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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2008-11-16 19:31:10
Subject: Sunday November 16, 2008

   Just over a month ago we were picked up from the airport for our return home. Dave and Jose caught me up on a lot of things on the two hour drive home. It was close to 5 AM when we arrived in our neighborhood. It was then that Dave and Jose informed me of a lot of fallen trees in our yard due to a hurricane. Dave said it had more to do with the saturated, soupy soil than the wind. Little did we know that many people had already worked to clear our driveway and repair fences that the trees fell over. There were easily 20 large pine trees fallen on the property.     To be honest, I was not really upset by this as we had been trying to thin the pine trees around the farm. Pine trees add a lot of acid to the soil and the cattle don't really care for the sparse grass that grows beneath the pines. Still, we had a lot of mess to clean up. For the time being, we had to prepare the farm for a group to arrive. In the first week of our return, someone told us about the lumberjacks, for lack of a better term, that were traveling around and offering to cut the felled trees into lumber. They do this with chainsaws somehow. We were eager to do this so as not to waste the wood and to get lumber for the upcoming home construction.     Keep in mind that the only way I know how to price and find lumber is to go to Home Depot and look at the tags. Here it is a bit different. Although we live in the middle an international forest, lumber seems to be more expensive. Here, if you ask for the price of lumber, they will tell you how much the lumber is "per foot". Turns out that the lumber we need in mass supply to hold up the cement until hardens on the second floor, costs about 72 cents per foot. That is not per square foot, just per foot. So really, we will need about two feet for every square foot of cement floor. Since the second floor will be about 1200 square feet, we were looking at about $2000 in lumber just for temporary use.     Well, I think we got the 1200 square feet and a lot more, for a lot less. We paid 21 cents per foot and have about 3400 linear feet of lumber. Most of the lumber is the thinner 1" thick planks we need to hold up cement, but there is no shortage of 2x6's and 2x4's to hold the planks up. Once we complete the second floor phase of the home, we can sell most of the lumber as second hand, but in good shape. We can probably collect $2200 from selling the lumber after we build the second floor. This means we can probably fund at least part of another building phase with lumber sales. In all, we will pay about $750 to the lumberjacks for the lumber they cut.     So, while a couple of groups gave for our home construction, the Lord went before us and did a little contributing of his own. We have low cost lumber and better pastures for the cattle.     One other thing we recently did was stock the pond with 3000 tilapia. With His blessing, we should be able to harvest them around June of next year. Right now they look healthy and we erected a pump to aerate the water. We feed them twice a day. The pond could possibly net us up to $4000. The best part of it is that there is no poo to clean like we have with the hogs. :-)

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