Cooking, Cabins, Crafts & Careers

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Archive for the category “Cabins”

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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