Notice our front stoop! It's amazing what one can do with wooden pallets. Notice also the mud ... It clung to everything, and the inside concrete floor was a mess. Grandma and Grandpa just happened to visit after a period of rain, and the mud was very slippery. The driveway (which was just a cattle path) was so slick that only a 4 wheel drive vehicle could make it in.
All it took was a walk to cause a person to grow about 3 inches from the mud clinging to their shoes. It was terrible! Of course, it was just one more fun thing for the boys.
This photo is the back of Metigoshe Ministries, where we were living at the time. While my parents were visiting, Jim headed to Minot (about 1-1/2 hours from here) to buy supplies and parts at Menard's. He also came back with my new kitchen stove firmly attached to the roof of the car. It's amazing what you can do without a truck or trailer!
Grandpa helped with the electrical work needed to install our water heater. We were preparing for an electrician to finish with the hook up of various things so the state building inspector could make his inspection. Grandpa had some very special apprentices.
The electrician had quite an audience!
Jim would set up his laptop and work in the corner of the basement. As you can see, things were moved into the basement, but nothing was set up. I would stay at the retreat center and make meals, then bring them over to feed the family. Our days were full.
Jim felt we couldn't afford to install a septic system, so our bucket with the toilet seat came out of the woods and into the basement -- behind the refrigerator.
We did not have a very good experience with the state building inspector. He wasn't happy that we were going to spend the winter in our basement, and seemed to get upset at any little thing that wasn't what the code required: No outside light, not enough outlets, etc. He was also not happy that Jim and the boys did most of the wiring themselves. Finally after being overly critical, he calmed down and sat at the table and discussed various items with Jim. By the time he left we discovered that he could actually be quite decent. I guess it was a lesson to the boys that "A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)