Projects...Mind Boogling Projects

When it comes to projects my eyes are definitely bigger than my use a food analogy.  Yep at the buffet bar of projects I most definitely fill  my plate...again and again and again.  And I can't quite seem to get it emptied...To attempt to put a more positive spin on it, I tell people that I am a visionary. I have these ideas and I mold them carefully in my mind.  I lay out the groundwork for the idea and even start implementing the idea...and then I have another idea and it begins to take shape in my mind and I mold it carefully in my mind and begin to lay out the groundwork for that project and in the process I somehow miss crossing the finish line on the preceding project. It is a tangled web I weave.
On that note...I have had this idea for the cabins. Bear with me because it is a good one.  It is so good that it must supersede all of my other projects.  Their completion will wait while I tackle this incredible vision that I have had for the cabins. (Don't you just love these mindgames???)
The cabins have been a real quandry for me.  I have been thinking about them alot for 3 years now.  It started around the time that Maggie's Hill became very popular as a vacation destination. Currently if you want to stay at Maggie's Hill during a prime booking time (aka weekends) you have to book 6 months in advance.  But also on our ranch we have these two little cute cabins in their own little place in the woods. Guests strolling the trails during their stay often come across these cabins in the woods and beg to be able to rent them out so they do not have to wait so long to return to Maggie's Hill.  I have been loathe to do that as they are a bit of an odd setup.  One of the cabins is the kitchen/living room while the other cabin is the bedroom.  They are joined in middle with an outside deck. While the cabins have electricity, gas heating, full kitchen, woodstove, tv etc, they do not have running water. We have had many friends and family stay in the cabins and enjoy them very  much but the lack of running water means that drinking water is brought in by large containers and the facilities are either a compost toilet or an outhouse.
I love the outhouse at the cabins.  It has electricity as well and is delightful but I suspect the number of people who love that outhouse as much as I do will be limited.  The compost toilet is another matter entirely. It has taken some time to sort it out. When I called the company located in Hamilton Ontario for help in understanding how it should be working, they asked for the serial number off the toilet.  I gave them my 3 digit serial number.  "No, no, no", they replied, "it should be 8 digits."  So I checked and double checked and verified the number was being taken correctly off the manufacturers plate on the toilet and told them that mine was only 3 digits long.  They were stunned to put it mildly...and then elated to learn that one of their first compost toilets was still in use in rural Alberta.  I am going to say 'in use' technically but not really used properly and most likely not used properly for some years.  With manufacturers directions in hand, apart that toilet came and it was all cleaned up and put back together.  The company shipped a new fan our way and we installed that and that fired that baby up again along with all of the proper composting materials which the company also sent us.  It is now happily bubbling away in the cabins.  No smell whatsoever and working like a charm...except for the fact that it is located in the bedroom cabin...right beside the bed. That is OK when it is friends and family.  They tend to be a bit more understanding.  But if I am going to roll these cabins into the vacation rental business then I am thinking a composting toilet beside your bed may not be the number 1 on your 'places to visit' vacation list. So I have been mulling this over in my mind...what to do what to do what to do to handle the lack of facilities in the cabins for washing and, ahem, other stuff.
I have had lots of visions around these issues that have included;
- red cedar sauna kits shipped from BC,
- a do it yourself sauna build carefully pored over on Youtube,
- a discussion with the directional drillers putting in new gas lines to see if they could directionally drill a water line from the closest water cistern buried in the ground while they happened to be drilling those new gas lines,
- outdoor showers,
- building walls around the compost toilet to give it its own little room beside the bed and to heck with showering and bathing during your stay because you can be stinky in the woods (I may have been a little frustrated on that visioning day)

And then a couple of months ago while resting on the deck between the cabins as a break from chopping wood, I suddenly  noticed that the bedroom cabin is about 8 feet shorter than the kitchen/living room cabin.  In this gap between the end of that cabin and the deck, a bunch of bushes and three aspen trees had taken root. I paced it off, I measured it, I strroked my chin and mulled the idea over for a few weeks.  I jumped on the internet and did a bit of research on installing on demand water heaters and building water literally a closet with a water tank in it.  I furthered that research with water collection systems installed on rooftops. I tested backing the truck up to that edge of the cabin for potential waterfills just in case that water collection system wasn't collecting enough water. I watched alot of HGTV shows on off-grid building.  I measured the space for a compost toilet, water closet and shower. I checked my lumber pile for supplies. And finally I shared my new plan with John...he may have groaned. Unfortunately for John the idea has taken root. It seems like a brilliant plan, an astounding vision for the cabins. So this past weekend when my son who is actually trained on using chainsaws and felling trees came home for a visit, I shared my idea with him and requested his help in felling three aspen trees sitting where my new build was going. Having grown up with me he said, "I am not cutting down trees unless you promise to finish this project"
So I have set aside putting the siding on the chicken coop, putting trim around the door and windows to complete the reno in the back bedrooms, finishing the outside porch pillars, digging the new shade garden beside the house, laying an antique brick walkway around the house, connecting the new sink in the kitchen island and yes even finishing the baby blanket that I started 19 years ago for that chainsawing son of mine so that I can build an extension on the cabins.  And I am going to take you with me on this building adventure of mine so you can laugh and cry along with me on the journey and hopefully cross that finish line with me too.

The cabins tucked away in the woods on a wintery day...right around when I had my brilliant vision.


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