Cows in the Kitchen

Working on the outhouse (SOME more. . .) AND we are done!

By February 10, 2018 Blessings along the way!, General, the outhouse
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It is really nice to be getting to this point in the build of our little outhouse.  Just the fact that it is mostly square is a feat for us.  (no kidding here~) And now, all of the finishing touches along with some miscellaneous things that we are taking care of . . . while we continue to wait on our logs. . .

This is a shot from below the frame for our awning.

This is a shot from below the frame for our awning.  We will need to caulk for sure.

OOPS!  We got the frame up with the screen on it~~~And then . . . . my husband put the drill through the screen on our frame after he put it up.  So SAD, too BAD!   We had to take it back home and remeasure for the screen ~because why would we even bring extra screen along since we had the frames all made up?  Right?  Oh well, there are worse things to deal with in my opinion.  Screen is EASY to fix.

But that meant we couldn’t finish up our little ole’ awning that day.

There are always plenty of other things to do though, so we closed up shop for the day, and headed home. . .     and the next day, we were starting on miscellaneous to-do list chores.

Working on mowing along the roadway to clean it up.

Working on mowing and getting it cleaned up along the roadway.

And. . .we had some brush to clean up.

And. . .we had some brush to clean up.

Starting to man the fire.

There he is starting to man the fire.

A makeshift head covering~~He wet the neck cooler, and he put it on under his hat.

A makeshift head covering~~He wet the neck cooling rag, and he put it on under his hat.

I was having a good time with this~maybe thought it was too funny.   I was chuckling, but he did not care.  It was protecting his face from being singed, and that’s all that mattered to him.   It was getting pretty hot.  The boys and I were manning the hose (we had hooked up the hose to use the water from the little church next to us ~~ JUST IN CASE!) while he was ‘in the heat of the battle’ (pun intended).

See him swinging his head covering around there.

See him swinging his head covering around there.

side note * I kind of like this shot with our property and tree line behind him.  I seems quite private (although it is not perfectly private), but we do have some space and I appreciate that.

And we got this brush cleaned up.

And we got this brush all  cleaned up.

Oh, and we found some wild berries. . .

. . . just a few. . . but we found some.

. . . just a few. . . but we found some.

Do you see a little boy in that patch of berry brambles? He reminds me of "Edmond" from Narnia~~he couldn't get enough once he tried one of the berries.

Do you see a little boy in that patch of berry brambles? He reminds me of “Edmund” from Narnia~~he couldn’t get enough once he tried one of the berries.

And Grandpa got in the action helping to clean up some brush near the outhouse.

And Grandpa got in the action helping to clean up some brush near the outhouse.

And then cleaning up the area around where the equipment had been hauled from.

And then cleaning up the area around where the equipment had been hauled from.  Our ‘mighty men’!

And then there was the bees nest that was quite alive and buzzing left behind after the equipment was towed.

And then there was the bees’ nest that was quite alive and buzzing left behind after the equipment was towed.  We needed to get rid of THAT!

And here he is finished up the 2nd awning over the vent after replacing the screen.

And here he is finished up the 2nd awning over the vent after replacing the screen.

Getting the inside all finished up.

Getting the inside all finished up.

I like this shot of the fly swatter we took of the inside. . . .because you can see the 'blue light' coming in.

I like this shot of the fly swatter we took of the inside. . . .because you can see the ‘blue light’ coming in.

Getting the inside all stocked with the additional necessities.

Getting the inside all stocked with the additional necessities.

Introducing . . .The "Blue Light Special".

Introducing . . .The “Blue Light Special”.

With a little shot of the front view. . . with the cedar handle and our lock to keep the door closed when not in use.

With a little shot of the front view. . . with the cedar handle and our lock to keep the door closed when not in use.

 

Just “Thank you LORD!” for helping us see this project through to the end.    We have a “Blue Light Special”! ! !

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the getting of some rocks. . .

By February 4, 2018 General, getting rock, The beginnings!, The Gatherings
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Here we are waiting on logs.  Our logger has been touching base with us to make sure we want these logs.  Are you kidding me?  Do we wants the pine logs that you have?

WHAT. KIND. OF. QUESTION. IS. THAT?

Loud and clear here:  WE WANT THOSE LOGS!

Yes, they are the answer to our prayers!  WE WANT THOSE LOGS!  We will not back out on you.

But, we have to wait for the logs to get here, and in the meantime, I get on Craigslist, and look for things we will need.

Here is what we need.   I found these listed on Craigslist, and I was all over them.  So, I enlisted the help of my family, and there we go to get them.  Let’s look:

What I am standing on is what was also taken from a different part of their yard that they did not want.  Nice flat rock.  But we want it for our walk-out basement wall.

What I am standing on is what was also taken from a different part of their yard that they did not want. Nice flat rock. But we want it for our walk-out basement wall.

Ready to get on it!  He got the "HEAVY" ones~

Ready to get on it! He got the “HEAVY” ones~

And our one daughter got in on helping too!  She was leveling out the load.

And our one daughter got in on helping too! She was leveling out the load.

She does well organizing things~~it was the perfect job for her.

She does well organizing things~~it was the perfect job for her.

Back and forth, back and forth.  I am carrying one in each hand, even though you can hardly see them.  LOL

Back and forth, back and forth. I am carrying one in each hand, even though you can hardly see them. LOL

One of my 'mighty men' carrying a rock about as big as he is.  ;-)

One of my ‘mighty men’ carrying a rock about as big as he is. 😉

Yeppers~~they were working hard that day.

Yeppers~~they were working hard that day.

And what made it even tougher, is that the people whose house we got these from~~they were outside with their kids in the back yard playing on the trampoline, and swingset; and here are my guys working their butts off.  It was a bit of a challenge for my fellows.  They hung in there, and got bigger muscles and a stronger character for it.  I think it will do them well in the long run.  They play a ton between working, so I don’t quite feel sorry for them.  I want them to learn the value of working hard, and what that produces.

This one was a BIT heavy!

This one was a BIT heavy!

We were getting quite the load of rocks, and we even had some in the back of the truck to boot.

We were getting quite the load of rocks, and we even had some in the back of the truck to boot.

Yes, here is a picture of that!

Yes, here is a picture of that!

I think we did quite well clearing out the pile of rocks they had.

I think we did quite well clearing out the pile of rocks they had.

Now, it may not look like a lot of weight, but it was, and as we were pulling out, and down the street our jack on the trailer started to drag and bend.  NOT. GOOD!

I quite don’t like things that happen like that.  UGHH!  We are killing the truck and the trailer now.  Yikes!  That makes me feel really concerned (worried, you might say).  We have to take care of these things we have been blessed with.  This is NOT the way to do it, I’m afraid.  Weighing our load down so that we are dragging the trailer jack is kind of freaky to me.  What to do!

We pulled over and rearranged the load to balance it differently.  It’s not that our daughter did a poor job.  It is a tough thing to know how to balance it out.  We had a long way to go, and we had to do something.  So, we did.  We balanced the load a little differently, and it worked.

However, now the jack on the trailer was bent, and that was not good.  We had to stop and get gas, and it turned out that there was a man and his truck~~his utility tool truck ~~working on some of the pumps when we got there.  My husband asked if he could use one of the tools to straighten out the jack so we could adjust something else.  (Can you tell I am very vague about what was happening at this point?  Sometimes, I just want to escape.  This was one of those times.  I just don’t handle things like this well.)  I let my husband take care of it with the help of this generous man~ and just prayed, and kept praying after whatever was done was done, and we headed home~~I mean ‘we headed to our property’ to drop the load off.  It was quite the jaunt, but we made it.  Praise the LORD!  Seriously!

At the property, and unloaded in a nice stack waiting to be put up on the wall.  (It is the front stack of large flat rocks, not the back pile of creek rock.)

At the property, and unloaded in a nice stack waiting to be put up on the wall. (It is the front stack of large flat rocks, not the back pile of creek rock.)

WE MADE IT!

Is this of him putting the jack back on the trailer?  AHHH~~

Is this of him putting the jack back on the trailer? AHHH~~

I think that is what happened.  They actually removed the jack for the trailer so that it wouldn’t be dragging the whole time and we could make it back without damaging it anymore.

Whew!  Some things you think are going to be easy.  And they aren’t!

There is a little saying that I once spoke to my husband when I was trying to convince him to tear out a wall in our current house.  I didn’t think it could be that difficult, so I likened it to “nailing a board to a wall” ~~meaning it would be easy peasy.  Well, when we actually went to do that, it wasn’t all that easy, and it took a LOT longer than I ever thought it would take.

Now I hear, “It’s like nailin’ a board to a wall.” whenever I am suggesting we can try to do something that we have never done before.  I think he is saying that it isn’t going to be as ‘easy peasy’ as I make it out to be.

That was the case with getting this load of rocks back.  Sure, we can carry rocks to our trailer and truck bed, but what do we do when the load is too heavy?  We struggle and regroup.  “It’s like nailin’ a board to a wall.”   HAAAA!  Not really funny, but funny!  😉

There you have it.  We got the load of rocks back, and we didn’t kill the truck or the trailer.

Just “Thank you LORD!” for helping us through another one (of the situations I get us into that aren’t ‘easy peasy’)!

 

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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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