Rolling with the punches…

I have a confession to make.

I’ve been holding out on you for weeks.

I could’ve sent this update a long time ago….but I didn’t.

I finally just CAN’T STAND IT, anymore!

It’s time to share…. time to reveal…..

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I do so with some frustration, however.  It was my hope to show you the following things when they were completed.  But we fell victim.  VICTIM I tell you!  (This is where you gasp)

“Victim??  To what??” you ask….(just play along…my dumb skit is almost done)

A menace of the worst kind… for obtaining yard work goals! (cue daunting background music)

It has taken over!   It has covered our property!

It has invaded us and prevented further labor!  (background music building)

It has forced us INDOORS!  (this is where you gasp again)

Fear

Rain.

“Rain?!  Is that all??”  you ask.

Not just any rain…or a little rain…

Oooooohhh nooooo.    Endless torrents.  Sheets.  Dogs!  CATS!!  Worse than any children’s book you’ve ever read!!  (organ music climaxed)

rainingcatsanddogs-206x300You’ve never SEEEEEEN such rain!!  Ok…maybe you have.

In all seriousness, it has rained for weeks.  Just when there’s a reprieve and it starts to dry up, it rains AGAIN.  In fact, as I write this, it’s raining.  Lightening.  Thunder!  It poured yesterday….allllll day, and the last three days.

(sigh…) Will it ever end????

Oh well.  Are you ready for the soggy tour?   You’d better put on your rain boots and slickers.  You might want to grab your umbrella, too.  Wanna ride in my boat, instead?  (You think I’m kidding…)

Ok…here we go.

Back in the beginning of [sunny, pleasant] April (2015), our plan (well….my plan) was to build a French chateau for our birdie-girlies.  Yes…a French chateau.   Don’t all chickens deserve French digs…at a log home?  Perfectly logical, isn’t it?

As of today, the coop is mostly done; it’s only missing nesting boxes. Seeing that they are months away from laying eggs, we’re good for now.

There will be rock garden around that tree, and up against the outdoor run (to help prevent against predators digging) with plants in it.  I’ve already planted Passion flower seeds to grow up and over the outdoor run for shade and beeauuty.  I can’t wait for them to grow!  (If only it would rain…)

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Have you seen a Passion flower?   If not, you have to see this.  It comes in dozens of colors and varieties.  I am convinced that they are the most unique and beautiful flower in the world.

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Aren’t they AMAZING???

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You know the best part?  They symbolize Jesus.  Each part has special symbolism pointing directly to Him.  Here’s  a link explaining it, if you are curious:  About the Passion flower

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See my birdy-girlie on the swing?   They LOVE it.  2-3 of them will get on together and fight over it, pushing each other off.  Reminds me of Steve and me. (ahhh…love)

You might remember back in late March we also planned to finish our vegetable garden.   Here are pictures of the last time I posted about it…

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….just look at all those cute little green plants with so much potential!   Seems hard to believe that was 6 weeks ago…
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We didn’t quite stop there, though.

…..it grew…..

 

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……….and greW……..
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……….and grEW……..
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…….and GREW…….

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…..AND GREEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW………

 

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It’s so hard to believe we went from NOTHING to that in 6 weeks.  We plan to put cedar fencing around it, an arbor, and cute garden gate (which would’ve been DONE by now…but nooooo…..).

You might also remember these first few pictures of the front yard, before starting our rock garden and sidewalks, back at the end of March.

The orange paint indicates where the crushed granite sidewalks and patio would be going.  (By the way:  You’ll see that dumb pottery fireplace in random places in every picture.  It’s too heavy for me to move, and Steve just [annoyingly] worked around it.  It’s NOT going to be in the front yard at all.  It’s just “there”.  It’s the object that won’t go away, among 400 other things that are laying around)…..

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Thanks to our rock delivery man (John Haese), and supplies and advice from Water Garden Gems, we were ready for Operation LANDSCAPE!

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I know!  Let’s play I Spy!  “I spy…..a fireplace….right in the middle of construction.”….

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“I Spy really big ROOTS, right where the sidewalk needs to be.” (…and two kids hating their Mama at the moment…but someone had to take action pictures…sheesh!)  Get it girls!!

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‘I Spy a teenager who’s REALLY sick of posing for pictures” (or perhaps that’s her “tough girl” look, cuz look at that root!)

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Reese delivered the crushed granite to us via tractor, and Reiley and I spread it to make the patio and sidewalks…all when Steve was at the fire station 1 day.     When you wet it down, it becomes like concrete.

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Here’s the patio right off our front steps.   It’ll have a boulder, gas fire pit in the middle.  Chairs around the fire pit, and streams straddling both sides of the patio.  (You can’t have a log home without a mountain stream, right?)
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I started off putting a simple sidewalk to the right, leading to the side yard….
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….but then decided to fill in the whole area and enlarge the patio.  I’ll put a dining table behind that green wagon.
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“Ooooh!   I Spy….a fireplace…right in the middle of construction!”
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….and a new rock garden and sidewalk to the left.
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All of that sand you see will be a road base driveway.

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Here was the house back in March “before” any kind of landscaping

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Here it is as of early May (still not done, but a lot further along!).  There will be floral and colorful bushes lining the porch, and the rocks will be filled with large, colorful plants.
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Each of these plants will get very big, and will spread, filling in most of the rock area.  All drought resistant and colorful.  YAY!!

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Overlook all the crap on the porch. It’ll all be cleared away.  Floral bushes and creeping flowers will be in rock garden in front of porch.

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Look!  There’s the fireplace!

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We have headwaters and streams on both sides of the patio.  Here’s one (that’s still incomplete)…

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….here’s the other. …

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All of the black plastic will be covered in rocks and plants.  In the picture above, you can see our sand driveway.  It’ll be covered in road base.  The stream that connects to the pond will be covered with a wooden bridge that we drive over.

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The two streams on both sides of the patio intersect with these 2 waterfalls.  It sounds so good!

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We did all of this weekS ago.  It only took 4 days to do what you see in the pictures.  We would have finished by now.

Why isn’t it all done, yet??

Let me give you a side-by-side slideshow

Before…

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After….(you can see on the sidewalk where it has already rained)

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…. the rain came….

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…..and CAME….

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Here is the pond AS we were building it several weeks ago.  Took 1 day.

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Here’s the pond after a couple of major rain storms a few days later…..

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But, of course, that wasn’t good enough. We had DAYS of rain storms. It just kept coming…

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…..and coming….

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Can you see why we’ve been unable to finish streams and pond?

The ground became so saturated, the water you see just sat there….for a few weeks…looking just like it does in the above picture. Daily.

And, the rain has prevented us from getting wood and using saws outside to even finish the inside, too.

Here’s our dog drinking our driveway….

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Hm….looks oddly familiar. Remember last’s year’s flood in the post called “Water”? Here was our dog standing in our driveway back then, too….

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This was the view of my front yard off my porch the morning I woke up (last year).  That group of trees to the right is where the patio is now. The bushes to the left is currently rock garden and sidewalk.
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(Oh look!  I Spy a fireplace!) That stack of wood is where the stream is now.
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Pretty much half of April and all of May, so far, has been filled with water.  This is NOT normal.

A few days ago the patio was dry, and pond was normal level again…and it seemed we could finally finish!  But, as I type this (May 15th) it’s pouring outside, and has been for the last 3 days.  Here are pictures as of today, between storms:

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(Seee??  It’s a good thing you’re wearing your raincoats and rain boots, huh??)

Oh well.  There were other things to do.

We managed to stain/seal the wraparound porch and stairs…I just don’t have a picture of them.

While clearing all things off the porch, a large piece of plywood cartwheeled right onto my sandaled foot…sending me to the doctor for an x-ray.   I have “bruised bones”.  The doc says bruised bones can feel as bad or worse than fractures and breaks, and can take as long to heal.  So I’ve been hobbling around in a boot for over a week.

We do have a life outside of construction, believe it or not. Reese performed 2 dances in her recital, followed by family coming over to spend the [freak sunny] day and night at our house, grilling on the back porch while watching the chickens fight over the swing.  Yes, sir!   Good ‘ol country entertainment!

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Wait a minute….that pose reminds me of something….

 

Reese at age 3 and 4….

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They grow up tooooo fast.  (Sigh…)

We also went to Steve’s uncle’s funeral. He was an amazing and multi-talented man. He raised 5 kids, served in the military, restored and built antique cars, befriended all animals including squirrels, doves, pigeons, opossums…you name it, flew ultralight airplanes, and more. His life taught me to live life to the fullest. Take advantage of each day, explore, seek adventure, and notice even the smallest lives around me. He was an inspiration. He’ll be greatly missed…
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Concluding our tour.  This blog has reached people in 97 countries.  We are averaging between 50-200 views per day, which AMAZES me.   We continue to receive messages and emails from people.

For those of you who long to build a log home YOURSELF…Go for it!!! YOU CAN DO IT, TOO!! Dream BIG.  The Log Home Builders Association can teach you how.

This whole house (not counting landscaping, coop, vegetable garden, etc) was around $150,000 to build.  It’s 2000 square feet inside, with another 2000 square feet of porch outside.   Mortgage free.  Read past posts to take the tour inside.

To go onto the next post, click here: “Be my Honey, and stop eating my flowers!

This is a chronological blog…a story.  To start from the beginning, where we first bought the 11 acres, tore down and built a 130-year old guest house, click this link: “Welcome to Cottonwood Creek“.  To watch us build our log home, click here: “What do Vegas and logs have in common?”  Stay dry!

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3 thoughts on “Rolling with the punches…

  1. Hi Steve and Gretchen,
    It’s been awhile since we’ve caught up on your posts and once again we are amazed at all you have done! We love the chicken coop and the landscaping. Hope the rain lets up!

    Like

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