Searching For An ATV

 

ATV

We are continuing to plan for when we build our log home, with things like designing our kitchen, planning what we are going to do this coming year and searching for an ATV to name a few.

Actually its my wife Niki who wants to buy a ATV now so when we go to our farm this coming year and camp she can put it to work and we don’t have to drive our new truck on our bottom ground and take a chance of getting it stuck again. The plan is to buy two of them but I think I will wait until after our home is built to buy mine because I won’t be able to use or enjoy it much until then.

We went to Chicago motorcycle show this year to look for one but that was a bust, there was only about 8 atvs at the show and only a two companies had them. We where real disappointed, but we ended up going to several dealers that had most of the atv brands that are sold in this country like Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Polaris, Artic Cat, and Cam-Am. My wife has decided she wants a Can-Am. I have to admit they seem to be built just a little better then the other brands and their price is also a little higher. So far it has been real disappointing when seeing an advertised price and then going to the dealership and then the dealer starts adding destination, dealer prep and freight charges, it adds an additional 1000 bucks to the price of the atv and its seems all the dealers in the Chicago area do this. We have found a dealer in Chariton Iowa http://www.cc-cycle.com/that says they don’t do that and the price they have listed is the price. Imagine that, a company not trying to deceive you. That’s why we like these Iowans no phony baloney bull. The next time we go to the farm we are going to check them out and let you know how it turns out.

Posted in Farm Report | 10 Comments

Your Chance To Get Started In Farming Now

This is a farm for sale only about 13 miles from our farm.

This is a farm for sale only about 13 miles from our farm.

If you are looking to get started in farming, here is in opportunity for you. I get updates on farms for sale everyday from Zillow and every now and then a great deal comes on the market and those are the ones I like to share with my readers, and this is a good one.

This is a 40 acre farm with a house, wooden barn, metal storage building, pond, and pastures with a bit of timber that would make someone a great pasture based farm and only priced at 145,000 dollars. The property taxes are only 1,266 dollars a year and is on a lightly traveled paved highway so you can keep your vehicles cleaner than gravel roads will. These parcels don’t come on the market that often and when they do they don’t last long.

House is livable and with a little TLC would make a great little homestead.

House is livable and with a little TLC would make a great little homestead.

The land is already sectioned off for rotational grazing and has been used for cattle and hay ground.

This farm is already set up for cattle.

This farm is already set up for cattle.

This farm also has a large stocked pond for livestock watering or recreational fishing.

You can see here the large pond and hay bales that were made on this farm.

You can see here the large pond and hay bales that were made on this farm.

Lucas Farm 4

You can see more pictures of this farm http://www.remax.com/realestatehomesforsale/54156-us-hwy-65-lucas-ia-50151-gid700013773045.html. If you are looking for a small homestead, you can’t go wrong with this one, but don’t wait to long to decide. It won’t last long.

 

Posted in Iowa Farms for sale | 5 Comments

What We Are Doing Now

We just bought this new camper at the Chicago boat and camper show.

We just bought this new camper at the Chicago boat and camper show.

Even though we are not planning to build our log home for another 14 months we haven’t been sitting on our duffs. There are still lots of things that we have to do and plan before that day comes and this is what we are doing now to help us get ready for when that day comes.

boat-show-pic

We just went to the 2015 Chicago Boat and RV Show at McCormick Place and had a great time. If you have never been there before you should plan to take a trip to Chicago and see it for yourself it is well worth your time and the prices are amazing. It is huge and you would be hard presed to see everything in one day even if you spent the whole day there. All the manufactures there are trying to promote their brand and are selling at wholesale prices. If you are looking at buying a boat, camper or RV you should make the trip to Chicago next year in January and go to this show, you won’t be sorry that you did.

New camper kitchen.

New camper kitchen.

We went to the show to look at pontoon boats because someday that is something we would like to buy when we retire so we can go fishing and take the grandkids tubing. We didn’t have any plans to buy a camper, but once we saw the campers and the prices they were going for we thought would buy one and live in this when we are building our log home. After the home is built then sell it, that way we wouldn’t have to rent a place in Iowa and we can be there right on the job site to look after all our building material.

There are many more things we have been up to that I plan to post but I don’t want to blow all my posting material in this one post, got keep my readers interest up, until then more pictures of our new camper below.
Camper bed

Camper

Kitchen 1

outside

Right side

Posted in Our Log Home | 19 Comments

Changing Our Time Line For Retirement and Building Our House.

 

This is a picture of our drive way that we had to have three loads of gravel put down so we could get our concrete poured in our pole barn.

This is a picture of our drive way that we had to have three loads of gravel put down so we could get our concrete poured in our pole barn.

As some of you may have already noticed that my time line for my retirement count down that I have to the right on my site has changed to December 31, 2015. We have also pushed back the date 7 months from when we are going to start to build our log home from Aug. 31 2015 to April 2016. There was several reason why I have changed the time line but there was a main reason and that is what I will explain here.

The main reason why we have changed the start date of our new home was because I am acting as our general contractor and even though we plan on doing most of the work ourselves there are some things that we will not be doing so I have been getting bids for those. Things like the basement, heating and cooling, septic system, and to build the roof with rafters, sheeting and roofing material. Even though we are capable of doing our own roof I thought I would hire some company to do it with us planning to start building so late in the year to make sure we would get it weather tight before winter would set in. The two bids I had sent out came back at around 30,000 and I felt that was at least 10,000 more than what they should have been. We are trying to keep cost down and we are not willing to pay over 20,000 more for something we feel we can do ourselves, so we have decided to wait now until the following spring in April of 2016 to start our log home so we can do it  ourselves. The materials are only about 10,000 at the most so we will save a significant amount of money. Since we won’t be building the house until April I didn’t want to be bored and sitting around the house with nothing to do so I thought I would work until Dec. 31, 2015 and this would give us a chance to save up more money.

Believe me when I tell you I am a little bummed that we won’t be starting the house this year, but my wife and I talked about it and we feel it is the right thing to do.

Posted in Our Log Home | 12 Comments

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 270,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 12 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Tree tubes | 4 Comments

Our Log Home Plans

This is a picture of my great great grandparents and their log home. It was located about 10 miles from our farm. It was taken in 1911 and my gg grandparents Levi and Hannah Coles are to the left and Levi’s sister Phoebe and her husband John Matson to the right.

My great great grandparents moved to Iowa after he fought in the Civil War, for the North, and he got 40 acres given to him by the government for his services in the war. It was located in Iowa near Otter Creek by the community of Norwood just about 10 miles from our current farm. It must have been a difficult journey to come all the way from Ohio in a covered wagon and build his log home with his own two hands from trees on his property and get it all done before winter set in. That first winter must have been real tough in 1865. He was a true homesteader. Thankfully, building our own log home from the ground up will be hard but nothing compared to what my gg grandparents went through. So we are going to take that same pioneer spirit and build our own homestead and start farming using the same methods my great great grandparents used.  Its going to take some planning on our part and this post will be about our plans for the log home.

Our log home will not have a front dormer like this one but will have a basement and we want to have it raised off the ground like this one.

Our log home will not have a front dormer like this one but will have a basement and we want to have it raised off the ground like this to help keep the logs dry.

After countless hours looking online and going to log home shows we have chosen the Ridgeview from Meadow Valley Log Homes for our log home. It is 28 x 40. I like this model because it reminds me of log homes from back in the 1800’s. We have modified this model a little to take advantage of the views of our pond and forest and have added a gable end truss porch like the picture below.Trust porch

The home will have a loft with a shed dormer with 3 bedrooms and two baths. The great room will look similar to the picture below.

Log homes

Floor Plan

RidgeviewWithShedDormer

First Floor

Page 2 RidgeviewWithShedDormer

Loft and Master bedroom

Planning the Décor

Our plans for the décor is to have that old hunting lodge feel to the home because our land is really well suited for hunting. No matter if we would have built the pole barn house or the farm we just tried to buy, we would have had tried to make that same feel just by adding log siding to the inside of the structure.  We have already been to antique stores, flee markets, estate and garage sales and have been buying things that will work for a log home and I want to show you some of the things we have collected so far.

The 16 point buck I shot with this Kentucky long rifle that I put together as a kit back in 1991.

The 16 point buck I shot with this Kentucky long rifle that is above this back bar that I put together as a kit back in 1991. Most things in this picture will go in our log home.

I bought this lamp at Cabala's for half price because it had a small crack that you can not see.

I bought this lamp at Cabela’s for half price because it had a small crack that you can’t see. The end table it’s on we got at an antique shop.

 

A bedroom set I have owned for years with a buffalo skull above the bed.

A bedroom set I have owned for years with a buffalo skull over the bed.

Log Home Decor

This is of the same bedroom, with an old saddle and an oil painting that was picked up real cheap at a garage sale.

This is my favorite piece of furniture. I have had this leather chair and ottoman since 1998.

This is my favorite piece of furniture. I have had this leather chair and ottoman since 1998. I can’t wait to set in it in front of the fireplace on in our log home.

 

I bought this original water color picture with barn wood frame at an garage sale for 10.00 in 1997.

I bought this original water color picture in a barn board wood frame at an garage sale for 10.00 in 1997. The scene reminds me of many old barns I have seen in Iowa.

I caught this King Salmon in lake Michigan in 1999.

I caught this 22 lb King Salmon in lake Michigan in 1999.

 

This is a 250 lb black bear that I shot on a hunt in Canada in 2004.

This is a 250 lb black bear that I shot on a hunt in Canada in 2004.

 

These are wildlife panels that we plan to put in our log railing. We waited for these to go on sale at Menards before buying them.

These are wildlife panels that we plan to put in our log railing. We waited for these to go on sale at Menards before buying them.

Just picked this old barrel up at an estate sale, couldn't pass it up for only 20.00

Just picked this old barrel up at an estate sale, couldn’t pass it up for only 20.00

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My wife bought this cool weather vane last year at a flee market.

We are already thinking about lighting for the log home and bought this cool rustic moose and pine tree chandelier at Menards when it had a 25% price drop.

We are already thinking about lighting for the log home and bought this cool rustic moose and pine tree chandelier at Menards when it had a 25% price drop.

Log Home Decor

As you can see we have really been thinking about this old hunting lodge look for a long time. We can’t wait to get started. We will brake ground for the foundation April 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Our Log Home | 16 Comments

Decision Has Been Made Part Two

This is another picture of our stuck tractor when I went to get our truck unstuck. It was a bad first day at the farm.

This is another picture of our stuck tractor when I went to get our truck unstuck. It was a bad first day at the farm.

In this post as promised, I will finish my last post “The decision has been made” and after this you will know which way we are going to go regarding our farm. I thought I was going to have some exciting news to tell you all but it didn’t happen like we had hoped. Someone once said something like “Its your attitude that makes something an ordeal or an adventure.” Right now, things sometimes seems like an ordeal but I am sure when we look back on it all in a few years we will think it was an adventure.

I am not going to bore you all with the details of what happened the other two days. I will sum it up by saying with over two inches of rain in two days we couldn’t get the concrete poured in our pole barn until Friday. It was just too muddy up on our building site to get a concrete truck in there so we ended up staying in Iowa two days longer than we had planned. I also won’t bore you with the poor communication we had with our cement contractor or how he cut a few corners that we may regret later.

This is a picture of our new concrete floor in our pole barn. We had to have 3 truck loads of gravel brought in to put in a drive way so the cement truck wouldn't get stuck.

This is a picture of our new concrete floor in our pole barn. We had to have 3 truck loads of gravel brought in to put in a drive way so the cement truck wouldn’t get stuck in the mud from all the rain.

With all the rain delays we did have some extra time on our hands and my friend Tom told me about a home for sale inside Stephens State Forest that was only three miles from our farm and he suggested I buy it and still keep my farm and live there. He said, “you could raise cattle on the farm and then bring them back to this house for the winter because it had a barn with a two acre pasture,” a lot of farmers do this around these parts he said. When he first told me about the place a few days before we got to our farm I really didn’t have any interest in seeing it. But after having the 3 really bad days that we just had and seeing how weather and dealing with contractors can be I was a little more open to the idea and I thought what the heck it won’t hurt to look at it.

It was a gorgeous spot right on the edge of the forest and it had mature trees all around with beautiful fall colors and a three car garage and a pole barn with stalls set up for horses. It had grape vines and apple trees and the house looked good on the out side, and more importantly my wife liked it. This was a first, we have looked at least a dozen farms and every time my wife kills the deal because she doesn’t like the house. We called the listing realtor and they showed us the house on the inside and we knew it needed some work but still liked it enough to put an offer in on it. After a few back and forth price changes the sellers and us agreed on a price. You don’t know how excited we were, here I wouldn’t have to do the daunting task of building a home from the ground up but only have to remodel which I have done a half dozen times before and I would be able to start farming that much sooner. I felt like a giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

 

The drive way leading up top the house we made an offer on.

The drive way leading up top the house we made an offer on.

We drove the 5 and a half hours back to Iowa this past weekend to be there for the home inspection. Sadly the inspection didn’t go so well, I don’t want to say much about it all except to say the sellers and us couldn’t agree on what they were willing to fix and that is what killed the deal.

We were both really bummed because we really loved the spot, but like I promised you and my wife, we have settled on which way we are now going to go. We have decided to build the log home from Meadow Valley Log Homes. I am going to go with what I have always dreamed of even though I know its going to be a lot of work, but nothing worth while has ever been easy.  Our log house will be part of my family’s legacy and my wife and I will take a picture of us in front of the house so someday my descendants will look on the pictures years from now to get a since of how there gg grandparents were.

Now tell me, who thought I was going to give up my dream of being a farmer?

 

 

Posted in Farm Report | 21 Comments