Note I had planned on putting this up on Tuesday morning but an opportunity presented itself to put it up Monday instead so forgive the dates please.
Wow this is a change for us right now, instead of taking a break midday to wait out the heat we are waiting for a morning warmup before working. Sunday night the outside temp was 45, and our tent was 50 all night, so... Monday morning getting the kids up for school was loads of fun. We have discovered our little space heater we brought from New York still does run as we tested it out Monday morning and it ran fine. Which is amazing as it has been out in the weather without cover. I will say that I am amazed at how much warmer a (plastic????) tent is when the temps start to drop. Sunday as we had overcast skies and 55 degree temps we stayed in the tent wrapped in blankets and watched movies all day, having home made hot chocolate in the morning and hot tea all day. I have made a nice discovery in that Hersey’s makes a Special Dark cocoa powder, we discovered it in New York and I just found a Wal-Mart here that sells it. It is wonderful as hot chocolate, also we used sweetened condensed milk for it with 4 cans of added water to it enough cocoa powder to taste; and when almost done a tablespoon of vanilla extract. Also we use real extract not the imitation, we discovered Sam's Club sells a large bottle of pure vanilla extract; I believe (don't quote me) it was under $5.00 a bottle. That was also a New York price so elsewhere it may be cheaper. Wal-Mart itself in some stores also has double strength vanilla extract sold I think under the Watkins brand.
Other fun things with the cooler temps? Well... as I stated to Rianna (pardon if I mispelled your name) our outhouse seat is frigid! I also think the maggots in the outhouse might have gone dormant from the temps, I figure they will go normal when the temps warm during the day. It is amazing what you learn sometimes... like the maggots in the outhouse, they keep the “stuff” down so it doesn't overflow on us, their only problem is whe it hits the saturation point in the ground then the liquid starts draining out the bottom. When we get the portable building in 3 weeks(counting it down folks!) we are going to use a sawdust toilet like the guys at the Missouri Journal have been using for years. That is we will use it until we can add a bathroom to the end of the building, I do not plant to use the saw dust for a long period of time, as it might wind up being costly after a period of time with 5 people to buy all that shaved wood.
We go on Friday after 8am here to order and make the first payment on the building, then approximately 2 weeks after they will deliver it, which if the 2 weeks is accurate it will be delivered on my youngest's birthday. Also we will have to take down our tent,sitting room, and kitchen the day before and sleep a night in the car. We are going to have it set close to the power pole so we won't spend a great deal on wiring the place. About 2 weeks (again based on if 2 weeks is actual) we will be buying the wire for it, insulation, and timber to make it “cozy” for the winter. Bunk beds will be made for my girls and my son will have a built in bed, all three of those beds will be made “cave-like” so the kids will have there own space. There will be a loft over the back end of it where we will store most of our things and anything we will be using often if it won't fit in our one cabinet or shelf unit will be in bins under the beds. We will have “some” space for our TV cabinet near where we want to put a small wood burner. We had found this nice little wood burner that can be cooked on so it's double duty, good for soups to be cooked on all day, and should be big enough to warm a 12x24 portable shed; that’s insulated. We were going to have the company put on 2 windows but at $100 a piece at the down payment time we have decided to buy them later and add them on ourselves. Just means no windows for at least a month maybe more, but we will have to live with that. Once we have the first part of the house build this shed is going to become my canning kitchen and extra storage for food items, whether it be animal or human food.
The nice thing about what we are going to be doing here with our own house building and even the work we will do on this shed is that we are going to teach the kids how to do these things. So before they get out of high school (grammar school for my girls) they will know how to build, wire, and plumb a house. Nice skills for anyone to have, growing up my parents believed that if we needed something fixed we learn how to do it ourselves; so we'd have the skills. Granted the kids won't be doing as much work on it as me and Silver will but they will learn it.
We will be having 2 building projects going on at once though... as I want to get my chickens and turkeys next year in the spring we will need the chicken house built before we get the chicks. That way once the2-4 week period they need the brooder is over I have a place to put them that my 2 labs and one hound dog won't chase/eat them. I am thinking of getting about 15 Leghorn pullets and a Jersey Giant Pullet and one Jersey Giant cockerel, as the Leghorns are -not- suppose to be broody and the Giants can get up to 13 lbs in weight; though I have no idea about their broodiness. I will try and see, worst that happens is I will need an incubator and a permanent brooder.
Another thing I am going to try out this coming spring, starting in a few weeks to a month I am going to buy 4 straw bales to over winter in the weather so they are “aged”. In early spring I am going to plant onions in one of them all over it to see if they will grow. The other three will be my starter straw for potatoes grown just in straw. I plan to take loads of pics and to document what happens with them both and see if it goes well.
So all that’s left to say is we are all counting our days to get the portable and crossing our fingers that maybe the weather will remain clear until it arrives.
Be Well and Blessed Be...