Little By Little

Little by little the old shack is becoming a lovely homestead.  I enjoy taking rides out to the land and seeing the progress each day.  Sounds of echoing pounds of hammers and sliding wood can be heard upon arrival.  As soon as my husband knows that I am there, the pounding stops and all that remains is the sound of the creaky old staircase telling me he is headed my way.

He is so proud to show me the progress or to ask me what I think about this idea or that.  It seems to bring him so much joy to find out what I like.  I am content with the old building and even more so that it looks primitive.  I could have lived in it just the way that it was.  I even told my husband he could salvage an old rustic galvanized 3 tub container for our kitchen sink.  It is old, rustic, and functional at the same time.

The old piece I found out at the property had three tubs!  I could see it’s future, being used for canning or butchering days.  My husband liked the idea so much, he checked out the old tubs that were filled with dirt.  They had clearly rusted through.  He dreamed up of ways to weld it to make it functional.  When the neighbor mentioned the toxicity of using galvanized tubs with food preparation, my husband set aside the pursuit to reclaim the rusty old tubs.

Not able to get the concept from his mind, he researched similar tubs on the internet and found this one.

He wanted that sink!  It was a 7 foot commercial stainless steel sink that he found on craigslist for a fair price.  One minute he is showing me the photos and the next minute he was out the door to claim it.  At first, I must admit, I did not want him to feel like he had to buy a nice sink just for me.  But I could tell he was excited about this sink and that it would make him so happy to buy it for me, that I jumped on board with the idea right away.

When he rolled into the driveway with the super sink I raced out to see him.  He was so proud of that sink.  He could not wait to place it in its new home.  He had just the perfect place.  I saddled up in the old truck and we drove down the lane to our new property.  With all my might, I tried to help him hoist the sink off the truck.  I was no match for the steel.  I crumpled like a tin can under its weight!  The sink is bigger than I am!

After he set it under the window, we both just gleamed with excitement.  It is perfect.  I began telling him of the apron I could sew for under the tubs.  He began telling me of the two cabinet doors he could build under the drain boards.  It is something we can add our special touches to and make it look even more amazing.  We make such a good team, I say!

Speaking of food preparation, there was this old wood cook stove on our back porch.  It was ever so cute but ever so rusted out and unusable.  To my surprise, my husband asks me if I would like to fashion the top of the old stove to the top of an old propane stove we have sitting out in the storage shed.  I was tickled that he thought of something like that.  It really would have been a shame to scrap this charming piece.  I thought it may be neat to store some old cast iron pots in those warming compartments.  It is fun to make use out of old things.  He even took the decorative door off the front to possibly add the front of the gas stove.  
The living room is starting to take shape.  He has been stapling insulation wrap to the gutted walls.  It provides a barrier to the many gaps between the outside wood siding.  Keeping insects and rodents out of the home is a must.  He still has yet to fit the thick insulation over the top of the paper, but little by little, the old shack is getting sealed up properly.

Here is our future bathtub.  It is an old clawfoot tub that just decorated the garden at the moment.  I have cleaned up and refinished one other tub in the same shape when we bought our first homestead back about 13 years ago.  I made an old duck nesting sanctuary into the prettiest bathtub before, why not pretty this one up?

Time for a fun story…
Mark and I went to visit our friends Mike and Deb because they had some building supplies they wanted to give to us.  Prior to this, we had been talking about whether or not this tub would fit into our design for our bathroom.  Mark said it was a 4 foot tub.  He thought that would be too small for a proper bath experience for me.  Of course, I said I am small and it would suit me just fine.  I do not have to have everything perfect.  Just being in hot water makes me feel better.  The size is of no consequence.

We were sitting around a table up at our friends home when Mike said, “You have a 5 foot clawfoot tub on the property.”  I could see a very perplexed husband sitting next to me.  When we left, he immediately said, “Nope, it is 4 feet!” He was so sure that the tub was 4 feet, that he drove over to the property and measured the tub with me.  He pulled out the tape measure and said, “It can’t be!  It makes absolutely no sense!”

I said, “Well, how long is it?”
He answered, “The tape measure says five feet, but I just measured the claw foot tub we have at our rental house and that is five feet.  This one is surely not as big.  This can’t be!!!”
Trying to make sense of this situation I added, “Maybe it just looks small because it is outside.  Anything looks smaller in a big space.”
Still looking perplexed by this mystery he says, “This is NOT four feet!”

Later he discovers that the tape measure that he FOUND at the property was re-purposed.  Remember the lady we bought the property from?  The resourceful lady who never throws anything away?  The one who makes use of old junk?  Yeah that one.  Well, she fixed the tape measure.  

Mark calls me up the following day and says, “I figured out the mystery.  The tub is four feet long.  The lady cut one foot off the tape measure and put the end piece back on so she could still use it.”  

We had a good laugh from that one!  Mark does have a good eye for size!  Not even the facts from a measuring stick can sway his careful eye.  Goes to show you that not everything that is fact can be trusted, there is always room for human error. 

There are still random piles of trash.  Within those piles there is good metal that can be recycled, so we are gathering up the piles to haul to a metal yard.  It will be fun to see how much money we will make from the old metal.
Below, you can see the edge of the garden.  Lots of trash, scrubby trees, and brush have been removed and piled up for the burning.  It will be a dramatic transformation after the land is cleared and planted.  Little by little this land will bare fruit and be a prosperous land.
Mikey built us a bridge across the creek.  He found old pallets and cut and nailed the pieces together until it was a solid construction.  It is amazing how much they are picking up from their dad.  Little by little these boys are turning into men.
Sometimes I pick up Owen and Evie to see the progress.  I always pack food because Owen LOVES cooking over the campfire.  This time he made jambalaya with our home smoked venison sausage, rice, onions, green peppers, and Evie’s canned tomatoes and okra.  It was a real hit.  There is nothing like eating around a cracking fire as the day comes to a close.

And there is nothing like having others to enjoy our property with.

Little by little we are forming a community of homesteaders.

0 thoughts on “Little By Little

  1. Lovely to know that you are all doing so well. I am amazed how quickly things are getting done, your family are an inspiration to me. I may never have a homestead but I do everything in miniature in my garden. You are so blessed to have clear running water and I love your little bridge. I am reminded of Isaiah 12:3 “Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.” God Bless you x

    • What a lovely verse. I will hold on to that one. It is such a fun adventure. It has been 3 years since we had our very own place, so we are pretty excited! Clear running water is a blessing, indeed. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Have a lovely day!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful update! So happy to see all you’re doing~definitely helps to keep me dreaming too. Blessings to you all!
    Aloha in Christ,
    Denise B. 🙂

    • Dreaming is almost as fun as living the dream. I am a total dreamer. It is half of the adventure. =) Thank you so much, Aloha to you in Christ as well! Love Erin

  3. I love reading about your new homestead and all you are doing to it. It is going to be wonderful! I love your new sink!!!

  4. We have that exact sink at church and I have fond memories of washing many dishes and enjoying good fellowship at the same time. What I like best about your sink is that you have double windows above it & a kitchen window above the sink is the best! This is so fun to read about your adventure! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    • Wow, that is really a great memory. Thank you for sharing! I know, I am really excited about the sink. It should be so practical and I am just a very practical lady. I can just picture us opening up the window above the sink and feeling that gentle breeze while we each have a sink to wash in. I could rinse the food off, Megan could wash, and Molly could rinse them clean! Fun, good clean fun! Many blessings to you and yours!

  5. Looks like quite the challenge! Finishing it is so rewarding though! We just moved over to Farmhouse #2 and are working on it. Not a complete reno like our first one but plenty enough work 🙂

  6. LOVE that sink. It’s the kind we’ve been planning to get when we finally build. I want to mount a hand wringer (used at car washes) to an engine hoist to roll over the sink. Then it serves as my clothes washer as well:-). I am enjoying reading about your homestead. We hope to be able to do something similar in the next couple years.

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