The Outhouse (circa 1907)
I inherited a portion of my great-grand parentsfarm several years ago. The inheritance included their house, a red brick/block tobacco barn, a couple of silos, a few other buildings used on the farm, some acreage and this outhouse. The century old outhouse had seen better days. After many years of restoring the craftsman style house and tending to the grounds and other buildings it was time to rescue the out house. Fortunately, it had been constructed of block and hadn't rotted away as had most of the other buildings.
The outhouse hadn't been used in a long time and had become a trash bin over the years. Adding scrap plywood kept critters out and ended the trash collection.
It's A Dirty Job!
I had been in overdrive the past year preparing the farm for my daughter's vow renewal ceremony. The outhouse was the fifth project on the "Must Complete" list. We were just a few weeks shy of the ceremony and time was definately "of the essence." On this particular day while I was painting the newly converted "hay loft to garage", I asked my daughter to start cleaning out the outhouse...now this was a nasty, filthy and yucky, dirty job and she was not very enthused to say the least! But next to me she cleans better than anybody I know, so I knew it would be done to my satisfaction. She wasn't very happy about it but she's a trooper and she handled it.
Off With the Old Roof
My son-in-law, Israel and grandson, Jakob were a tremendous help in taking the rotten wood off the outhouse.
It was very exciting to see the outhouse being cleaned up...I was so excited to watch the transformation.
Outhouse Deep Cleaning
After removing two large trash bins with outhouse trash and cleaning the bottom we were ready to add some lime and dirt to fill in and build up the floor. Thanks to my brother for all the clay we used to fill in the bottom.
The outhouse was clean and ready for the new construction.
After adding dirt to the floor a few weeks earlier it was time to put in a concrete floor.
It was an all day project for us two gals. The concrete was heavy...
...the shoveling and troweling was heavy...
...but the end result was well worth all the work.
We etched a heart and date in the new concrete floor of the outhouse shed .
New Outhouse Shed Roof
The outhouse shed started taking shape once the roof was built. I wanted the roof pitch, the soffit and the gable to match the house and hay loft garage.
Outhouse Shed Door
A carpenter friend, Bronford Jr. did an awesome job building the roof. It was two weeks before the wedding when I approached him to put the roof on and he wasted no time in getting it done. It's very hard to find anyone to work on old houses let alone an outhouse...so I'm really thankful that he helped me out on this project. I built the door since I figured it would be fairly easy to build and I wanted it to mimic the house and hay loft garage door.
Pieces of cinder block were missing from the sides of the door frame so I added the 1 X 6's until I can go back in and fill in those areas with morter.
Shingles & Soffit
How exciting to see the old outhouse getting new shingles and soffit on a former shed style tin roof.
The Outhouse Shed
I just want to say thank you to all my family and friends for their help with this project. It is a super cute feature on my farm and provides additional storage space.
The outhouse shed was finished for the vow renewal ceremony. Unfortunately, I didn't get a pic of her by the newly transformed outhouse.
For our enjoyment we've been raising ducks for several years on our little pond. We've raised Muscovy, Pekin, Swedish Blue and Cayuga ducks. This year on April fool's day one of our female mallards hatched nine baby ducks. My sister and I were washing our hands at the back door of my farmhouse when she looked over toward the pond and said, "What is that? Are those baby ducks?"
Sure enough, it was. I cannot tell you how exciting it was to see all those cute baby ducks at our pond. They had just left the nest and made their way to the water moments earlier. After all the years of ordering baby ducks online or buying them from a local farm supply store we finally had our own little baby ducks.
Mallards are a very special ducks to raise on a farm. Even though they are considered a wild duck they actually become very tolerant of people. We can't catch them but they will let us get within a few feet of them. The mallards never fly away but they do like to fly around the farm and the surrounding homes and are always in and out of the ditches on the property.
Mallards in Flight
This group of mallards are especially fond of taking flight. They are constantly flying in and out of the water. One or two at the time, or sometimes all of them fly together. It's so cool to be standing outside and the ducks circle overhead. What's interesting is that they never fly around more than three times but always more than once.
We had been preparing all year for our daughter's vow renewal ceremony. She'd asked if she could have it by the pond on our farm. Since our mallards are always flying around it, we had an idea they would show off during her ceremony and indeed they did. As soon as one of the song's started playing two of the mallards flew out of the water directly behind the bride and groom, circled the property and came around the wedding twice and landed back in the same place where they took off...it was one of those "aaawwwwwhhhh" moments. The pastor and guest actually thought we had trained them to take flight at such a touching moment in the ceremony. I wished I'd gotten the entire scene on video but unfortunately this is the only clip made showing them flying...happy though that I got it!
Video provided by: Chelsea Monroe