May 4th was both my birthday and Reese’s big, annual dance recital. To celebrate, we went on our traditional trip to Fredericksburg, Texas for strawberry picking, and then into town for German food. One of my favorites!! (I’m a total sucker for vinegar…so German food and I make a blessed match. PLUS, my name is German…so, it’s just “meant to be”.)
Usually it’s a lovely, warm Spring day when we head to Fredericksburg and strawberry pick…(we recollected as our hands and feet were completely numb, and hair blowing off our heads from high, freezing winds…this time). But, it was still well worth the frigid conditions. The berries were bigger and redder than ever before.
We enjoyed a full day and evening of shopping, eating, and picking. Had to get home early enough for Reese to get a good night’s rest for rehearsal early the next morning for her big show.
After rehearsal, we had a few hours to kill before the show, so we made strawberry jam from our loot. Another family tradition. LOVE IT!!!
That night (May 4th), Reese performed with her dance group. She adores dance class. It was a fun night for her, and a wonderful birthday for me.
A few days after my birthday, my mother treated the girls and me to a beautiful lunch at Piatti Italian restaurant. YUM!! The staff surprised me with a VERY sparkly dessert that got the attention of the whole restaurant.
We also enjoyed out of town friends who came to visit. The Flummers and Burghardts. The Burghardts came all the way from Ohio.
We managed to get the whole downstairs framed, but only after spending a good two weeks slowing down and carefully measuring and stringing out where the rooms of the house would be. We didn’t want to rush this important step.
A little unconventional.. we used guns, magazines, wood, blowguns (the average person has these things laying around, right??), power tools, and more, to be our “dining table”, “kitchen island”, couches, shower, and so on. Hey…ya gotta do whatcha gotta do!
It might appear to be a bunch of chaos and trash on the floor…but it all has purpose. I see my kitchen, dining table, and more. When we knew where the walls would be, we started framing. The girls rolled up their sleeves and helped.
That only took 5 hours. The next day it was time to put up the upstairs floor joists. UGH! HEAVY!!! Poor Steve carried those 250-300 pound boards by himself into the house. He hoisted up one end onto a ladder, slid it up onto the girder log, and then climbed up the ladder to pull it up further. At that point, I’d lift the bottom end and help push it further up, towards the back side of the house. (You’ll have just excuse me for not getting pics of me helping him hoist beams over the girder. But, don’t think I didn’t try!) We got one done per hour…for 3 hours, and quickly decided that he needed to call upon his buds. The firemen came to his rescue the next morning.
Sorry for the blurry image of the guys carrying it in. Somehow I thought that having them stop and smile, while barely breathing under the weight, wasn’t a good idea.
These are the joists. VERY heavy.
All done! Ready for upstairs floor boards. The guys had it all done in a little over an hour.
This picture below shows the size difference between a regular 2×4 and the joist boards. He had to put a bunch of 2×4’s together to help hold up and support the joists.
Then it was time to lay the upstairs floor. The girls helped again. They took turns using the tools, and passing boards up to Steve. I brought the boards into the house, they cut them and handed them up. They also helped him upstairs, but I didn’t take pics up there very much.
Do you see the “low” wall behind Steve (in the picture above)? 4 logs high? That’s one wall of each girl’s bedroom (the other is behind me). For months I’ve worried that it would be too short for them to be able to stand by or walk up to. Didn’t know where their furniture would go. But, here’s 6’8″ Steve standing against that wall…
The next blog post is “Real Construction Workers Wear Polka Dots“. click the link
If you want to start from the beginning of the log home build (after we finished the b&b), click on this link: What Do Vegas and Logs Have In Common?
If you want to start at the very beginning of our blog, where we buy the land and build a 130-year old guest house on it, click here: “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek”.
If you have no idea what this blog is about, click here: “What is Cottonwood Creek?”