February 20, 2019

Gosh.  Seems like life is so busy, I forgot to blog.

We have cut down our cattle number from six to three.  We found that we really only need one per year to serve our beef needs, so now we have a dairy cow, one brown Swiss for next year’s beef ration, and one calf for the year after that.  We just sold two (per the last blog), and recently took another one to freezer camp.

Our pigs are getting huge and we need to make arrangements for them as well.  How do we fit all of this in the freezer?  It will be interesting figuring this out.  We have decided this time that we will take them to someone who will partially process them and give them back to us in quarters.  A smokehouse is in the project list.

Currently, we are helping a friend redesign and repair a 23 ft. RV for a temporary living quarters.  So far, we have repaired some wall and floor damage, and have taken out the “bedroom”, dinette, and closet and two bunk beds to eak out some space for living.  We were able to take out the water tank, as he is going to have a rain water collection system with the tank outside of the camper.  We will be able to remove the black tank, as he will have a composting toilet.  Here is the composting toilet I built out of scrap plywood and some hinges ready for painting as well as hooking up the urine diverter.  I have some creative plans in place to add back storage once the floors are put in.  Stay tuned.



In order to fit some decorating pieces to add a little color to the RV, I have been planning carefully to mostly work on things that are useful, but will also do something else (like painting a large metal basket the right color when it will solve the problem of where to store towels).  However, I did find room in my design for one painting.  I searched thrift stores for a painting of a peacock, since those are his favorite colors.  I did not find one.  However, I did find a painting on canvas the right size at the Goodwill store for $.99, so I bought it, primed it with house primer, and painted a peacock.  Youtube came to the rescue again with instructions on how to paint a peacock.  With the walls and cabinets painted white, these colors will really add some cheer.

I got tired of the pantry having holes in the walls due to my husband having put in photovoltaics (and it being an “ongoing” project), so I got smart and closed up the wall as much as I could, and painted a large painting to go over the remaining “necessary” hole for continuing work when he gets to it.  I painted the pantry while I was at it, covered some boxes with fabric in a similar way to my closet project, and my husband and I took out the wire shelf and put in a more usable wood shelf, moving it down so that it is reachable and making it deep enough to hold copy paper boxes.

I needed a display shelf for the swords in our library, so I used two pieces of 1 x 12 boards, rabbited out the places for the swords with the radial arm saw, put it together, painted it white and added the Powell Coat of Arms to the front.  I had a time figuring out how to hang it so that we could remove the swords without knocking the display off the wall.  I ended up making a two sided french cleat.  Works like a charm.  Had to make sure that the screw heads were inset for it to work right (thanks honey!).  Right after I painted it, I went over it with water based polycrylic which was a mistake and made the acrylic paint run with the brush strokes of the paint brush.  So sad.  I then ran the sander over it and had to repaint.    What a lesson in what not to do!

Another thing I did was finish making the last corner of my kitchen usable.  I needed a place to hang my recipe box and some aprons.  I sanded and painted my recipe box and added a knob that we had in a drawer that came by “mistake” with some clear crystal knobs I had bought earlier to put on some night stands.    I also found a thrift store metal tray with grapes on it that I added two other leftover silver knobs to make it a place to hang my aprons.  Obviously I have a grape theme going on. . .Thanks to my husband for putting the hook on the wall for me.

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