Well, five days after returning home, we finally have internet again and I am able to update this blog, just in time for our next trip to the property.
We finally got an opportunity to spend an entire week on the property and a long list of projects came along with it. We loaded up the Jeep and trailer, without everything we could find at Home Depot, and headed out early Sunday morning.
Yup, finally got the last piece in our building equation, a generator. Found a great deal on Craigslist, 2800W running watts for $175, and the best part is the guy lived literally a minute away and I can see his house from my patio. Insane, especially considering we bought our first brand new generator from HD for something like $399, and less power. It serves us well and runs that miter saw perfectly!
I digress. Definitely our heaviest load to date, and plans for many 2×4 projects to help us make our living conditions there this summer much better. We figure if you can ease cooking, cleaning, and sleeping then you make life easier to work. We have done just that. We now use a queen mattress to sleep on and have this great new sink/kitchen area (pictures below) that helps in both cooking and cleaning. When I mentioned 2×4 projects, we started using these “2×4 Basics” designs for building things like the kitchen/sink area, a cool bench for the shower area, firewood stand, and some saw horses to work on.
The bench we built previously, it just works. I will go over the other things, starting with the kitchen area. This is really now the one of the coolest things we have going on. It just makes life easier. We bought the 2×4 plan, which requires two sheets of press board (or plywood) and different lengths of 2x4s. You can customize the size and shelving to fit your needs. We opted for a 4×6 ft kitchen area.
The best thing is that Sheralee came up with a double sink, using 3 gal buckets, sing strainers, and garden hoses to drain. We heat up water and dump it in one sink, then the other sink has a foot pump to bring water from a 5 gal water jug. So, cool. This week she will be painting the counter top, it is going to be great.
Here is the sink drain we added to each bucket, then it mates with a garden hose to drain. She trenched in the garden hoses so they won’t be tripped over and then added this drain hole.
Here is a view of the sink area and the drain hole.
Very cool. As I said earlier, we also added a firewood holder and some saw horses for a great work bench.
Both are awesome and work great.
The next big project we had was to finish our outdoor ‘loo-house’. Sheralee found plans online for a 4×4 gable garden shed, so we used those without the gable roof. We had started the floor in the prior week, but realized we didn’t have the right length of wood screws, so we picked up where we left off. What a great starter project for us.
We also built all four walls prior to cutting the 3/4″ plywood floor. Once all of that was done, we carried the floor to where it is now residing and then started adding the walls.
This is the finished product, minus the shed lean-to roof, to collect rain of course.
The roof will either go on this weekend or next weekend, depending on time. Yes, we will be collecting rain off of this 4×4 roof as well, but it will be held in a smaller tank attached to the back of this structure, and feed to a small hand washing sink inside. No great filtering necessary, but just a nice way to finish your “experience”!
The next adventure we tackled was going into Chino Valley, AZ and picking up our 1550 gallon water tank. This will be the first of two for our water collection system. What a great adventure this was. All in all, not too bad to haul and worked out pretty well.
This is us picking up from the retailer, A Country Trailer. They were great to work with and happened to have the tank we were looking for on hand. Perfect. We picked up the following day after purchase and hauled it north to the property.
The tank is 1550 gallons, 87″ wide and 64″ tall. It only weighs about 250lbs, so easy to maneuver.
After placing the tank, we had to continue with the rafter placement and finish off the roof of the rainwater harvesting shed. It got all taken care of and then we could really get a good idea of what we were looking at.
I wanted to show off some of our food choices…we started with property pancakes, breakfast of champions, with a little beer pancake. Then we attempted another run at dutch oven pizza. This time trying to box in heat for our dutch oven. It is still a work in progress, but each time the pizza gets eaten…I wonder why? haha
Our last task for the week was to raise our container to a new height to give us some clearance underneath for future plumbing. We purchased this 4 ton bottle jack from Home Depot. Perfect. We were able to raise the container with ease….well I say ease now, but it took us both a lot of head scratching and thinking to get it done. We prevailed is all I can say!
That was pretty much it for the weekend. Sheralee’s girls came up to visit Friday afternoon and stayed the night. It was a lot of fun. We head up again today to put the metal roofing on the rainwater shed, and next weekend gutters and plumbing. woohoo. So close. Ironically, it is going to rain off and on this weekend and yet we aren’t ready to capture that rain. I hope once we are, it doesn’t stop raining for months.
Until next time.