Monthly Archives: March 2016

More Delays

We traveled to Nevada this past weekend for a convention we go to every year. We used it as an opportunity to get some work done on the homestead.


The previous hole we tried to dig (but couldn’t get deep enough with the backhoe we rented) was still full of water from the last rains a week ago. This did not bode well for perk tests.

But we decided to rent a bigger machine to dig through the hard ground for our test trench for our septic system. My parents coordinated renting an excavator and Pops dug the hole while we were on the day-long drive down.


20160324_082111_resized 20160324_083306_resized


Got down significantly deeper (7ish feet) before hitting bedrock, but still not as deep as we needed to go (13 feet).  It took Pops all of 30 minutes or so to dig the hole, and since we had the excavator for a whole day…


Pops used it to do some leveling for us.


Our house pad is significantly larger and more usable now.


All of the scraped earth in the pic and even back behind the trailer is new usable space!


The next day, Hubby was able to be there when the inspectors and engineers came by. The news was decidedly not good. The ground doesn’t “perk” at all.

Which means we have to start all over.

Meet with the engineers.

Find a likely looking spot.

Rent the equipment.

Dig the hole.

Do the tests.

And pray it works!

And we’re only in Nevada this one week before we go back to Oregon.

And then it snowed 9 inches.


I’m so frustrated with the roadblocks we keep running into with building this house!


Why did you send the snow NOW?

Why this week?

Don’t you know how important it was to get lots of work done while we’re here?

And then I remember all the times he has taken us in a different direction from they way we wanted to go and it has turned out better than we had ever planned.

So I hang onto God’s promises that it’s all gonna be alright, and instead of asking God “why”, I am now saying, “Ok, God, I’m excited to see how you’re gonna work this one out!”

And in the mean time, I am enjoying the fact that we brought our snow gear with us and the girls had a great time playing in the snow today.


And knowing That in just a few months, we should be living here full time!



Taking Home a Piece of the Northwest

A tree blew down out at the camp our Church uses. The iconic tree stood right next to the lodge and cabins. Thank goodness no one was hurt! When Hubby was out at camp a few weekends ago, he learned that they are having a hard time getting rid of the pieces of the tree. Where do you put a 100′ tree?

So, we decided to bring home part of it.

The girls and I drove out to camp today and after some back breaking work and a bunch of help from one of the camp workers, we got two large “rounds” loaded into our trailer.

“The Big Tree” as it was known around camp looks so sad lying on the field. 😦20160322_145414_resized


A field of stumps.

20160322_145529_resizedThe stump at the bottom of the picture is the one we chose.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, get them stumpies rollin’! 20160322_150718_resized

Trying to figure out how to get it into the trailer.20160322_152327_resized


The second stump is about half the size of this big one.

So, what are we planning to do with these guys?

Well, Hubby wants to make a table like this one:

Only tall enough to actually sit around it.

I thought it would be cool to make some chairs like the following:

Or maybe a planter:

Or bench supports:

Or maybe just to play on:

If we could have, I would have brought some of the large logs home. But they are way too big and heavy. If I had a log, I’d do something like the following:

If nothing else, I think we might just have to carve our initials. 🙂Initials


Can we get logs and stumps in Nevada? Sure we can. But whatever we make out of these stumps is going to have quite a lot of emotional significance behind them. We are bringing a piece of Camp, a piece of the Pacific Northwest, back to Nevada with us.

And that makes the aching back all worth it!

Unbuilding a home

As we plan and prepare to build our house in Nevada this summer, I feel that we are quickly unbuilding our home here in Oregon. We already sold off a lot of the larger pieces of furniture.



We are having a yard sale this weekend to hopefully get rid of the bulk of everything else we have stacked in the garage.

The girls’ bunk bed is dismantled in the garage waiting to be sold. Princess Girl took the whole thing apart with very little help from us. She is going to be such a huge help when we build!


She even patiently let Flower Girl help with a couple things.


So now the girls are sharing one dresser (the other is being sold) and sleeping on their mattresses on the floor.


Toys have been downsized to a few favorites. Some have gone into storage, most have been donated to charity (No, I don’t want to fight with a three year old over selling her toys in the yard sale. Better that they are just out of sight, out of mind!)

The living room has a couch and coffee table in it. Nothing else. And the coffee table is going bye-bye this weekend. The dining area has a table, but no chairs. The family room and kitchen are the most furnished rooms in the house, since we do still have to live here. But even they are sparse.

And it feels good! Not just the knowing that we are returning home soon, but the emptiness itself. The space. The uncluttered feel. When our family of 4 moved in with Bachan and Pagee, we had to fit our stuff in on top of their stuff. I needed an area for school/crafts/work, so we squeezed it into a corner of the living room. It worked, but it sure felt cramped.

Since Hubby works from home, he uses our bedroom for his office, which means his desk, etc is in our bedroom. It works, but it sure feels cramped.

And since he takes up extra space in the bedroom, there’s really no space for any of my stuff. So I keep all my clothes in the girls’ room. It works, but, you guessed it, it sure is cramped.

So as we downsize our lives once again to fit into 240 square feet, I am once again reminded that we often carry around too much extraneous stuff in our lives. And that the more space you have, the more you fill it up.

So, once again, I am finding the downsizing process liberating. And while most of the stuff being sold in the yard sale is Bachan and Pagee’s, there are quite a few item of ours as well.

And it’s all rather exciting since it means we are moving soon!


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

The most comfortable rain boots

Update: see the end of this post for an update after I’ve actually gotten a chance to wear these!

I got a package in the mail the other day. I had been eagerly anticipating it for a couple weeks (not used to waiting any more – thanks Amazon! :-\ )

And then it finally arrived!


If you know the Bogs brand, then you probably already know what is in the box. If not, let me show you…


Insulated waterproof boots! I was so excited to see these on sale that I just had to snatch up a pair. I had heard of Bogs and decided to get them since they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. My previous run-of-the-mill rain boots sprung a leak in less than a year. So disappointing.

And, moving back to Nevada soon means less rain, but more snow and especially mud on the homestead. And we’ll be building in all sorts of weather. I know at some point I’ll be tromping all over our property wearing these boots. (See update below 😊)


I like that these are insulated enough that I’ll be able to wear them in the snow, but not as heavily insulated as some of their boots so on those later spring days my feet don’t roast.

And they are comfortable! And cute! In fact, they are so cute, I’m wondering if I really want to wear them in the mud and muck. Maybe I’ll buy another pair that’s not as cute so I won’t feel as bad getting them dirty. Hmmmmm….decisions. 🙂

One thing about Bogs, though, is that they run small in the shank (the area that goes around your ankle and calf.) I can wear these ones because they are shorter and have a bit of give at the top. But the tall boots would not work for me. I wonder if they make a wide calf version.

Overall I am very pleased. Definitely the most comfortable rain/snow boots I have ever put on my feet. Excited to have a reason the wear them.

What do you wear in foul weather when you have to be outside?

UPDATE: I wrote this post back in March. Today is November 1st. We are now living back on the homestead and my prediction about mud has definitely come true.

Mud. Mud. There was mud everywhere!

Mud. Mud. There was mud everywhere!

We’ve had several fall storms come through and our heavily clay soils are just soaking up that rain and turning into a quagmire.  So these boots have been great in the mud and muck. I especially love that they are form fitting around the ankle so that when my foot sinks down to my ankles in very sticky mud, the boots don’t get sucked off my feet. And yet, the toe box is wide enough that my toes have room to wiggle. Perfect.

And while our well was being drilled? Yeah, they definitely came in handy then!

In the stream created as our well was being drilled.

In the stream created as our well was being drilled.

So now that I’ve had a good chance to wear them, do I still say they are the most comfortable rain boots?


I am able to wear these boots all day trudging around in the mud and my feet won’t be killing me at the end of the day.

I only have two gripes with them, and they are small ones.

They are a bit difficult to take off when they are coated in slippery mud, but I was able to help that issue by taking out the laces, or loosening them completely. They really aren’t needed anyway.

And the other problem is that sometimes, when walking down a steep hill, the top part of the heel of the foot box can dig into my Achilles tendon area. But overall, not much of an issue.

Definitely the pros to these boots far outweigh the cons and I am sold for life I think. 🙂


“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

Moving right along

Our small remodel project in the kitchen is almost finished. And we’re so excited! We should have done this when we moved in nearly 2 years ago!

Just a reminder, here’s what the ceiling looked like when we started.

We cut into the drywall and pulled that soffit off the ceiling. You can see pictures of that process here. 

We got the new sheetrock in place.




And did some sanding to make the old stuff meet up with the new stuff. And my man is absolutely amazing! I was anticipating tons of dust all over the kitchen from shaving down the sheetrock. Hubby got the rasp from the garage and started thinking. And came up with an ingenious solution. He taped the rasp to the end of the shop vac! With the corner attachment, it almost seemed like it was made for it!

It worked great! Very little dust all over the kitchen!


We finished the sheetrock…

20160226_222513_resized…then hired a professional to come in and do the taping and mudding and texturing. We have some experience in that department, but not much. And since it needed to match the existing ceiling, we decided to leave it to someone with much more experience than us.

And he did an amazing job!


Now that it’s dried, you can’t even tell the difference.

And last night Hubby (with Dad’s help) hung the upper cabinet and the mounting bracket for the microwave. This afternoon they will finish cutting the hole for the vent, and get the microwave hung. A friend who is an electrician is coming this afternoon to finish the electrical stuff and we’ll be done!


Just in time to move. Of course.

But, really, I’m ok with that. Since doing all this work means that we’re actually in the process of moving back to Nevada. I will gladly do anything I have to do to make that happen.

And speaking of moving…

Dad went and signed on the dotted line for their trailer they’ll be living in while we are building. It is so very nice!

It’s a brand spankin’ new 34ft Springdale. It won’t be delivered for a couple weeks, but it is designated as sold to Dad.

Trailer (4)

Not our actual trailer – picture found online

Trailer (7)

Not our actual trailer – picture found online

It has two huge slideouts. Mom’s hospital bed will fit perfectly where the couch and dinette are currently. There will still be one side of the dinette for people to sit when they come to visit. And there is a second “bedroom” in the back where Dad will put his computer, etc. It will also have a couple bunks for the girls if they need a nap during the day or want to spend the night with the grandparents. I’m a little bit jealous because this trailer would fit our needs exactly. But we only paid a 10th of the price for our used one with no slideouts that Mom and Dad paid for theirs, and it works just fine.  And we’ll be so happy to live in it again after thinking for so long that we wouldn’t get to.

Trailer (2)

Not our actual trailer – picture found online

The thing I’m really excited about Dad and Mom’s trailer is the outdoor kitchen.

Hubby’s and my trailer (with the girls of course) will be parked on our barn pad, which is about 0.2 miles from the house pad where Mom and Dad’s trailer will be parked (not enough room for both). As you can imagine, we won’t want to be running back and forth between the two for snacks, lunch, etc. Or when the camp cook (ie, my mom) comes by with lunch, it will be good for her to be able to finish up prep without having to bother Hub’s parents in the trailer, especially if Mom is sleeping.

Hmmm…OK, how are we going to keep all the Moms and Dads straight in this story now that we are all going to be living in the same town and we will be super involved in each other’s lives?

Ah, I know, Hubby’s parents (who live with us) will from how on be referred to by their grandparent names. Hubby’s mom is Bachan, and his dad is Pagee.

I may on occasion refer to my mom as Ahma (the girl’s name for her), and my stepdad as Pops (my name for him). And my dad will simply be “my dad”.

Got all that?

Good. Neither do I. 😉

But hey, it’s a good problem to have. Not many families are as close as ours. It will be wonderful to live back in the same town as the rest of our family!