I bet you’re wondering how a family of four lives on their homestead while they’re building a house, right? I’d be curious too. Where do we sleep? Where do we eat? Where do we poop? Come with me today, on a little adventure – A Day in the Life…
We sleep in a borrowed pop-up tent trailer. Circa 1980, it is literally falling apart at the seams, but has kept us warm and dry (mostly). We each have a Rubbermaid bin of clothes, and our personal belongings that are not stored at the red shop are tucked into various cracks and crevices.
The chickens greet the day with some pecking and scratching around our picnic table. One morning, a few weeks ago, I went off to teach choreography at a performing arts camp, and returned a few hours later to this lovely table. Back in Oregon, Brian had milled up a cedar tree from the land, carted its wood all the way to Missouri, and finally crafted the boards into the picnic table they were always meant to be. That picnic table is where we dine.
Kitchen time! I honestly feel like I spend most of my time in the outdoor kitchen, washing dishes, firing up the rocket stove for cooking, and more recently, preserving food (I’m loving this conversation about canning on the HH Facebook page).
Charging up the various electronic items. We have really loved these Ikea solar lamps. They need a few hours a day to charge, but they have been so useful for nighttime reading or just getting the kids ready for bed (not to mention nighttime tick-checks). We currently have a smart phone, so we are able to interface with the internet world on the land, although my big computer sits at a friend’s house.
How Brian spends most of his time….framing!
A poo with a view! It’s our super-duper pooper! Yes, we poop in a bucket. And then we sprinkle it with sawdust. And then it goes into a big old pile of poops that came before it, and it gets composted down into a big pile of humanure. And we will use it, when it’s fully composted, likely on trees and shrubs.
And here is how I spend my time lately – in the garden, watering and tending my new fall plantings. If you look very closely, you’ll see a big black tub with a tiny boy. That’s our “bathtub,” filled with pond water. It’s great for hot days, not so great when it’s cold. I like to mix up my personal hygiene with black tub baths and trips to the hot showers at the YMCA.
So there you have it. A day of eating, cooking, working, cleaning, and pooping on our hilltop homestead. If you have specific questions about how this all works, leave me a question in the comments, and I will do my best to answer!
Dannette Henning says
I love what you are doing and sharing!!! I searched your website and couldn’t find anything so I must ask…how are you doing laundry? I assume that hand washing could take a lot of time especially with two small children (or maybe they also help?). Thanks again for sharing such valuable information!
Teri Page says
We have a hand washing set up, but quite honestly, it doesn’t get much use. In the summer months we’d like to use it a bit more, but right now we do a once-a-week trip to the local laundromat and wash 2-3 loads at once. We line dry all of our clothes, with rare exceptions when the forecast calls for rain all week.
So enjoyed reading this little update! Thanks for sharing! <3 <3
Thanks Jackie! Nice to hear from you!
This is so cool! I love your gardens and your chickens. I especially love that you can take goods from your garden and cook them right outside. Reminds me a lot of a movie I loved as a kid called the wilderness family. How long will it take for your house to be finished? I’ll definitely be stopping in again to see the progress!
We are aiming to be in the house this fall
We will have finish work still to do over the winter.
I’m glad you posted more on this. What an adventurous way to live.
Thanks! It does certainly feel adventurous most days. There is a part of me that will be sad to live indoors!
Fascinating, Teri. Great post, enjoy following your blog. Is canning outdoors less/more hot than canning inside? It must be great to look up from it all and take in the view!
It is certainly nice to can in the shade, but on a 90 degree day, it’s still pretty hot!
Thanks for saying hi. Great to hear from you.
Jessica Blakeman says
I’m so excited to have run across your blog! We had just started making definite plans to do this very thing last week when we stumbled across your outdoor kitchen post….Wow! Thanks for all the info, I’m finding it super helpful. We live in south Mississippi and we have 8 kids, so it definitely going to be an adventure! One we are looking forward to though. =)
( I haven’t blogged in almost a year, so if you visit my blog it will be OLD news. lol)
How exciting for you! And you will certainly have lots of helping hands!
Glad to be of help!
Wow! A friend just shared this blog post with me. I’m in awe!! Did you say you live in Missouri? What do you do in the winter? My husband and I bought land and would love to live on it and start building, but we’re still working on how. We have a one year old. We live in Maine, so we’ve got long winters 🙂 thanks for sharing what you are doing, it’s inspiring!
Hi Kathy, I am glad you found my blog!
Yes we are in Northeast Missouri, where the winters are cold. although we moved here last October, we actually house sat until June, so we built when the weather permitted. with two young children since then and it has bee great although not without challenges!
Feel free to email me at teri(at)homestead-honey(dot)com if you have specific how-to questions.
Too cool to groove!
Thanks for the insider’s view!
You are most welcome!
Super cool! Thanks for letting us check out your day : )
Glad to share!
and how do you have internet?
Is the house construction done using any power tools? If so, how do you charge them? Or are you doing it all with hand tools?
I have a smart phone, so I’m using that on the land to check email on a daily basis. My desktop computer is at a friend’s house down the road a few miles. So I arrange to go over there a few times a week and use the internet there. It’s been a bit challenging! My ultimate goal is to get internet at our house, but we’re a few months away from that!
As for construction, we purchased a generator, and use that to power whatever power tools we need. It’s mostly been a skill saw, and I think Brian used a compound miter saw once or twice. So when he needs to use the power tool, he just fires up the generator, makes the cut, and then turns it off again. He also uses battery-powered tools that we recharge at the same friend’s house every few days.
He also has some really nice Japanese hand saws that he enjoys using.
I love this write up. I am not as brave as you to live this way while we too are building our home but love it all the same. However, We will move into the home long before it is complete. We are also using a generator and hand tools like a hammer, Japanese hand saws and such.
That’s great! I don’t know if I’d call us brave, or just foolish! It’s going to be a real challenge to complete the house while we’re living in it. One day at time!
Christine @ these light footsteps says
What type of stove do you use to do your canning in this outdoor kitchen?
We have a wood fired rocket stove and a two burner propane stove. I water bathed on the rocket stove and did everything else on the propane burners!
This is so interesting Terri! I am curious, how do you keep food cold?
We have two coolers in which we put frozen jugs if ice. We have a chest freezer at a friend’s house so we exchange them every few days.
It works well, but is kind of labor-intensive.
So awesome you have good friends out there to help!
We are so fortunate in that respect!
Lisa Z says
I love it! Thanks for that “inside look”, Teri. I’m not sure I could live in a pop-up for long as the one we borrowed a couple weeks ago made me so clausterphobic, but I love the idea of living small and mostly outdoors. I have always wanted to do that and hope to live the RV or tiny house life in a few years–it will take my husband retiring before we can though, which is crazy to believe!
They are kind of small. Honestly, we hardly spend any time in the pop up. We’re outside all day.