Bar Log

Up at the Mills Place is a sawmill.  Ped and Gary, the Mills brothers, both enjoyed working this sawmill.  Vernon had helped Ped a time or two, but had never run the saw.  Now, Gary wants to keep the sawmill, so we don’t own it, but ever since we’ve bought the place, my boys have wanted to try their hand at it.
The other day Vernon asked if Gary could cut us a log for the bar top in the new kitchen.
This is the Bar Log’s story.
The players:
Scruffy Daniel.
log1
Patient (or is it impatient?)  Brandon
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The sawmill and an old blade.
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The tractor and its PTO (power take off) that spins the saw through various gears, belts, and other mechanical stuff that boggles my mind!
log4
Gary Mills, who’s attention to detail and knowledge of logging and running this sawmill, hopefully will be absorbed by my boys.
log5
Don’t forget the log!  Chosen for its size and number of knots, this log complete with its sawmarks, will soon be the bar between my kitchen and dining rooms.
log6
After some practice runs…
Much debate…
Three logs…
Some sweating…
Some learning of new skills… like running the dog and fixing the sawdust chain…
The job is completed.
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It turned out so gorgeous, I forgot to take a picture of it!  I did video it though, so stay tuned and I’ll post the video!
Oops.
But this is SO cool.  Not everyone gets to saw out their own Bar Log!

Roads

We made a flying trip to Billings today.  I hadn’t planned to go because originally it was just Vernon and Victoria going to Cody to finish up the paperwork on her new car.  But Vernon said since they would be halfway to Billings, why didn’t I go along and we’d figure out our cabinets.
See, 2 years ago, when we first bought the Mills Place, I came along a great deal… some great oak cabinets with a stainless sink and stove and dishwasher thrown in for $700.  I was proud of myself and the people said they bought them at Lowe’s … and it’d be easy to buy more to finish my kitchen whenever we got around to remodeling.
Guess what.  It isn’t easy after all.  While it looks like the stuff on Lowe’s website, when you get there, it isn’t the right cabinet.  I think we had this discussion the other day about having to drive so far to buy things.  Well, this time we drove 4 hours and then met up with this new dilemma.  We could buy the slightly different cabinets… which were cheaper made as well… and a slightly different redder oak color.  So we’d have mismatched cabinets.  Laminates that wouldn’t be able to be restained…  Here’s what I have.
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Or!  We could buy all brand new hickory cabinets for $3800 with solid hickory doors and manufacturer’s warranty and full length pull on the drawers.  Now that’s what I wanted to do.
Here’s closeups of the two colorings of the hickory.
         or this….            
But does my already purchased flooring look ok with it?
Does my paint match?
paint1
Paints cheap I know, but good grief!  Now I’m all puzzled up, because I planned for oak cabinets… and I could buy oak cabinets too, for a difference of $200… I think it was $200.  I am so confused!
Don’t even get me started on countertops.  Well, OK.  My light one I had chosen didn’t look good with hickory, so the nice lady recommended these…
 which is greenish    which is really dark   which is medium
and these are gorgeous… which doesn’t come across on the screen.
We made the bar top yesterday… but I’m tired and will post that excitement tomorrow.
We had NASTY roads on the way home.  We are SO ready to go relax in bed and fall asleep.
Hey this was supposed to post last night… think I was too tired to hit the right button???

Meanwhile…

While I was going through my traumatic evening last night… plans did continue and we did have our bonfire.
Remember the Cat that came through this fall?  This was a smaller pile she had left behind.

It took a little doing, but they managed to set it aflame.  I finally gathered myself together and went out to the party.

NYfire1
Good sized flame, eh?  I think I’ve talked about being a pyromaniac before… so like the proverbial moth, I *had* to go to this!
Within a few minutes, a good friend had me laugh while a tear trickled down my face… and I was grateful for the support and encouragement.  Fires and friendships… for me they are the true test.  If you can’t enjoy yourself while standing around staring at this…
NYfire3
When can you?
My private test for public persona… if I can’t see myself standing around a fire with them.. telling stories… exaggerating… laughing… crying… turning in the slow rotisserie style of heating yourself… then, I don’t seem to care for them!  Not like any famous person would care to stand around a campfire with me… but you get my drift.
Stare deeply into the fire, my friend.  What do you see?
NYfire4
Or… my favorite… look up, my friend, what do you see?
NYfire2
Trails of sparks sift up towards the stars.  We saw 3 meteorites falling down as well!
NYfire5
Like wild red grass blowing in the wind…
And an aside… for those of you that wrote your support for me and lost Dally, thanks.  I love that.  Soon after I let her inside this morning… admonishing the poor thing for whatever had happened while checking her out physically… I fed her.  Since Lucas was inside too, I closed the door to my mudroom and sat a gallon jug of water in front of it, so he wouldn’t even attempt to steal her food…  I then came to my computer and posted my update.  Soon a wet nose was nudging at my side and I unconsciously reached down and petted who I *thought* was Lucas.  Finishing my post I glanced down to see that it was Dally.  Now fed and escaped from the mudroom, pushing the jug out of her way, she had come to me to snuggle and look mighty pitiful!!!  Even though I laughed at her, she contentedly laid down by my side and sighed.  Welcome home, Dally Girl!

Starting on a Good Note

Starting on a Good Note!

She’s back… Vernon woke me up this morning with the news that Dally was out in the yard.  She seems OK… tired and hungry… we were up until midnight and the kids even later, so she had a long night of whatever!  Vernon thought she was in heat, but if she is, it’s MENTAL, because there’s no physical signs!

So who knows.  She chased a deer too far and got lost?  Someone picked her up on the highway?  Neither seems too reasonable to me, so I’ll chalk it up to a mystery and thank God, that indeed he did watch out for a tiny tri-colored dog and even showed her the 3 miles home.
Now I need to go wash out my puffy eyes and pet a dog… excuse me… I’ll be back later!

Ending the Year on a Bad Note

I painted today…from 10 am until 4:30 or so.  Content with what I had accomplished, I left the house, braving the ice rink that is our parking area… Elsa was at my heels.  Lucas was by the garage and quickly came at my request.  Dally was nowhere to be found.

It is now almost midnight, and she still is absent.
I called and whistled and called.  The sun set soon after I realized she was gone and I went home to make sure she hadn’t followed Vernon home and to get warm clothes on.  I returned to the Mills Place and searched for another 2 hours.
I’ve whistled.
I’ve called.
I’ve cried.
I’ve sobbed.
Lord, I HATE it when dogs break our hearts.
She has never done this.  Never not come when called.  Never been anywhere else but here with me at night.
So, I say a little New Year’s prayer, that God can watch over a tiny tri-colored dog for tonight and tomorrow I can find her safe and sound to Start the New Year on a Happy Note.