Monday, July 12, 2010

What the Heck Has Been Happening???

Lots of activity has been happening at the Chicken Dance Ranch. Yep, that is the official name of the property. Stay tuned for the sign that will posted over there.

Wildflowers in July

Since the last update (and who knows when THAT was!), we have kicked it into gear with a goal to get our occupancy permit this summer. We were able to get a 60 day update on our current insurance policy so the deadline is August 25th. After a cold and wet spring, fire season is upon us and having insurance on the house is a priority.

So where were we?

Last October, partial insulation was installed in the little cabin so we could try to stay warm in colder temps. After that, no other work took place, just Karl fishing. Hey, we had some delicious Steelhead. Yummm, yum!

Karl & Brian - Insulators Extraordinaire

This spring, I built a wall to separate the kitchen and mud-room, and a closet to house the water heater in the mud-room. I must have done a good job because the building inspector never said a thing during his later inspections.

Closet for Water Heater

Look Ma! I did it all by myself!

The next step was to get the rough-in plumbing and electric in. We hired out the plumbing and had ALOT of assistance with the electrical (Thanks, Greg!).

Lighting for the Kitchen

My one splurge - a spa tub

One bad thing with the plumbing and electric being meant no more "camping" out in the little cabin with the woodstove to keep warm. Nosiree, Bob.

The first night we arrived over at the house after plumbing and electric started, we arrived to a mess in the little cabin. We were forewarned, but did we listen? No. The insulation in the little cabin had to be taken down plus the insulation in the floor underneath was now stored inside. Not suitable for sleeping accommodations.

Now what do we do? No camper and we need a place to sleep. Time to grab the air mattress and move it into the main house. Sans woodstove. Let me tell you - it was COLD that night. Temps were below freezing. We had on several layers of clothes and our beanie hats, flannel sheets, a couple of blankets and a sleeping bag on the bed and still we were cold. It made for a long night. Even the puppies were cold buried under the blankets. The oil-filled heater at our heads didn't make any difference. Just too much open area sucking any heat away.

Wide-Open Sleeping Arrangements

Now what? I had a bright(?) idea to go to the local Wal-mart the next morning and buy a tent. Maybe that would keep some of the heat contained so we could be warmer at night.

Our Suite at the Chicken Dance Ranch

It semi-worked. But the nylon tent material still allowed the heat to escape, even with the rain fly on. We ended up putting one of our large tarps (not shown) over the tent for another layer. Ahhh, warmth! Relatively speaking, of course. We spent several weekends doing indoor camping until we brought the camper over.

Once the electric and plumbing were installed, it was time for insulation. That too was contracted out. After the attempt last October to insulate the little cabin, Karl was willing to have someone else come in and do it. The house and cabin were done in ONE DAY! That crew rocked! But dummy me forgot to take pictures. Smack!

One other thing that could be done is to fill in the trench the Karl and Tim dug for the electrical conduit that was run. Both the line to the main house and little cabin are buried 36" plus deep to meet code. The trench was dug with a trenching machine and we started to backfill in by hand. Yeah, right. One hundred feet of trench with a shovel? Are you nuts? We rented a bobcat machine with a front bucket loader similar to the trencher and took the easy way out. Less than two hours later, the trench is filled! (And I think Karl had fun running the machine, too.)

Look Tim! I'm running the bobcat!

Cough! Cough! That was a dusty bucketful.

Next up...sheetrock, drywall, wallboard - call it whatever you want. Sissies that we are, we've got contractors handling that job, too. The crew starts hanging this week. Pictures to come, for sure!

Our cabinets will start being built soon. Let me tell you - I have got a GREAT cabinetmaker building them. :)

Now we've got to address those weeds that have grown this spring so we can increase the fire perimeter around the house. I need a tractor!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Sally! Your place is really coming along.

Sherry T.

Gaelyn said...

So glad to see you back in blogland. The place is really coming along. But, brrr... cold nights are not so fun. Hope you'll be keeping us posted.