The 2013 Log Home Builder Olympics and Fellowship

Hmmm. Where do I begin? How about the arrival of the 2013 Log Home Builder Olympic Events, featuring Steve and Jeremiah.  (This is an unofficial event.). The higher up our walls get, the more acrobatic Jeremiah and Steve need to be (or get to be).

This week brought the installation of our “girder” log. It is a log that runs across the length of the house to hold up the upstairs loft floor.

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Watching Steve scootch (is that a real word?) across the girder from one end to the other, on his rear, with tools in hand, reminded me of the balance beam. I could kick myself that it didn’t occur to me to take pictures of him doing it (I’m such a slacker).

After the girder was installed, it was time to bring in the RPSLs. Those are the logs that hold up the ridge… The topmost beam of our house.

The ridge is the biggest log, and needs several vertical logs holding it up and supporting it. Getting those support logs into the house and erect was a Log Home Olympic event as well.

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Is that impressive, or what? Gives all new meaning to “Pole Vault”!

After it gets to the other side of the wall, Jeremiah guided it straight to a piece of rebar that was sticking out of the concrete pyramid. Steve had drilled a hole in the bottom of the log, and the rebar would slide right in, with Jeremiah’s guidance. In the next two pictures, look for the hole in the bottom of the log, and the rebar sticking out of the concrete…

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Now comes Jeremiah’s job. The next several pictures were taken from inside the house. You will also see the girder log stretching across by itself.

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Not sure which Olympic event that resembles, but the term “stuck the landing” comes to mind!

A whole different Olympic event occurred, quite unexpectedly, immediately after installation. Strap removal. Hmmmm… how to reach the yellow strap, WAY up there, to remove it, when the telehandler is holding up the log still. ??

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The answer? Tall ladder climbing. But it didn’t work. Time to tie another strap around the RPSL (the red strap attaching the vertical log to the wall at the top horizontal log…. release the telehandler, and ride up to the yellow strap. It was a good balancing act, and required a lack of fear of heights while standing on a piece of metal no wider than a ski.

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These log home building men have taken rides on the telehandler and logs to whole new Olympic levels. In fact, sometimes I think they are playing more than working. (Where did I put that whip?)

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See what I mean?

Olympic events aren’t the only excitement we had this week. Days ago another neighbor stopped by to meet us, followed by a very special visit from our other neighbor, Mona (who gave us the Donkey Ear plant), and her 95 year old daddy. He was vastly intrigued by the log house. In spite of his walker, he was determined to see it up close. He told me about his childhood, watching his daddy build the family home by chopping down trees, stripping them, and building a log home. He was wandering down Memory Lane looking at ours.

Then Mona and I took him to the McGuire House (our B&B). He adored it, relaying stories about the past….like watching his grandmother cook with dutch ovens over her fireplace, etc.

I showed him the teepee poles and informed him about the 25 ft teepee we were going to put up (that is stored in the B&B right now). His eyes lit up, and he told me that he was raised on an Indian reservation! He spent tons of time in authentic teepees, dancing around the bonfires, chanting their songs, and even had an honorary Indian name… “Little Chicken.” He is excited to see the teepee when it goes up.

He was taught how to sew as a child, hand quilting with his mother. He learned how to hand embroider, served in the military, built homes, and more. He was a fascinating and precious man, and totally made my day. In fact, I cried when he left. He touched my heart. He reminded me of Steve’s and my own grandparents, who I miss deeply. Such a blessing to spend time with him.

Then Saturday was action-packed. The Lord brought us a huge work crew! One of the members of the Log Home Builders Association (who we took the class from), Jeremy Sutterfield, came to help us with his wife, Candace, and two college boys, Dustin and Michael. They were wonderful!! They have been following this blog, and wanted to come help! They peeled logs and put one up, getting practice for building their own in Colorado this Summer.

Mallory (our log peeling she-woman), and Jeff Johnson (who had come with his wife 2 weeks ago to peel logs) returned, as well, as a surprise to us, to peel logs.

Then my in-laws, the Walkers, came that evening to help peel logs. Cumulatively, they all peeled 8 huge logs…which is a LOT! We had fun, great conversation, and got tons accomplished.

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As though that wasn’t blessing enough, a woman named Judy Gottardy and her husband, from our church, came to see us, with the crew, and brought the crew several desserts! (She’s a keeper!) She has been so wonderful through this process, texting me several times a week to see how it’s going, and ensuring that I’m ok.

I was introducing her to the crew. I said, “This is Mallory”. Judy excitedly said, “Mallory! She’s the log peeling she-woman!” I died laughing! Judy has been reading this blog, too, and remembered my term of endearment for Mal. I thought it was hilarious.

As much as Mallory isn’t crazy about her nickname (I assume), it applies. Steve and I talked tonight about how she has peeled a whole wall worth of our logs so far, and is planning to come back again tomorrow for more! She’s amazing, generous, very hard working, and an absolute blessing to us…with or without log peeling.

Here is Judy.

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That night, after a day of hard work and fellowship, we all gathered at the McGuire House for a brisket dinner, joined by Gina and Charlie. Remember my love of cooking for people? I was so happy. I got to feed so many!! It was wonderful to sit on the porch watching everyone talking, laughing, and eating, as I remembered the long, hot building process of that B&B just months ago, picturing feeding people there in the near future. Now, finally, the day had come. Little could I have known it would be a work crew that would help us build a log home.

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While eating, I noticed something in the bark of one of my trees.

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THAT is the color of the bark! Not paint or scarring.   A perfect Cross.  It was a wonderful reminder of Who brought all of these amazing people to help and encourage us. We talked about Jesus and His guidance in our lives much of the day while working. So it was perfect to spot the cross at day’s end, overlooking us.

 

click here for the next post, “Bringing In the Big Guns“…

If you just stumbled on to this post and don’t know what this blog is about, click here: What is Cottonwood Creek?   If you want to start at the very beginning of this log home build, click here: What do Vegas and logs have in common?   If you want to go back further, to the beginning of this blog, and see us building a 130-year old Bed and Breakfast on this same property (which we lived in while building log house), click here:  Welcome to Cottonwood Creek.

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