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Retired Mathematician Restores Log Cabin

Have you ever dreamed of getting away from it all, for real? What would it be like to say goodbye to civilization and head into the back woods to start a new life? One man decided to do just that and the results are shocking.

When a retired math teacher named Richard decided to build his dream house in the remote wilderness, his friends thought he’d finally gone off the deep end. But the calculating retiree set his sights on a $100 log cabin that was literally falling apart, and all the pieces of his dream began to take form.

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After plunking down a hundred bucks to the owner of the dilapidated mess, Richard was shocked to find the inside of the one-room hut full of dead trees, animal nests, and giant boulders leftover from the old foundation. The so-called “log cabin” was really just a huge mess enclosed in a barely-standing wooden shell.

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Because most of the wood was rotted through, the foundation was shot, and the cabin was not habitable, Richard decided that he’d have to start from scratch. He first had to evict a family of squirrels that had taken up residence in the old place. Then he set out to restore it completely.

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Richard wanted to use as much of the original lumber as possible, so he salvaged a couple hundred pieces, took dozens of photos of the original structure’s shell and design, and entered everything in his workbook.

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The surrounding wilderness area looks like something off a postcard: it’s truly stunning, surrounded with gigantic trees, rolling hills, and clear blue skies. The nearest town is more than 50 miles away. There could be no better spot on earth for escaping the modern rat race.

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After finding a natural spring while he was digging nearby, Richard decided to enlist his family’s help. They dug with shovels and even brought in a small bulldozer to cut out a space for the water to flow into. Now the property’s front wall looks out onto a large pond that is filled by the spring. They even built their own dock right on the water.

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The mathematician and amateur builder had his work cut out for him, in more ways than one. He used his notebooks and woodworking knowledge to begin the long job of restoring the rustic log cabin to its former backwoods glory. All those old boards came in handy, and not a usable piece of the old lumber was wasted.

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Bedrock was just a few feet below the surface, so Richard decided to “lift up” the cabin’s base and build it above ground level. This meant he’d have to work even harder to retain the original flavor and look of the cabins 1800’s appearance.

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He poured a simple concrete basement, added a functional porch, and made roof shingles from nearby cedar trees. The original cabin remained, but it was now spiffed up and finally started to look like a habitable structure. But there was still plenty of hard work ahead.

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The family wanted an old-fashioned fireplace to match the era of the original cabin, which they figured was the early 1800s. They installed a Rumford hearth, which was common in early America, and it instantly became the focal point of the interior living space.

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The family found a very large tree that had fallen in the nearby woods and decided to use it to create a natural staircase. The oak steps were carefully cut, sanded and finished. Now, they lead the way directly to the “upstairs” sleeping loft.

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Richard and his family drew up plans for windows and doors, again matching the historical era. A professional carpenter took their plans and created these essential elements of the cabin.

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Now the cabin’s central space includes several chairs, the fireplace, a stack of logs for burning, a long wooden table, and other creature comforts.

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Even though Richard wired the cabin for electricity, he made sure to install an old-fashioned chandelier that holds several large candles. There are also a couple windows on the roof peak to let sunlight in.

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The loft is a makeshift bedroom that includes nothing more than an enormous mattress and a skylight. This addition allows the once-tiny cabin to serve as a home away from home.

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The cabin’s hearth does double-duty as a source of heat and a cooking area. Whoever originally lived here likely had a similar arrangement for heating and cooking. The 1800s were a much simpler time, when daily life was hard but uncomplicated.

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It took a full decade for Richard to get the place looking the way he wanted it. By 2013, he finally reached his goal. The cabin is now fully functional, has water and electricity, and resembles the original structure in many ways.

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Richard and his family are still doing touch-up work on the exterior of the cabin, but the interior completed to their satisfaction. They spend vacation time there and have come to think of the once-dilapidated cabin as a real home.

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Richard’s dream about having a remote cabin in the wilderness is now a reality. He and his family spend a lot of time and money making that dream happen but they are glad they did.

Now the former number-cruncher’s permanent home is a stunning piece of wooden architectural art that is the envy of anyone who ever entertained the notion of chucking it all and moving to the woods.

It’s a wilderness hideaway that combines comfort, class, nature and old-fashioned living. Maybe there’s a $100 cabin out there waiting for you!

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And if there does happen to be a fancy ‘future cabin’ out there with your name on it, how do you get started? Well, besides making sure you legally hold permission to the plot of land you’re considering, in addition to licensing and a title deed, you need the proper materials for constructing. Let’s have a look at what some of those might be…..

Some nice concrete bricks

Start with these as some of the more crucial foundational materials for getting the whole DIY project up and running. It all starts with bricks. And thankfully, in our modern world, there are lots of styles and colors you choose from. Get something durable, strong and preferably quite heavy as the foundational basis upon which the home will be firly planted upon, for the long haul…..

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Tree log wood

Another huge material choice you need, and in bulk, because you’re going to be adding quite a few logs if it’s a log cabin after. Or even a wood chimney can look nice, if you’ve got enough pieces to pull it off just right. 

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Solid roofing material

If you want to get a powerful roof going, especially one that can take wind, hail, falling objects, storms and much more, then before setting down those shingles, ensure that you have a solid, foundational roof of a permanent structure as well. 

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Concrete, or concrete mix, perhaps?

Mix some concrete, near the base of the home, and let it dry. You’ll be amazed at the ‘roughness’ it can add. Get a house that not even that big, bad wolf can blow down!

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Coverings

And of course, when you leeave the site for the day, with some of your progress completed, cover things up, as best you can, from the elements. If people or animals pass by, even, they should want to not mess with your development. If the house’s doors are ready, then perhaps consider getting a lock on them, as well, to protect your building materials inside while you are not around….at least until the home is finished. 

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Glass (of the non – broken, not – easily – breakable kind)

You’ve seen broken glass, right? It’s usually poor – quality glass that can break easily. But when you’re building an entire home, in which your family is going to live, get something a little less penetrable than the usual – grade stuff. Go hog wild! 

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A vision

And of course, any project starts with a vision. Make sure that, in your case, it’s the right one. And to give you a few ideas, you can look around at similar homes either where you live now or homes that have also been built “from scratch”. Read the stories and visions of other DIY builders as well. And then, “visually map” your new home and how you want it to look, at each and every step of the building process…..

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Paper for taking notes along the way

And of course, it can never hurt to bring along a pad of paper and some writing utensils. When you realize a certain quanitity, or type, of any building material, is needed, you can then jot down some notes. Believe us ; it is a whole lot better than constantly making ‘mental notes’, which you can easily forget, especially when it all boils down to taking specified measurements. You cannot get those wrong. Be “off” by a single inch, and it can affect your greater project, not to mention its completion date, more than you know. 

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Leather (if you’re also building some of the indoor furnishings, by yourself, to be a part of the new home….)

This is an optional material, usually. But if you do want to make this thing 100 % homemade, both internally and externally, then you can also make those couches, chairs, seat pads and more using fresh leather. It smells great, and it looks even better. 

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Galvanized iron

Use this in certain foundational elements where you will lay the groundwork. It can’t hurt to keep some around. If anything should fall loose, or even come apart entirely, you can use this iron and mend it to solidify the need, holding numerous structures well in place at a single time. It’s truly amazing what iron can do, much less galvanizing…..

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Additional wood & lumber, in various forms

Keep some extra wood parts. They can home in handy. Have all shapes and sizes near you. 

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Some stone

Stone, like concrete, is also great for so many things. It’s great foundational material. And it even looks elegant in certain bathroom designs. Get creative.

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Final, top – layer shingles

Put some shingles on that roof. Add that last layer of protection. Get brick or hardwood shingles for more durability, strength and protection overall. 

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Steel rods

Keep some handy. Can it hurt to do so? Not at all. You can use these as replacement or reinforcement materials, or even to make your own fence surrounding the home. 

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Pebbles

Spread them out around the outside of the home to form a nice, little garden area. Pebbles are always externally attractive, very visually appealing, all in all. Get them in different colors and variations of size and composition, if you wish, adding some more variety and attractibility to the outside of the home, which anyone can be drawn to as they see it. Make your guests feel like they’re about to walk into someplace special……

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Axes

These are a no – brainer. Have at least one. You need to chop down that wood, after all.

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Optional chains

These can be so useful if you wish to protect your fence or other parts of your properties. Steel chains are so awesome. Even if you merely wish to “chain up” certain parts of the ongoing construction, so that no one gets in or has the option of destroying anything. When you come back to the home in progress that next day, you can unchain things and pick back up right where you had left off. Be prepared to protect your property, and if anything should fall off or break apart (even after the home has been completed and you’re now living in it), you can close or seal off certain parts of it with your chain(s)….do be prepared for when you might need to pull it out for use. 

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Hanging textiles

These make great wall curtains as well. Once you’ve got that home built, with its rooms and windows, consider these. Keep those windows covered.

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Shaq Goes On A Shopping Trip, Surprises Stranger By Paying For Engagement Ring!

Kelly Taylor

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Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most famous sports figures in history. Known for his dominance inside of the paint for the Los Angeles Lakers and his undeniable charisma, Shaq would go on to enjoy a Hall of Fame career within the NBA while simultaneously developing his brand into one of the most encompassing in all of the major sports. Now happily retired and ready to sell his smile on television during the big games, Shaq seemingly likes to spend his free time giving fits to those in need and making people smile along the way.

One such experience happened inside of a Zales jewelry shop between Shaq and an unsuspecting (but very grateful!) stranger.

A Gift For a Stranger

Do you remember the day that you got engaged? Do you remember all of the thought you put into the big moment, the care that went into selecting your engagement ring, and the nerves that went into the experience? For this stranger in Zales, the story he would share in the future would blow away even the most imaginative of engagement ring purchases.

Shaq had been shopping at a local Zales earlier this year while looking for new earrings. During his search, Shaq would bump into a kind man who had been shopping for his engagement ring. The two men would share a few words and the sweet moment would end up captured on camera, culminating in Shaq offering to pay for the man’s engagement ring!

Appearing on an airing of NBA on TNT, Shaq would talk about the viral video that had caused so many kind words of support. Shaq described the stranger in the store as “shy” when he overheard the man ask the counter, “How much do I owe to pay off my ring?”

Upon hearing the request, Shaq would step in and ask the shopper how much he had left on the purchase. Shaq would say, “I’m not going to say the amount – but it’s not much for me.”

Man of the People

Shaq and the stranger would end up in a polite argument as the shopper continued to rebuff the offer saying, “I can’t do that sir” before describing the layaway plan he had put in place. Still, the Big Diesel was relentless with his kindness. Shaq told the shopper, “I’ll take care of it. Tell your girlfriend, I got it.”

O’Neal went on to describe how happy the man had been for the gift, admitting that he hadn’t intended for the moment to go viral. In fact, Shaq had hoped the video wouldn’t make it onto the internet. Shaq said on TNT, “I don’t do it for that — I try to do a good deed whenever I leave the house.”

While this moment of kindness may be unforgettable for the stranger at Zales, it is far from the only time that Shaq has stepped up to help an individual in need. Shaq has repeatedly made large and small donations to individuals and charities alike. Additionally, Shaq made headlines a year prior when he pulled over beside a car wreck to help folks who had crashed in Florida. A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s office in Gainesville said of the event, “He didn’t stand around for any accolades, he got in his vehicle and left.”

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Dog Trapped For Four Days on Detroit River Adopted by Heroic Rescuer

Kevin Wells

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Dogs are man’s best friend, so it stands to reason that we should look out for them wh never we can! A dog was found recently and rescued from the Detroit River after being stuck on the frozen, ice-covered surface for at least four days. Four days of exposure in the freezing cold could have left any pup sick, disabled, or potentially deceased. Fortunately for everyone involved in this story, the Miracle dog once named Alfonso would survive and find his forever home in the process!

Meet Miracle the Dog

Originally known to the world as Alfonso, Miracle would come into the public spotlight after his rescue from the Detroit River. Alfonso had been just over a year old when he ended up getting chased onto the waterway, then covered in ice, by what appeared to be a coyote. The poor puppy would spend the next four days on the frozen ice fighting against both the biting cold and the wild elements just to survive. Throughout the process, nearby citizens worked their hardest to rescue the little critter.

Thankfully, Jude Meade of J&J Marine would show up to the Detroit River with a plan, an airboat, and a team to help him save the animal. Jude owns a marine construction company based out of Windsor, Ontario, and his airboat would be used to approach the island where the dog was stranded, quickly capturing the puppy in the process. According to Dr. Lucretia Greear, a veterinarian at the nearby Woodhaven Animal Hospital, the pup had been hiding onto the island alone, thankfully unharmed by other wildlife.

Finding a Forever Home

Fortunately for Miracle the Dog, a trip on Jude’s airboat would lead to an invitation to a new forever home. Jude would take Miracle to the nearby Woodhaven Animal Hospital for treatment whereupon the puppy was rejuvenated and restored back to full health. The dog had been suffering from frostbite across the pads of his paws as well as his underbelly, with dehydration and pancreatitis also manifesting. Fortunately, these issues were put in the past.

The River Rouge Animal Shelter considered adopting the puppy before deciding that Jude should have the opportunity, should he want to take it. Sure enough, the story would culminate with Jude coming back to adopt the puppy. The shelter wrote on social media, “Miracle could not ask for a better more ideal family to love him!”

When Miracle had been discovered, they found that he was not wearing a tag or a collar, nor did he have a microchip showing ownership to another family. The River Rouge Animal Shelter would release several updates on the story through their social media page detailing Miracle’s adjustment period. The post read, “Today the story came full circle, as the Miracle Dog was placed into the hands of the hero who had saved his life.”

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Couple’s Home Gets Quarantined After Finding Unusual Object On A Beach

Kevin Wells

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Imagine going for a stroll on a typical beautiful evening then coming upon the strangest thing you’ve ever laid eyes on. A huge rock, but was it a rock?

Not only that, you end up being stuck outside your house because the authority figures you called in to deduce what it is came in droves and quarantined your home.

Yes, this is hard to fathom but one couple lived it after deciding to do more than look at the strange object but to seek help.

Here’s what happened next:

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Man Gives Girlfriend Timeless Gift, Two Years Later She Finds the Secret Inside!

Shannon Jackson

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Terry held the piece of polished wood in his hands for a moment, thumb gracing the secret seam. The gift had been carefully selected and patiently chosen. After all, what Terry was looking at was far more than a simple piece of polished wood. Inside of the gleaming wooden prism was a second gift, a secret one, for the love of Terry’s life, Anna.

The gift itself was not meant to be found right away and so Terry let Anna hold onto it, knowing one day he’d help reveal the gift inside to her. What was inside? What was Anna’s reaction? Let’s dig in!

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Cat Named A Hero After Saving Infant

Shannon Jackson

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Dogs often get top-billing as man’s best friend, but cats have proven themselves to be capable of winning the title as well. That was the case with one very tuned-in tuxedo cat that picked up right away there was something wrong with a babysitter. As if smelling the issue on the person, the cat was not only able to sense the problem, but the feline was also able to warn its owners to the issue effectively enough that a bigger tragedy was averted.

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