Monday, November 17, 2008

I was asked to post some pictures of the stair railings. This was a difficult task with hand tools. Mostly the angled holes for the handrails. The Forstner bit is designed to drill straight and as you can see, the holes are not perpendicular to the posts. But some patience and pre-planning got it done. Not the sort of thing you would take the time to do on someone elses house but you really take pride in when its your own. I like the way they turned out.

Friday, November 14, 2008

While we are away, the mice will play. I know one or two little critters get in now and then. I ca deal with that. What I can't control are the forces of Mother Nature. In the last few weeks, the area has been pounded by an early November storm. Thousands of folks in nortwestern SD were without power for about a week. We took some steps late in the summer to control the effects of heavy snow. We added storm doors front and back. I was convinced that pounding rain and snow drift buildup were making its way through the doors without them. I think we are in better shape now. Time will tell.
The other thing that has happened recently is a forst fire just a few hundred yards away. Very scary. It's not really the season for that sort of thing so it didn't spread fast and there were plenty of folks available nearby to control it. Our land backs up to the National Forest and a power line came down somehow and started a 10 acre fire that nearly took our neighbors house out. I feel with the others there, they will always do whatever is necessary to keep the structures safe. But that part of the forest is too thick and sickly. It needs to be thinned something awful. To bad there are not many economically viable trees nearby or the private sector would be more willing to come in and help out.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I haven't posted anything in over a month. But I haven't been there either. I miss it.
Knowing I was working or had some place to explore the days I was off, I could live there full time. But even a week of being cooped up inside I know Glenda would drive both of us crazy. Besides, I sure do enjoy fall in Texas. The colors may not be quite as spectacular as other places around but the beauty is there and the weather is perfect.
So here's to the countdown to next spring and our return. 3, 2, 1...

Friday, September 19, 2008

Feels like home.

It is kinda wierd having two homes. It is to the point where we can walk into either place and fall into a routine like we never left.
When we can back to Texas this time, it was more of an adjustment than usual as the the little fild mice had moved in and nibbled on sme strange items. It took a solid week of glue traps to clean the place up. We caught 5 before we were confident we were clean again.
But just look at the living area of our little cabin. Isn't it inviting? No mice allowed!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We've come a long way, baby!

It blows my mind when I stop and think about what you can acomplish if you set your mind to it. What astounds me even more is what DOESN'T get done by many people.
I would rue the day if I looks back on my life over 3-5 years or more and realized I was in the same rut, bitchin' about the same old thing day after day.
If that is you, get off your but and DO something about it. Start out one day at a time and at the end of the day ask yourself, "Am I better off now than when I got up this morning?"
If the answer is no, you just wasted another day of your life.
Don't waste tommorow. DO something. Even if it's wrong. (that last part courtesy of Tom Uecker)

Who do you want to be?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Are you finished, yet?

Hot enough for you? Are we there yet? Is is finished yet? These are the kinds of annoying questions that we all want answered.

Are we finished? Depends on who you ask. The county appraisers say we are 95% finished. They have a point system for everything that is not done. We want them to think we are not finished to keep our taxes down.
We want the insurance company to think we are so it will be insured for replacement costs. The building permit and elec permit is good for another 8-9 months but easily renewable. All the inspectors have been easy to work with if not relentless in their observances.

Let me just say it is ultimately livable. Next years projects will center around some tile in the bathroom. Somewhere along the line we would like a carport and/or storage building. That will free us up to finish the basement.
A nice deck on the back of the house for the grill and hot tub would really set things off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Not all fun and games

This summer hasn't been all work and no play. Once in awhile Trevor and I are let out of the house to romp around. Among some of the things we found are geocaches on top of mountains and Grampa's old coupe.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who knew?

Well, one of the tasks that we wanted to accomplish this summer is almost done.
But it has nearly killed me. I don't know if it was because I came down with a bit of a summer cold just before I started or it was really that difficult but laying the hardwood floor has been a real chore. We installed 3/4" thick solid oak hardwood in 2-1/4" random length planks.
At first, I thought just do one row at a time. Before you know it I'll be done. Well, two days of backbreaking labor, I realized it was going to take 120 rows to get all the way across the room.
We did rent an air powered nail gun that helped but ran out of time before the job was complete. I will probably finish it by hand, pre-drilling and hand nailing the last 20 rows or so. I can't use the nailer under the stairs anyway.
Here are a few pictures of the semi-finished product. We are very pleased.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Small touches

Some of the finest details of the cabin are the small touches. Here are some of them.
We had this mirror we got for 2.99 at Wal-Mart that was hanging in the bathroom last year until we got that done and a new one in there Glenda got at Custer State Park. So I took the mirror out of the cheap frame and made a new one out of small logs. Then I took these hand made square nails that we found while hiking the Flume Trail and made it look like the mirror was held together with them. The nails are neat and all different sizes. The Flume trail is an old log flume that is 17 miles long dating back to the last turn of the century. It was basically a wooden trough filled with water that transported logs to market from the Hills.

The other touch is the buffalo stencils that Glenda put around the window frames. Very personal and fitting to the surroundings.

Work Week-end

The first week-end of August was a work week-end. I didn't even get out to play. Trevor did get down to go fishing but he was having "bad luck". I think that means "no luck".

It is Rally week here in the Hills so it is best to stay off the streets anyway. The hundreds of thousands of bikers spill out way beyond Sturgis.

We have a running joke between Glenda and and I in the "off-season". We always say, "The first thing we are going to do is..." We always have a long list of the "first" thing to do. This year it was getting the interior polyurethane on everything. It sounds easier than it was. You see, some of the ceilings and beams are well over 20' up off the floor. And some of that is over the stairs. How do you get up there? Scaffolding was an option but we didn't have any and it didn't solve the problem over the stairs.
So I pretty much extended my 23' ladder all the way out and climbed on up about 50 times with a bucket and brush. Then I set up two ladders on the stairs with a plank between them to finish the rest.
So that "first thing" we were going to do is done now.

I also got up the log railing in the loft. And the floor is done up there. We used a different kind of polyurethene that is suppossed to be better for floors. I had to move my office for the wek-end to get it done. The picture posted is the upstairs railing and the Brazilian steer hide on the floor.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

upstairs bath

The upstairs is about done. We got polyuerethane on most of the floor. The bathroom is done with room for hanging clothes inside there. That gets them out of the bedroom and gives us more room there.
We got these old tyme photos of Billy The Kid, Calamaty Jane, some Prospector and an Oregon Trail Wagon Train hanging around. Here is one upstairs.

Buffalo Booties

Check out this great idea Glenda Had to detail the log bed.
She got some buffalo leather and made these little booties for the legs. It really sets them off and protects the wood floor. Beats the scraps of cardboard I had under there.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Here is the new landing and stairs to the groud. The old stairs were temporariry and rather dangerous.
The old wheels here were from an antique dealer near Crazy Horse Memorial.
I've still got some stiles to add on the handrails.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

first post

This is the first installment of what is meant to be an ongoing peek into the progress of our cabin in the Hills.