Age and Youth Collide

(If you haven’t already read “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek” or “Buying a 25′ teepee”, you might want to, so you’ll better understand this post.   This blog is a consecutive story rather than random, individual posts. )

We’re now land owners in possession of a 25′ tall teepee.   The pond has been dug, electricity installed, and a water well and pump are rarin’ to go.

Next on the checklist would be building the actual cabin. What would we use to build it with? How much would that cost? It was a bit daunting! But, if God wanted us to do this, then He’d provide in some really cool way…

Steve was talking about our land purchase at his mother’s quilt shop a few days after getting the land.   One of her employees told us we could have her family’s old homestead!

When she moved into it, she was 11, and the house was 75-years old.  Now, the house is over 130 years old!   Do you remember reading about old farmsteads and refurbishing old barn wood from our Fredericksburg trip in the first post?

She and her sister wanted this old house removed from their property, and told us we could do it, and could take anything from it we wanted.

We dug right in!   It took us only one full day (believe it or not) to tear it all down, but several short days to gather it all and finish up the job:

We rolled up our sleeves and started working. A few good friends came to help. We had fun!

The kids helped, too. They pulled out nails…lots and lots of nails…and found fun treasures. The whole day was a treasure hunt. We all had a blast.

Finally, we got it down to the last “room”…and realized it was the original house! A one-room house…as it would have been over 130 years ago. It was an awe-inspiring moment to stand back and see; it hadn’t been viewed this way for decades. Possibly over 100 years. It was such an honor (and still is) to take it down, and have the opportunity to rebuild it into a homey structure that families will use, sleep in, cook in, and bond together in…again.

We started loading up the trailer with the first load, ready to transport it all to our land…Cottonwood Creek!

Down to the last boards…


Next up? Getting the supplies to Cottonwood Creek. Here they are…dropped off…making my land look like a garbage dump. But, the piles have dwindled to less then half their size in only one month. Before long, it’ll all be gone, and in use.

Now that the supplies were “home” (and FREE!), it was time to start building the cabin that was in our vision on the drive home from Fredericksburg. This was no small undertaking…and there were NO floorplans created.

Let me repeat that (just in case you missed it)…no floorplans. At all. It was all in my talented husband’s head. After all… did mountain men or the pioneers have floorplans for the cabins they built? No. (Of course, his deceased architect father would have been horrified, and fixed that problem in no time.)

It was built on pier and beam. He used cut up telephone poles.
Now, before I go a word further, you need to know that all of the following pictures were all taken over a period of only two weeks. He took a two-week vacation from the fire dept. We went out early each morning, and came back at night…building every day. The cabin went from the posts you see above to a fully covered structure in just 2 weeks. But, first was the flooring.

Great friends of ours, Gina and Charlie, came out to see the place and our progress. She brought us goodies, while he dug right in, and wanted to help build, making both of them a huge blessing to us! In under 30 minutes, the guys had all of those floor beams laid out and nailed into place! The sun went down minutes after. What a great end to the day! Steve’s next step would be the plywood.

 Our friend Jeremiah called, and wanted to be at the land working. He loves this kind of thing. So, he came out to help us lay the plywood …thank God!, and then it was time to frame up the cabin!

Steve taught our girls how to use the power tools, and closely monitored their use. We watched them frame the walls.  How many people can really say that much of their house was framed by their little children?

It was very exciting to watch the first wall go up; it was so official! Our Bed and Breakfast dream was actually becoming a reality. (My mind still can’t fully comprehend it.) Unbelievable, and totally unexpected.

Steve, the girls, and I spent the next few days going out to the land and building the other three walls.

Next up was the loft and roof. This was a toughy. The roof was a high pitch.  Steve wasn’t sure if he could do it alone.  (Hmmm…what to do?)  Jeremiah called and was off work, and wanted to come out and build.  Perfect timing!

More friends and family dropped by (don’t have pics of all of them), giving us surprise visits almost daily. It was such an encouragement.

It came time to put siding on. We used rusted metal for the lower parts of the walls.

Our form of “quality family bonding time”…


Friends continued to visit us, giving us welcome breaks.


Next up is wiring. The girls helped Steve drill holes through the studs, and pull wire through the holes.

Next up was insulation…

What’s the big deal? It’s only a 45 minute drive.

Where’s my daughter?

I”m suddenly getting flashbacks of the drive home from New Mexico with teepee poles on my car and EVERYTHING else inside the car…for 9 hours.

My kids are used to the torture. (And I secretly enjoy it.)

Spraying the foam insulation into the window edge.

Gross. (Just like her father…)

(WHEW!) It gets HOT here in Texas! Being inside a non-air-conditioned building, in 100 degrees warrants hose time….

and with hose-time comes freakish hair

Now for the pink insulation. Work work work…(my whip is in my left hand, in case you’re wondering.)

I’m so proud of them.

And, before you go off thinking that I’m just taking pics and watching them work…you’re right. (Just kidding). I’d take a few pics, and then helped cut and install, too. There was a lot. It was all hands on deck every day, and lots of fun.


At this point, we were coming closer and closer to needing wood for the inside of the house. The problem…we didn’t have any. All the wood we got from Pat and Bernice’s house was for the outside of the house, and possibly some portions of the inside.

We looked on the internet, trying to find some, unclear on where to find it. Our ideal preference was to get some antique “bead board”. That’s what was used in homes in the early 1900’s.  The other problem was that we had no cash to buy it all with.

My friend Emma didn’t know we were looking for it. But, God did. Emma told Steve about a woman on Facebook who had just torn down her 100 year old house, and was getting rid of the wood. Emma thought we might want to know.
We called the woman. She said we were more than welcome to come see it, but she thought it was all trash. We went anyway. To our shock and further amazement, it was loads of antique bead board!

We asked her how much she wanted for it. She told us to take it; we were doing her a favor getting it off her property! Two trailer loads. FREE!

 I had been looking in decorating magazines, looking for ideas on how to decorate the cabin when it’s done. I saw electrified oil lamps on several pictures.  I thought this was a good idea, and wanted a few for the cabin, to keep the “old” look, but not make it dangerous. I had only thought it to myself.  

Days later, my friend Emma said that she was cleaning out her closet at home, and found a couple of electrified oil lamps…if I wanted them. I started laughing! I couldn’t believe it! I told her how this was just par for the course of this whole adventure…God taking care of all the details, handing me stuff left and right. Amazing.

Next up is “Moving Indoors“!  See you there…

Or, click on Welcome to Cottonwood Creek to start from the beginning.

Or click on What is Cottonwood Creek to find out what this blog is about.

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