Cairn Creek Cabin… Progress and Updates

Cairn Creek Cabin

I know no one’s counting but it’s been a minute since I’ve posted about Cairn Creek Cabin. So much exciting stuff going on around here; where to start?!?!

Since I last posted in August (gaaahhh!) we’ve been back to Cairn Creek three times!Our Fall visit in September, followed by a boys hunting trip in mid-November, and we wrapped up the year with a two-week stint over Christmas and New Years.

Progress and Updates

While back in September we set into full-on work mode. Lumber was delivered before we arrived and we made plans to insulate and install wall board and the ceiling. Needless to say, we meandered around a little bit, doing some unexpected (but totally cool!) improvements, and ended up getting done almost everything we’d planned.

Cairn Creek Cabin
Window before
Cairn Creek Cabin
Window after

We knew we wanted to replace the original (read: cheap) windows in the cabin to help with insulation, etc. and were so glad we did! The new windows really open up the space and let in some amazing light and cool breezes. Me being me, I insisted the front window be centered between the porch posts rather than centered on the wall so that it “looks right” when you drive up :+) Brian being Brian, complied with just a little grumbling.

Cairn Creek Cabin

Next came insulation, a messy, itchy job for sure! But so worth it when you’reCairn Creek Cabin considering all-season stays. The little wood stove doesn’t have to work so hard to keep things warm.





Cairn Creek Cabin

Finally, we started on wall board. We made good progress and completed the two side walls. It felt like it was really starting to come together by the time our trip was over. Progress, not perfection, so they say. And, as always, it’s always so hard to leave…

Cairn Creek

The Hunt

Brian’s trip back in November was part hunting and part cabin work. He and a buddy spent 3 days rifle hunting Cairn Creek and although neither bagged that big buck, they determined the little off grid cabin to be a great respite from the busyness of every day life. Cooking over the fire, reading by lanterns, and sleeping on cots – generally roughing it – was just what they needed.

When the hunt was over Brian started in finalizing the solar hook up and getting the stove placed. He reveled in being able to stay at Cairn Creek Cabin, in complete solitude, for days on end. A true mountain man!

Christmas at the Cabin

Cairn Creek CabinOur Christmas trip was also a blend of work and play. Our daily routine was to rise early, work until lunch time, the play the rest of the day. We hit our stride and managed to finish installing wallboard, ceiling and flooring this trip! A major accomplishment that left us feeling blessed to have this adorable little cabin and only slightly sore in the back :+)Cairn Creek Cabin






Christmas at Cairn CreekI insisted on decorating Cairn Creek Cabin for our first Christmas there and again, Brian obliged. We arranged it so I had an entire day to mess around with decorations and taking photos and it was glorious! I felt relaxed and in my element for the first time in a while. I realize I need creative outlets and Cairn Creek is giving me that in spades. Christmas at Cairn Creek





Slate Rock Brewery
Slate Rock Brewery, Amity, AR

In our downtime we visited a couple new places. First on the list was Slate Rock Brewing in Amity. SO FREAKIN’ GOOD!!! Great craft beers and an incredible menu! I don’t know who’s cookin’ back there but they deserve a raise! Check ’em out if you’re in the area; you won’t be disappointed!Slate Rock Brewing






We also visited Arkadelphia which is a gorgeous drive South out of Glenwood and suchJava Primo, Arkadelphia, AR a great little college town (home to Henderson State University). Other than exploring historic downtown, and having lunch at Java Primo, our mission was to talk with a timber company who had reached out to us regarding selective cutting on our property. I think they were a bit caught off guard when these two Yankee’s came strollin’ into their downtown offices. However, they quickly warmed to our visit and we spent about two hours talking, looking at maps, and discussing our goals for Cairn Creek. I can’t say enough nice things about the boys and Hunter-Wasson. They came out and visited us on-site, walked nearly all 60-acres with us, and helped us envision what some thinning could do to improve both the aesthetic and the health of the forest. Not doing anything soon, but at least we have a plan.

We also met our builder, Pat Usdrowski, at the property to mark out the footprint of the barndominium (I’m still not sure what to call it!). He took a look at our rough plans, gave us some really creative suggestions, and THANK GOD agreed to do this project with us. Pat is native Arkansas, an accomplished builder, and sees our vision. We’re beyond excited to get started this Spring! I’ll be sure to share the plans when we get our final drawings from the architect here in a couple weeks.

Other News

In other exciting news we negotiated a contract for the sale of our house in Kansas! Just waiting on the final wrap up there and then we’ll be “tenants” in the home we built 23 years ago until this Fall. It’s surreal folks! Serendipity, fate, luck, God, or all of the above, things are falling into place in ways we never could have expected or planned. This sweet couple is going to love on this home, make it their own, and raise their two beautiful kids here and I couldn’t be happier for them!

Sky over Cairn CreekBecause this opportunity came up, we’ll be full-time residents of Arkansas a bit sooner than originally anticipated but we’re both so ready! I’ve discussed a little bit on social media that Brian was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease the week before Christmas. He’s been battling these issues for years and we FINALLY have a diagnosis! That means treatment in the form of medication and some lifestyle changes, one of which involves reducing stress. We’ve know in our hearts for some time that we need to make the changes we talk about here on the blog. Now we’ve been blessed with all the resources we need to do it! Brian is healing and looking forward to a full treatment plan from the docs in a couple of weeks. We have the best team on the case and we’re confident we’ll get him into remission and back to full health!

Cairn Creek
Brian and Raylan

I’m sure there’s more I’m neglecting to mention but, man, it’s been a wild few months – all exciting, positive, and hopeful! Wishing you all happy and prosperous New Year!

Cairn Creek‘Til next time,



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