Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

BIG RED Installed!

Posted: July 14, 2016 in Uncategorized

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OK…you must be sworn to secrecy…the facts I am about to tell you could damage my reputation and otherwise ruin my day…if too many people find out that I actually USED A BOOM TRUCK…shuhhhhsssh.  You see, from day one most everyone has suggested that we use a boom truck to lift up our logs…”you can’t do all that with just rope and pulleys…that’s crazy!  You need a boom truck”.   So you can see my reluctance to use a boom truck even though it was only used on ONE log.  A BIG one.  BIG RED.  A tree really.  Alas, wisdom got the better of me and in the end I was glad we did it this way.  No friends were harmed in the installation and no rabbits lost their homes.  I think the photos speak for themselves.  Enjoy.

Cement Footing for Big Red

Posted: July 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

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I purchased a big cedar tree from a mill in Port Orchard WA with the intention to use it as our ce

nter post.  It measured 18’x40”.  It was gorgeous.  Knots and grain everywhere…it looked like a perfect ‘climbing tree’ for the GKids…or at least a beautiful addition to our great room.  My engineer planned for it to have only a one foot thick footing…that would have left almost four feet UNDER our floor.  That wasn’t going to happen so I had a 4x4x4’ footing built so we wouldn’t loose but one inch of tree.  For months I planned just how we would lift this tree into the structure and then stand it upright.  The steel plate on top of the footing had to be boomed onto the footing it was so heavy.  We got a nice campfire pit out of the deal as well.  Kristof was a big help for over a week…Thanks Kristof!  Life up here is not so ‘off the grid’ that we don’t have Netflix with our sat dish and solar footprint.

Fourth-Sixth Rows

Posted: July 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

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We had some wonderful visitors during our 4th-6th rows for sure.  Jeremy had some friends from FSU traveling by bicycle from Calgary Canada to San Diego CA.  He knew they were biking through WA but had no idea where they were…and they didn’t know he was in WA.  So we pull up to a stop sign and two bicyclists ride across in front of us.  Jeremy goes nuts and yells out the window.  It turned out to be his friends from Florida!  It ended up we invited them up to the cabin where they stayed a few days and helped us chink our garage!  Thanks Jacob and Marcella…it was a ‘win-win’ kinda thing for sure.  We also had a short visit from the Zorns family from Florida.  Shared a campfire and they were off for CA.  We even had a mother and her sons visit from Germany.  I’ve included some close up photos of the chinking on our garage.  First…we waited for two years to chink at all.  That is to let the logs shrink.  We stuffed insulation between the logs first…then we cut 1” strips of 1/4” hardware cloth(fine mesh wire) and wedged them over the insulation.  This keeps boring bugs from boring holes into your structure.  Then we hammered nails at 4” apart and bent them inward for the final layer of chinking to attach to.  You can use several compounds as your chinking…synthetic type material is one…I am choosing to use just plain cement.  It is less expensive.  I will end up using a dye to color the cement.  Note:  Jack has hammered by hand the nails over the years…I am intending to try out a cordless nail gun instead.  That will happen later this summer.  Stay tuned.



OK…if you haven’t already heard of Jack and Sharon Tipping and their Onalaska Log Building School…you are in for the best kept secret this side of Oxnard CA(I just like to say that name).  Jack and Sharon built their first log home over 32 years ago and now have 11 log structures on their property.  They are not just teachers of a school…they are passionate about the skill of log building and dedicated to making their students successful.  Even after the class is over Jack and Sharon will do what ever they can to help you through the exciting process of building your very own log cabin.  No, they haven’t paid me for this endorsement.  Are you sold?  You should be.  Did I say that when you take the class you can visit Bonnie and I on the following day!  Bonus right!  OK…maybe not but…

Fort for the GKids!

Posted: June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Kara, Kristof and I had fun building a fort out of concrete forms for the GKids.  With 6 hinged windows and doors they had great fun as was the nautical wheel and periscope.  Next will be a loft and fireman’s pole to slide down.  Our river is great for activity and of course a campfire and s’mores are just a must have.

Father’s Day

Posted: June 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Father’s Day was great this year.  Besides hearing from my kids during the course of the weekend we spent the day with some friends from church.  We went to their parents home out the Wynochee Valley and watched the last NBA playoff game between Golden State and Cleveland.  Kristof and I were rooting for opposing teams so that made it even sweeter…since my team came away with the win.  Before the game we drove up river and found a spot to swim…ok…just me and Levi got in because of the cool temp…way to go Levi!  Oh yeah…the big smile on Kristof is the fact that he is driving a stick for the first time.  Now maybe he can park those Lamborginis. 

Trip to Solduck Falls

Posted: June 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

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For a romantic get-away Bonnie and I left early in the morning and headed up the Olympic Peninsula towards Solduck Falls.  This was where I proposed to Bonnie seven years ago.  After spending some time at the falls we decided to keep heading west and completed the complete circle of the Olympic Peninsula.  We stopped for dinner at Klaloch Lodge and saw some wonderful Washington coastline.

New Flush Toilet

Posted: June 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

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OK…we have a composting toilet…but when a big crew was on site there were just too many bodies to keep up.  So since we had a gravity fed septic installed in 2015 we have looked forward to the day we had our own flush toilet.  I designed a privy directly over our septic tank…so the plumbing was short and direct.  I had obtained a 300 gallon water container in 2014 but had never really put it to use.  We laid some log posts…put 2×8’ foundation forms on top for the floor.  Another garage sale landed me a pile of lumber already cut to form up a building.  In 2 hours we had our structure.  Jeremy was here for a week and not only built a heavy duty stand for the container but also installed the toilet and did the plumbing.  Thanks Jeremy!  We will remember you every time we flush!  BTW…Jeremy was a huge help here…he fixed pretty much everything I gave him…one was my chainsaw pull cord.  One issue was the connection to the container.  Hardware store didn’t have the correct size so our friend Dave who was visiting that day used the next best thing…a rubber glove.  Since its a low pressure system it works just fine.  I love hillbilly fixes! 

OK…hang on to your chainsaws!  I have caught up with my media organization and am planning a barrage of posts in the next week.  These photos are from the first days on site.  Moving out of our pop-up trailer and into our newly built loft in the garage…temporary of course.  Enjoy!