Saturday, June 27, 2009

Progress and Perspective, part 2

In the interests of focusing on the positive, here's my take on our progress... to give me perspective. (Second in the series)

This is our (then outdoor) fireplace in October 2007:
And here's our fireplace right now:

That's progress, baby! We could have a fire in it right now (note the random pieces of wood tossed in there) and pretend that the stone facing is on.... and there wasn't a nasty blue tarp on the floor in front of it.... and that the mosquitos, black flies, and deer flies couldn't just fly in and bite us since there's no windows in yet... oh. wait. This is supposed to be focusing on the positive.
Hey! We have a fireplace INSIDE all ready to go!

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's no secret: around here, we love logs. Big logs. Little logs. New logs. Old logs. There's lots of logs around our place at The Lake.
There's the house, of course:
There's this stubby pile just hanging out in front of our house.

There's these long suckers waiting to be milled.
And there's even some tired old ones waiting to retire.

Oh Dear.

The Husband delights in the irregularities of logs -- the very naturalness of a tree trunk being used as building material. So, when he encounters these quirks in the wood, he makes use of them rather than removing or hiding them. He dubs them "logularities" and even positions them front and center in our new house. Here are some shots of the main log running across the center of the house.

Funky, eh?

What's your quirky love?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One thing down.... 1,548,502 to go....

The chimney's done. Okay, it's not faced with stone yet, but don't hold your breath for that one. This is the North Country, after all, land of unfaced chimneys. Actually, The Husband and I are going to a quarry this week to take a look at what's locally available. He's in favor of river rock and I like the big flat ones.

Here's a pic of the very tippy-top of the now completed chimney.
Innit cute?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Progress and Perspective, part 1

I'm a Jane Austen fan. I'll re-read the books every few years, watch the movies every so often, and I'll even confess to trying out a few of the (always unsatisfying) fanfic novels that continue the storylines Austen created. So, I'm calling today's post: Progress and Perspective, part 1. I feel like dwelling on the progress that we've made on the house build. I know that most folks would consider our extended timeline completely unacceptable for the completion of a house, but most people actually hire contractors to build a house for them, instead of hand-peeling, notching, and stacking the logs themselves, with the occasional mason or excavator hired for a specific task. (Most people, in short, are sane.) So, in that light, we're practically ahead of schedule!

Aahahahhaahahaaaaa *snort* heheheheeeehehheheee *gasp*

Whew. That was great. I crack myself up.

Anyway, The Husband was at The Lake at 6:30am on this gorgeous North Country Saturday morning, working on our house. God bless him. Not quite sure what he's working on today, since most of what he says about the house goes right over my head. I'll drag the babies up there later and see if I can snap a few pics and manage to stay off the scaffolding. From now on, I have a feeling that the progress won't look so dramatic.

Enough waffling. Here's my shots of progress and perspective:
May 2007
June 2009
It gives a girl hope.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A view from the top

Since the scaffolding was up for the mason to finish off the chimney top, The Husband suggested I (lazy, out-of-shape) climb up the rickety aparatus, risk my life, and take a picture of the inside of the house from waaaay up there. Actually, he said something more like "Why don't you take a picture of the second floor from the scaffolding?"



Why *he* didn't take the picture is beyond me. I think he has a warped sense of humor. When I *huff, puff* got to the top of the scaffolding, the mason says, "She's not gonna be one of these folks that gets up but can't get down, is she?" Ha ha ha, of course not. (am i? oh dear.)

What does the inside of our house look like from the top of a rickety platform with bits of mortar flying everywhere and snickering men about? I'm glad you asked. Not much.

If you squint and turn your head *this way* you can imagine an actual floor, no construction equipment, and a contented and peaceful blogger gazing down on her living room from the loft.

Yeah, me neither.

One cool thing I discovered, however, was the house's current residents. We have squatters.

No sign of the birds, just a nest. Maybe they don't like flying mortar and snickering men either.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Post

Hymns are balm to my soul. Poetry and music joined. And this Sunday was Anne Day, apparently, since three of my favorite hymns were sung in church! Unfortunately, I didn't get to belt out the last one, since Little G and I ducked out early to attend a friend's First Communion at another house of worship. (And their hymns? Not so much. Sorry DD) Here are the lyrics to one that just hits the spot. Most people are at least familiar with the first line, but don't know about the whammy those last two verses pack.
It Is Well with My Soul
Text: Horatio G. Spafford
Music: Philip P. Bliss

1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
when sorrows like sea billows roll;
whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain: It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul.

2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
let this blest assurance control,
that Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
and hath shed his own blood for my soul.

3. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

4. And, Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
even so, it is well with my soul.

Sounds all maudlin at first, right? Yeah yeah yeah... don't worry, be happy. Whatever. And then, the truth laid bare and the perspective on this life sucker punches you! Plus, it's easy to crank it out reaaaal loud. And with the Husband harmonizing the bass line? Gosh I love congregational singing.

I just feel sorry for the person in the pew in front of me. *eek*

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More chimney, please

When it rains, it pours. At the same time that the north slope of the roof was getting its shingles on Friday, our mason worked on the top part of the chimney. So much work going on at the same time on our log house? My heart goes pitter-pat.

Here's the chimney in August 2008:

And here's the chimney on Friday:

Here's another shot for perspective:
And from the inside: (notice the darker-colored mortar; that's where the new section was added on Friday) And this last pic is to illustrate how much The Husband loves this stuff. He's not a particularly smiley guy, but he is just in heaven working on this house. Especially learning from the mason. Well, you see what I mean:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Up and over the top!

It's a beautiful day in the North Country. Gone is the chilly precipitation of earlier in the week and it's a good day for roofing. The Husband enlisted his work crew and they polished off the shingles on the north slope of the roof this afternoon.

Hello, Husband!

I do believe that's half a roof, fully shingled!
Wait ... is that a non-sequitor? You know what I mean.

Thank you, Johnny and Chris!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Old Friends

My African friend Emma stopped by to visit us this weekend. I'd love to say she traveled from Chad just to see me and my loud, crazy family, but she's actually spending the summer at language school in Vancouver. Emma's a linguist, which I say every chance I can get. She is the ULTIMATE word nerd. She's a word nerd for a LIVING. She's my hero. And I take pride in the fact that I told her to become a linguist WAAAY back when we were in college together. Of course, she didn't choose that career for a decade, but I'm ignoring that and take full credit.

Since I compel every visitor to make a pilgrimage to our unfinished log home, we spent a few hours at The Lake on Monday. We watched The Husband work, I described where everything would be ...eventually, and we stood on the dock looking out over The Lake and talking.

Emma suggested a window seat. If it means she'll come visit more often, I'm on board.

Poor Emma was freezing. She left temps routinely above 110 degrees and encountered a frost warning and brief hail in the North Country. It actually snowed at The Lake on Sunday.

I wish Chad wasn't so darned far away.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Is "shingling" even a word? Well, it is now. The shingles have crept up toward the peak of the roof -- and stopped momentarily as The Husband takes a break to make a living. Something about needing to put food on the table? Welcome to my start-stop-start-stop log home world.

Here's a pic of what the house looked like yesterday:

The Husband and his father popped by the house while I was taking pictures. They've been diligently milling boards for ceilings, walls, trim, etc. for our house, and needed to rearrange a stack on the second floor of our house. (By 'second floor', I mean boards lying on the floor joists. No real second floor yet.) So, I got to watch them work.

Look at The Husband. Go Bob Go!


Stay tuned for next time, when I extol the virtues of my African friend.