Monday, December 27, 2010

A Log Home Picnic

The boy is on Christmas vacation, the girl is sick (poor thing) and the Hubs is up working on the log house today, so we decided to have a nice picnic of turkey soup, cheese curds, and apples with caramel dip.  And some chocolates and toffees that we were gifted by friends. 

Bob set up a little table of plywood and sawhorses in the basement and the boy dispensed with a recently deceased mouse that got in, but finding no food, decently decided to expire. 

I took the opportunity to snap some new pictures of the house on this beautiful and cold North Country day. 

Version 1:  The kids and I went home for naps and left poor Bob to work on the house by himself. 
Version 2:  I had to bundle up a sick and crying 4-yr old and the remnants of lunch and drive back to town, while Bob got to commune with his beloved logs in silence.


Monday, December 20, 2010


So, I feel like giving a wee tour.   Probably long overdue.    Although, the Hubs just walked by and said, "Great!  Now everyone will walk right in our house and say, 'oh, I know where the bathroom is!'"   Exactly.  When you come to our house (you ARE coming to visit our house, aren't you?), don't expect me to show you to the can.  Find it yourself, folks.   ANYWAY...

Please forgive my crude floorplan.  It's totally NOT to scale. 

So, when you walk through the front door, you'll be in our arctic entryway.  Please shut the door behind you.  It's cold out.  Yes, even in July. 

As you walk through to the living room, the stairs to go up will be on your right.  You can't go up there; it's my bedroom, and it SO isn't clean.  Well, it's quite clean now, considering there's no floor, but I'd imagine I won't be breaking 35 years of habit and be keeping my bedroom spotless in this house either.  But I digress.

This picture is a view from the kitchen looking toward the living room and dining room.  Bob is standing roughly to the left of the dividing wall.  The stairs (!) to go down to the basement are at left in the foreground.  Again, the chimney and fireplace are blocked by the boards standing up against them (at left).

This next picture is taken from the far corner of the spare bedroom, looking diagonally across the house toward the front door:

This picture is taken from the hallway, with the back door at my back.  I am looking down the hall with the kitchen at my left and the dining room at my right.  That saw in the hall has gotta go. 

And this last one is of The Hubs sanding boards.  He's standing right where the half-wall will be between the living and dining rooms.  You can see the wall between the dining room and spare bedroom framed up in the background. 

So there.  Now when you come to visit (you ARE coming to visit, aren't you?) you can help yourself and I won't have to get up from my permanent place in front of the fire. 

The end.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

More of the arctic entryway

Just a picture, really:

Or two:

This was taken with my back to the front door, looking out through the door (and wall) of the arctic entryway into the living room.  The fireplace is at left, where those long boards are standing up.  The ladder is leaning against the edge of the upstairs floor.  (That is not where the stairs will go up to the second floor.  Those will be in the foreground, which is currently blocked up.)

Okay, now you've got me in tour guide mode.  More of that tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A snowy, loggy world

The kids and I spent some time "helping" Bob up at the log house this afternoon.  I swept up about a hundred pounds of sawdust and we picked up a gazillion little odds and end of wood.  Bob (and FIL Jim, of course) are working on a super-duper-top-secret project that I've been sworn to secrecy about until it's done.   In the meantime, here are some cool pix of the snowy outside, from the inside.

It was a beautiful day in the North Country today:  snowy but not inconveniently so, and not too cold.  Our little brigands enjoyed racing down from our [future] house to see Grandma. 

Running through the snow, a race to see Grandma
Hope she has some snacks, I know she'll melt like wax
I'll track in lots of wet, in haste to win the bet,
We'll fight and whine and yell and fuss, but Grandma still loves us!
Er...  nevermind.  Bob's the better lyricist anyway.  No, really.  It's weird.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


And NEXT to the stairs.... oh, by the way...  did I mention that I have some


Oh, I have?  Well then. 

And now, I also have a {large} closet framed in at the bottom of the stairs.   

Yes, it is already full of schtuff. 

Please don't remind me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Arctic Entryway

Our friend Alaska Dave (that's Cale to you) said in his neck of the woods they call our entry room/mud room/front hall/foy-aaaaay an "arctic entryway."   SOLD!   I like it. 

Here's The Intrepid Stair-Building Husband posing (to his intense discomfort) for a quick photo in the doorway between the arctic entryway and the living room. 

Hello, Husband.

Are those....  stairs just off to the left of the photo by any chance?  Yes, they are?  Mmmmm....   wonderful.   

Monday, December 6, 2010


So, I get a text from The Husband this morning that says, "Today's series is called 'Bye Bye Ladder.'"
Accompanied by this picture:

So I asks myself, I does:  "why would a ladder need to go away?"  Could it be?  COULD IT BE?!

And then a little later, I get this picture:

IT IS!!!!   Well, at this point in the picture, it will be

And a little later, I was dancing about and having to explain my odd, nearly fey behavior:

Oh, it gets better:

So I had to go to The Lake to see this wonder for myself.  And I arrived, just as the last two screws were being put in.  To our STAIRS.  That's right, baby:  stairs.  From the main floor down to the basement. 



They still need some bracing and such, but I walked 'em.  They're stairs all right.  And I love them.  *sniff*

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Bob and Jim framed up the entryway today!   Have a look-see:

We know that it goes against conventional wisdom to do anything but a great, big, open floorplan in a log home.  Buuuut....    winters are cold in the North Country, and it will cut down on the cold air flowing into our living room if we have an anteroom into which we first enter the home -- an airlock of sorts.  A foyer.  Or, if you prefer, a foyaaay.   Plus, I believe in actually entering a house through its front door, and a family needs a space to hang coats, stash shoes, etc.  And I do NOT want that space to be in my living room. 

So, when you come over to visit ---  you are coming over to visit, aren't you? --  you'll have a nice bench to sit on and remove your boots, a hook for your coat, and a nice warm living room that hasn't been cooled down by naughty children who don't shut doors and who were raised in a barn for gosh sakes?!!   *ahem*  Sorry about that. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Floorboards a-waitin'

We are done creating floorboards for the second floor!   (Which will also be the ceiling of the first floor)

(from below)

And by "we," as always, I mean "Bob."  And my FIL Jim, of course.

Bob and Jim are done milling, cutting, and planing for now, and have stacked the boards on their sides upstairs.  The next step is to stain the bottom side (which will be visible from below as the ceiling) and then we will have a... wait for it.....  FLOOR.   Bearing in mind, of course, that I announced that a floor upstairs was imminent 15 months ago.  You may have already deemed me untrustworthy in matters of timelines and progress forecasting.   It's a fair cop.  All I can say is, stay tuned.

In other cool house news, when I took my leisurely perusal of the men working hard on Friday afternoon, I discovered them on bended knee....

...marking the location of the door frame between the entryway/front hall/mud room/etc and the living room.  Part of the beauty of designing and building your own home is that you get to decide where every little thing goes.  Part of the pain of designing and building your own home is that you have to decide where every little thing goes.  Like exactly where the door will go in the space available in the not-yet-existant wall. 

And another random picture:

Look at how tall those boards are that are leaning against the chimney!   No particular reason for noting them.  Just thought they were cool. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Boards, again.

Bob's tutorial on prepping one's own floor boards:

Just because a board is milled straight, doesn't mean it dries straight.  When you encounter a board with a wavy edge, you need to give it a straight cut. 

1. Snap a blue chalk line along one edge. 

2.  Using a circular saw, cut along chalk line.

3.  Run board through table saw.

 4.  Now, plane the board smooth.

Voila!  5 years later, you have enough floor boards for your new log house! 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hairy logs

Well, they MUST have been hairy, since The Husband had to shave them. 

Har-dee-har-har!   Just kidding.  The Husband had to shave the uneven areas of the joists on the second floor, as he is prepping for the laying of the floor.  He planed some of the logs where they join with other logs to make them flush.  (He actually said he was "planing the log joinery," but I had to ask for a paraphrase.)

Yes, you heard right:  The Husband said he was prepping for laying the floor upstairs.  Hallelujah!  Amen.

It was a beautiful day in the North Country today and we spent the whole afternoon up at The Lake.  Hubs' birthday lunch....  woodstove warmth...   cooking down pumpkins with my MIL...   and communing with my log house.   Ahhhhhh. 

And naps.  Definitely a good use of a Sunday afternoon. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Woodshed with a ta-DA!

That husband!  I've been asking him for a week what's been going on up at the log house, and he's been noncommittal, at best.  So I go up to fetch the boy today after work and lo and behold, there's wood in the woodshed, which now has a nifty sliding cedar door.  To wit:

Cool, eh?   Remember when the boiler house didn't have a woodshed attached yet?  Here's a view to refresh your memory:

See the white door in the left wall?  It's the same white door in the pic above that.  The radiant floor heat system works like a charm, and now the boiler shed and woodshed are all set...    how's about some, oh, I don't know....  STAIRS in my house?   No?  Oh, okay.   What's next, then, husband?

Kitchen cupboard framing thingies?  That works too.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hidden Progress and a beautiful fall day

So I'm trying to find cool progress updates to post so y'all don't abandon us ... but the progress is all, well, hidden.

For example, Bob filled the radiant floor heat system with anti-freeze, but there's no cool image there ... and then he fired up the wood boiler for the first time (EEEEK! I KNOW!), but again, no picture.  I begged for at least a photo of smoke coming from the chimney pipe, but apparently the boiler's so efficient, there's barely any smoke.  Sheesh!   Plus, it's been raining to beat the band for weeks and so I can't even post pretty pix of the outside of our log dream.

So, instead, I give you bea-u-ti-ful fall pictures from the boy's soccer game this afternoon.  First blue sky day in a while.