Fourth of July weekend


. There are so many activities to do here in the northland. It is hard to believe that the stores already have the back to school stuff for sale; it is a little depressing to me to realize that the girls will be back to school before we know it. I wanted to give you all an update on the land we were looking at. We have been trying to come up with some creative financing so that we don’t miss out. It was recently listed with a real estate company so I am sure there will be a ton of people looking at it. We initially wanted to pay cash for the land but we are starting to realize that if we don’t find some way to get it financed then we will probably miss out and be back to square one all over again. It’s hard to believe that it is almost the 4th of July already; it always seems like the summer flies by after the 4th. Don’t get me wrong, the reason I live in Minnesota is because of the four seasons

It seems banks don’t like to give loans on raw land as much as they do if there is already a home built on the property. I suppose after all the mismanagement that went on before 2008 they have much stricter regulations they have to abide by. It is just frustrating that a person can have a high credit score, a good income and still can’t get a loan unless you have like 25% for a down payment. We aren’t ready to give up on this piece of property yet so we are crossing out fingers that it doesn’t sell this summer. It seems like land sales are slow in the winter so if we could make it until next spring without the land getting sold then we should be able to come up with a good down payment. So please wish us luck. We look forward to your comments especially if you have any good ideas on how we can make out little literal space a reality. I hope everyone has a safe holiday weekend.



New land Score!


I know it has been a while since I have been here but it seems with summer weather comes kids activities, the girls are very active in summer sports which is great fun for the family and good times to bond. When I was a kid my family used to come to all of my activities, especially my Dad. He says he lived vicariously through me because he was never able to play sports being he grew up on the farm and his Dad didn’t believe in extracurricular activities that took away from the work that needed to be done. I am really fortunate that my Dad took an interest in me and my sports. I remember the time I was 11 years old and in the Little League playoffs and I hit a home run to win the game. My Dad was really proud of me and you could hear him cheering over everyone else except for my friends Mom who was so loud that her husband used to tell her to shut up. So anyway I want to be there for my girls when they participate in their activities. Getting back to today’s blog title, I think we actually found a piece of land that we would like to buy. It is on 5 acres and actually has city utilities available which is a rare find anywhere. It is not on waterfront but we think if we put a pool in we could save on the taxes and still have a place for the kids to enjoy. It is also an ideal setup for w walk out basement which is something we have always wanted to have. And last but not least it has southern exposure so we could actually put in solar panels to save on electricity. We are going to probably make an offer sometime in the next few months assuming that it doesn’t get sold before then. We need to save up some more money because we don’t want to have any debt. It will still probably be awhile before we can actually build on it, maybe even a few years but as the saying goes they are not making any more land so once it’s gone its gone. It is also nicely wooded and actually there is plenty sign of wildlife being present with deer tracks everywhere. It would be fun to put in a little pond and a food plot so that we could watch the deer in their natural habitat. Now we have to go to the drawing board and come up with a house plan. This is a fun thing for us to do as a family and I appreciate the input from everyone. If any of you can think of any cool ideas, please send me an email. We want to keep a small footprint and keep the property as green as possible. I will keep everyone updated as this exciting adventure of out literal space moves forward. 


Land Search

Land Search

So Liz and I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about our dream of owning our little literal space out in the country and having it on some type of water front. Now we still love the thought of that possibility but after seeing the unbelievable prices they are getting or at least trying to get for some of those properties we are starting to wonder if it is an affordable dream.

Liz brought up the other day that maybe we should forget about the water frontage and look for a nice spot of land out in the country, say maybe 40 or even 80 acres. She thinks it would be a great idea because then we could be assured privacy from any potential neighbors and also our real estate taxes would be a lot less. She also said that we could always install an above ground pool for us and the kids to enjoy on those hot summer days. Well I can tell you that she has got my brain working overtime. Here we go again, just when I think I have a clear vision on what we want; a curve ball is thrown at me. If anyone knows of a nice piece of land at a reasonable price please contact me.

In the next few weeks we plan on looking at some vacant land just to see what is out there and if it truly is more affordable than the lake or river properties that we have been looking at. I would still like to stay close to Duluth if possible because it would be easier with the girls and all of the activities that I am sure they will still want to participate in. I am not sure if we will be able to get out this weekend or not to look at properties because there are a few things we should get done around home being we were gone all last weekend. But if we do I will tell you all about it in my next blog. I really do have a hard time sitting at home on the weekends and working on projects. I feel like I owe it to Liz and the girls to do something fun. When I put in all the hours that I do working during the week I sometimes think that I am neglecting my family. I don’t think it bothers the girls as much as it bothers Liz though. She is the one that has to hold down the home front when I am working sometimes 12 or 14 hours per day. One thing nice about purchasing a less expensive piece of land, we would be able to afford our little literal space sooner.

I will keep you all posted going forward. I hope you have a great weekend.


Last Weekend update

Okay so we did end up going to the cabin at the lake but it was kind of disappointing because everyone was crabby because of the sleeping accommodations, don’t get me wrong there is plenty of room for everyone but they all had to argue about who got to sleep were, Liz and I got stuck on the twin beds while everyone else got the big bedrooms with their own bath. The girls slept with their cousins so that part worked out fine. I couldn’t believe all the fuss over where people were going to sleep. When we were kids we would be happy just crashing on the floor with our sleeping bags.

If the weather had been nicer we could have brought the tent and stayed in there but it did rain quite a bit so it would have been a wet mess.

The sun did come out on Sunday and Monday for awhile so we all got to get in the lake and do a little swimming but the water was a little cold for my taste. Of course the kids had a great time even though they were shivering to beat heck when they came out of the water and we wrapped them in towels to dry them off and warm them up.

We also got a chance to toss a line out to see if anyone could catch anything but no such luck; the fish just weren’t interested in eating. We also got to sit by the fire pit out in the yard which is my favorite thing to do, there were not too many bugs because there was just enough breeze to keep them away. The kids had a field day eating all of the smores that they could handle but boy were they sticky. Oh well I guess holidays are for eating the not so healthy foods.

Everything is back to normal and I had to get back to work, which is always hard after a long weekend. I would much rather be working from home in my little cabin in the woods which I hope to have sooner than later. I will keep working towards the goal of having our literal space and look forward to the day when I can take you all through the building process step by step.

See you soon!


Yeehaw the weekend is here

Well in my last post I said that we might go and check out some tiny houses to see if we could get some ideas for out little literal space cabin. Well now Liz shot me down on that idea because she wants to go to her sister’s cabin over by Deerwood. Now this place is more like a huge house and it reminds me of the Swiss Family Robinson house. So much for getting by with the essential lifestyle, at least for this weekend. I guess the family is all going to be there so at least I can catch up on what everyone has been up to lately. I also like sitting by the campfire out in the yard.

I just hope the weather cooperates because it’s no fun being stuck in a building with a bunch of people for a whole weekend, a person can only play so many board games or hands of smear until you go stir crazy. That’s probably more me than anything else, I hate being cooped up indoors. Even if it’s raining all weekend I can still go for a walk and enjoy the scenery as it is a beautiful spot on a nice lake.

I don’t really use the lake much when we go there because I don’t want to take their boat out and maybe break something or hit a rock. I also think it might be to cool to take a swim but we will just have to wait and see. I know Monday is supposed to be really nice with temperatures in the low 80’s but of course that is the day we will be heading for home. Well I hope you all have a great weekend. Hopefully the following week we will get to tour some of the tiny homes.

Be Safe!


Plans for the upcoming weekend

Hi everyone, I hope you are all having a good Thursday so far even though the weather is not the greatest. I thought this weekend we might go and look at some tiny homes to get some ideas on what we can do for our literal space in the country that we are going to have someday. Both Liz and I really like the concept of tiny homes, now I don’t mean those real tiny homes like you see on HGTV but maby more on the lines of 500 to 700 square feet. We have kind of become all about just having the essentials in life. We don’t need the big house on the hill to keep up with the neighbors. If we could have a little cabin with a loft upstairs for the girls that would do us just fine. We would have a kitchen area, living room, bathroom and bedroom on the main level. I always thought it would be nice to have 2 bathrooms in the house with three females and myself but then I remember how I grew up with a big family and only one bathroom. We managed just fine so I think the two bathroom idea is kind of a fleeting wish. We are more about outdoor space anyway. If we have our lake or riverfront property and a few acres of land I think we will have all we need. I also was thinking of putting up a pole building to store stuff in but again I am kind of on the fence whether I really need that or not. It would kind of take away from the quaint look of the property if we have a huge building right in the middle of it. I think I will be looking for a pole building at some point and will try and figure out on how I can fit it into the scheme so it looks natural. Maybe log siding would give it the proper look. Anyway I suppose I am going to have to sign off for now but I will be back soon.

Have a great Thursday!



Happy Tuesday

Well I woke up to fog for my drive in to work this morning. It looks like we will be getting some rain over the next few days and the Memorial Day weekend looks like it is going to be wet with mild temperatures. Of course living in Minnesota we all know that the forecast could change almost minute by minute. The family and I were hoping to do some driving around this holiday weekend to look at some more lake and or river properties but if it is raining the whole time we may have to come up with a plan b. We could always go on a shopping trip to look for some of the supplies we are going to eventually need. We won’t be buying, just looking for now.

Some of the things we will need to consider are kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances, solar panels, but not sure where to check them out at. Probably will have to do an online search for that. We are also considering instead of going with a traditional septic system we might go with some type of a chemical toilet or something similar as that could potentially save us twenty or thirty thousand dollars. Liz initially wasn’t in favor of that option until I showed her that it is a sanitary way to go and also it could save us tons of cash. Which means we could get to our new literal space sooner than later.

So I at least got her to say maybe which is some progress. The girls wouldn’t have a clue, so if they grow up with a system like that it will just seem normal to them. Any way some food for thought. If you have any ideas regarding this please let me know. Contact me here.


Monday Already?

Okay, I cant believe it’s already Monday. Why do the weekends go so fast and then the weeks just seem like they drag on and on and on. You know what I mean, right? Anyway we had a good weekend with the kids. Of course Saturday was kind of a pain in the butt having to get the carpets cleaned but the job got done right and no more evidence of the paint spill so Liz feels much better about the whole thing. She was feeling kind of guilty for making such a big mess. The girls had fun yesterday because I was Finally able to get their bikes all set up for the summer, air in the tires and grease on the chains. We also went and did some drive by visits of some of the water front properties we are considering for our new literal space. Of course a lot of them had no visibility from the road so we had to walk in and check them out. Some had no trespassing signs though so we had to pick and choose. At some point I suppose we will have to hook up with a realtor but I hate doing that part because once you contact them you almost feel like your locked into something. I do have a couple of good friends that are in that business so how do you choose without hurting feelings. I guess I could always tell them both what we are looking for and let them know that the first one to find something for us gets the contract. I guess I am putting the cart before the horse here anyway because we are a couple of years away from being able to even afford the land. Then it will probably be another couple of years before we can start the building process. Hopefully the girls aren’t off to college by then. anyway it was a nice day for a drive yesterday. Windows down and our hair blowing in the wind. I hope you all had a nice weekend as well. You could tell that it was a beautiful day as every lake we drove by there were people out doing all kinds of fun things. Barbecuing, boating, fishing, you name it. I am sure the ones that had to go back to work today felt the same way that I did. Well maybe next weekend for the holiday the rain will hold off. Lets hope anyway. You guys have a great evening and will talk soon.


Things are coming around in the planning.

First of all I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend as the weather is gorgeous. Also I want to thank everyone for the advise you gave on local businesses that could help with Liz’s paint spill on the carpet. We did end up going with Carpet Cleaning Duluth, I think their website is and they did a fantastic job. You can’t even tell that there was a paint stain. They also came out this morning which was nice because the other ones we called wouldn’t even answer the phone on a Saturday.

8787665_ml (1)Things are coming together some in the planning of our little place in the country. We have looked at quite a few different waterfront properties on line and we are still suffering from a little bit of sticker shock but reality is starting to set in. We have been looking at both lake shore and riverfront properties and are not one hundred percent sure which way we would like to go just yet. We know that in most cases the lake frontage is probably going to have more activities as far as recreational to do and the riverfront properties are probably going to have more privacy, so it is somewhat of a trade off. Our original budget was set at under $100K to start with because we know that we still need to do all of the other things that you need to do when you are planning and building a home out of the city limits. We have gotten quotes for a septic system anywhere from ten thousand dollars all the way up to thirty thousand dollars.

6593504_mlI’m sure they are probably allowing for plenty of leeway since the septic people don’t know what type of land we are going to have yet. We are told that if we have sand it should be on the lower end of the spectrum but if we have rock then it could be even higher than 30 thousand.

Then we have to think about a clean water source which can be more of a challenge and a lot more money depending again on the type of land we end up purchasing, We also have to think about a source of electricity whether it be traditional power lines that we have run in to the property or we could do solar but then we need to make sure that we have the proper exposure to mostly the south and west, of course we could go as cheap as a generator but they can be kind of noisy and also not cheap on fuel especially if the cost of fuel goes up again at some point, which will more than likely happen. Of course we could always build a sauna on the lake like the one pictured above. I would love that, get all steamed up and jump right into the lake or river. That would be quite refreshing. When we were younger and growing up with a sauna we used to jump in the snowbank. Sometimes that didn’t feel so good when there was a crust on the snow. Live and learn I guess.

Continue reading Things are coming around in the planning.


Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog post. It is great that it’s Friday and on top of that it’s shaping up to be another beautiful day in Duluth. The family and I haven’t really decided what we are going to do for the weekend but thought maybe this evening we will go out to one of our favorite restaurants, little angies cantina, you can check them out at, my sister in law is a server there so we like to make sure to give her some business every once in awhile because she is a single Mom and can use the tip money.

Last night it was quite the fiasco at our house as we were trying to spruce it up a little bit and Liz dumped a can of paint on our carpeting so if any of you know of a company that can get paint stains out of carpeting please let me know asap. I will also do some research today on my lunch break.

I spent a little time last evening searching for our future literal space and one thing I found is that land is very expensive if you want any kind of waterfront property. May have to start putting a little more away and look at our priorities. Another Idea I had for our little cabin.


Well I hope everyone has a great Friday and will chat soon.