Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Eating the Elephant...

I'll never forget the times just after Stewart's death when I was thinking about this cabin project & contemplating what I was going to do & how in the world I was going to make it happen with Stewart gone. As I have said before, a great friend told me, "Rachel, How do you eat an elephant?... You can't look at the big picture, but you have to eat that thing one bite at a time..."

It has been 19 months since my new journey began. It feels quick & it feels long all at the same time, but it feels really amazing that I am actually really eating this elephant!!

I have learned so much in the last 19 months. Not only about building a log cabin, but about life! It's as if the journey I am walking through of tackling this project is a reflection of what God is doing in my life as I continue to move forward, face hard things & tackle the unknown territories... It has been so good for me to push though the intimidation I have felt to keep going, all the while chipping away, learning all kinds of new things & every week getting one step closer to completing the creation that began as just a dream... What a cool experience this has been... Difficult & challenging at times, but cool.

I have been getting so much done on the cabin lately, it feels pretty fantastic. I feel so blessed for the awesome new people I am meeting along the way who have been helping me. God has brought some new friends into my life that have helped me so much! I am humbled by how God is blessing me in this adventure!
And now on to the work I've completed since the last blog:

After the chinking was complete, I got gutters installed.

Then I had spray foam insulation installed in the gables using the company AIT Foam.

Loving the spray foam!

Then Kennon came out & helped me finish framing the closet & the loft wall.

Loft Framing complete

Will & Jamie out to help for a day

Will & Jamie installing the exterior portion of the LG mini-split system

Will running the interior pieces to the mini-split system

Haley, Will & Helen working together to run the tubing for the mini-split

Work crew for the day to install the mini-split system from Left: Sandra (Stewart's sister), Helen, Will, Haley

I also just got the gas lines run in the garage & the tankless hot water heater installed. I got the propane tank out here & the gas lines run to the cabin. Then I had a bunch of inspections!

We are definitely moving along!!!

Up next, dry wall!!! Stay tuned....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Chinking Party: Once Again, A Huge Success

Well, I finally was ready to have another chinking party to chink the interior of the garage. It was a gorgeous weekend once again, as we move into this perfect October weather.

I have to say, I was a bit intimidated about doing the chinking without Stewart here.
Actually ever since I started working on the cabin after his death, there have been many things I was intimidated to do. But the cool thing is, that as I keep the saying, "just eat that elephant one bite at a time" in my mind, I have continued to move forward through those things that have intimidated me, one step at a time, one success at a time.
As I have continued, my confidence is growing & I just keep moving forward. It has been a beautiful growing experience for me to tackle this cabin head on!

It's a good thing I like puzzles, because it was one big puzzle figuring out all the tools & materials I would need to get the chinking going. I got on the log home builders forum to read up on the details of chinking, I talked with Dan at Russell Building Supply, & I was able to blow up some pictures from the last chinking blog I did to make sure I had the right nails & to figure out the nail gun attachment Stewart rigged up. I can't believe I actually found that attachment! But, we had everything we needed to insulate, nail, & chink the interior, and once again, it was a huge success!

The chinking party was a pleasant surprise in that some really neat people I had never met showed up to help. There was an awesome family from Georgia that showed up & even brought a delicious homemade coconut cake! I feel so blessed for the new friends that have come into my life!

A warm & special thanks to all the peeps that came out on Saturday & Sunday to support me & help chink the cabin: My dad, my brothers Jackson & Taylor, Andy, Clete, Ward, David & Karen, Landon, Zack & Danielle, Jerry, Dan, Sherry, Laurel, Ray, Patrick & Kristyn, my mom, David, & Charles.
Thank you all SO much!!!!!

And here we go!! Everyone worked together to cut insulation, stuff the insulation, put nails in the logs, bend the nails back, mix mortar, & put the mortar up.

Danielle cutting insulation into 1" strips to stuff in between the logs

Below, Zack & Landon stuffing insulation

Below, David & Ward (Fellow LHBA member) each using a nail gun to shoot 3" nails into the logs to hold the insulation in place & so the mortar has something to adhere to.

Danielle & Landon stuffing insulation & nailing up the corners

My brother Taylor working that insulation & nailing the corners

Taylor & Landon using the nail gun in a really hard to reach area

Below, Clete & Andy (Fellow LHBA member) nailing nails in the corners & bending them down

Dan (Russell Building Supply) bending down those nails to prepare for the mortar

Well, we were making good time. We got all the insulation cut, stuffed & most of the nails in before we broke for lunch.

After lunch, we began making the mortar. Below, my dad going to town. He is the best mortar maker ever! The mortar is made of a mixture of sand, lime, water & portland cement, all mixed to the perfect consistency.

Danielle did a great job keeping everyone supplied with mortar. She is helping Karen & Laurel get some mortar.

Zack, doing a fantastic job chinking. Way to work that trowel!

Above, Andy (Fellow LHBA member) & Below, Sherry are chinking away!

Above, Landon chinking a corner & Below, Jerry (Fellow LHBA member) working a hard to reach area

Saturday work crew: (From Left to Right)
Zack, Danielle, Landon, Laurel, Ward, Karen, David, Andy & Jim. (Up front) Ava, Rachel, Cody & Sherry

Not pictured: Taylor, Jerry, Dan, Jackson & Clete

Guys, thank you So much for coming out!!!!!

So, at this point my brother Taylor was taking pictures of the crew. He used my camera to take pictures, then set it down. Sunday, I was looking for my camera & it was nowhere to be found. I called Taylor to see if he remembered where it was. He didn't. Of course I was really bummed, I had tons of pictures from Saturday's festivities. He called me back a bit later & said, "this is going to freak you out, but I found your camera." Taylor had driven my truck back home an hour away with the camera sitting on the back bumper the whole time!! Wow.

Well, I am super glad to have my camera back, but I didn't get to take any pictures of the crew on Sunday. But thanks to Charles, I did get some pictures.

Below, Patrick gets the ladder ready to do some chinking, & my beautiful momma chinking the closet!

Charles, doing a great job chinking! Charles wins the prize for this party. He stayed & helped me all day Sunday until 10pm that night. Thanks for your help Charles!

My mom & I chinking the closet

It took a total of 25 hours to do the interior chinking! Wow, what a job. I would say the hardest or most tedious jobs of the whole cabin building project are peeling the logs, stacking the logs, staining the logs, & chinking the logs... It's all about those beautiful logs... But when it's all said & done, it is well worth it. Oh, then there's cleaning the logs after the chinking party is over. It took about 25 hours to clean the excess mortar drips off the logs as well.... Thanks Landon for your help!!

And the finished product...

And on we go... Next we have the Gutters up, HVAC system in, framing finished, gas lines in...
Stayed tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chinking Party!!

Well, it's finally that time again...

If you are reading this blog, you are more than welcome to stop by!

See the Invitation Below:

You're invited to the Bieber Log Home
Chinking Party!

Bring your spouse, bring your friends,
bring your kids, even your bibs;

It's FINALLY time to finish the insulation & mortar! All I need is help to put it in order!

I'll provide the tools & the food & a special job for you;
It's a one of kind opportunity, how many people do you know have been to a chinking party??

With music, fun work, new friends & good food,
you'll be sure to leave here in a great mood!

And at the end of the day if it's still hot out here,
I'll have a chest full of ice with cold drinks
& cold beer;

By chinking my logs you'll get your face on the blog,
so bring your boots, bring good cheer,
& get your rump here!

September 24 & 25th
Saturday & Sunday
(Sunrise to Sunset)

Come for a day or your welcome to stay!! Camping welcome

RSVP to Rachel

Call & let me know if you'll be stopping by so I'll know how much food to prepare.
Look forward to seeing you!!