Workin’ on the Country House while Lovin’ on the City House

Even though we didn’t make it to the cabin spot this week, we feel super accomplished! I placed the order for the next round of building materials.   Here are the next steps:

  • Cut the 16 foot 2x8s to 14 feet
  • Construct the entire floor and cover it with a 16×14 foot tarp.  
  • Cut the wall lumber for the front and back walls
  • Cut the roof rafters (angle at the top and notch at the bottom)
  • Order the 2x14x16 foot ridge board (special order, special delivery)-DONE!
  • Purchase a nail gun-DONE! 
Our ridge board.

We met with our neighbor and he broke down the roof installation process for us as well as some of the finishing work that we had previously not thought of.  

To instal the metal roof, we need to attach 2×4 nailer boards to the rafters which we will attach the roofing material to.  We talked about the gap needed at the top to attach the ridge cap to as well as the types of screws and nails we will need for the framing and roof.  Come to think of it, i need to get the shopping cart loaded with these materials now. These all need to be onsite in order to get framed. Our new framing date is tentatively set for the weekend of the 22nd of March.

What are we working on at the city house?  We are currently listed on Airbnb (View On AirbnbLabbato’s on the Knob

“>Labbato’s on the Knob, Newport, KY)

and are ready to step it up a little bit.  Up until this week, we have offered a full size bed in a cozy room, along with a private bath, mini fridge, and microwave.  This week we swapped in our newer queen sized mattress from the full size to offer our guests something a bit more than we have in the past.  We also rearranged the rooms so the bedroom is now in a the largest of the rooms and finished the transition between the bathroom and the hallway.  The last thing left to do is to put up a chain lock on the bedroom door.


The new pictures I posted, as shown here as well, are not my favorite, but we are trying to get some new professional pictures done from Airbnb.   We think it looks pretty good though. My brother and his girlfriend are coming in from Cleveland to try out the new set-up this weekend and we have a friend coming to visit her mom the week after.  We will be sure to get some feedback from them about anything we might not have thought of.


Keep downsizing.  

Through our rearranging process, we continued to take some things out of the house that we were not using any longer.  It is not a one-and-done process. Every few months it is good to reevaluate one piece of the house and let go of the old and unwanted things that someone else may find to be useful.  There really is nothing more satisfying than looking at a freshly emptied spot. Don’t worry, you will inevitably replace some things, but you won’t feel smothered by it all like you could if you let it all pile up.  

Creating Space

We are close.  All of the time.  By choice. Why not live in a smaller space?  It is easier to heat, easier to clean, easier to pay for.  The space inside may be small, but the yard will be big. This is our chance to build our dream home. Fourteen by fourteen, ten by twelve, anything under 200 square feet. Cozy.

In preparation for the foundation, we needed to clear the space.  That is what we worked on this past weekend. Matt cut down a bunch of dead ash trees, Perriee and I pulled out honeysuckle, and organized the downed trees.  It was amazing. We were celebrating our two year wedding anniversary by preparing the land for our new house. Some of the stones that we cleared out of the duckyard  in the city made a great fire ring at our cabin spot. It is crazy to say that we broke in our spot with the first nice outside fire last weekend. Up until now, all of the good fires down there had been inside the tipi.  It was really feeling like home out there by the time we packed up on Sunday.

Before we left the farm for the week, we joined my sister with Elaine, brother, sister-in-law, friend, and Mila the doggie for a hike around the property. It was a birthday hike (my sister’s).   The final ascent is always the best since the trail we took ends at the tipi.


Make space for good things.  Sometimes we have to make physical space.  If we are going to live in a home with less than 200 square feet, we will not be bringing lots of things.  The good news? We have already started getting rid of things. When we packed up the house to move a few years ago, we donated so many things to the Goodwill that the person receiving the items recognized us.  I would like to believe that we have a modest amount of belongings, most of which will remain in the house for Airbnb guests when we move to the cabin.

Other places to create space?  Our time. Perriee and I made time to go on that hike, which sounds easy enough but is challenging for us when we are there because we try to cram in as much work as possible into our time spent there.  An easy way to make some space for yourself is to take a lunch at work. Walk away from your desk and eat in a place that others might not find you in (unless of course, you want to socialize during that time).  Take that 30-45 minutes to regroup, read a book, check Instagram without shame. Make it your time and don’t apologize for it. Read Essentialism- the Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  You will see what I mean.

Cast Iron Cooking Corner:

We ate good this weekend and it was due to cast iron cookware and good old fashioned fire.  

Friday night we made grilled chicken sandwiches on rye bread.  Perriee brought the chicken breast already cooked from work. So it wouldn’t get dry, I tossed in some butter, bacon, and onion to reheat the chicken in before we grilled the sandwiches usng the Dutch oven.  

Friday Dinner

Saturday morning? Goetta and an egg for me, rewarmed biscuits and gravy for P.  

Saturday night, it was all about veggies.  Using that awesome fire we had going outside, I cooked down a head of cabbage and bacon with roasted beets in one pan and sauteed squash and tomato in another.  We got to bring our food to the farm potluck that we had at the house that night with the whole “family” (a whole other list of delicious food).

Sunday morning:  Grilled cheese and pickles.  Delish.

Once we are set up down there, I would love nothing more than to offer cast iron cooking to any of our tipi guests that we host.  It will be another dream come true. #blessed