Clean up: our “second bathroom”, inside and out

I’m a sucker for punishment.

The plan was to head over to the outhouse, quickly do a second coat of paint until we ran out, then get back to working on the bread baking.

Instead, I kept adding more things to do, and by the time I got inside, I had to get my daughter to continue the bread baking, as I was no longer physically able to do it. Which is what she is working on now, as I write this blog post!

While looking for something else entirely, I found a pair of wooden shelf supports and instantly realized that they could be painted and used to put a shelf in the outhouse. So when I headed out to do the second coat of paint, I also poked around the barn and a shed to find a thin board wide enough for the supports. It was about six feet long, though, so I basically held it up to the outhouse door from the outside, and eyeballed where to cut it to fit along the back of the outhouse. It ended up being just over half the length of the board, so I figured if I was off with the longer one, I could still use the slightly shorter one.

It ended up being just a hair too wide to fit between the corner posts. A few swipes with a micro plan and some sand paper was enough to get it to fit perfectly!

That done, I sanded the rough edges, then scrubbed and hosed it down before setting it aside to dry. Then I added a second coat of paint, just to the seat box inside, before painting the shelf supports.

I’m thinking I might paint the rest of the board, too. If we get more shelf supports, we can add it onto one of the side walls.

It took a while for the washed shelf board to dry, so I decided to give the mirrored shelf a scrub down, too, then once that was dry, I hung it back up inside the outhouse.

Rolando Moon decided she absolutely had to be on top of where I was putting the tools and screws! The violent beast went from demanding I pet her, to attacking the hand that was petting here, making me bleed! I did manage to get the screws with washers out from under her, though.

I just wanted the washers, though. There were just two, for the top screw holes, which are slightly wider than the bottom ones. I used new screws to hang the mirror back up. After washing the blood off the new screws and washer, from the wound Rolando Moon gave me!

Previously, it had been hung up right against the centre joist, but I chose to centre it between the corner and the joist, instead.

Then, I just had to do it…

I just had to put the little mermaid I found while I first emptied and cleaned out the outhouse, inside the cabinet.

She lives here now.

😀

Once we’ve picked one up, the LED battery operated light switch will be mounted directly opposite the mirror.

By the time this was done, the shelf board was dry.

After removing Rolando Moon, I got the one side painted. Tomorrow, I will paint the other side. By then, I should be able to mount the shelf supports, using the boards on the wall to make sure they are level, then attach the shelf board once the paint is dry. Only then will I continue doing the second coat of paint inside, until the can is empty. If I end up not doing the ceiling, or the narrow parts around the door, that’s not going to be a problem. As long as the areas that are most likely to get scrubbed in the future get a second coat, it’s all good.

Since I could no longer work on the inside, I decided to work on the outside, and empty the pit of groundhog gravel.

The wire mesh on the back was held in place by being hooked onto two bent nails, that were nowhere near each other. You can see one at the top right. The other is barely visible, near the bottom left. It didn’t take much to remove the mesh.

There was a second, smaller piece of mesh, partly buried until a thick layer of grass and roots.

*sigh*

That took some doing to move out of the way.

I thought I would be able to remove the two bottom boards by taking off the smaller pieces on the side, then pulling them off. They where, however, thoroughly nailed in place, with old and rusted nails that were not about to come out. So, I instead dug out my jig saw and used it to cut a piece off the bottom.

As you can see, it’s solid gravel against it! I ended up having to cut a second piece off. I was then able to start shoveling the gravel out, and when I could no longer get the shovel far enough in before the 2×4 across the bottom stopped me, I used a garden hoe to move more gravel closer, then shoveled some more.

I never did reach the … compost… layer. I did hit a lot of rocks, though! I emptied it as best as I could, without removing the more recent… deposits.

Then it was time to cover the hole back up.

I put the two pieces of siding back, then screwed the bottom one to the 2×4 behind it. The next time we need to get under there, we can just remove the screws and the boards will easily pop out again.

I then folded the smaller piece of wire mesh to fit the opening. I found a scrap piece of board with screw holes already in it, so I used that to fasten the mesh in place. The wire is folded at the bottom and weighted down with rocks. Critters can still get in if they really wanted to, but this is temporary. When we get to painting the outside, we’ll make things more permanent, perhaps replacing the cut boards with a hinged flap that can be latched to keep the critters out. Who knows.

I have no idea why that other large piece of wire mesh was used to cover almost the entire back of the outhouse. It really served no purpose, since only the gap at the bottom needed to be covered. Even the smaller one on the bottom couldn’t keep the critters out.

I was able to fill the wheelbarrow with clean groundhog gravel! If there was any chance the shovel full I pulled out wasn’t clean, it went onto the nearby cat litter compost pile, instead.

The clean gravel was put to good use.

It was enough to make a thin layer on top of the boards in the path between the new low raised bed boxes. The bigger rocks went up against one of the boxes, where there is a larger gap, then it all got spread out and hosed down, so that the finer particles would wash into the gaps between the boards below. It seems to be more clay than sand and gravel, though. We will still need to add more, but this is a good start.

And that was it for today!

Deciding to include a shelf added at least an extra day to finishing the inside, but I think it will be worth it. I’m more happy about getting the pit clean up over and done with for now!

The Re-Farmer

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