Sweet days of summer at The Wolf Lodge

Time is fleeting. This spring has turned into full fledged summer and before we know it fall will be rolling back around. Oh, that we might enjoy each moment gifted to us as it flutters through our lives.
Multiple projects have been completed, or are well under way, since my last post. In addition to the progress pictured below, The Reidt crew has spent many weeks renovating Jared’s parent’s new home in Kennewick as well as getting our home in Bothell, Washington sale worthy.  We also welcomed 80 family members for a campout over the fourth of July.

Fourth of July family celebration

Fourth of July family celebration

 

We are so grateful for this season of our family working together toward a common goal.  Pretty sweet days, these are!

The sheetrock work culminated in April with a sublet contractor texturing the interior top two floors followed by Jared and the boys painting throughout.  Yes, Jared chose a "special" painting outfit! :)

The sheetrock work culminated in April with a sublet contractor texturing the interior top two floors followed by Jared and the boys painting throughout. Yes, Jared chose a “special” painting outfit! 🙂

Directing traffic!

Directing traffic!

One late spring weekend, the boys decided they wanted to put the pool room to use as a basketball court.  They used some spare floor joists and plywood to construct a gym floor.  This has provided a cool place to shoot some hoops throughout the summer.

One late spring weekend, the boys decided they wanted to put the pool room to use as a basketball court. They used some spare floor joists and plywood to construct a gym floor. This has provided a cool place to shoot some hoops throughout the summer.

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Finishing up the bball court. It’s amazing the teamwork that comes together when the builders are excited about the end result!

Wilson putting the electrical finishing touches on.

Wilson putting the electrical finishing touches on.

 

The front porch and interior kitchen floor concrete pour, definitely all hands on deck for this one.

The front porch and interior kitchen floor concrete pour, definitely all hands on deck for this one.

Kitchen floor plywood sleepers before the concrete was added on top of the PEX radiant floor heating tubes.

Kitchen floor plywood sleepers before the concrete was added on top of the PEX radiant floor heating tubes.

In June, the guys finished the most important room in the house, (according to Jared)...Garage walls painted, floor painted, and tools moved back in.

In June, the guys finished the most important room in the house, (according to Jared)…Garage walls painted, floor painted, and tools moved back in.

The babies are moved back in too. :)

The babies are moved back in too. 🙂

Mom and Dad Wilson have moved to our neck of the woods.  They settled right in and Dad got right to work on the radiant floor project.

Mom and Dad Wilson have moved to our neck of the woods. They settled right in and Dad got right to work on finishing the radiant floor project.

Radiant floor heat getting placed and ready to be covered with gypcrete.

Radiant floor heat getting placed and ready to be covered with gypcrete.

Brent finishing up the rock chimney.

Brent finishing up the rock chimney.

Jared finishing up the rock wall around our newly oiled  front door.

Jared taking a bit of a breather from ROCKS!

Rocks around the door were custom cut and fit by our foreman, Jared.  The door has five coats of teak oil applied by Amy.  We are hopeful this doorway will welcome many into a place of peace and rest.

Rocks around the door were custom cut and fit by our foreman, Jared. The door has five coats of teak oil applied by Amy. We are hopeful this doorway will welcome many into a place of peace and rest.

 

 

 

Family

“Family is not an important thing, it’s everything.” Michael J. Fox

The word stirs up memories, a variety of emotions, good or bad. I’m an observer. Always watching. Wanting to asses a situation. Over the years I have drawn the conclusion that family is so very important to most people. It is what God intended to use to mold our thoughts of Him and His world. The familial unit was His idea of how to protect, nurture, and develop humans into valuable members of society. But more importantly, family is an expression of His love towards us. I write this knowing full well some out there have had very poor family environments that have not represented God’s heart. This stings. My prayer is you will find healing, wholeness. That…

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear.” Psalm 91

To others, family is like peach pie, a little runny at times, but basically sweet. My family is this. Over the years we have walked through trials of many shapes and sizes, but in the end, our faith in God has kept us firmly entwined together. I am blessed. I am thankful. Thankful for the love and connection we feel even though this Reidt family moved away from our closest and dearest. Thankful for parents and grandparents who lay down individual hurts and pursuits to see that their children are cared for and valued far above career or generational addiction.

At the end of the day, we all choose. Choose to take the beautiful relationships, along with the ugly and rise out of ashes.

“to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah‬ ‭61‬:‭3‬ NIV)

I look at my dad, once a young man left to fend for himself. He and his siblings were children of alcoholic parents. I value the tender moments this year afforded me as we watched Dad go in and out of neurosurgery and conquer various procedures. His unwavering faith and selflessness mark me. He choose. He choose, as a young man, that out of the ashes and pain of his young life, that he would rise. God called, and he answered, and that I am so grateful for. His three children, their spouses, and 15 grandchildren are marked by this choice.

I did not mean this to be a blog post about my dad, it’s just that he has such a passion for Jesus, and his family. He exemplifies exactly the point I am trying to make that is, we all have a choice, that in one generation a family linage can change. I encourage you to look upon this Easter season with family in mind. Forgive. Restore broken relationships. Build stronger bonds. Celebrate those closest to you. Put aside worldly pulls and give your family your undistracted attention. Choose to rise out of ashes, or if you are fortunate enough, grow in those green pastures.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
-Mother Theresa

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This family unit has been kicking up some dust here in Idaho. I am unsuccessfully trying to tame the white powder filtering into our living quarters each day. But along with mess comes progress.

In the past month Jared and the boys have sheet rocked, mudded, and primed the pool room.

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The rest of the house is receiving it’s final coat of mud and we should be set to texture and paint the first part of April.

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Surprised by the New

Life is full of the unexpected.  One never really knows what is around the corner.  We fool ourselves and think we have some sort of control on what comes our way, but really, God can bend our future any which way. We are really powerless outside of prayer. Unfortunately, some things have been on our prayer list for so long, that we really don’t think they will ever happen, and are thus taken by surprise when they do. Not sure if it’s unbelief, or just plain going on making the best of the way things are, but sometimes, a sweet blessing pops up and takes us by surprise.  This occurred in our home just this week.

Our oldest son moved home.  I say home, not because he has ever lived in Idaho before, but because home is where you want to put down roots and grow; where you know you are loved.  We are ever so grateful, this son or ours, is finally home and this mama is smiling at the thought of having all her brood under one roof again.

Brent at home in Idaho!

Brent at home in Idaho!

Brent has jumped right into helping Jared and the boys build.  Since we are waiting on our fixer upper in CDA to sell, they are pounding away on our place on the hill.  I take pictures and the place changes so quickly; I have to go take more pictures before I get a chance to blog.

Plywood ledges were added to the edge of the balcony areas in the second floor entry way to keep the gypcrete in place once it is poured this spring, and to offer support for the handrail.

Plywood ledges were added to the edge of the balcony areas in the second floor entry way to keep the gypcrete in place once it is poured this spring, and to offer support for the handrail.

Jared, Max, and Wilson putting the last of the entryway Sheetrock up. With all the curves, this was quite a bear to Sheetrock.

Jared, Max, and Wilson putting the last of the entryway Sheetrock up. With all the curves, this was quite a bear to Sheetrock.

Brent and Wilson goofing off while framing in the upstairs commons area gas fireplace.  This will complete the fireplace installs for the house.

Brent and Wilson goofing off while framing in the upstairs commons area gas fireplace. This will complete the fireplace installs for the house.

Jared reconfigured the stairs so one could get to the study.

Jared reconfigured the stairs so one could get to the study. Now that I am downstairs, I’ll give you a view of the blooming kitchen and family room.

The kitchen (left) and family room looking in from the dining room doorway.

The kitchen (left) and family room looking in from the dining room doorway.

Kitchen and family room, pictured from the entry to informal staircase. Jared has spent days getting the chimney and wood burning fireplace set up. His current source of heat is right behind him in the pic.  It is the green furnace on wheels with the red pex coming out of it.

Kitchen and family room, pictured from the entry to informal staircase. Jared has spent days getting the chimney and wood burning fireplace set up. His current source of heat is right behind him in the pic. It is the green furnace on wheels with the red pex coming out of it.

Informal staircase ready to mud and tape.

Informal staircase ready to mud and tape.

So, this year begins with the Reidt family continuing our journey at The Wolf Lodge.  We are so thankful for this opportunity to grow closer together by building a place where God’s lavish love will be shared.  We pray that you will be filled with hope as you embark on the joys and challenges of the coming year.

DIY Hardwood Floor Renovation

Investment properties are beaconing our name. Since Wilson got us to help him with flipping a property last spring, we have decided we might as well take our own bite into flipping and investing in rental properties in the North Idaho area. We are still working on The Wolf Lodge, but as of now, we plan on picking up a couple of properties a year to either turn or keep as rentals.
We just finished a remodel on a 4 bedroom, one bath, 1960’s home in Coeur d Alene. It needed quite a bit of work inside and exterior paint. We’ve completely overhauled the kitchen, updated the bath, new paint, trim, and fixtures throughout, and changed out all flooring, including refinishing the hardwood floors. Which is exactly what I plan to blog about today, refinishing hardwood floors.

We’ve refinished hardwood flooring before so we were prepared for the amount of work and rewarding results this process offers. This can be a DIY project if you are not one who gives up mid project from a sore back and calloused knees. In our Bothell, WA house we stripped, sanded, and refinished 1200 sq ft of 4″ maple plank flooring in a natural finish (no stain). This go around we stripped, sanded, stained, and varnished a 1 3/4″ red oak floor. Both were very similar. The oak is a bit harder wood. I am so thankful Jared and Wilson took on the stripping this time.

Maple floors refinished in our Bothell, WA house.

Maple floors refinished in our Bothell, WA house.

Now I know this may be too detailed for some of my readers, but this is one of those blogs I am posting for the DIYers who are searching for the courage to take on their hardwood floors. So step by step, I will explain.

First thing to do, is to pull up any carpeting or other flooring material that is covering your hardwood, scrape off as much glue or other adhesive, these is a real bear to sand away. Remove carpet tack or any other debris. This should give you a good view of your hardwood. Asses boards that may need to be replaced due to water damage, rot, or just plan overuse in high traffic areas. We had one room that the previous owners glued the carpet pad down, boy did Wilson have fun demoing that. Good thing he is young and energetic. There is nothing magical about this process, it’s just good hard work.

This is the room that had carpet pad that was adhered to the hardwood at demolition.  Dark stain hides a multitude of flaws.

This is the room that had carpet pad that was adhered to the hardwood at demolition. Dark stain hides a multitude of flaws.

We pulled up the tile in the 10×10 kitchen to find no hardwood underneath. We were faced with the decision of putting down another tile or continuing with the hardwood throughout. We chose the second option. Wood in a kitchen or bathroom lends itself to water damage but we lived with both in Bothell and never had an issue. But I was certainly careful to clean up spills or that occasional flooding toilet quickly. I think bathrooms are more risky to install hardwood in than a kitchen. With that being said, we decided to install hardwood in this kitchen. We ordered additional hardwood through a local chain called Great Floors. They helped us decide which kind of wood we needed to match and had the wood ready for us the next day. It ended up costing us more than we figured installing tile would be, but the overall continuous hardwood created an appearance of a bigger area and thus was worth every penny. The wood cost us $6 sq ft. It took Jared a day and 1/2 to lay the kitchen floor, two steps, and a small landing. He rented a hardwood floor nailer from a local rental company for $60 for two days. When adding additional hardwood be sure to pull out a few of the older floor to stagger the new floor boards into the mix. Otherwise you have a straight line of new which definitely looks like remodel material.

Jared and Wilson replacing the subfloor prior to hardwood installation in the kitchen.

Jared and Wilson replacing the subfloor prior to hardwood installation in the kitchen.

After installation it is time to begin stripping. No chemical was used. Again it was good old fashioned hard work. We rented a radial sander and an edge sander because the radial sander does not reach right up next to the walls. These cost us $75 total, including sand paper, for a three day rental. Sand the entire floor with a 40, then 60, then 80, and finally 100 grit paper. These usually come with the sanders. Yes, you will need to go over the floor four times. This process requires a sensitivity to how much pressure you place on the sander. More pressure, the deeper it sands, and thus more wood is taken off. Our oak floors required much more muscle and pressure than the maple. Your first pass should remove most of the old finish if you are refinishing. Important note here; use the bag that comes with your sander to catch the sawdust. I can tell you from experience it makes sanding and clean up much easier.

Ok, you have dust everywhere, don’t you? Every speck of it needs to be picked up. Wipe down the walls, blinds, widows, inside closets, trim, light fixtures, EVERYTHING! Any dust will find its way to your floor when you get to varnishing if you don’t. Our process went, from the top of walls down as we swept, then went back over everything with a shop vacuum ( don’t forget the heater vents, if they come on while you are varnishing, oh my!) finally, we wiped the floors down with a tack cloth.

Sawdust anyone?

Sawdust anyone?

On to the next step, staining. If you choose to put stain on your floor, now is the time to do so. Our maple floors we did not stain, but the oak, we did. We used natural walnut Old Master’s stain that we purchased from Rodda. It cost about $18 a quart. We used three quarts, not near the amount it called for the 600 sq ft. Start at the far corner of your space. With a staining pad or cloth, we used the pad, dip the corner of the pad into the quart. Spread covering completely, but not leaving pools of stain. Work your way backwards on your hands and knees spreading, dipping, spreading, as you go, backing your way out of the room. Do sections that can dry in about 5-10 minutes because you will need to go back and wipe down the area after that allotted time. If you don’t they will be a bit gummy and uneven. Continue this process until the entire area is complete. Note, you will get messy. Gloves and knee pads come in handy.

The stain is applied but not wiped off yet.

The stain is applied but not wiped off yet.

On to the final step, varnishing. Allow 24 hours for the stain to dry. We have used two different products to varnish, Daly’s gloss floor coat, and Old Master’s high gloss coat. Both cost approximately $75 a gallon, were water based and equally easy to put down using a lambs wool mop. We ended up only needing 2 gallons for the 600 sq ft. The Daly’s project has withstood 5 years of family use and still look great. I would have used that product again but could not find enough in town to complete our project and did not have time to order. The Old Masters went down great, I just can’t comment on it’s longevity due to how new our project is.

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The varnish will be applied in three coats. Between each application the floors need to be sanded lightly and then wiped down with a tack cloth. Follow the directions on the can as to drying time between coats. It is usually a couple of hours until you should be back in sanding and wiping. After the final application, do not sand and let the gloss dry for 24 hours before stepping on it. A couple things to note, everything on the floor will become a bump when varnished, air bubbles become bumps that need to be sanded, keep the temperature within the range directed on the can, but make sure you heater vents are clean before turning them on during this stage of the process.
After 24 hours reinstall the base moldings so you can then bring all that furniture you crammed in your garage, back in. The floors should last 6-12 years, depending on the amount of use, before a refinish is need again. The sooner you refinish, the less sanding required. If you are like me, we adopted a shoes off policy at this point.

Finished kitchen

Finished kitchen

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Finished front room

Finished front room

 

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:10-11 NIV)

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Bloom where you’re planted. Bless where you exist. Be fully right where you are. We’ve heard it many different ways, that is, the urging to live a fullfilled life in the moment, not in the past or future. Today this was one of those thoughts that filtered through my mind. You see, I’m subbing High School English this week. Memories and thoughts of purpose, identity, and usefulness have invaded the space between my ears. It has me wrestling. Am I really called to be at home, helping building, or am I to teach? Well, it’s not either, but both plus some! The revelation unfolded as I read The Screwtape Letters with the Senior class I am subbing for. Screwtape is expressing how noise and distraction is what draws us away from God. He is rejoicing at the fact, actually. This idea reminded me that it’s not what we do, but who we are. Am I living the life before me glorifying God regardless of what I might physically be doing for the day? So often throughout our lives we don’t get to choose what we do each day. Oh ya, I’ve spent a many days trying to figure out exactly what I should do. I’ve missed the point. Westminster Chatachism #1 states “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” How beautiful is that? Glorify, that we know and try to do, but enjoy him. Yeah…that is a sweet gift! Are you enjoying God as you glorify him? I can tell you, it doesn’t come by worrying about purpose, It comes by breathing a word of thanks and searching for God’s plan in the moment you find yourself in. You see thanks shifts our sight and allows us to see the simplicity in which we are to glorify and enjoy Him.

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September and October where did they go? Our three youngest are thriving at Genesis Prep Academy. This is also where I have been subbing. Wilson is deep into his studies at North Idaho College and working with Jared. Brent is always on our minds on the other side of Washington. We’ve gotten to visit him often but, not often enough. Jared picked up another fixer house in town and has spent most days there. I’ll be sending a DIY post on this house later next week.

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Relational Living

“Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2

After years of giving personality, gifting, and love language tests to students, friends, and family, I am convinced that God genuinely made each of us unique. I’m always taken back by the way opposites attract.  Do we actual crave the sane in our lives and thus go after relationships that balance us? Do we really need each other?  Leaving friends and family has left a gaping hole in our hearts.  At times, this winter brought loneliness for all of us here on the mountain.  But a breath of fresh air blew through The Wolf Lodge this summer.  We were pleasantly surprised with the swarm of activity that brought dear friends and family up our way for times of sweet fellowship.

End of June brought in a bunch of hoopsters for hoop fest weekend, Brent, Wilson, Sarah Wilson, Mitch Byland, Zach Wallace, Aaron Gillis and Ben Mordue.

End of June brought in a bunch of hoopsters for hoop fest weekend, Brent, Wilson, Sarah Wilson, Mitch Byland, Zach Wallace, Aaron Gillis and Ben Mordue.

 

Fourth of July weekend family bash.  All Whelham families, both Reidt families, Hulls, Karl and Sue Stone, Todd Stone, Dave and Jody Wilson, in total over 30 people camped out for the weekend.

Fourth of
July weekend family bash. All Whelham families, both Reidt families, Hulls, Karl and Sue Stone, Todd Stone, Dave and Jody Wilson, in total over 30 people camped out for the weekend.

 

Our dear friends, Dave, Beth and Diego Schlaegel visited for several days mid July. They got to experience to joys of the Winnibago  that We called home all last summer.

Our dear friends, Dave, Beth and Diego Schlaegel visited for several days mid July. They got to experience to joys of the Winnibago that we called home all last summer.

 

Mid July this bus drove up and unloaded 32 youth group members from our home church in Everett, Canyon Creek Church, for an over night stay on their way to minister in Montana. Wowzers!

Mid July this bus drove up and unloaded 32 youth group members from our home church in Everett, Canyon Creek Church, for an over night stay on their way to minister in Montana. Wowzers!

 

Mid July CDA river float with the youngest of the Sones and Wilson cousins.

The end of  July CDA river float with the youngest of the Sones and Wilson cousins.

Rick and Michelle McAninch and boys visited in Early August.

Rick and Michelle McAninch and boys visited in Early August.

Sweet Uncle Bud and Aunt Judy Beverly, from Texas, brought grandpa Walden out to celebrate Mom's birthday.

Sweet Uncle Bud and Aunt Judy Beverly, from Texas, brought grandpa Walden out to celebrate Mom’s birthday.

 

In August, my dad's visit to help, ended with a quick trip back to Seattle to see the surgeon who removed a benign brain tumor from him earlier in the summer. This marked the beginning of a series of procedures willing the spinal fluid to stop leaking from his head.  The "God" news is, it has stopped. I have valued the many trips to Bothell to spend quality time with Mom and Dad through this adventure. Their faith is rock solid.

In August, my dad’s visit to help, ended with a quick trip back to Seattle to see the surgeon who removed a benign brain tumor from him earlier in the summer. This marked the beginning of a series of procedures willing the spinal fluid to stop leaking from his head. The “God” news is, it has stopped. I have valued the many trips to Bothell to spend quality time with Mom and Dad through this adventure. Their faith is rock solid.

 

Familiar CPC faces, the Specks, dropped by for a quick visit while in town. What a refreshing surprise!

Familiar CPC faces, the Specks, dropped by for a quick visit while in town. What a refreshing surprise!

 

Brent rode over with the Wilsons for a visit over Labor day weekend.  Matt Handford and Tim Straw were here for a few days at that time too.  We had a blast!

Brent rode over with the Wilsons for a visit over Labor day weekend. Matt Handford and Tim Straw were here for a few days at that time too. We had a blast!

 

More family from Dallas, John and Nadine Mc Caw, joined us for a fun filled weekend with the Wilson family.

More family from Dallas, John and Nadine Mc Caw, joined us for a fun filled weekend with the Wilson family.

 

Our first wedding at The Wolf Lodge. Braelynn Wilson marries Boogs the bear. Personal invitations by Zoe Wilson and officiated by Liberty Reidt. Too fun!

Our first wedding at The Wolf Lodge. Braelynn Wilson marries Boogs the bear. Personal invitations by Zoe Wilson and officiated by Liberty Reidt. Too fun!

 

Wilson moved back home to finish his AA at North Idaho College. His best friend, Austin Schley, is attending Whitworth, in Spokane. We are hoping he is a frequent visitor this year.

Wilson moved back home to finish his AA at North Idaho College. His best friend, Austin Schley, is attending Whitworth, in Spokane. We are hoping he is a frequent visitor this year.

Though I truly enjoyed each visitor, reality is, entertaining is a lot of work; the continual influx of meals to prepare, sheets to change, and conversations to have can make one want to shut the doors and hang a closed sign on it! I hear an Amen resounding from all the moms out there!

 

Just a small pile of debris after one of our groups departed one weekend. The concrete floors are stellar with all the foot traffic.

Just a small pile of debris after one of our groups departed one weekend. The concrete floors are stellar with all the foot traffic.

 

Many many meals were prepared on this deck over the summer. This was one of my favorite parts of hosting the masses.

Many many meals were prepared on this deck over the summer. This was one of my favorite parts of hosting the masses.

 

Prepping for one of our many CDA river floats.

Prepping for one of our many CDA river floats.

Now that the summer has past, and I’ve had some time to reflect, I can honestly say, this was a sweet summer. A life motto kept floating about my brain when the laundry mounted and housework beckoned to be done once again.

 

“People may not remember what I say, but they will remember how I make them feel.”

 

I know beyond a doubt, each person we have seen come through our doors this summer is absolutely beautiful and so dearly loved by us and God. They have filled a lonely void that was felt through the cold winter months. They, or quite possibly it was you, are a gift.  We treasure your friendship.  We need your friendship. But that does not negate that relationships are work, be it hospitality or pressing through misunderstandings, its work, but oh so worth it at the end of the day.

 

Every day matters
Every minute matters
So spend it with eternity in mind.

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“I judge all things by the price they shall gain in eternity.” John Wesley

 

This, I believe, is living life in its fullest. Giving ourselves relational to whoever comes across our path.  May we be reminded of what really matters for eternity at each crossroad.  Thank you God for the dear people you have placed in our lives. Show us that they are really something special to you, and help us to treat them just so.

 

 

Believe it or not we did get a bit of work done on the house in between visits from our guests.  I’ll leave you with a glimps of the progress.

Jared and Wilson putting up the last bit of siding.

Jared and Wilson putting up the last bit of siding.

 

Asher after some good hard work.

Asher after some good hard work.

While I was in Bothell with my folks, Jared and the boys dug out the hill and added our second 1000 gallon propane tank in preparation for heating all 20,000ish sq ft.

While I was in Bothell with my folks, Jared and the boys dug out the hill and added our second 1000 gallon propane tank in preparation for heating all 20,000ish sq ft.