Tons of Pictures

You know the expression “too much of a good thing”? Well I remembered it ….while STILL sanding.

It’s actually not a bad job. It’s extremely easy. It’s almost done, but there have been lots of other exciting things going on that have pulled me away from it. We’ve had many visitors…almost daily…(which is great for morale and encouragement).  We went antiquing out of town two whole days, went shopping for ranges and fireplaces one whole day, and had other random things pop up.

All in all, one small closet wall took me about 1.5 hours to sand.  One whole living room wall took 5-7 hours, our loft 3-4. See? Had it not been for distractions and errands, this easily could have been a one week task. But nooo. It’s taken me (mmmmm) 3 weeks?? I have 2 days worth left.

In the meantime, however, we have accomplished MUCH more than just sanding. Take a looksy at the pics below.

That’s Dixie, my mother-in-law, in the first pic. She came over to sand for a few hours one day. In that picture, I’m looking down at the living room (it’s on the left), and the kitchen is on the right of vertical log (called an RPSL). You will notice that I didn’t sand where windows will be, or the fireplace corner (will be cut out). And the very top logs aren’t sanded; I can’t reach them. Steve will have to do it. And there are still a few dark spots on the logs that are deep knots that I’m letting Steve sand, as well.








(dark corner is fireplace…no sanding)





20131013-092014.jpgWhy pink 2×4’s? The store didn’t even know why they were pink. But that happens to be my daughter’s room whose favorite color is pink! She came in and was thrilled!

Our daughters’ rooms and guest bathroom are the framed rooms upstairs. But now it’s time to build the loft floor above the kitchen. We’ll use it as a play area…air hockey, etc. Notice in the first picture below that there is NO framing or floor support beams, or anything. Gotta start from scratch. Step 1… notch out a wedge in one of the logs for the floor support beam to lay in. (Aren’t you glad I’ve taken so many pictures? I”m a visual learner. I want to SEE what’s going on…) Can you see Steve up there in the first picture? He used a pencil to draw the exact size of the end of the support beam (measured it precisely), and then will cut out the penciled-in area with the tip of his chainsaw…first cutting normally, then “shaving” it deeper by going side-to-side with the tip of the chainsaw until the notch is deep enough to cradle the very heavy beam…




(he drew the area he’d notch out , first).

Then it was time for Steve to tackle the 250 pound 4×12 all by himself.  (I had to take pics…couldn’t help him. As if I can really pick up even one end of it! I tried. Can’t be done. Did I advise him to get help? Yes. Did he take my advice? HA!! Did he struggle? HA HA!! Did he end up pulling a muscle in his neck, and have horrific pain all night and the next day? shhhhhhh You didn’t hear that from me. BUT (!) the job got done.)









Of course, we used a level every step of the way to make sure the beam was level. Next up, the “ledger board” (the board that goes against the log wall…that supports the floor) equipped with “joist hangers” (the silver L-shaped brackets the joists rest in), and the other joists. (“Joists” are the beams that the floor boards get nailed to.)

We also put up STAIRS.


Steve was doing the stairs with a pulled muscle in his neck. Without asking for any help, The Lord provided it, anyway.

In came our friend Charlie, just wanting to help out in any way that day, and our pastor…with donuts!

Thank You, Lord, for constantly providing at just the right time.







Way back when we were with our logger, he cut slabs of Walnut for us, wondering if we’d want some. He hosed water on them to show me how they’d look when varnished.



5 10-ft x 2.5 inches thick slabs, plus the lower 1/4 remainder of the whole length of the log for our mantle…all for $300! Deal! This is what we used for the stair treads, and what we will use for bathroom counters. After the stairs have been sanded and varnished, they will look dark and shiny, and make Mama very happy.


Time to finish loft. As a family, we were learning about when God instructed the Israelites to build the Tabernacle. God explained how He had given special abilities and skills to each person, and assigned all willing workers to appropriate tasks to match their skill (He didn’t force anyone to help or contribute.) (Exodus 31)

The four of us talked about the skills or abilities we each have (that He gave us), that can be used to get this build done. So, Reese strapped on daddy’s tool belt. I brought in the wood, she measured and cut every single board for the loft upstairs. I handed them up to Steve, and he screwed them in. Reiley cleaned the cabin. Here’s a pic of Reese working into the night cutting boards. Every single time she was about to lower the saw, she’d yell, “Fire in the hole!”









Here’s a picture of the kitchen area under the loft. I didn’t sand any of it because it’ll all be rocked….(Notice the underside of the loft floor. The spaced apart beams are the “joists”…they rest in “joist hangers” attached to the “ledger board” that is flush with log wall. Once joists are all in, you nail the floor boards on top. Deck-building 101.)




The small post holding up the loft will not stay there. There will be an island and bar right there, with two larger posts…one on each end of bar, holding up loft.

The dining room is behind the stairs in the right side of kitchen.

We don’t have T-Rex (our rented telehandler) any longer, but now we have Genie, the man-lift. Believe it or not (I’m amazed, actually), I haven’t been on it yet! It goes higher than T-Rex…yet I haven’t gone for a ride!? (What’s wrong with me?? Too much sawdust inhalation.)


Reiley has been going up with Steve to put up the “sleepers” on the roof. These are 2×4’s that the spray foam insulation will lay between, and the metal roof will lay on top of all of it. The insulation comes Monday (Oct 21) and the metal goes up the next day. In fact, the metal was just delivered minutes ago.





Here are pictures of Steve cutting out window openings, and putting in the “bucks” (the thick wood beams that the window frame will sit within)….












It’s coming along.

I’ve been looking for God’s intervention in my daily life…the various ways He tries to get our attention, bless us, and show us He’s there.  A few days ago I was beyond exhausted (would be officially bed-ridden sick just 2 days later). Around noon I was thinking about dinner approaching, knew I had to go to the store, was coated in sawdust, and just flat out didn’t want to deal with dinner. Not 5 minutes later I received a text from Dixie that said, “Dinner will miraculously arrive at 6.” A huge God-wink. Not only was it dinner…it was my favorite…chicken and dumplings, bacon green beans, cole slaw, chess pie, and tea.   She even brought a table to set it all on! Thank You for inspiring her, Lord.

Also that day, around 4-5:00 I was roasting hot, had been sanding all day, and was very very thirsty. I had literally just told Jesus (in my mind) how nice it would be if my daughter or a visitor would miraculously arrive with water or tea in hand for me. Then, our neighbor Jacob showed up 10 minutes later, came in, and threw an ice cold bottle of water up to me!! Another God-wink!!  I hadn’t told anyone how thirsty I was! I told Jacob, “I JUST told Jesus 10 minutes ago how thirsty I was and sure could use some water!” Jacob said, “I guess I heard Him!”

I’ll close with a few more pics of the process this past 2 weeks. If you want to go to the next post, click here: “Parakaleo”.  If you just stumbled onto this post from the internet and aren’t sure who we are, click here: “What is Cottonwood Creek?”  If you want to start from the beginning of our chronological story and watch us build our 130-year old guest house, click here: “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek!”  Or, to read about our log home build from the beginning, click here: “What do Vegas and logs have in common?” 









2 thoughts on “Tons of Pictures

  1. Loving reading your blog~~looking forward to hopefully build one ourselves! What an inspiration! God is so good to take care to provide what we need.


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