Friday, July 31, 2009

Chain Throwing

Tuesday was a long, busy day for the guys. Jeff and JJ (thanks Gina!!) worked all day digging holes for piers and trenching for plumbing and electric. The ground was full of rocks naturally, which made things pretty slow, but the dirt looks like it will be good for gardening. We have a lot of clay right on the surface of our current yard which isn't good for growing anything I'm interested in. Madison likes it for her pottery skills though. Anyway, Jeff rented this auger Tuesday morning and was told to have it back by 5pm. Well, a short while after they began trenching they "threw a chain" or something like that and had to take it back to the rental place for a new machine. By this time it was 4pm, but the rental guy told them to hang onto the new machine until opening time Wednesday morning with no extra charge. Thank the Lord for thrown chains!!! It took them another three hours to trench through that rocky dirt which would have otherwise cost us another $180.

I had a girls lunch at my aunt Alice's house with my mom, sister, cousins and all our kids on Tuesday. We had a big potluck lunch then all sat around the dining table with our craft projects and talked (mostly talked.) We had a good time and I love the women in my family. They are all a sweet, godly bunch and so much fun to be with. A few weeks ago we lost my aunt Paula to cancer and I think we were all missing her. She was the definition of "life of the party" everywhere she went! Niki, her daughter, is so much like her and I'm glad she was at the lunch with her boys. Anyway, the kids and I couldn't make it to the land until around 4pm to watch them finish the trenching and that's also about the time the rain showed up! It rained very heavily for about 40 minutes, but did that stop the work? Nope! The guys know from plenty of experience that if you wait on the weather these projects will never get done. What troopers! Evelyn and I hung out in the Suburban while the big kids, including Jacob (one from JJ and Gina's slew of kids,) used the rain to help them catch toads and lizards. By the time the rain stopped they were all soaked to the bone!

This will be the view from our front door, minus the not so pretty things. You can see the rain clouds that passed over us in the background. It's exciting to have this dream we've had for years unfolding before us. I think we'll be back out there tomorrow so I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Step One

Today's the day! Jeff and his friend JJ are already off to break ground on our little dream cottage. Jeff is renting an auger (the kind you can drive) and will be digging the holes for piers and trenching for the plumbing and electric. Yes, the house will be on piers. That's money saving tip number one. He'll dig the holes pour in a little concrete at the bottom to set his 6"x6"x6' wood posts on then fill in with more concrete. Oh, I guess money saving tip number one should be, do it yourself with the help of friends and family.

By the way, Jeff and I used to be in the home building business until that "bubble" EXPLODED!!! and knocked our feet right out from under us. I would design the houses and he would build them. That's part of our unique position...we have experience and tools. Our project is so simple though, that just about anyone could do it really. At some point I'll share the blueprints with you so you can see for yourself.

I am disappointed I won't actually be there to see the ground breaking for myself but I did send the camera with Jeff. However, I may be out there later this afternoon if it isn't raining. Naturally, there is rain in the forecast for today. It's been a rather wet summer which I fully appreciate so that I don't have to water my garden very often. I would insert a picture of said garden here except that Jeff has the camera which still holds that said picture. Hmmm...blogging takes a little planning and organizing doesn't it?

Speaking of gardens, one of our neighbors brought us some summer squash from his parents garden last night, so I think I'll go and make myself a yummy summer squash omelet for breakfast.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

This is it!

Well, here it is. Jeff's been pushing for us to start a blog so I did. Please be patient with me as I figure out how this blog stuff works, because I don't know what in the world I'm doing!

Don't you hate it when you've got a question for the almighty Internet and it's answer is either too vague or even nonexistent. I know that doesn't happen very often but when your lifestyle, income, beliefs etc...force you to think outside the box, sometimes the answers are very hard to find. Well, I don't have all those answers for you but our family is in a unique position to try something different and we plan to share all the gory details with you along the way in hopes that you'll enjoy it and maybe find an answer or two that you've been scouring the Internet for.

So, are you curious what our project is? Good (assuming you said "yes." If not, read no further. ;) We are beginning the process of building a little 1200 square foot house in the country with the goal of building it as cheaply as possible. Now that may not sound terribly unusual but, did I mention we will be using mostly conventional methods and we have a very small budget? How small is that budget you ask? Drum roll please... $15,000. Sound crazy? I know. And remember I said conventional. That means we will not be living in a shipping container, or a packed earth home or a large canvas tent, not that I have anything against those types of homes, they just don't happen to be our goal. We would like a home that's a bit more tradition, something cottagy.

We'll be out on the land Tuesday tearin' up the ground as we get started on our little project and I'll be sure and take lots of pictures for you so stay tuned!