I finally got a small solar panel.

I have just hooked it up temporarily.  I will mount everything permanent after I test for a while.

The cord is run through the windows…

To the controller and the battery…

And on to my voltage adapters and equipment.

So far it is working great.  It even charges the battery a bit more than the ac charger at the house.

Wash day

Here’s how I stay clean at the homestead.

First the shower.

I still use the solar camp shower.  Just fill the bag with water, lay it black side up in the sun for a couple hours, hang it up and voila.  A hot shower.  By the end of the summer I hope to have water run from the well to inside the cabin.

For laundry I just use a wash basin and hang the clothes to dry.

For all washing, shower, clothes and dishes, I use original biodegradable Ivory soap.  It’s 99 44/100% pure.  What the other 56/100% is I don’t know.

Window Dressing

  • Today I did a little dressing up of the inside window frames on the cabin. This is what they looked like unfinished.

Although they were framed and didn’t leak they weren’t very pretty. So I made use of the 1 x 4s I had left from when I took the shelving out of the original shed. A little measuring, cutting, routing and painting and this is the result.

Much nicer.

The Two Bears


Two curious bruins were exploring the homestead this morning. One looked in the the window and said “somebody has been sleeping in my bed”.

After reviewing the video I believe what I thought were two yearling cubs was really a mother and her yearling.  The bear who stayed back in the woods appears a bit larger than the one who came to the door.

The Cabin’s Evolution – nearly a years journey

    The Basic Shed
Getting ready to install windows. Interior is still just an uninsulated frame.
Front and one side window installed
Second side windows installed
Added house wrap. At this time the interior has also been insulated and drywalled.
Starting the front porch
Front porch deck
Deck covered. Also note the windowed door installed.
Fully wrapped. Chimney installed.
Painted over the house wrap. I know, you’re not supposed to do that, but the white wrap was annoying.
Porch roof getting close.
Porch roof complete
Starting to install cedar shakes on sides and porch roof

The interior also evolved.

The composting outhouse is also developing.

Not really a composting outhouse.  This basically an outhouse with a removable holding tank.  The outhouse is designed to moved forward on skids after the back panel is removed.  This allows the storage tank to be removed for composting and a new tank put in place.

The storage tank is just a 55 gallon blue poly drum.  It is partially buried but can easily be pulled out.

The outhouse has been built but is not in use.  I am not sure of the township and state legal requirements so I am currently using a portable camping toilet.  I hope to replace the tank on the outhouse with an incinerating toilet which I’m sure is legal and does not need inspection.  Composting toilet are also legal in Pennsylvania but most likely require inspection.  The blue tank does not even have a hole in it yet.  But it looks cool.  When I permanently move here I will take care of residence legal requirements.  At this time the cabin is actually still just a fancy shed.

Continue reading The Cabin’s Evolution – nearly a years journey

The Garden of Eatin’

The Garden is tilled

I wouldn’t count on a very good garden this first year.  The soil is pretty rocky and I couldn’t till very deep.  Plus, even though I pre-sprayed the weeds, the area was covered with Milkweed.  Milkweed is hard to get rid of.  It is already growing back.  I don’t plan on putting a lot of effort into it this year.  If it does grow I may just let the wildlife enjoy it.  By next year I hope to bring in some better top soil.  I am amazed at how many edible wild plants are available all over my land.

Early spring?

It’s sure looking like an early spring.  I hope it stays.

I even cooked my lunch on the porch.


Nothing fancy.  Just cream of celery soup and crackers cooked on my propane heater/cooker.


I even brought my car up beside the cabin.

Living On The Land