the best ways to maximize that space (actually, i have been dreaming about oceans swallowing me up and tornadoes, but I digress)so here are a few of my thoughts on this:

Veggie bin for potatoes, onion, etc., cooler bin for drinks. We plan on getting a mini fridge for the barn to store any refrigerated items that we need, so a cooler should work out in the house.   We can also use it as storage bins for dishes, pots and pans. Feel free to share any ideas or thoughts about these things. We love ideas!

Thinking about cooling solutions, we  found a great solar fan that we can install on the loft level to vent out some hot air that will surely collect near the ceiling once the weather warms up.  The amazing thoughts about installing one of these is the fact that we will know exactly where to attach the solar panel onto the roof because we are installing that as well!  If I sound excited about that, you heard me correctly. It may even be a bit of an understatement.

Exterior plan ideas:

We ordered the frame of a hoop house which will be covered in some sort of screen or mosquito netting and fashioned into a screened in porch/catio.  We have quite a slope around the cabin, but i am confident that we can adjust for that with some pallet wood in order to make it level. The current plan is to connect that to the house with some sort of tunnel that the cats can help themselves to when they are ready for some outside time.  If the hoop house doesn’t work for the cats, it will work for the ducks somehow, so no loss there!

Homework

Daydream!  Let your mind wander.  I know I will not actualize everything that I daydream about but if it is half as nice as I imagine, we will be enjoying quite an oasis.  I think that sometimes, people are afraid to get excited about things because they don’t want to be disappointed when something doesn’t work out the way they planned.  As the saying goes, you only have one life so let’s go for it. Don’t hold yourself back and adjust your expectations of the results to either be happy with what has resulted, or try again to make it better.

Howard