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wood-floor-staining

Cabin Floors Complete, Oh My Aching Back

We are still working on the cabin in the woods.  Pause for big sigh……

Five years ago, we started out with a firm foundation, look how small our baby was.  Sigh again…

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My amazing man is building this mostly on his own (with some help from his dad and myself, have mercy). Fitting a trip to the woods to work on it has been tricky, but we have revved back up.

Big Buckaroo and I put the floor down. Very tedious work, blogging is much more fun.
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Then, it had to be sanded. Cleaned up. And, sanded again. Sigh, oh our aching backs.

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It is worth it, they are very pretty (in my outdoorsy, cabin in the woods point of view).

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Then, they needed to be stained. This was a bit stressful.

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They might not be perfect.

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But, when I look at them, they make me happy. I will always have the memory of my husband and I doing this together. Our boys will bring their kids here one day and they will tell them about their grandparents building this little place in the woods where we could gather as a family, make memories, and enjoy the ordinary.

floors-done

Sigh….this is what it is all about.

Better go buy some big area rugs,
The Park Wife

Our Cabin in the Woods ~ The Bathroom

If you are new to The Park Wife blog, my incredible hubby is building us a cabin in the Ozark Mountains. Here are some older posts about it.

Let’s talk bathroom. This has been our priority for obvious reasons. I found a picture of a vanity in a Pottery Barn catalog (pricey) and my hubby said he would make it for me. Swoon.

We are being very conscious of all things we use to make the cabin. From old windows from a farmhouse of some dear friends, to our pantry door made from shutters of my great grandparents home in Mississippi, we walk in there and feel generations of love and it all tells a story….our story.

So, he took some old wood from a barn he took down in Louisiana and made the top.

Then, he built the rest. Yes, my clever hubby made a towel rack for it out of plumbing parts.

Then, it needed to be painted, so we let Littlest Buckaroo pick out the color.

It is some form of a Robins Egg Blue. Boys. I roll with it.

The clawfoot tub my husband re-did ….ummm….he re-did two, after spending forever on one, our friends gave us a bigger one, yes, he rocks. It has been sitting in the cabin for a LONG time. It became a bit of a storage tub.

Finally, we took it out of the main room and put it in place in the bathroom! With the nickeled feet on it!

We are so fancy…in our remote cabin, that is solar-powered, that will have a composting toilet. Yes, FANCY indeed.

While at the cabin, it is not ALL work, there is a focus on fun too.

A little football in the front yard.

And the kids get to swim, yes, that is a water trough. The creek that runs through our property was rushing too fast due to some big rains.

Now, is the part we have been dreading ~ Polyurethaning and sanding the whole cabin three times! Yuck.

We are getting closer to getting it livable!

Blessed (with a few chigger bites, but I have a clawfoot tub),
The Park Wife

The Road Less Traveled Is Full of Brush and Twigs and Adventure

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a philosophical thought experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality.

Observation, knowledge of reality, blah, blah, blah.

See, if you arrive to your land in the mountains after dark, in very cold weather, go through the gate, and a tree has fallen across the road who cares if it made a sound. It is in the way!

Thank goodness I am married to an outdoorsy park ranger kind of guy who knew what to do because I would have turned around and gone to a hotel.  We moved some brush making an alternate route to get past the tree.

The next morning we got to work. The Buckaroo’s now have the option of becoming lumberjack’s, we are all about opening their hearts, minds, and muscles to potential occupations/life paths. Well, and they are cheap labor.

After all the cutting and loading, the Buckaroos felt the need to protect the frustrating, stress inducing trailer full of road blocking tree parts.  Of course, this was all an adventure for the men of my house, for me, not so much.

A fallen tree means that we have more brush to put on the huge burn pile in our new pasture. What is it with boys and fire? Alright, maybe they will be firemen.  Another vocational skill introduced, right? Look, I am trying really hard to look on the bright side here, just roll with it please.

It is in these times I try to remember: “Don’t climb on that, don’t break anything, don’t be so aggressive, don’t be so noisy, don’t be so messy, don’t make such crazy risks. But God’s design–which he placed in boys as the picture of himself–is a resounding yes. Be fierce, be wild, be passionate.” John Eldredge, Wild at Heart

Of course, a weekend at the cabin in the woods means dirty, filthy little boys. The fate of these pants is bleak. We are still scrubbing his fingernails.

But, they LOVE it. Going to our land is just an adventure waiting to happen for them.

“Deep in man’s heart are some fundamental questions that simply cannot be answered at the kitchen table. Who am I? What am I made of? What am I destined for? It is fear that keeps a man at home where things are neat and orderly and under his control. But the answers to his deepest questions are not to be found on television or in the refrigerator.” John Eldredge, Wild at Heart

And this…makes my heart happy. The road less traveled, the road to peace and serenity, filled with chaos, chainsaws, fire,  and boys learning to become fierce warriors (while I close my eyes and learn to trust Him more). Our road.

Blessed to be a mom of boys and wife to a fierce warrior,
The Park Wife

 

Cabin in the Woods Update

It seems I have left you all hanging. Yes, we are STILL working on our cabin in the woods and I have not posted any pictures in a long time.

It has been slow going. We are doing all the work ourselves. WE meaning my husband and father-in-law mostly while I cheer them on or hold a board here and there. If my father -in-law does not come up, I end up having to do more measuring, nail gun ducking (that thing freaks me out), and sweating than originally planned.  Also, since temps were around 105 this Summer, we opted out of spending much time there. Oh, plus, Big Buckaroo is now over a new park and it is keeping him beyond busy.

But, there is a little progress.

We worked on a pasture.  Cut trees, pile up, burn, repeat and then repeat again and again and again. Oh wait, half of the year we have been under a burn ban so that held us up on that project. This was all wooded this past spring.

Inside the cabin. This is one end of the loft. The floor of the loft makes me happy.

Since we are so environmentally safe and nontoxic out in the middle of nowhere, we finally found someone that would drive into the boonies to do the spray foam insulation (after meeting them, I think they were Big Foot hunters so they did not mind).  I have heard  more about open cell, closed cell, and r-value to last me a lifetime.

 Then, the ceiling boards started to go up. Since this end of the loft will be for storage, my hubby put cedar along the walls that will be the closets.

The ceiling of the cabin last month.

The ceiling when we left yesterday to come home from working on it.


Aside of almost having a nervous breakdown up there on a ladder, holding the board for hubby to manipulate into place, and the sore arms, I am beyond happy with how it is looking.

Next are the cabin walls……progress, slow, but it is going to be so worth it when we get it done.

So, as you come to state parks for vacation, we will be leaving the state park for a vacation, to our little cabin in our woods!

The Park Wife

 

Shopping at Farmers’ Markets

It is Farmers’ Market Season! Hop over to Arkansas Women Bloggers and read my post on shopping at farmers’ markets.

Buy fresh, buy local and buy in season,
The Park Wife

Old Becomes New, Well, Cherished

Did you think that The Park Wife took the road less traveled and got lost? It could happen, I do not own a GPS.

In actuality, the weather is beautiful here and cabin progress, the Fall/Winter garden, kids soccer, homeschooling, oh, the list goes on has kept us hopping.

Here is a cabin update.

As many of you know, we call our property Rockwell, a name that evokes images of small towns inhabited by friendly, hard-working men and women whose lives revolve around family, friends, and church. Fortunately, that is our life and also, the fact that as you come upon our cabin there is an old rock well, it was the perfect name for our mountain escape. So, we have been integrating some things into the cabin (along with the fact that my husband and his dad are building the entire thing themselves) as it is being built that will add to the story of our Rockwell.


We have a couple in our town that are kind, supportive and thoughtful. They own the local hardware store and help out at our park regularly. They were taking an old house down near theirs and we acquired some of the doors. We stripped and repainted them. Now, I know the picture is of Big Buckaroo putting on a coat of paint but seriously I did help strip it and put a coat of paint on it too.


And, it has been installed. O.K. that part was all Big Bucakroo.


When we first started working on the cabin a bazillion months ago, Big Buckaroo bought some windows from a couple that has a beautiful old farmhouse. We completely stripped, took out the window panes (oh yes, they were a pain), re-caulked and painted them. They are all in. But, that is not the best part of the story. We became good friends with the couple that owns the farmhouse. Our boys were in their daughters wedding, they helped me start the farmers’ market and we count them as family.

There is a lot of hard work and love being put into building the cabin at Rockwell. And, also a lot of memories from those who have become part of our family history and now, Rockwells.

Blessed beyond words,
The Park Wife

Rockwell Painting

Ahhhhhh, the sweet feeling of progress. Big Buckaroo and his dad got the siding on the ends of the cabin and even got them painted. Of course, he chose Park Brown as the color. Not kidding. And, no, we do not get a discount on that color paint.

Big Buckaroo loves the old Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) style of building. A time when men took pride in their handiwork, standards for workmanship were high, and there was an awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and our nation’s natural resources while building.


We were previously at a CCC built park, one of the more than 800 parks constructed nationwide by the CCC. That is where my husband learned about and came to appreciate the sweat and craftsmanship put into building CCC/Rustic Style structures. It is an architecture that mirrors the rugged natural beauty of its surroundings.

I am thankful that when we drive up to Rockwell, we will be able to appreciate the cabin my husband and his dad built by hand, leaving a legacy for our boys and for our future generations.

Deciding inside trim colors,
The Park Wife

Hot Weather and COLD Water

Work has slowed on our cabin because it is hot, I mean muggy, stinking hot. And, let me just say, I would rather be at the beach if I am going to be muggy, stinking hot. But, tar balls freak me out. So, Big Buckaroo, the chivalrous man that he is, got busy on trying to make life more comfortable for me in the woods.

On our last trip to our mountain property, the first thing he did was hook up this contraption, also known as a water pump system. Yes, our well has been dug and we have WATER on the property, can I get a hallelujah? As you can see, it runs off a battery system which will be hooked up eventually to our solar panels.

We tested the contraption and then doused ourselves with water! Water, a gift from above, well actually it is below the ground, but you know what I mean. Yes, it was time to cool off and enjoy.

We stopped at a farm store and bought the boys their very own pool, no diving board or slide but my goodness the water is cold and they played in it for hours. Worth every penny.


The Little Buckaroos were busy splashing about so it was time for Big Buckaroo and I to get to work. Well, he did most of the heavy lifting but I used all my high school cheerleading experience to assure him of what a great job he was doing. I did have to lift and hold heavy wood and things like that, but I am really not sure why I don’t get to use the nail gun. Maybe next time, yea right.

Siding is going up on the far end (don’t worry, it will be painted). We did not get that complete because it is high and I am a fraidy cat.
This end is already complete waiting for us, well for my husband and his dad, to finish so we can paint both ends at one time, that all has something to do with scaffolding. I am just rolling with it. If I complained I might have to climb up and help. So, I will just sit on the porch and read Country Living until they call for me to help.
A little more progress and many more red bug bites and poison ivy. But, it is beautiful, I am so proud of my husband’s hard work, planning and expertise.

It will all be worth it (I keep reminding myself of that when I am covered in a poison ivy rash) when it is completed. We will be able to leave a wonderful 92 acres full of memories of fishing, hunting, reading on the porch, horseshoes in the front yard, catching fireflies and so much more for the Buckaroos at the place we call Rockwell.

Going to put medicine on my bug bites,
The Park Wife

The Dream Continues

We had a fabulous weekend at our mountain property. A little work, a lot of pleasure.


I love the drive into our property. Once you go through a locked gate, we have a fabulous little road that you go about 3/4 of a mile (slowly) on before reaching our cabin site about 10 minutes later.


We worked on putting on the house wrap. I do not like heights, I think I got dropped off to many pyramids as a high school cheerleader.

But, for this man, I will do just about anything. So, I climbed up, hung on for dear life and helped as much as I could while whimpering a bit (o.k. a lot). But, we got the house wrap on and the top window in.

Then, there was the fun. Not much can beat this. They were so excited about heading down to the pond to fish.

Oh wait, there is something that can beat that. Their dad taking them fishing (and mom getting to sit on the porch and read).

But wait, this is a close tie…. our well is being dug and we will have water on the property!!!! We do not know how lucky we are to turn on a faucet and water come out, the things we take for granted. If you had to fill barrels with water and take them 3 1/2 hours away to be able to wash up or shower, you would have a deeper appreciation for the water system in your home.

Things are coming right along and I hope we are able to spend our first Thanksgiving in the woods at Rockwell this year.
Happy Spring,
The Park Wife

Got Wheels, Let’s Ride

We went to our land in the mountains this past weekend. It was a beautiful weekend! I think maybe Spring is on the way. Jonquils are blooming everywhere and I did not have to thaw my toes out by a fire.

As we drove up our road, Little Buckaroo asked if he and his brother could ride their wheels to the cabin. We let them out, took their wheels off the trailer and told them we would see them at the cabin. They thought they were so grown up.

I kept asking Big Buckaroo to not leave them too far behind, I still wanted to be able to see them. After reminding me that unless a deer or turkey ran out and knocked them over, they would be fine. There is no traffic on our road. Oh wait, are there bear in these parts?

I remember riding my bike all over our town when I was a kid. I would stay gone riding with my friends all day. Oh, how times have changed.

They showed up a minute behind us with huge smiles on their faces. Independence Day! I am so glad they have a place where they can run wild and explore.

Dreading drivers license age,

The Park Wife