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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...)

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

Thank You!

And by the way, congratulations! Maia is gorgeous. :)

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WOW! That is amazing looking and in such a beautiful area! I can tell all of your hard work is paying off, those walls are just too cool!

And about the fridge, there's a picture at my old college in the library of someone using an old fridge as a bookshelf with a door!

Do you/are you going to grow food there? You have so much room to. Have you found any cool things growing in the woods? I am so envious!

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

Thank You!

And by the way, congratulations! Maia is gorgeous. :)

Thanks, I kinda think so too;)

Keep posting pics and stuff about your place!  It's so inspiring and exciting. 

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my jaw continues to drop... :)>>>

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This is all just wonderful.  Everything you've done is so perfect and beautiful!

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I love your pictures! 

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I want more spring photographs!

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CW - I've always been a city/concrete jungle kind of person but I do love the look and feel of your environment. Very cool.  ;)b

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Thank You, everyone!
Life out here is still pretty much wonderful. James and I have plans to build a cob house one day, after We've saved some money and done some more research... but in the meantime, the barn space suits Our needs quite well.

Last fall, We installed a new sink/counter with running water!! We tried to put in a small 2.5 gallon water heater under the sink...it worked fine, but it had a serious leak in the tank, so We took it out. Still, We don't have to go outside to the well pump and fill that darn heavy water jug! And We don't have to worry about taking out that old drainage bucket every day!
We dug out a trench for graywater drainage, led some pipe from the sink inside to the trench outside, and now the rosemary hedge (still quite young) is getting watered regularly. ;) We dug down to the connecting pipe underneath the well pump and added a new connection, which runs up into the sink inside. ...I should get some photos of that, hm?

....oh, and We are experiencing some issues with the latrine lately. :P
Since We dug it out by hand, We couldn't go any deeper than about 4.5 feet (serious quartz deposits = impossible digging). That was in March of 2010, and the level of, uh...the poop...should still be a few feet below the ground level. BUT, sometimes the heavy rains raise the water table, which fills up into the latrine hole, and it doesn't really drain out much. So the level is now just about 1 foot below ground level, which is still a good 3 or 4 feet below the seat. But it's so much liquid (mostly groundwater, I swear!) that it..uhm...splashes. sometimes. >.<  We desperately need to get it pumped, but that's about $200 that We don't have right now. So it's sawdust and lime for now...

WOW! That is amazing looking and in such a beautiful area! I can tell all of your hard work is paying off, those walls are just too cool!

And about the fridge, there's a picture at my old college in the library of someone using an old fridge as a bookshelf with a door!

Do you/are you going to grow food there? You have so much room to. Have you found any cool things growing in the woods? I am so envious!

oooh, a bookshelf fridge? I might suggest that to James when We move it into the future cob house.

We're definitely expanding Our growing spaces since We have so much room. There's actually been some talk about having community garden spaces/some kind of co-op situation, and I'm all about that! But for now We're just working on maintaining Our little garden plots, the grape arbor, and the 21 blueberry bushes.

There are tons of blackberries growing wild in the woods, and in one of the fields/next to the edge of the woods on one side of Our barn. Oh, and lots and lots of pretty (poisonous!) mushrooms, too. I should get some of those photos together, too....

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Sick!
;)b
That's absolutely beautiful!

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I just have to say... YOU. ARE. AWESOME.
and I'm totally jealous. I love seeing old forgotten spaces being turned into cozy, unique homes. And a bed cave?! omg.

keep up the great work :)

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Updates?  :)>>>

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I just saw this.  omg.  Please have updates.

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So totally cool......not jealous because I'm a city boy born and bread, but just so awesome!

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I just saw this.  omg.  Please have updates.

I second this!
I want to make a house someday out of earth bags or convert a shipping container or barn or grain bin or something into a house. :D

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You should add these thing for tthe healthy Breakfast, Whole grains like Rolls, bagels, cereals, low fat bran muffins, crackers, or Melba toast, Low fat protein such as peanut butter, lean meat, poultry or fish, or boiled eggs, Dairy like milk, yogurt and low-fat cheeses, such as cottage and natural cheeses....

 

Dublin health club

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