Welcome to our Small Home, Simple Living, Minimalist Blog! We are taking the small home idea to a family-of-ten level! We are working toward being debt and mortgage free and living in a simple, sustainable way. This has meant making many choices - changing jobs, moving our family, building a home we can afford, learning new skills, and becoming more frugal and aware of how we live. This our journey of living "Simple On Purpose".
Friday, June 27, 2014
Our Building Story Part 9 - Last Trip For 2013 And First For 2014
In November, Steve and I made another trip with just the two of us. We had bought engineered hardwood flooring for the main floor of the house and we wanted to bring it up so it could "acclimatize".
We just stayed a few days and we planned to be back by the end of the month for hunting with the boys and to put the flooring in.
I would still go on my early morning walks...I enjoy coming back to the cabin to see smoke coming out of the chimney and anticipate the warmth within.
This turned out blurry, but there were FANTASTIC northern lights one of the first nights.
Steve went out a couple afternoons to hunt deer. He saw some, but not big enough to shoot.
Cosy and warm. :)
We put some LED lights under the cabinets which really helped. Until we get solar power in, we are using propane lighting and they are so load and inconvenient to light. The LED lights were motion sensitive - you just waved below them to turn them on and they had an auto-shut-off after 30 min.
The third day we were there is snowed overnight. The forecast was calling for more so we decided to get home right away. We had very treacherous driving until we got south of Edmonton.
The last tree living out of four I transplanted into our yard. It is such a funny, gangly thing. I was going to cut it off, but I felt too sorry for it.
So we went home, but our plans to be back in a couple weeks changed. We got a call from friends asking if we wanted to go to Cuba with them - they had found a GREAT sale.
This is just what we hoped to do after turning up the cruise last year so jumped at it.
We had a wonderful 8 days in Cuba!
It was a perfect 20th anniversary trip!
The winter of 2013/2014 was very cold with heavy snowfall. That hampered us getting back up to our land that winter. But Steve was not idle. He made me this beautiful table for a kitchen island. The legs are out of the diamond willow we harvested on our land and the top is a pine slab.
That ends our 2013 season. We did not make nearly as many trips as the year before and to be honest, we felt a little discouraged about ever being able to move to our land.
Steve had a man interested in buying his business, but that fell through.
Our kids were less and less excited about leaving our church family and their jobs.
We were renting our current house, renting Steve's wood shop, paying utilities on both, plus trying to build our own place without going in debt....very stretching indeed!
Mid May 2014, we were able to make a family trip up to the house to do some finishing. Our oldest daughter stayed home because of work, but the rest of piled into the van, loaded the cargo trailer and headed north.
We were not sure if the field would be dry enough to get in with our van and I was anticipating parking at the neighbours and carrying our stuff in. However, when we arrived, we were delighted to find it wet but firm enough to get in and out easily! YEA!
Everything was in order and just the way we left it the fall before.
The first few evenings, we were treated to the amazing spectacle of a Sandhill Crane migration! The huge birds flew over in groups of thousands, filling the air with their calls. They would fly in lines like this and then form up in a cloud that would turn and twist on itself. Truly an amazing sight!
Another evening, our young son saw a little muskrat scoot under our trailer.
The kids enjoyed watching him for a while.
Our main job was putting in the hardwood flooring we had brought up last fall. Our oldest son, our one daughter, Steven and myself worked together on it and I found it to be a really fun job.
The flooring is engineered hardwood (basically a tongue and groove plywood with 5-7mm of hardwood on top). We chose to go with engineered because with wood heat and a crawl-space under the house, we were concerned that the changed in temperature and moisture may cause regular hardwood to warp. We love the warmth and beauty of wood, so engineered seemed the best choice.
We ended up getting a dark stained oak with some blond streaks in it. It also has saw chatter and other marks in it - making it a good match with the modern-rustic finishing we already had.
Steve cut a plywood form around the fireplace in an abstract wave.
We have decided to go with small-medium sized river rock around the fire place and pebbles on the floor. The abstract pattern will be reminiscent of a shore-line.
Looking into the kitchen area - with my island now in place. :)
Steve was in his element on this part of the project! He loves finishing and details and he had fun working on his own project for a change.
Looking down from the landing.
We also brought up the finished fir doors that Steve and our son worked on over the winter.
Steve had all the jamb and moulding pre-finished.
From the other side of that door - with the closet door beside it. I LOVE THIS CORNER!
Steve had enough time to put in the first of the stair rails - the one between the landing and the kitchen.
This stopped my little ones from their nasty habit of stepping from the landing onto my kitchen counter!!!
Island in place! I just love the colours and the different woods.
Railings from the stair side.
My littlest sweetie having her bath in a Rubbermade. :)
She enjoys the windows upstairs - I'm not sure I like her standing up there!!!
One of the last things I did was hang a bird-feeder outside my kitchen window.
Somehow this speaks "Home" to me.
Well, it is late June 2014 when I am writing this and we have heard that the caterpillars are back at our place, but less than half as many as last year. That is good news.
We are also seriously perusing moving this season. Not sure where that will lead us yet...but we are trying.
I am now officially caught up posting to where our building process is at present.
From now on, I'll be branching out into different aspects of our journey. Choosing simple can get very complicated! We are always course-correcting and re-evaluating our choices along the way.
I hope to share next how we came to make the choices we have and why we are going the direction we are.