This past weekend we traveled up to the future homestead for a work weekend. We needed to make sure there was enough water in the storage tank to water the orchard (we have automatic timers to water when we aren’t there) and we also planned to work a bit more on the new road. We also needed a little peace and quiet with some well deserved rest and relaxation.
Ray unlocked the trailer, I stepped in and ……. uuuggghhhhh!
Peeeee Ooooooo Weeeeeeeeee!
H O L Y
C A N N O L I ….what ….. a ………. smell! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The black water tank in the trailer really, no REALLY needed to be dumped! Our eyes were burning with the stench!
You see, we park our trailer on a spot (see the spot here) near the orchard and tool shed that we built a few years ago. But the septic tank was installed near where the house will be built, which is up the road a few hundred feet.
A few years ago Ray bought this handy dandy device that you empty your black water from your trailer holding tank into, transport it to a septic tank, then dumps the black water. He bought it at Camping World and you can see one just like it HERE.
We affectionately call it our pooper toter 😉
Well, we hadn’t been up to the future homestead in a couple of weeks and in-between time the weather has turned very, very warm. I think our black water was actually fermenting!
~~~~Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble! ~~~~ The smell was enough to gag a maggot!
Once we were able to get the black water tank emptied and recharged with fresh water and enzymes, the trailer took on a more pleasant smell. Talk about a breath of fresh air!
So that’s when we decided, then and there, we will build an outhouse! We have been toying with the idea for a while now. Even though I love it when my friends and family visit us up on the future homestead, it can be tricky when people have to use the “facilities” in our trailer. Not only do they have to traipse through our trailer to do so, but in all honesty, it’s not fun for Ray having to dump the black water waste all of the time. Even though the transfer usually goes off without a hitch, just by the nature of the beast, an occasional spillage (oh the horror) does happen!
So, we shall build an outhouse! We abandoned our road work plans to instead begin working on the privy. The first order of business was to decide where to place it! This looked like a good spot:
The first order of business was to clear away all the dead wood and duff.
Duff: Noun – organic matter in various stages of decomposition on the floor of the forest including pine needles, leaves, sticks and other vegetable matter.
Once we had all the duff cleared, we got a better picture of the area where we had decided to build the outhouse. Just about where that shovel is in the ground – yup – that’ll do.
So Ray and I got busy digging the pit. Luckily we didn’t run into any huge rocks. We have clay reddish soil but it isn’t really compacted, so the digging wasn’t too difficult. We decided to dig a 3 x 3 foot pit, so that we could build a 4 x 4 concrete block footing.
About this time we decided to take a lunch break. When we came back to our work site, we found that Louie, our neighbor’s dog, had discovered a nice, cool place to take a nap! Once we evicted Louie, Ray began digging the hole deeper, keeping the sides as vertically plumb as possible.
Eventually we want to dig the hole about 5-6 feet deep, but this was enough for one weekend. I suppose we will have to rig up a system soon whereby Ray shovels dirt into a 5 gallon bucket, I wench it up and dump it, then lower it back down to Ray. I’m not sure of any other way to dig a deep hole solely with muscle power!!
In doing some research about outhouses and the different designs, I came across this tidbit of interesting information: did you know that the classic crescent moon cut-out in the door of outhouses meant that it was for women/girls? The men/boys outhouse had a star in the door. But, since men/boys are by nature messier than women/girls, it was the female outhouses that withstood the ravages of time! That’s why you see more old outhouses with the crescent moon and not the star! Haha! Thought you would like to know.
Stay tuned for future installations of Our Outhouse, aka The Privy 🙂
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