Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Beginning......

POST  # 11

I decided that I should share a few photos and tidbits of our naive, challenging, insane, heart warming, love filled  journey into homesteading, just to give a better idea of what has taken place to get us to where we are today. Which is, at home.

In October of  1998, Mark, Roger, and myself,  thought it would be a great idea to buy some land together.  To have a bit of ground that was ours no matter what. After the housing bust and bad economy  of the past few years, this has turned into a FANTASTIC idea. As of two years ago we had paid off the land and owned it outright.

We purchased the 12.2 acres site unseen, online.
Our first visit wasn't for several months after we bought it.
  Naturally, we loved it the second we saw how beautiful it was.
This is a small pond that is located on the second parcel of land we purchased up the road from the house.  We were initially going to build closer to here, but while walking the property I discovered a power line that was already  in place but was hidden by the overgrowth. We were able to save some cash because we didn't have to call  the power company to  come and put up lines for us. With a bit of clearing and cleaning we had a very nice spot to begin.

Our next concern was shelter of some sort. We were only visiting a few times a year at first, if that.
It took up a lot of room in the car for us, tools, wheelchair, luggage and the dogs. We have made many trips from Illinois with the car/van loaded to the MAX and then some!

We decided to have a tool shed delivered first,  and serve as a multi-purpose building.  Storage, so that we could leave the tools and have them in place when we needed them. Sleeping quarters, in case the weather turned really bad while we were visiting.
In October of the next year we made our first addition. We added on a 12 x 20 pole shed across the front of the tool shed. This was to become the kitchen.
Many hours were and are still spent in this kitchen. Preparing delicious meals, having coffee and visiting with friends and neighbors. Some days it was just sitting around the fire staying warm.
Other improvements are added in  over time. Like having power run to the two rooms. This was such a big step up from essentially camping out.
We are still without a well, which means no running water. We hope that it will become a reality this year.  Yet, life without running water isn't as bad as you might think.
Yes, it drives me nuts  that I have a washer and dryer sitting in the shed waiting to be hooked up.
Yes, it drives me nuts that I have to heat up water to do the dishes and for general maintenance.
Yes, it makes me appreciate the fact that I can use (waste) less water than any person I know.
The way we tend to our 'business' has changed over the years as well. It brought me great joy to connect the sledgehammer to the side of the outhouse that we had inherited with the land.
After a bit of internet research I started using the humanure method.
It's a little more work than flushing, but look at the benefits involved.
 This next space has become the dining room and you see the kitchen to the left. The area outside the doorway will be decked this year and will connect to the library we've built. This big space was divided down the middle and the back half (from this view) has become a bedroom and a bathroom.

This is the reverse side, here you can see that we've not roofed over the tool shed. That has been done. It does make for an odd view, but once we've painted it all to match it won't be so obvious. (Hopefully)
Seeing as how its right off the kitchen, we've decided that this would be a perfect pantry space.
 Above you will see the fireplace and insulation being hung in the dining room. I just really LOVE hanging insulation......... notice the sarcasm. I think  I would rather eat  drywall than hang insulation.
 This is the same room during Christmas dinner 2010. Notice we had not hung the drywall on the ceiling yet. We just finished that project two weeks ago!
I think we'll end our little journey right here for now. If you are interested in reading a more detailed journal of our struggles and triumphs feel free to hop on over to Mark's Missouri Journal by clicking on his name.

 I hope you enjoy reading and seeing what I've been up to with all my friends for the last 15 years. Leave a comment and come back often!
Next time I'll show more of the rooms and then get to the front of the house and the library.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, looks like some hard work....sweat equity for sure!! Best wishes always!