What is Cottonwood Creek??

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…)

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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.

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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!


 So unusual is our home out here, that the local newspaper asked to feature us.  People in town know us as the “people with the log house.”
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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.

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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.

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.

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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.  

Why?

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. 

As you can imagine, having 3 truck loads of logs delivered, laying on the side of the road, peeling those logs,  and running a telehandler brought even more visitors; tons of them!
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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.

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One of the many daily tours we gave…

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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.  

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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…

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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!

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

2. Buying A 25′ Tall Teepee

3. Age And Youth Collide

4. Moving Indoors

5. Who Needs Windows While Driving?

6. Time To Look Up!

7. What Do You Get With Wire and Hollow Poles?

8. Finishing Touches

9. “It is finished.”

10. What Do Vegas and Logs Have In Common?

11. Loggers and Quick Sales

12. New Wheels

13. ROAD TRIP!!!

14. It’s Time To Strip!

15. Whack-a-mole & Seesaw

16. The First Logs Are Up

17. “No chatting! Just stacking!”

18. Tossing Plans Out the Window!

19. The 2013 Log Home Builder Olympics

20. Bringing In The Big Guns

21. Rain & Crane

22. Unexpected Company Saves the Day

23. Sky Deck Dreamin’

24. Raisin’ the Rafters!

25. The Bad ‘s’ Word

26. “Girls rule…and guys think that, too.”

27. The Barnum and Bradbury Circus

28. In Mourning

29. A Door Into My Life

30. TREASURE At Cottonwood Creek

31. May Mania

32. Real Construction Workers Wear Polka Dots

33. Scratching A Giraffe’s Ear and Kissing A Camel’s Lips

34. Butterfly, fly away

35. “Sand, kids, sand! Mama needs a new house!”

36. Tons of pictures

37. Parakaleo

38. Sky Diving

39. CHINKING!!!

40. Time

41. Christmas

42. Perspective

43. “Keep your hands and arms inside the ride at all times.”

44. Strength

45. Light

46. Water

47. Nearing the Finish Line

48. The Gang’s All Here!

49. Gifts

50. Friends, family, gatherings, vacation, and construction…oh my!

51. Le Maison Du Poulet

52. Rolling with the punches…

53. Bee my Honey, and stop eating my flowers!

54. ANOTHER log house??

55. Summer 2015

56. Construction MADNESS! A THIRD cabin??

57. A Downton-Dickens Christmas!

6 thoughts on “What is Cottonwood Creek??

  1. Hi Debra! Loved the class. Learned way more than we thought we would. It answered all of our questions. Read our blog and I’ll give every detail. Start with “what do logs and Vegas have in common?” Then continue reading. I tell every step. Feel free to email me. Gretphoto@yahoo.com. I’ll answer any and all questions you ever have. We hear from people all the time. You’ll see pics of others who took the class who came to visit us.

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  2. I guess you went to that 2 day class in Vegas. Do you think it was a good choice and worth the money?? Love your home! How long from start to finish? We are from Florida and I don’t see any homes built here that people who went to the class have built. I’m not sure how easy to get the supplies would be. I’ve enjoyed following your journey. Good luck and bless you and your family.

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  3. Hello! It blesses my heart greatly to know we have inspired you. The Lord has been 100 percent in control of every step, and it was all His idea. Just think of the plans He has in store for you too :)). The measurements and financial facts about our house is mentioned either in the “Bee my honey…” post, or “Rolling with punches.” My email is Gretphoto@yahoo.com. Feel free to write me any time with any questions

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  4. Hi , maybe I’ve missed the layout of your log home .… However I’m interested in how many sq. Ft and how many bedrooms/bathrooms ? Thank you and your family and home are an inspiration !

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  5. I have read only this entry but will definitely read on! You are an exceptional writer telling an AMAZING story!
    I feel honored to have been given the tour last week and feel blessed to have met you and get to know Steve even better! I am in awe of what your family has accomplished!

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