Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Then End is Near

This doesn't look like much. Yes, the boat is in the background. However, under that black plastic tarp lies freshly milled knotty pine for the ceiling of the cabin. I have not peeked at it yet, choosing to keep it out of the sun and dry until I move some to the smaller trailer for transport to Alaska.

A pix of the smaller trailer seen holding about half of the exterior siding for the cabin. Gene strongly suggested Hardiplank, and obtained it for me at his cost. Plus he ordered it pre-finished, saying the total cost for the siding will be about what one would pay to have the cabin exterior painted. We chose taupe for color; sort of an almond, gray, green.

All the cement board siding weighs 5138 lbs.! I almost choked on that tonnage and had to put an additional axle under the short trailer to carry that weight. Axle cost and new tires negated some of the savings on building materials. Note the different color trailer fenders. I made front fenders to approximate the appearance of the rear fenders. We plan to take half the siding and half the ceiling pine north this summer. Plus load the truck with whatever else is on my "need" list. The 5th wheel served us well the past two years. But I am glad beyond description to not be pulling that behemoth all the way to Alaska again next summer.

Ceiling and exterior siding comprise 2/3 of the last major outflow to complete the cabin (still need to install a septic system). Beyond that there will be small costs to complete the finishing over the next two summers. When we started this project I did a spreadsheet of cost estimates. There were so many cost unknowns for building on a remote site. Amazingly we came in well under those projections. By comparison a similar structure in California would cost almost double if I built it myself. Many thanks to friends for their help in locating deals. The recession and local ReStore had a lot to do with keeping costs down also. We are still watching for a few things like some light fixtures, ceiling fans, flooring, an oil-fired heater, and a certified wood burning stove. We are resting about those items. God brought almost everything in when we needed it.

The blessings keep coming. Paulette found three beautiful new rope lights she liked for the kitchen for $7 each. We found a small end-table whose pedestal is a carved bear, and a lamp made of fake antlers. Both were yard sale items and both will fit right in. Son-in-law Bela is painting a house and over-estimated the amount of paint needed... ordered 5 gallons too much. He asked me whether a beige would fit the cabin interior. Sure. I offered to buy the extra from him. He said his customer already paid for it in the bid price. So with a wink I told him I'll take it if he comes up and applies it. He laughed and said he would love to but this summer probably won't work.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Looking Back

This was my first post ever when we started the blog years ago. I thought it worthy of re-publication.

"Family: A friend passed away unexpectedly. Amid the grief and tears and shared memories a comment came to our ears. A daughter of the friend mentioned how at get-togethers she would watch our family and felt jealous. That comment made me reflect. Jealous? Of us? I tend to react to what attacks my comfort zone while overlooking the peace and values that surround me every day. I smiled as I reflected on what we have; our family interrelationships. We are functional. We care about each other amid ups and downs. Love covers each other's failings. Irritations come and go but don't affect the greater value of being family. In a crisis we are without question there for each other. And best of all, this is normal for us. As my dad would have said, "You can't buy that with money." Yup, priceless. What a blessing.