Cows in the Kitchen
Browsing Archive

January, 2018

Working on the outhouse (cont’d ~some more)

By January 29, 2018 General, The outhouse, the outhouse

I love looking at pictures.  They seem to tell what words sometimes cannot.  We were getting the outhouse completed as we waited on our logs.

At this point my husband really felt the need to have some ‘openings’ for airflow in our outhouse.  I can honestly say that I don’t blame him.  We didn’t know how/if this whole ‘dry toilet’ thing was going to work.  So, here is our solution, and our homemade frames to put awnings over the openings on the sides of our outhouse.

The frames for the awnings.

These are the frames for the awnings.

. . . with the screens on

. . . with the screens on.

You know, we don’t want any buggies making their way in, especially bugs that are 5′ long and slither.  Nope, not into snakes.  AT.ALL.

I thought we did a good job with our screen.

I thought we did a good job with our screen.

And the part of the frame that will be extending out from the wall, and holding the metal roof awning we will form.

And the part of the frame that will be extending out from the wall, and holding the metal roof awning we will form.

And this is my cardboard template. I think it will work?

And this is my cardboard template for cutting the metal out for fitting on the frames. I think it will work?

Is this cutout going to form around the frame we made? No, it did not work.

Is this cutout going to form around the frame we made? No, it did not work.

It was either not sitting against the wall of our outhouse, or it wasn’t hanging nicely over the frame at the bottom.  Something had to change here.  See what I mean?

Not exactly working?

Not exactly working?

Here's to hoping I put the outline that I want him to cut out ~in the right spot.

Here’s to hoping I put the outline that I want him to cut out ~in the right spot while I go back to the drawing board to make a different template.

NICE! Good job!

NICE! Good job!

And the first frame is on! Ta-da! OH, yeah, the paint started to peel off where it was compromised. BUMMER!

And the first frame is on! Ta-da! OH, yeah, the paint started to peel off where it was compromised. BUMMER!

The metal roofing cut again with a different template. Now THIS works!

The metal roofing cut again with a different template. Now THIS works!

At this point, I was pretty well satisfied with the metal piece that I had drawn to be cut out for our awning.  It is really tough to cut this stuff. . . or maybe we just do not have the right tools.  Anyway, that was my husband’s job, and I thought he did a great job.  It met up against the wall of the outhouse, and also hung far enough past the frame to make it work.  But as you can see, there are some SHARP edges on this piece of metal.  We really don’t know how to alter that, nor do we even really care.  It is high enough off of the ground that noone should even have cause to be near it close enough to get hurt on.  So, there it is!

And, he started sawing on the other side.

And, he started sawing on the other side.

I see you through there.

I see you through there.

If I didn't know him better, he might be kind of intimidating. WHoo! ;-)

If I didn’t know him better, he might be kind of intimidating. WHoo! 😉

In the meantime, we have our fellows working on the frame around the doorway.

In the meantime, we have our fellows working on the frame around the doorway.

Teamwork is always good.

Teamwork is always good.

. . . even if he is laying down on the job.

. . . even if he is laying down on the job.

That night we decided to stay down there in the camper.  We do not have electricity to it yet.  Guess what we didn’t know when we were looking for a level spot on our property that would work to hold this giant?  ELECTRICITY!  Go figure.  We need to be close to the electricity to be properly hooked up.  YEP, already it is not going to work well in the spot we chose.  Se la vie!  We are making so many mistakes, and learning so much!  YES SIR REE!  That’s what we do.

I try not to make mistakes.  Really!  But we don’t know what we don’t know; and there are surely going to be more mistakes we make along the way.  I am preaching to myself here.  “We are going to make mistakes.  IT.IS.OKAY.”  repeat, and repeat again.

With that being said, we were ‘roughin’ it’ for the night.   We had to make due since we had no electricity or running water hooked up.  Our camp light that we got for the outhouse came in handy in the camper.  Um. . . we had water that we brought from home.  It worked.  And it was much easier than staying in a tent.

PIZZA! Staying the night for the first time in our camper. We HAD to have PIZZA! (my husband's love)

PIZZA! Staying the night for the first time in our camper. We HAD to have PIZZA! (my husband’s love) And we all enjoyed it too!

It was a fun first night, and the boys were loving the adventure of it all!

We wanted to stay the night so that we could get up and at ’em, and get working the next day.  It was fun! And you know, I was talking with a friend on the phone outside of the camper for a bit, and LOVIN’ the peaceful night sky, and the quiet of the darkness.  It felt so wonderful just being there at night.

The next day, we were back at it. . .

Next day. . . snack in the shade of the camper.

and they are having a snack in the shade of the camper.

Aren't they the cutest?

Aren’t they the cutest?

Now don’t hang me.  I don’t let them climb under the camper ever anymore.  I just wasn’t thinking at the moment, and they fit perfectly under it, and were in the shade protected from the blazing sun.  Now they go to the shade of a tree, which is actually more naturally cooler anyway.  But, it was a cute picture I thought, right?

And we have the inside of our outhouse almost totally primed, and ready for some paint. YES!

And we have the inside of our outhouse almost totally primed.  Just the ceiling to finish. YES!

Oh, and you see that my sweet thoughtful husband put up hooks for us to hang our little cleaning/fly swatting tools up on.

Oh, and you see that my sweet thoughtful husband put up hooks for us to hang our little cleaning/fly swatting tools up on.

And the final picture of him getting some bushhogging in that day.

And the final picture of him getting some bushhogging in that day.

It was a couple of sweet days feeling like we actually are almost finished with this outhouse.  And waiting for the logs.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for your provision as we move forward with this HUGE project we have ahead of us.

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And our RV gets delivered~

By January 27, 2018 Blessings along the way!, General

This is all so new to us.  We are such novices.  We did not feel we had the means, or knowhow for that matter, to bring the RV to our property, so this is a snapshot of getting our RV delivered.

Pulling through our neighbor's front field~~the easiest way??

Pulling through our neighbor’s front field~~the easiest way??

That went over like a lead balloon.  I had called our neighbor the day before having it brought to us, and they agreed that it would be fine for us to pull in through their front field if the field was dry enough.  It had been raining a ton the day before.  Sooooo. . . my husband and I were actually down at the property earlier in the day on the day of the RV getting delivered.  BECAUSE, we wanted to determine and agree on where the trailer should be located.  AND. . . .we wanted to make sure that the field WAS indeed dry enough to bring the trailer across on.

We decided where to place the RV, which was a chore in itself because our land is so ‘rolling’.  We each had ideas about what would or wouldn’t work.  There was really no good place~~ honestly ~~for us to put the RV.  Ughh!  What to do~~

Short of landing it in our driveway (which happens to be the O.N.L.Y. flat spot on our property) we came up with a spot close to the neighbors land where it starts to level out at the top of a hill.  That is what we agreed upon.

And then we wanted to check and make sure their field was dry enough, so my husband drove across the field in his truck to determine how the ground was.  It seemed totally fine.

So that night I had to go down without my husband because he had to work.  I took Grandpa along (for moral support).

They saw us coming ~the neighbor lady anyway~and she was not excited.  She was on her riding lawnmower, and said she could see where we had driven through earlier in the day, and left tracks in their field.  OH NO!  That is NOT good!  It made sense that she was not really hip on us coming through.  NOW WHAT!?!

The RV hauler had already pulled up into their field, because they had told us they could, and we HAD checked the field.  NOW what????  Seriously, I was starting to panic.

And then she said for me to talk with her husband.  Whew!  Maybe?  So I immediately went and greeted him as joyfully as I could muster.  And I asked him, and he said it was okay if we would just not drive over his water line.  He came out and graciously helped the driver determine where to drive through so that we were ALL happy!

Here is comes. . .

They let us know where they wanted us to pull it through. THANK YOU!

They let us know where they wanted us to pull it through. THANK YOU!

Hoping he would not hit our telephone pole. . .which he didn't. He was a pro~~

Hoping he would not hit our electric pole. . . which he didn’t. He was a pro at this~~

Getting it swung around the telephone pole, and pulling it into place.

Getting it swung around the telephone pole, and pulling it into place.

Now to pull it past and to the side of the tree.

Now to pull it past and to the side of the tree.

Now to back it up. . . .

Next he had to back it up towards the tree. . . .

Figuring it out. . .

Figuring it out. . .

And it was starting to get dark fast. . . .

The silliness never stops. This is just one of the shots he was posing 'CrAzY' for.

The silliness never stops. This is just one of the shots he was posing ‘CrAzY’ for.

We had to situate wood and blocks for under the tires so they don't sink??? into the ground?

We had to situate wood and blocks for under the tires so they don’t sink??? into the ground?

Just tell me what to do.

Just tell me what to do already.

Don't know what I am doing here, but we are trying.

Don’t know what I am doing here, but we are trying.

Yeppers. . . almost have it positioned with the help of the fellow that delivered it.

Yeppers. . . almost have it positioned with the help of the fellow who delivered it. But notice it is obviously NOT a level spot.

Hot, tired, and dirty working hard for mamma! getting those bricks so they can act as chalks for the tires.

Hot, tired, and dirty working hard for mamma! getting those bricks so they can act as chalks for the tires.

And Grandpa was my sidekick for the evening since DH had to work.

And Grandpa was my sidekick for the evening since DH had to work.

At that point, we had to get the RV leveled, which ended up being quite the chore, BECAUSE the spot we picked out, although level in our minds, was actually so NOT level that we had to jack it up as high as we could jack it up,

and then. . . we used the stabilizers to help support the front end that we had jacked up.  It had to do for the night.

We got it delivered.  We positioned it and leveled it.  We were done.  . . for the night.  Time to pay the fellow who delivered it, and go home.  We need to get it hooked up to electricity and water eventually.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for providing a place for us to stay in while we finish up our sweet ‘log home’.

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Working on building our outhouse! (cont’d)

By January 26, 2018 General, The outhouse, the outhouse

On our outhouse, we had the base level, the frame up, the walls on, the roof started; and now we need to get the ‘sitting area’ put together, as well as painting, and our tin roof, and . . .  well, just watch the pictures and you can see it coming together, as well as what we decided to do with the little holes strategically situated in the walls.

Here goes. . .

The outhouse painting begins. . .

The outhouse painting begins. . .

Teamwork. . . makes everything easier, especially when mom is making them use their muscles to bring pea gravel to the outhouse.

Teamwork. . . makes everything easier, especially when mom is making them use their muscles to bring rocks and pea gravel to the outhouse.

 

Everyone got in on the painting, even one that normally doesn't put a paintbrush in his hand. ;-)

Everyone got in on the painting, even one that normally doesn’t put a paintbrush in his hand. 😉

See the little black dots on the side of the wall? They were holes that we had to determine how to fill them in.

See the little black dots on the side of the wall? They were holes that we had to determine how to fill them in.

It turns out that when it would rain, the dirt would splatter up on the side of the outhouse, and make it look really bad.  We did not have any grass growing as we had cleared out around where the outhouse was built, so it was just dirt around the outhouse.  I wanted the rocks (that I was having the boys bring over) to be placed at the base on the side of the outhouse where the rain hit the hardest so that it would act as a kind of splatter proof base. . .you can see them at the bottom of the outhouse.

Back to dealing with the holes in the walls. . . Have you heard of the ‘blue light specials’ at the K-Mart stores?  Okay, so maybe I am a bit older??

I found some flat marbles at a local craft store that fit perfectly in the holes if we hammered them in just a bit.

See, it fits perfectly in the hole.

See, it fits perfectly in the hole.

And this is the light that comes through on the inside.

And this is the light that comes through on the inside.

That is what we did~~filled in all of the holes to the outside with the blue marbles, and that is how our outhouse has gotten the name “Blue Light Special”.

Now on to the additional fixins’ on the outhouse. . . with pictures. . .

The spot for the bucket!

The spot for the bucket!

Closing in the front of the sitting area.

Closing in the front of the sitting area.

Now with the hinged base for the toilet seat to attach to.

Now with the hinged base for the toilet seat to attach to.

No explanation needed, right?

No explanation needed, right?

And the little hinged cover for the box that holds the 'sawdust'!

And the little hinged cover for the box that holds the ‘sawdust’!

And now we have the door on.

And now we have the door on.

And the caulking and painting on the inside begins.

And the caulking and painting on the inside begins.

So, it was a used door, and had a mess around where the handle was.

So, it was a used door, and had a mess around where the handle had been.

I know, it looks a mess.  It was kind of hard to get that worked out, but we did enough to make it work.

A work in progress!

A work in progress!

Getting prepped to get the metal roof on, (that was salvaged from the wreckage of a tornado.)

Getting prepped to get the metal roof on.

Getting our little metal roof on, (that was salvaged from tornado damage.) FREE!

Getting our little metal roof on, (that was salvaged from tornado damage.) FREE!

Tucking up and trimming off the excess roof protector.

Tucking up and trimming off the excess rubber layer.

Securing it down. We are making some progress here.

Securing it down. We are making some progress here.

Got the rubber layer all tucked in and working on getting the metal roof over it. And we need to keep the rain out from under the roof.

We got the rubber layer all tucked in and the metal roof over it.  Next we needed to get a metal piece in front to keep the rain out from under the roof.

Almost done priming the inside.

Almost done priming the inside.

Nope. . . it will not work. . . it is not wide enough to protect the front sides. Hence the 'thumbs down'~~

Nope. . . it will not work. . . it is not wide enough to protect the front sides. Hence the ‘thumbs down’~~

Back to the drawing board, and we cut it to fit a little better. It worked. (I know I have a picture of 'thumbs up' somewhere.)

Back to the drawing board, and we cut it to fit a little better. It worked. (I know I have a picture of ‘thumbs up’ somewhere  ~~maybe not?)

Tucked in and under on the sides. Looks so professional, huh? Okay, so it will keep the rain out.

Tucked in and under on the sides. Looks so professional, huh? Okay, so it will keep the rain out.

Metal roofing on. CHECK!

Metal roofing on. CHECK!

The roof is ON! Ta-DA! Better than a thumbs up, right? I was so happy with it!

The roof is ON! Ta-DA! Better than a thumbs up, right? I was so happy with it!

LOTSA teamwork!

LOTSA teamwork!

Now, for the record, we are not planning this to be our bathroom once we move into the cabin, HOWEVER, it surely is nice to have in the meantime.  We are not going off-grid.  But. . . it will be nice to have an extra spot for the guys when they are all dirty and I don’t want them in the house, OR even myself when I am working outside, and don’t want to traipse all the way into the house.   Not a royal throne room, but it is coming together, and will work nicely for us.  Just saying!

Just “Thank you LORD!” for letting us make it this far.  Maybe, just maybe, we will survive building a log cabin.  😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our “Mighty Men” ~~

By January 20, 2018 General
Those rocks get heavy!

I was texting my daughter one night back in the summer about our little guys napping (after a long hard week of working on our property helping with miscellaneous tasks), and I referred to them as our ‘mighty men. Oh, how they needed the sleep.  They had been working so hard.  And our days always were soooooo long. . .It was 11:30 one night when we were finishing dinner one nights.  Yes, you read that right.

It was so funny~~We have a swimming pool in our back yard currently.  It doesn’t get much use honestly because for most of the summer~~on any good sunny day~~we would be at the property working.  Yeah, so I would just text or mention to my neighbor to come over with her kiddos to swim.  (I hate wasting money, and at least someone could get the use of all of the chemicals that we were dumping in that big hole~~right?)  At least they could come and take advantage of it.  Well, one day we were able to get done at the property with the things we were working on, and we got home.  Our sweet neighbors were in our pool, and I told the boys they could get in the pool.

We offloaded our tools from being down at the property, and headed out there to chill and hang with the neighbors for a bit.  Well, as my boys were jumping in and out of the pool, my neighbor said to me, “Oh my gosh, I have never seen boys that age with 6-packs!”   YES, she was referring to our guys.  They are in such good shape that at ages 8 and 9 years old, they actually have ‘6-packs’.  They are in good ‘strong’ shape.

Here is why:

Finishing scraping the door for the outhouse.

Finishing scraping the door for the outhouse.

Isn't there a Tom Sawyer saying about getting someone else to do his work for him? ;-)

Isn’t there a Tom Sawyer saying about getting someone else to do his work for him? 😉

The grimace shows it all!

The grimace shows it all!

Yeah, he ended up taking it by hisself.

But,  he ended up taking it by himself.

And this is no hollow door!

And this is no hollow door!

And this was the tail end of the load of mulch they offloaded.

And this was the tail end of the load of mulch they offloaded.

 

And there is so much more. . . but, I couldn’t keep going without showing some of how our ‘mighty men’ got their 6-packs.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for giving these fellows boundless energy, and asking that they use it for your glory!

 

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Haulin’ junk away. . . .

By January 16, 2018 General

We acquired this old farm land that once had cattle roaming, but was no longer being taken care of.  It was part of an 88 acre farm that was subdivided.  We fell in love with it, and knew it would fit our bill for having space (not needing an exorbitant amount of land), and farming, and living in the country, but also close to the expressway to hop on and get into the town that we are used to.  But what we didn’t see, or I don’t remember having seen before we bought the land was the junk in a ‘holler’ that they had just dumped.   For those of you that do not know what a ‘holler’ is, it is an Appalachian alternative way of saying a ‘hollow’ which that means a small valley between mountains.  ~~Okay, so we don’t have mountains, and this isn’t really even a small valley.  It is more like a very small ravine on our property that could easily be fallen into.  It really may not be a ‘holler’?

Yeah, anyway there is land erosion there, and there is space there where you can fall into it if you are not careful.  (Actually, Grandpa did fall into it one day when we were working to clean it out~~scared us to death, but the boys started calling him Ninja Grandpa because he fell so well. . . actually onto one of the big round haybales, feet up in the air, and slid off gently.  WHEW!  That couldn’t have gone any better.  He came out unscathed.  Thank you LORD!)  Back to this ravine:  There it is, and full of junk.  I am talking an old metal desk, parts of a refrigerator, an old cast iron kitchen sink (which BTW, was extremely heavy to extrude~thank heaven for my strong husband!), and loads and loads of misc. broken and rusted out parts of farm machinery, bags and bags worth of emptied cans and jars (Nestea Instant Tea to be specific ~~they must’ve drunk that A LOT!)   look down ~~You get the idea.  That’s what I’m talking about~~

Yep, does anyone remember these? My mom drank this too!

Yep, does anyone remember these? My mom drank this too!

 

Oh, and there were tires!

Oh, and there were tires!

What is this we are extruding now?

What is this we are extruding now?

Yep, we haven't a clue, but our best bet is some part off of farm equipment.

Yep, we haven’t a clue, but our best bet is some part off of farm equipment.

Can you figure it out?

Can you figure it out?

 

It is loaded with JUNK!

We were cleaning it out a ton when we were first working down there, before all of the building started to happen.  But it just didn’t seem like we were getting rid of the junk.  It was getting stacked up on the land next to the ravine.  I kept letting my husband know when the ‘dump’ days were so we could take it and get rid of it, but it seemed there was always something that stopped us from doing it.  So there sat the piles, and they sat, and they sat. . . you understand.  They weren’t walking off on their own~~NO Sirree!  They just kept sitting there.

Until one day~all of the conditions were right.  We had the trailer with us.  The ground wasn’t soggy so that we could drive the truck over there.  It wasn’t raining.  He was off work.  The deck wasn’t stacked against us, and we went for it.

Just one of the piles.

Just one of the piles.

Yep, this is it loaded up.

Yep, this is it loaded up.

Offloading and being FREE of some of the 'junk'.

Offloading and being FREE of some of the ‘junk’.

The pile is beginning to go down.

The pile is beginning to go down.

So that is the beginning of getting rid of some of the junk.  I wouldn’t quite call it fun, but some things are a necessity, so there we go.

And this was probably a boring post, but it is part of us getting things in order there.

This is just more of the junk that we unearthed and got rid of.  Woohoo!  I am thankful!

Just “Thank you LORD!” that we do have places to take this kind of stuff to, and can even get gas money to get it there.  HA!

 

 

 

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