Twice a year we gather as a community for a week to work on projects for our teacher, Mr. Bunker, and his family; and to provide an opportunity for guests to come by and help out and meet the folks here, etc.
And so, it was that time again for “Ranchfest” — Spring 2012!
The men had two projects they were working on throughout the week: building a cabin for Mr. Contra and Miss Tracy, who are betrothed; and doing finishing work on the inside of Mr. Bunker’s cottage.
For the Contra cabin, we started on Friday with a concrete slab pour. This was the group’s first real concrete pour on the land, and the guys did a lot of study and prep work in getting things ready. Here is the area formed with the rebar:
And here begins the concrete pour:
And more of the pouring and after “screeding” (or spreading) it out with the long 2×4 that spanned the whole width:
Here the concrete is tamped lightly by what they call a “jitterbug”, and a “bull float” is used to smooth out the concrete surface:
And then it was edged so the edges are rounded, to help keep them from chipping. One fellow also went around the sides with a hammer, lightly tapping the forms to help keep the concrete from “honeycombing”:
Here’s Mr. Contra and his improvised concrete texturizer:
And finally, the betrothed couple thought they’d mark a memory of the event:
Friday Night Sermon
On Friday evenings, Mr. Bunker is going through in an in-depth way the last chapters he included in his book “Modern Religious Idols,” which was an article series he wrote called “What is the Gospel?”:
Ranchfest times are often planned around the Passover time, which we observe as a teaching method for the children (and as a memorial for the adults) of the types and shadows used in the Passover feast representing Christ.
Here is the Passover “ceremony” time:
And the seder plate, with each food element representing some part of the event of the Passover time of the Hebrew people in and leaving Egypt:
We also sang Psalms 113-118 from our psalters, and here is a video of a few of those psalms being sung:
As I mentioned, the other project was working on the internals of Mr. Bunker’s cottage, putting up insulation and siding.
And here is some of the completed work:
Here are the men cutting the siding:
And here is some staining work of the siding being done:
Once the concrete slab was completed, it was time to build and raise the walls. Here’s the cabin with two of the walls raised:
And then with all four walls in place:
Apparently, the plan is to have a second story; and so, they are using a 10 inch I-beam spanning the width, which will be the support for the upper level floor:
Back at the cottage, after the siding was in place and stained or painted, the window sills and trim were cut, installed and painted with a clear wood protector:
And here are a couple of final pictures of the cottage work for the week:
Besides all of the group meal preparations the ladies did for the week, they also had other projects, which this Ranchfest included sewing for the Bunkers and snapping mesquite pods, which they use for their mesquite coffee.
The main sewing project was for curtains for the cottage, although there was some clothing-making worked on. Here are some sewing preparations being done for some clothing:
And here, even the younger ones helped:
Seems to be a fun time too!
And here, Mrs. Sustaire is functioning as a seamstress and a lounge chair:
And finally, here are some of the ladies and children helping with the mesquite pods:
All in all, it was a very nice time of fellowship, community and work. It’s tiring, but rewarding as well. We did have a few guest families that visited this year, and it was a pleasure to see them again or meet them, and we thank them for the help and work they provided.
We are grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to gather in His name to work together, and we’re thankful for the teacher He has granted us.
Thank you for the pictorial, Siffords! It is nice to see the progress and fellowship in your community.
I'm curious about the adequacy of the rebar. I'd estimate that the squares are 400mm by 400mm and a 5mm diamater bar. In Australia we commonly used 100mm by 100mm squares with a 10mm bar. Nice finish on the slab!
BTW: I came to your blog years ago in respect to "Chicken milking"…I'm still enjoying your posts.
Cheers, David (Sydney)
Thanks for saying hi, Powers family.
It looks like they made two-foot squares, and I'm not sure if the rebar was 3/8 inch or 1/2 (I wasn't involved with those site preparation aspects). I'm assuming the guys did their research on that part of it…I hope they did. 🙂 Without researching it, I probably would have had the rebar closer together myself.
Thanks for saying hello as well.
Wonderful pictures and I like your songs. 🙂
Do you have part time "wordly" jobs to pay for materials…?
Blessings over the Ocean
Some work here on the ranch for other people, sometimes people do ranch-hand jobs for other neighbors, some do remote computer work, etc. Hopefully Lord willing, we'll get to a point eventually where everything is being produced on the land enough to sustain us and then allow us to pay and/or barter for other things.
Thanks for saying hello.
Thank you for sharing the "process" and photos from Ranchfest. May our heavenly Father continue to bless your family and your community.
Mike, for the Brabo clan in Missouri.
Thanks much, Mr. Brabo, and thanks for saying hello!
David & Susan
Thank you for taking the time to post the wonderful pictures, looks like you all had a wonderful time of fellowship.
It was a very blessed time, and we are grateful to the Lord granting it.
Thanks for saying hi!
Are your ranchfests at the time of the Spring and Fall holydays of God?Is there a site or an article that lists your beliefs and hows and whys of your community?
I believe we would try to time the Spring Ranchfests with Passover, which we observe, mostly as a teaching tool.
I guess the closest things that encapsulate our beliefs and worldview are the first few posts we did way back, after the Welcome post: April 2008 archive (they start at the bottom).
We have been here for 9 years now, so things have evolved over like, like our dress, but generally the whats and whys are the same. The "David's Digest" and "Susan's Musin's" posts will have more too.
Thanks for saying hello,