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Living in a barn, building a latrine, and being awesome

Recently I moved out of Atlanta and into a wonderful place in rural Georgia just an hour south of the city. My boyfriend James and I have been working hard to convert what was once a shop/storage room in an old barn into Our own cozy, colorful studio living space. I wish I had taken 'before' photos, because You wouldn't believe what a mess it was before We turned it into what You see below!
Together, We designed and painted the walls to create a fantastical and creative environment that is in itself a work of art... James wanted a full-room mural, probably keeping a landscape/nature theme, but with big spaces for hanging lots of art on the walls. Trying to keep the number of paint colors to a minimum (and thus keep the cost low), I thought of making a bold graphic strata of sky colors set behind some flat silhouettes. So together, We came up with the placement of a few trees, Bigfoots, and other animals' silhouettes to fit what We had to put in the room: A large set of shelves, some kind of big office cabinets/countertop, a few chairs and a table, and a dorm-room sized loft that would become a tent over Our bed.
We also have been turning one of the old horse stables in the barn into a bathroom. We've dug a 3.5' x 3.5' x 4.5' deep hole in the middle, and made a frame and poured a concrete base on the ground around it. We still need to build the bench that will cover the hole and become the double-seater toilet, and We plan on cutting a hole in the platform behind the seats in order to run a wide pipe from just inside the hole and up into a hole in the wall behind it. The end of the pipe will just barely stick out of the wall outside, and it'll be capped with one of those chimney turbines to encourage ventilation. What rocks is that the stable walls only go up so far, and it's open all the way up to the roof of the barn...so the whole bathroom will be way more ventilated than a typical outhouse.

The electricity runs on only two circuits, so We can't run many things at the same time without blowing the power. There's also no running water, so We use a well pump outside for some things, plus a big water bottle (in a pottery dispenser) by the sink, and there's a big bucket underneath the drain that We have to dump out every day or so. We have one 1500 watt space heater (that We usually only run on 600 or 900 watts, and only when it's really cold out), and that's set to improve once We put better insulation in the floor and the barn walls. Our kitchen has a mini-fridge (We keep all Our produce outside in a cooler), a toaster oven, an electric tea kettle and two electric burners...which may not seem like much, but it's all We need to make great vegan yummies.
It's a simple and efficient setup, and this kind of life isn't everybody's cup of tea, but it's home. And a sweet home it is. :)
So without further ado....
THE VULTURE VENUE!

The front of the barn at night, with James and Mingus:
http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs140.snc3/18753_625087088683_38201222_36468902_1850535_n.jpg

Part of Our adorable little kitchen, featuring lots of the family's pottery:
http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs140.snc3/18753_625087078703_38201222_36468900_775292_n.jpg

James and I during Our Wolf Moon Celebration Feast, featuring Big Daddy Sasquatch and the Sizemores' hand-made, home-fired pottery atop a giant tree stump table:
http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs160.snc3/18753_625087143573_38201222_36468913_7624295_n.jpg

The shelves with yet more pottery + food, books, games and nicknacks, a gorgeous sculpture by James' brother Daniel, and a young Sasquatch peeking from behind a vulture tree (there's a big dead tree on their property that's often inhabited by these awesome birds, and there's this vulture couple who come every year to lay their eggs in another stable in the barn.):
http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs160.snc3/18753_625087113633_38201222_36468907_120635_n.jpg

The bed cave, with its roof home to a rat house and a small forest of creatures and altar things:
http://hphotos-snc3.fbcdn.net/hs140.snc3/18753_625087123613_38201222_36468909_4481654_n.jpg

Digging the hole for the stable outhouse/latrine:
http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs140.snc3/18753_625074488933_38201222_36468446_6232436_n.jpg

I'll have more photos soon!
(I hope these show up, because I'm linking them from facebook...)

it's sooooo pretty!!!!

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omg that's awesome, CW! seems dreamy to me!

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Oh my Gosh, your house is so awesome!  ;)b I especially love the pottery and giant sasquatch mural. Where did you guys find the table? My mom has one made of old reclaimed wood but an actual tree... that just rules. . Good luck on your endeavour, I`m sure it will turn out beautifully! I can't wait to see more pictures as it progresses!!!

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That is beautiful, cw!  And so special that you both are working together.  :)>>>

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CW, everything looks amazing! surreal!

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Awesome, CW! I want a barn now with cool murals on the wall... ;)b

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This absolutely rules.

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Thankee, dears.
I wish You could all come over and see it in person!
(some of You are close enough that You very well ought to...HINT HINT  ;)b)

.... James took some of the soil from the poo hole and covered a once-boring-looking doghouse to make:
http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/qq198/carrot_wench/DSC07669.jpg
Mingus' Mud House!  :D

...more to come!

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This looks wonderful. What is the surrounding land look like, and how far are your neighbors?

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very awesome!

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That is TOO awesome! Your walls are absolutely beautiful!!! You must come paint my walls!!!

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I think I'm more jealous than I have ever been.
That is absolutely beautiful.

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Oh wow that sounds perfect!  I've been gone for a while so I'm not up to date...are you guys homesteading there or is this your faraway hideaway?

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That's so fabulous CW.  I'm glad to see that things are coming together and that you are so happy!

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Oh my Gosh, your house is so awesome!  ;)b I especially love the pottery and giant sasquatch mural. Where did you guys find the table? My mom has one made of old reclaimed wood but an actual tree... that just rules. . Good luck on your endeavour, I`m sure it will turn out beautifully! I can't wait to see more pictures as it progresses!!!

Thank You! :)
The table is actually made of an old cable spool + a giant slice of an old tree...
The cool thing about that tree cutting is that James' mom snagged that thing way back in the 70's (when she was in college at UGA, I think) when she just happened to pass by some people cutting down a tree in her neighborhood... That thing traveled with James' parents when they moved to Texas and then back to Georgia, where it was always stored and never used.

After more than 30 years of non-use, the tree slice was hauled out of storage (it took FOUR of Us to move it!), cleaned up, and set upon that old wire spool to become Our table.

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This looks wonderful. What is the surrounding land look like, and how far are your neighbors?

I will probably get some more photos of the land to share here, but in a word, it is BEAUTIFUL.

http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/qq198/carrot_wench/Spring.jpg
just a fraction of the field outside the barn, when the daisies are in bloom

http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/qq198/carrot_wench/Meadow.jpg
a trail in the woods not far from the barn

http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/qq198/carrot_wench/DSC07202.jpg
...and again

http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/qq198/carrot_wench/BarnHome.jpg
a view of the front of the barn

We're on James' parents' property, so I guess they're Our closest "neighbors," with their house sitting roughly 250 feet away from Our barn. The nearest neighbors down the street are his grandparents, and their house sits about 700 feet away, and separating the properties is a small pond and a pretty trail through a little patch of woods. It's pretty much fairy tale material.

I know it's a bit of a drive for You, Court.....but if You're ever in the South-of-Atlanta area, We would be happy to have You over for some tea and vegan goodies. :)

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Oh wow that sounds perfect!  I've been gone for a while so I'm not up to date...are you guys homesteading there or is this your faraway hideaway?

The barn was built about 80 years ago on a farm that once belonged to James' ancestors. The 50 acres is now his parents' property, but We've pretty much claimed the barn and the immediate surroundings as Our own home. :)

More latrine pics!
The outside, complete with the "oozy moon" to mark the door:
http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/qq198/carrot_wench/Latrine.jpg
the old fridge doesn't work, but it makes a very cool-looking outdoor storage cabinet.

...and the inside, decorated with the same color scheme and more of Daniel's sculptures:
http://i447.photobucket.com/albums/qq198/carrot_wench/Latrine2.jpg
note the handprints on the concrete foundation under the platform, hehe.

James found a few old bird nests up in the loft, and put one on top of the iron bust sculpture in the corner. Up above, there's another nest tucked into the boards on the wall, where We started putting pretty moths that We found (dead) on the ground. In between those two nests, a spider built its web and started snatching up those moths, sucking them dry, then discarding them into the nest below (the one on the sculpture). So We still make occasional "offerings" of found moths to the Latrine Spider, thus keeping a sort of harmony between Us and all the little spiders who've lived in the barn way before We moved in. :D

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I just drove to and from Valdosta. Far is a relative term.

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I just drove to and from Valdosta. Far is a relative term.

Well then. ;) We should get together sometime, eh?

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I was wondering what was going on with you and your beautiful vegan sanctuary!  Everything is so lovely CW! 

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