Saturday, March 8, 2014

Snow days...

     Well, we had a few good snow days and that slowed the house progress down.   The kids were not slowed down at all, and they have been enjoying the snow immensely.   Check out the handmade sleds--   These were made with PVC pipe and some left over job site scraps.
Finally, we did get some sunshine and the house project was back on track.   We have gotten all the walls up, the loft made, the porch has a roof, and we are finishing the main roof today. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

House Progress

     Choosing a house site is always a very important part of the process.   There are many things to consider.    For this particular house, the site was chosen because it was convenient to water and had relatively easy access to the site by car.    However, it is also on the side of a hill and so finding a spot that was flat enough was a challenge.   The site was chosen and a path was cleared to it by Grampy and his crew of kids.   

       We used local cedar trees on rock foundations for the base.    The kids and Chris brought the trees to the house site and stripped the bark off the ones that would be used on the interior.    Sy and Aesa laid out the floor and began nailing it together.  

      This particular project has its own set of issues that we have had to work around.   For one thing, the house site is on the top of the hill.   We can drive somewhat close to the site, but not with a trailer full of wood.   All the building supplies must be carried in.   There is no electricity at this house site yet, and so the majority of the work is done by hand, with a chainsaw, or done elsewhere and carried up to the site.   We have a financial boundary, and the house cannot cost more than $2,500 to build.    We have used as much local wood as possible and salvaged lots of parts such as the windows.  Lastly, we have a time restriction.   Sy and I need to be back to Virginia by mid-March to get gardens planted and begin to prepare for our market season.   We need to finish this project in less than 3 weeks.   For this reason, we have chosen to purchase some of the lumber instead of milling it ourselves as we normally do.   

       This house is located on a beautiful mountain side.   We have given it a large porch and lots of windows from which to enjoy the view.  Anna and Chris have two children, Leah and Raylon, so we have incorporated a large loft area with dormers and six upstairs windows.   This will be the sleeping area.    So far, the project is coming along well and everyone is enjoying working together on it. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Here comes an adventure!

     It is really hard to begin blogging again after you have abandoned it for a period of time and the enthusiasm has waned.   However, I do still feel it is important, and I will attempt to skip the excuses, move past the reservations, and continue with my blogging.    These first few entries will be easy.  I have lots of family and friends that are pressuring me for information.  They want to know what in the world we are up to hiding out in a school bus in the Ozarks.   And so, I begin to disclose our latest project….. “Transfer Anna and Family to Mountain Life.” 

        This past fall we took a 1996 International School Bus and converted it into an RV.  (Yes, this project deserves a blog entry and perhaps one day I will get up the inspiration to complete one.)   We had marvelous ideas and lots of plans for the RV.    However, life sometimes   takes you in directions that you had not planned on, and that was the story of our winter this year.   We were unsure of our plans, when Sy’s sister, Anna, called and said she needed some help.   She wanted to have a life change with her man and their 2 kids.    They had decided to move to Arkansas and build a home on the family property there.   Now we had a plan and a direction.  

        Within just a few days, we had the bus (aka The Rambling Bounder) heading south towards Florida.   We loaded all Anna’s stuff onto the top of the bus and began a journey to Arkansas.    It was a full adventure -complete with a dog, a cat, a rabbit, 2 birds, 7 kids and Sy and I.  (This also probably deserves another blog entry).      Now we are settled in and working away at building a cabin for Anna and her family.   
      This building project is not unlike many of our other building projects.   It involves a large crew of barefoot children,  a variety of locally produced materials,  a collection of assorted hand tools and a lot sweat and  determination.   This is a great recipe for another fulfilling winter.