Monthly Archives: June 2014

and the rooms begin to take shape

The past two weekends, we’ve turned our attention to putting up the tongue and groove walls on the first floor of the cabin. It’s been great fun to see the rooms finally take shape! Max even joined us on Father’s Day and pitched in…what better time for such a father/son activity as Dave passing on his vast knowledge of construction and the use of power tools to his son?!

the entrance way

the living room

the master bedroom and bath

in which Max comes along to lend us a hand…

the stairwell

the laundry room

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the evolution of our toilet facilities….

As a child growing up in Africa, my family and I spent many a vacation roughing it, while out on safari, with no bathroom facilities aside from the great out doors.  If not camping, we were traveling to other destinations in the third world where toilets were not quite the modern facilities we were accustomed to at home. As a result, I can pretty much use anything available to me when necessary, but I gotta tell you, I am completely thrilled to finally have a working, indoor toilet at the cabin!

And for your viewing pleasure, so that you can get the full effect…

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spraying the insulation

With the outside staining finally complete, we have now moved our attention to the inside of the cabin.  First on the agenda was to have insulation sprayed on all the outer walls of the second floor and any other areas that may be in need of protection against drafts.  After getting a few quotes, Dave ended up choosing to go with the team from Creative Conservation as they were reasonably priced and were completely upfront about what they thought we would need without over selling.  We were very happy with the choice and would definitely use them again should we ever need to.

The crew arrived to find the work sight covered in a giant bed of sticky red mud. It had been raining the evening before and on into the morning so, in an effort to prevent tracking the mud into the cabin, they laid down a path of plastic from the truck to the front door. A hose was then lain on top of the plastic path, and on into the cabin. Tanks inside the truck contained two different chemical solutions that were mixed together and then  transported through the hose and into guns that the men used to shoot the liquid insulation onto the walls. The solution, once it has left the gun, immediatly expands and begins to harden, creating a solid layer of insulation as well as an air tight seal.

  Our two pallets of tongue and groove arrived the same day and, thankfully, Todd Hawkes was on hand to pull them off the truck for us. The task of figuring out how much we will need to finish off all the walls in the cabin had been left to me…I’m a little nervous about that and really hope my calculations were correct because that’s alot of tongue and groove!  

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dave and the skyjack…


Outer first floor logs, dormers and deck rails all stained, we could no longer put off staining the upper portions of the cabin. After giving it much thought, Dave finally decided that the best way to tackle this daunting task was to rent a Skyjack lift with an articulating arm that would enable him to reach the higher areas of the cabin. We arranged for one to be delivered by Reliable Rentals in Dinwiddie over Memorial Day weekend and drove down early that Saturday to get started. Dave’s goal was to have the outside work done by the end of the weekend so that as the weather begins to get hotter, we can move our attentions to the inside. When we arrived Saturday morning, we found the lift had been delivered as promised and Dave went about trying to figure out how to use it. It all started out fairly well but, unfortunately, the day did not quite go as planned…




Because of the position of the septic tank, the Skyjack had to be driven farther out away from the house (so as not to crush the tanks), where the side of the property slopes downward. The newly regraded soil is still relatively soft here and as a result, as soon as the arm swung out far enough to reach the house, the right front wheel sunk into the loose dirt, throwing the vehicle off balance and left rear wheel began to raise off the ground, tipping the Skyjack to the right. (Ah-ha, that’s what all that extra beeping was about!) Once it’s off balance, Dave discovered, the wheels won’t move forward or backward and it took some effort to figure out how to rebalance the basket inorder to release the wheels so that he could drive it back up onto flat ground. After much frustration, Dave realized that there was no way he could get the vehicle base on a flat area close enough to the cabin that would enable him to lift the basket into a position that would allow him to stain that side of the cabin.  Much discouraged, he gave up, thinking we’d just thrown $900 down the drain and would have to hire someone else to finish the staining after all.

Unable to do the staining as planned, but not wanting the day to be a total waste, we moved inside and began to put up wall in the kitchen.

After finishing the kitchen wall, we called it a day and drove back home.

We returned Sunday morning, and, as Dave had reconsidered his decision to call someone else to finish the staining, he went ahead and gave the Skyjack another shot. I had suggested, the previous day, that he try driving it around to the other side of the cabin, via Colemans Lake Rd, and up the old road where the ground would be harder and more level. Apparently he had mulled the idea over the evening before and decided to give it a try.

It took awhile, and other than a brief stall in the middle of Colemans Lake Road where he caused a slight traffic hold up, he was able to successfully make it around to the back of the cabin and on to firmer ground.  (Yay, Dave, we believed in you all along!!!) And, thanks to the video feature on my new camera, I have it all on video. I’ve tried to cut it down to a reasonable viewing length…


Successfully making around to the other side of the property, Dave dons his Amish hat and goes about staining the cabin. Nice look Jebediah, but at least your neck and face won’t get burned I guess. 😛


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