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Archive for the category “Cabins”

August Update

Well, well, well – it’s been really sunny AND really hot!  But sunny days make awesome work days on the tiny house front.  We’ve made A LOT of progress, (for us) in the last month!  As in, you can see where the walls go, and that there’s going to be a roof!

Tiny House foundation 07-06-2017Here’s where we were a month ago… see that dark sky – that was one of the not so sunny days, where we were spending more time carrying the tools in and out than we were actually building anything, but hey, a day building in nature is a good day.

We were so proud – we had squared a not-so-square foundation and we had leveled a not-so-level foundation.  So we were “good to go!”

 

The most recent “lumber package” as hubby so fondly calls them, came this week.  I think he only orders lumber in “packages” so the cost is at a level he can swallow, and the visual is a level I can fathom.

We built the walls in sections of approximately 9 feet high by 10-12 feet wide.  We used 2 x 6 studs and we placed them 16 inches on center, for all of you building techies.  2017-07-29 framing week 1-3Additionally, each wall section that fell in a corner had a diagonal (literally) inlaid support 1 x 4 mounted to maintain structural support and “square-ness.”  By the way – in the words of Huey Lewis, it is TOTALLY “hip to be square!”  (That’s my Huey doing the hard work.)2017-07-21 wall building.jpg

2017-07-24 framing 1

As of today – we have all of the walls in place, interior and exterior.  We have the temporary supports in place (and level, of course) for the ridge beam (roof).  The stone columns in front are for a covered porch that wraps around to the front door (where the step ladder is on the right).  There is an equally cool set of even taller stone piers on the back side for a similar covered porch and awesome view.

2017-08-09 Roof Images 3

In the meantime, I made PICKLES!  First time growing the cukes & actually canning ANYTHING! 2017 pickles

 

Life is good in Santa Fe (TN) and I couldn’t be a luckier girl than to have this awesome builder/boss for a husband!

Sill plates + rim boards + floor joists, oh my!!!

My vocabulary has certainly changed in the last year!

Last July I would have been talking about bytes, data analysis, Perl code, quality analysis, and TimeTrax (don’t ask); now I’m tool belt pocket deep in galvanized and sinker nails, deck screws, and when to use each.  And I just need to add – I’ve never had more fun, been more challenged, felt what “good tired” means, and actually NEEDED a shower at the end of the day — and one more thing… loved and respected my husband any more.

blackberry vineA week ago the tiny house was where it was a month ago – foundation poured, block foundation up, and “sweet” rock exterior foundation applied.  We still had work to do on the “barn.”  A staircase to erect, a deck to build, hand rails, deck rails, blackberries to harvest… just seeing if you were paying attention.

 

Today, the tiny house has sill plates, rim boards, AND floor joists!  (Notice those dark clouds in the sky – we’ve been dodging them ALL week – take tools out – Tiny House foundation 07-06-2017-2.0work 30 minutes – take tools in – ask each other, is it over… take  tools out – eventually learn to work in the rain, as I sit here now, it is still pouring outside, but dark, so I’m not wimping out on a rainstorm.What took us so long, you ask?  The well-placed foundation wasn’t square.  You can watch YOUTUBE all day on how to frame a house/building that is square, but try finding how to re-square a foundation that isn’t.  It’s pretty damn hard, and takes A LOT of patience – just sayin,’ but grateful, we both have a lot of time, and my husband has a lot of patience.

So, for the record, we are officially square.  (I’m kinda like the Huey Lewis, “It’s Hip to be Square,” and he’s more like the “wait Robyn, if we don’t get this square, the whole house will be wrong.)  While I love me some Huey Lewis music, hubby is right – the house MUST be square, or all kinda things north of the floor joists go south… you know, like especially when you get to the roof.

But in the meantime, I played the “Chef Robyn” card and made some blackberry jam.Blackberries and jam.jpg

I also cooked Mr. Wonderful a birthday dinner, complete with a big bone-in piece of prime rib!  prime rib.jpg

Now we are BOTH happy and tired!

Until next time…

The Next Chapter…

I lost my job.  Not sure whether to follow that with a happy or sad face emoji… so I just won’t put either.

My husband, the architect/woodworker, retired about 2 years ago.  We sold the only house we’ve ever owned together and moved to “the country.”  In full disclosure, we’d been planning this move for a while, but with the loss of my job, we decided to go full tilt and start building the next house on our 10 acres of land.

A little history… about 18 months ago we started “the barn.”  It’s really hub’s woodworking shop, but it was an experiment — well, many experiments.  Can we really work together on a job site (aka can I take direction)?  Do we really like it out here?  How fluid are we on the plans?  Are two “retired” people able to co-exist after living in the corporate world for so long?  I’m happy to say, all of the answers have been a resounding “YES”!!!  Here’s “the barn” as it is today – still needs shutters, siding on the back, deck on the far wall… and more, but basically, it’s a go… AND WE DID IT ALL OURSELVES!  (except for the roof).

barn Apr 2017.jpg

As these posts evolve, I’ll include the barn raising story, but for today, the excitement is all about breaking ground on the TINY house.

breaking ground

Our 600 square foot house will be close living quarters, but I think the most challenging part will be a single bathroom!

Our inspiration…

houseplans.com tiny house photo.jpg

What’s the goal?  Well, given our record of a pretty slow pace, it’s “this year.”  Given, we are renting, “it’s 4-5 months” until occupancy and giving up our rental.  Maybe putting that goal out into the world will give us a greater goal, and we’ll “make it,” otherwise, we’re still renting!

The great part in building a tiny house when you haven’t built a “big” house, is that it’s practice:

  • building walls (check on the barn, done that)
  • building decks (check on the barn, done that)
  • picking out cabinets
  • picking out lighting
  • picking/installing flooring
  • downsizing… do you really need 45 t-shirts when there’s only 7 days in the week?

Oh yeah, we also upgraded to a Toro 60″ deck, zero turn mower… I’ve always loved mowing (thanks dad)… but I hated my first time mowing and accidentally taking this “big” guy out… I never saw him (thank goodness), else I’d been doing a wheelie back to the barn on the mower…

snake.jpeg

Next up… I’m trying a hay bale garden

 

 

One of the Coolest Cabins ever…

We recently rented this very cool cabin on the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge GA for our anniversary.

Toccoa River Cabin

Toccoa River Cabin

While a cabin that sleeps 14 would be considered a bit excessive for a party of 2,  the cool factor was just too much to resist for my architect husband and me.  There were walls of window facing the river… a two story windowed garage door that opened up the dining area to an outside deck… an indoor / outdoor fireplace… a hot tub… and a beautiful kitchen with concrete countertops.

We spent the first afternoon lounging down by the river soaking up some rays, relaxing and reading.  It was some much needed down time for us both and the comfort communing with nature brings doesn’t come often enough.

River reading chair

River reading chair

anniv

Vintage cookware

We spent the next day taking a scenic train ride into the Copperhill/McCaysville TN/GA area and explored the old mining towns.  While there we enjoyed a burger and onion rings at one of the local establishments, “Roger & Carol’s,” picked up a souvenir train themed necklace for my granddaughter and rummaged through the numerous antique shops, where my amazing hubby threw down some cold hard cash for this beautiful set of vintage enameled cast iron cookware from the 60’s. It was a perfect turquoise color that I just so happen to be using as an accent color throughout the house and it cooks like a dream!  (He conveniently had not already bought me an anniversary present, so this just worked out perfect for everyone!)

The day was finished off with an evening around the fire-pit, eating a delicious homemade pizza from “town,” smoking a cigar (well hubby did, not me) and enjoying a nice bottle of wine.  We completed our long weekend adventure with a two hour rafting trip down the river in a funyak… (basically a kayak shaped blow up inner-tube with room for two).  We started upstream in the Toccoa River and finished 6 miles down, just across the Tennessee state border in the Ocoee River.

The weekend definitely made it an anniversary to remember.

Next up… white rafting down the Colorado River!

“C”olorado River Raft Trip!

I’d like to think that this counts as a “cabin” although the cabin will be a tent on the banks of the Colorado River deep in the Grand Canyon.  First off, I feel very, very lucky – this trip is booked solid throughout 2013!  In fact, back in March when we booked our trip, I think we snagged some of the last slots available and they just so happened to be during DH’s birthday week!  Check out Western River Expeditions here.

photo from www.examiner.com

photo from http://www.examiner.com

So here I am, a self-proclaimed “high maintenance” kind of gal, in a weak moment agreeing to go WAAAYYY out of my comfort zone for several days with what seems to be a trip that will be sans makeup, shower, electricity, running water… you get the picture, to celebrate my husband’s birthday.  (I hope he understands that I like my birthdays to include things like a steam shower, hot tub, wifi, a printed menu… (oh yeah, a food truck — some of you will understand), but I digress  He gets the idea for this birthday adventure from a book I bought him – (I should read the synopsis on Amazon a little more carefully).  He read in the book about an adventure of this kind on the Colorado River, and how the guides do ALL of the work — even preparing your meals, river-side.  Being the foodie/chef that I am, he won me over with the “how will they provide us three (gourmet) meals a day on the banks of the Colorado river?” — if I can’t even take a shower or flat iron my hair!?!?!?

So we make our reservations and get our information packet.  Now I think I’m going to summer camp — 2-3 quick dry shirts, 2 piece rain suit, 1 pair socks… oh and did I mention your suitcase / aka duffle bag can weigh no more than 20 lbs?  WHAT?  This girl needs 3 outfits a day / 4 if there is water involved… day outfit, swimming suit, dinner outfit and sleepwear… multiply that times 4 days and I think that’s in excess of 20 pounds, even without the makeup, hair styling tools and coordinating shoes!  No wonder I never went to summer camp after the year in 6th grade when I spent a week at Treemont in the Great Smokies and broke off my front tooth on the first night!

The countdown has begun – DH and I are both looking to lose a few lbs before the trip to prepare for all of those gourmet meals and so far so good!  He’s down 12+ pounds over the last several weeks and I’m starting on the 5 & 1 plan this week.  And just in case we don’t get those promised gourmet meals on the banks of the Colorado, there’s always the All You Can Eat Buffet’s in every hotel in Las Vegas!

The 2nd C… Cabins

Front "Yard" View

Front “Yard” View

We love cabins!  We’ve been finding heaven in the middle of nowhere for over 12 years now… it is so much fun to load up the dogs – our “C”hesapeake Bay Retrievers, Rocksanne & Tabasco, our “C”anoe,  a “C”ooler full of food and head to the mountains of East Tennessee, North Carolina or Georgia and leave behind the cell phone, internet and rat race for a few days of exploring and enjoying nature.  Our cabin requirements are pet friendly, outdoor hot tub on a porch (in case of rain) and preferably on some water, whether it be a rushing creek, trout stream or even a lake – Tabasco says, “a Chessie on vacation has to swim!”

For the last several years my dear husband (DH) has been spending most Saturdays in the hills of Grundy County on our 6 glorious acres building our very own cabin!  That’s a current photo from the progress we’ve (I really mean HE) made to this point.  Our goal is to rent it out to other nature lovers who would enjoy camping on the border of an 18,000 acre wilderness area complete with trails, waterfalls, campsites and swimming holes.  Savage Gulf also boasts some of the last remaining virgin forests in the Eastern US!  Oh yeah, did I mention your rental cabin can come loaded with packed hiking luncheons, items ready to grill, etc from Chef Robyn (http://www.ChefRobyn.com)  Lots more photos of the area to come, but in the meantime check out this website http://www.state.tn.us/environment/parks/SouthCumberland/ – this is our “backyard” at the cabin.

Mounting the "C"hessie Weathervane

Mounting the “C”hessie Weathervane

Last weekend we celebrated getting the roof on by capping it with a chessie weathervane I purchased last summer.  DH has made it this far with little to no help and without electricity and water!  I’m so proud; it has been a labor of love.  All we need now are the walls and finished floors!  And of course a hot tub.  Oh yeah, there’s a much enjoyed fire pit for cool nights, ghost stories, dreaming and of course cooking some awesome steaks!

We have quite a little community up there now – when we started the road stopped quite a ways from our property and there were probably only a couple of other property owners.  We, I mean DH, carried our building supplies back to the building site with a sling blade in hand “paving” our way.  Now the gravel road has been pushed thru, there is another nearly completed cabin down the road and all of the available property has been sold.  Several weekends during the summer and fall the “community” has a shrimp boil and camp out.  The “neighbors” lovingly refer to my DH as “the mayor” and there are quite a few stories to tell of experiences we’ve had over the last 12 years with locals and visitors.

This weekend I’m working on a few projects I can show you in my next post, “C”rafts.

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