Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House | or, how to loose your mind in 10 weeks.

It's been approximately 12 weeks since construction started on what has become my family's new home, but as we took a couple off in early October to attend my uncle's wedding and get the potato harvest in, that sounds about right.

I'm sitting in the loft of our little house, resting.
That phrase alone seemed a complete impossibility three months ago, even three weeks ago (the resting part, that is!).

Yes, the enormous project that's been my whole life this fall and early winter was construction.  I now know things about things that I never knew I'd even need to know about those things, pertaining to lumber and power tools, sheetrock and roofing and plumbing and sharp pokey things and Very Heavy things.
You see I'm doing my best to relegate the technicalities to the recesses of my mind for future use and present oblivion - for now, I'd be glad to completely forget all of it.  From the first time I drilled a galvie into sheeting with a nail gun, which was awesome, to the choking sensation of installing insulation, which was horrid, to the horrific sensation of sliding down the face of the roof and being caught, which was the second closest I've ever come to blacking out from terror.
All of it was an incredible experience and a pretty unique opportunity to learn... a lot of good stuff... but just thinking it over gives me a sense of unutterable weariness which I'd like to exchange for a good nap and settle back into my groove, relishing the many blessings surrounding me.

Right there at the top of the list of things I learned is how truly amazing my friends are.  This project would never have come to be without their strong arms, their smiling faces, their coming out in the rain and snow day after day, bearing tools, potluck, and coffee.  (Actually, I don't drink much coffee, but after weeks of hard labor and stress, I was surprised at just how good that stuff works...! )

People will wistfully speak of the good old days, the days of barn raisings and tight-knit communities of neighbors helping each other out.  I'm here to say that these are the good old days, as long as there are communities like mine.  There aren't words to express just how amazing it is.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you already know a bit about my Wall Tent adventures, and the 1945 bus I called home this last year.  I wrote a bit about my family's trailer home here.  Yes, we all have a bit of Gypsy in us... but the main reason for our alternative housing adventures was our dream of building a log home debt free.
Our log shell was built two years ago, and this autumn, we were finally able to move forward on getting it roofed.  In addition, though, we were able to move an existing shed we had and build a little house into it, hopefully leaving our trailer years behind forever.

I'll always keep the years I lived in the Wall Tent Studio, then this year the Beck bus, close to my heart.  It was an adventure I wouldn't trade.  But now, I am really, really excited to finally live in a real house once more, complete with indoor plumbing, glass windows, wood floors, and best of all, a real piano! 
Yes, I got a piano last week and should pick it up this weekend... I've never owned a real piano before and the speakers on my keyboard are shot.  

My brother and I moved the bus over by the new house, and I'll be sharing photos of the newly set up Beck Mainliner sewing studio soon, where I'm as busy as ever running Kellie Falconer Design and the Wall Tent Button Co!  The wall tent will be packed up and stored clean and dry till net year, when I can't wait to set it up once more.

So many things, enormous and little, have made this without doubt the most exceptional three months of my whole life.  I can't wait to see what's around the bend.

It's good to be back.  It's good to be here - home.

Ready for part two?  Stay tuned!


  1. I am so glad you posted!!! Hope you are enjoying the new house and real piano.:) Looking forward to your next post.:)

  2. Yup, I'm looking forward to part 2, too!
    Love that last picture in the snow! The house seemed tiny in the first few pictures, but compared with a travel trailer, it should be rather roomy, I suppose.

  3. Exciting.....can't wait to see it finished!

  4. That must be so exciting! And tiring, and a lot of hard work...
    I particularly loved this bit:
    "People will wistfully speak of the good old days, the days of barn raisings and tight-knit communities of neighbors helping each other out. I'm here to say that these are the good old days, as long as there are communities like mine. There aren't words to express just how amazing it is."
    And a real piano! We've never managed to fit a real piano in, either, and it's one of my sister's lifelong dreams...

  5. I am so happy for you and your family! What a crash course adventure in living! From Tulle skirts to dry wall in 12 weeks? Now, that is a resume builder if there ever was one!

  6. A Huge Congradulations, Kellie! What an awesome adventure you have been on! It's so good to here and read of young women like you who still get to experience the hard work of building your and your family's abode, when not many get to! I had a friend who long ago, her father and many men of our church added on to their trailer year after year, and yes, it was possible to complete their home, so don't give in yet! Stay strong in The Lord!


    The eldest sister and singer

  7. Linda Andrews Smith12/13/13, 8:47 AM

    So glad to read your post, have been wondering what great adventure you were up to this time! Looks awesome, can't wait for your next post...enjoy your piano and new home!!

  8. This is an answer to my prayer. I prayed that you would not spend another winter in the trailer with that wood burning stove next to the door. I was so concerned. May God Bless all the people that came together to build this wonderful family a home.

  9. I'm so glad for you! I totally know how you feel, our family of seven moved
    to five acres in a R.V. From there we went to a tin cabin and then our half
    finished house. Now we're moving again! This time to Priest River in a cute
    little 50's house in town. And it's totally finished!!!!!

  10. AMAZING!!! So glad that you finally have a (real) house to live in! And a piano... bliss! I can't wait to see what happens next!

    Blessings in Him,

    The Middle Sister and Singer

  11. This is my favorite kind of post here! :) I love hearing all about your adventures in tents, buses, and sheds - it's something I want to try someday. :) Can't wait for part 2!
    ~ Amber

  12. You're so cute. :-) Construction projects are the best. And the Harneds!! Gotta love those people.

  13. Oh so glad to see it up and to see pictures of idaho and our friends again! We wish we could have stayed longer to help!!

  14. (Hmmm...methought I'd commented earlier, but maybe it got lost, or I forgot. Anyhoo....)

    God be praised and a great big HURRAH! What a blessing to have such good friends to help you out with this huge project. And be assured that those of us who weren't able to be there in body were with you in spirit, upholding you-all in prayer (especially at the first threat of snow--eep!). I'm sorry you lost your mind, though--may you find it again in time to enjoy your family's first Christmas in your new home!

    God bless,
    ~"Tom Wild Rose"

    I hear you about insulation--icky, evil stuff. There's a reason my Uncle Dan calls it "Itchy Gonzalez"! :-P


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