Roof Trusses

And work continues on my special shed! Kalvin and Jovi got the door opening framed yesterday while I took a mid-term test and sat through 2 hours of anatomy and physiology lecture. Today the three of us got through most of the roof trusses. The cross beam is new too - the idea being that we will have storage on the right half of the ceiling and then an open ceiling on the left (window side).

One of our new garden beds in the foreground  (green beans, garlic and carrots so far - planted radishes and lettuce today too)


Beeing Green

I've been looking for quick projects that can give me a break from studying and work. We also have a bit of left over odds and ends from the framing of my "shed" I'd like to figure out how to repurpose. (Yeah, that's my new work lately!) A few years back, up in B'ham, I saw these neat cylinder-filled canisters for sale in the local book store. Turns out they were bee homes, meant to attract mason bees to urban yards, providing shelter for the bees and pollinators for your garden and flower beds. So, today I decided to make my own bee home! This will eventually likely be attached to the side of my "shed", but for now I've just propped it on a fence 2x4. Not the prettiest, neatest drill holes ever, but it was a quick feel-good project. I'll let you know how it works out - if I get any bees. 


A Room of One's Own

So, the wife loves me. What's even cooler, is that her little brother loves me too. He, and his family spent this past weekend helping to build me a little room of my own. All this while I mostly studied or was in class! It's officially to be known as "the shed", you could also call it my woman cave. It's a 10x20 structure with a mix of repurposed and new materials. Here's the skinny on what it will include in the end:

  • Leftover flooring from my in-law's house
  • Leftover 3-tab shingles for the roofing from a friend's house
  • Recycled windows from the Rebuilding Center
  • We are looking for shingles on Craig's List leftover from someone else's project... 
  • I'm also looking for some good solar lighting options
  • Rainwater catchment - not sure if we will just water the adjacent garden beds with it or hook up a gray water faucet for projects in the shed itself. 
  • We were toying around with a green roof for part of it, but I don't think this is the best idea with the shed being entirely under very large cedar trees completely shading it and shedding acidic branches constantly. 
  • I plan to make several hook racks out of the larger branches we had to trim from the closest cedar tree. 
That's it to start. Would love feedback, ideas, tips! 
Here's some pictures of the process. 

Kalvin and our nephew Cade have their handprints added!


Are We Really Urban "Homesteaders"?

There are so many new exciting books and blogs out there with folks doing amazing things on their little bits of property or with vacant lots. It has been really easy for me lately to feel like we are failing as "homesteaders" and that I haven't earned that title. What with two bad summers in a row leaving us with a terrible garden and me being almost too busy to even prepare a homemade dinner or finish a project, it's been hard to continue this blog. Honestly, I can't even blame the failed garden completely on the weather. It's been largely due to the fact that I have been slow to realize that fall prep is the only way to go in the Northwest in particular.

I've also been taking classes on top of my regular full-time job. With most of my free-time eaten up in homework I've found it hard to eat whole foods, resorting to frozen pre-prepared Costco meals and eating out.

Big change is afoot for us soon though, I'm leaving my job of 7 and a half years and starting back at school full-time. My last day at work is July 31st. I'll have all of August off and then I'll start the Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine program at the National College of Natural Medicine in September. This is exciting change for me and scary at the same time.

The change has forced me to put homesteading activities on the back burner while I cram in what I need to do to make this change actually happen. It also makes me realize that a lot of our homesteading projects have relied upon two incomes. It's so much easier to work on the property when you can easily go buy what you need.

Homesteading should though make our finances easier if we are doing it correctly. We should save money by having our own garden and repurposing materials! So, I'm excited for what this new endeavor and change will bring to our practices.

Over the next two months you may not hear much from me as I finish work and Anatomy/Physiology and Physics. Oh, and Kalvin is graduating next month and turning 18! I'm excited to share with you though the journey our little homestead will take - the nitty and the gritty - this fall. I promise to post all about our REAL journey into how an average gal and her family continue on the path to sustainability and practicality. Cause let's face it, in this economy there's an exciting chance to bring back some common sense!