As you drive down our neighborhood road in South Texas, you’ll pass pasture after pasture of cattle and horses and barbed wire fences. In the midst of this very “Texas” setting, you’ll find something extremely out of place, which is the purpose of this blog….
(Here is the pasture across the road from my house…)
You’ll come to our home hidden amongst 11-acres of thick Oak tree woods. Our log home….that my 9-year old, 14-year old, husband, and myself built with our own hands. ALL of it.
Log houses aren’t that unusual, I realize. However, they’re typically seen in the mountains, or areas where the trees to build them are located. To see a log house in south Texas, amidst Oak and shrubby Texas Mesquite trees is strange.
I have literally lost count how many people over the past 2 years have driven past our house, stopped, backed up, and sat out front, staring at it before moving on. (We fondly call them “log lookers”.) Often times they’ve even driven right up the driveway to talk to us about it!
Every time visitors come, we hear “I need to bring my ___ out here” (friend, spouse, co-workers…etc).
In addition to the log house, the back of our property features a large pond filled with fish, and a guest house from the 1800’s.
Nothing was here until 2012. Not even the 1800’s house. My husband Steve, my daughters, and I built everything on this land in 2-3 years with our own hands. Meaning, we didn’t hire anyone.
We were living our normal lives in our “normal” house, when unusual events occurred that persuaded us to very unexpectedly purchase this 11-acres and start building a Bed & Breakfast on it.
None of it was “our plan” or our choice. The details of the “unusual events” are told in the post called “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek”. It’s a miraculous story. I hope you’ll take the time to read it.
I started this blog when we began to build the Bed & Breakfast so that family and friends could follow our daily progress. I knew nothing about blogging. I did not start the blog for business reasons or for strangers to see. I naively started writing just to avoid repeating our ongoing unusual-build story to our family and friends who constantly asked what was happening next. Little could I have imagined or predicted that strangers in over 100 countries would find this blog and start reading it.
It took us 6 months to build….every single day….in the middle of Texas 100 degree summer.
Other people build structures every day all over the world. There’s nothing unusual about building. However, this particular building project attracted visitors…visitors who then returned with more visitors.
The story (the “unusual events”) behind the purchasing of the land, how we got the guest house, how we acquired the building materials, etc, was intriguing to people. I was asked over and over again, by each returning visitor (who brought someone with them) to “…tell the story!” So I did. I even wrote it; all the details are in this blog.
Upon finishing the guest house (finished “enough”, anyway), we started building our log home, by hand.
We didn’t “just decide” to move out here; in fact, we didn’t want to move at all.
And we didn’t “just decide” to build a log house. There’s another miraculous story behind that, as well.
The second story…of why we moved out here, and why we built a log house….begins in the post called “What Do Vegas and Logs Have In Common?”
The rest of the blog tells the ongoing miraculous details of that build, too.
Can you say “DAUNTING“??? (Understatement)
Before long, the word spread. Everyone was hearing about the people “building the log house”, and wanted to come see it.
I don’t have pictures of all the daily strangers that came out. I was too busy giving tours and telling our story (over and over again) to remember to pull out my camera each time. (And I wouldn’t have felt comfortable taking their picture, anyway.)
But, here are just a few pictures of friends, family, and people friends brought…or they were friends who came out to help along the way.
One of the many daily tours we gave…
With each and every unexpected visitation, we got SUCH needed shots of enthusiasm and positivity in the midst of our exhaustion…. to see and hear everyone else’s excitement and enthusiasm about what we were doing.
You get the idea…
It’s hard to imagine that these pictures aren’t even a fraction of the visitors we have received weekly for 2 years…and the ones we received daily in that first 6 months. We literally had strangers, friends, and passer-by “log lookers” come to our home on a daily basis….many times per day, to watch and ask all kinds of questions. We’d stop construction and play host and hostess to our guests.
Today, our blog has expanded from just family and friends keeping up with our progress (which was its original intention), to people in over 100 countries reading about us…including you. My brain still can’t keep up with it all.
We aren’t backwoods weirdos. We aren’t “off the grid”, or striving to prove some point. We’re a very typical, “normal” family. (Well….our family and friends might possibly laugh about that).
As I said, our original purpose for being out here on this land, building the Bed and Breakfast, and then building this log home is recorded in the post called “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek.” It was, apparently, a neat enough story to bring visitors…even to this day. Of course, now they see a far less shocking construction zone than it used to be…
This is a chronological blog. Every post I write is a continuation of our ongoing construction story. It’s a photo-filled documentary of our journey….the planning, the frustrations, the tears, and what we’re still going through.
Like any book, it’s best to start from the beginning, or our story won’t make quite as much sense to you. Therefore, I encourage our first-timers to start with the post called “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek” (not this one), and then move on to “Buying a 25′ Tall Teepee”, and “Age and Youth Collide”….and so on.
Those first 3 posts really tell our original story that got so much attention in the first place.
If you just want to start reading about us building our log home, click here: “What do Vegas and logs have in common?”
[UPDATE:] If you want to first read a summary of this whole blog, full circle, read the post called “Camping in a pearl necklace.” Here’s the direct link: https://www.ourcottonwoodcreek.com/2016/10/04/camping-in-a-pearl-necklace/amp/?client=safari
If you’d like to contact us, my email is Gretphoto@yahoo.com.
If you’re on Instagram, follow us at OurCottonwoodCreek; I include pictures that won’t make it on the blog, and video footage of our home life and building process.
Thank you for visiting us, and may the Lord bless you
We have an antique shop on our property. The Facebook site is : Our Cottonwood Creek.
Here’s a list of all of our posts, in order, for your convenience. Click on whichever link you’d like to begin reading, remembering it’s all one chronological story:
1. Welcome To Cottonwood Creek
12. New Wheels
13. ROAD TRIP!!!
21. Rain & Crane
25. The Bad ‘s’ Word
28. In Mourning
31. May Mania
36. Tons of pictures
38. Sky Diving
55. Summer 2015