Thank you Dad
Thank you Jared
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there we are so lucky to have you!
We’ve written before about our rain barrels, and the satisfying experience of collecting water as it cascades from the sky, flows from our rooftoop, and splashes into our barrels that wait anxiously beneath the downspouts. We made it through the entire drought-stricken summer last year without ever using the outdoor faucets to water our gardens or fill the backyard kiddie pool. A short burst of rain, diverted from the rooftop, is all it takes to fill a 55-gallon barrel, and even our chunky 330-gallon tank only needs an hour or so of heavy rainfall before the water gurgles and gushes out the top.
But this post isn’t about rain barrels. This post is about our latest experience with the joys of collecting rain water: Our outdoor shower. Anyone who has spent much time with me in the summer knows I far prefer a quick dip in the lake or a rinse in the river to clear the dirt and sweat, rather than spend any unnecessary time spinning circles in the bathroom. And with so much success rain-barreling last summer, I thought I’d convert one of our barrels to an elevated outdoor shower.
The only labor-intensive part was putting together a stand for the barrel to sit on. First I constructed a pedestal, similar to an old-fashioned water tower stand. I used cedar posts for the legs and constructed a pallet platform from scrap wood and small cedar logs. I mounted the pallet to the cedar posts at a height that would allow the barrel to sit directly beneath the gutter. I ensured stability and balance by shimming and adjusting the ground on which the pedestal sits. Lastly, I anchored the cedar posts by driving iron rebar into the ground alongside the posts and then chained the posts to the rebar. Don’t want my shower falling and squishing me while I scrub.
The conversion of the rain barrel into a shower was quite simple. I purchased an adapter at the hardware store that would allow a standard shower head to fit my faucet. I re-claimed a shower head from an old cabin that was going to be torn down, and I painted my barrel dark brown in hopes of absorbing a little more heat (and giving the shower a more natural aesthetic.)
As a final touch I graded a flat area beneath the shower and laid yard brick for the shower floor. I had spent my first few showers sliding around on the wet, grassy slope, so the brick floor is a nifty addition.
We’ve had trouble even reaching 70-degrees this summer, so my showers have been quite cold thus far. But I look forward to those hot July days, staggering over from the garden, reaching up and turning on my refreshing rain rinse.
We are doing our best to grow a successful garden amidst nights that can still dip down into freezing temperatures.
Thankfully Jared built a green house this spring to keep our little seedlings safe and warm. I will let him tell you more about the green house soon since he was the one who constructed it. The girls keep reminding us that it is not actually a green house since it is NOT green in color.
Looking forward to the day when our plants can head outside and we can head outside without wearing coats!
When my little sister Caroline came to visit last week I definitely put her to work. She made a fantastic picture for Hudson’s future room (I will show you later) and also she took some great pictures of the kids. You wouldn’t believe how many pictures you have to take to get a few good ones. Thank goodness for digital cameras, right?
Thank you Auntie Lina, you are my hero.
For Aleah and Sophi we used disposable diapers. After spending hundreds of dollars on these we decided that there HAD to be a better way. We looked into cloth diapers and after the first week or so of using cloth diapers we couldn’t be more pleased.
What I was most worried about was the extra time I thought cloth diapers would take. But it only takes a little bit longer since you have to throw them in the washing machine. Instead of throwing the disposable diaper into the trash can, we throw the cloth diaper into a bin to store until laundry day. Easy peasy. When laundry day rolls around I throw them into a wash cycle on cold then a hot/cold cycle with a little bit of detergent. Hang them out to dry while the kids are jumping on the trampoline and you are good to go.
The money we are saving by using cloth diapers is astounding. Instead of buying new diapers for $20 every 2 weeks we bought 12 diapers for about $100 and Jared’s sister gave us all of her cloth diapers from her little boy and now we are set until little Hudson is potty trained. How is that for awesome?
And how beautiful are they?
It does take some getting used to how big his bottom is when wearing a cloth diap and takes a bit more time and effort to use cloth but we are excited about saving money. We will save over $1,000 by using cloth instead of disposable! Woah. I can think of a few things I would rather spend $1000 on than diapers.
I was invited to a baby shower a few weeks before little Hudson was born. Since I had to idea what to make I ran to pinterest and saw this adorable idea.
Luckily it didn’t take that long to make since I started working on it the day before the shower. I used my sewing machine to sew the bunting fabric together and then hand-stitched her name and the date she was born.
Alright, enough of the mushy stuff- we got to get down to buisness around here =)
A bit ago I was contacted by JoAnn Fabrics to review a craft from their spring line up of crafty ideas. I chose to do the jungle flower box. I am glad that their requirement allowed for me to put my own “spin” on the craft because we did a lot of spinning.
Here is the box that they started with:
And this is the box we ended up with:
We used acrylic paint from Joann’s and the girls had a lot of fun. I would have bought a flower box from JoAnn’s but we live in the middle of nowhere and I wasn’t up for treking 45 minutes one way to buy a box SOOOOO I asked Jared to make one for me and he came through with a beautiful box made with scraps from around the house.
Here are some of the other crafts for you to look at, click here.
And get this, whoever gets the most repins (with the hashtag # summerof joann) of their picture from pinterest gets a $100 Joann’s gift card, purdy cool. So pin away!
Hope this inspires you all to get crafty and make some great things.