Building a house was not something our family had ever planned to do. But with the growth of Goat Milk Stuff, we needed a new farm and soaproom.
And since the property we purchased did not have a house, we needed a house too!
The construction project took almost two years from start to finish. Those are some of my favorite two years. So many things happened, and I learned so much from all of the things we struggled with.
I don’t want to commute as an adult. We spent hours and hours in the car, commuting every day, including Sundays. We started building in July of 2012, and we spent the next six months driving up to Scottsburg every other day or so, and our Great Pyrenees puppies would come with us.
In December of 2012, we moved all the animals up there. When we moved the goats, we had to go to Charlestown, pick them up six at a time, and bring them up to the new property in the Hulk. Once the animals were in Scottsburg, we drove there every single day and spent the majority of the day in Scottsburg.
I added it all up, and we spent almost 300 hours in the car during this time. Even though I don’t want to commute, I must admit that it did provide lots of extra hours for reading.
A real kitchen is not a necessity, but it is a luxury I don’t want to do without ever again. We ate all of our meals in the breakroom in the soaproom – oatmeal in the rice cooker* for breakfast, sandwiches or leftovers for lunch and a crockpot* meal for dinner. The table took up most of the breakroom, and you had to push the chairs all the way in to get around it. The “pantry” in the breakroom was a cabinet that couldn’t hold half of our food supplies – we ended up going to Walmart almost every day.
A real bed is an even bigger luxury. In March and April of 2013, we had Kidding Season, and we slept on the floor of the soaproom for almost three weeks.
No matter how many pillows or blankets you put under you, concrete does not make a comfortable bed.
Running water is the biggest luxury of them all! In May of 2013, the house was almost done being built and we started moving things in. When Brandyn finished the racks in our closets*, most of our clothes came up. When Ramblyn finished the kitchen cabinets, half of our kitchen supplies came up. Once the racks in the pantry* were finished, we brought up all of the food, which was easy since we’d been eating out of the soaproom breakroom anyway.
One Saturday, a couple of friends with trailers who knew that we were close to moving asked if we needed any help. That night our beds, dressers, couches, dining room table, and bookcases (lots and lots of bookcases) arrived. “Whoo hoo, we’re sleeping here tonight!” the kids said. They forgot one thing.
We didn’t have plumbing.
We didn’t even care. We’d spent too much time commuting with eight kids and two large dogs for half an hour each way for anyone to care anymore. Lucky (and Mom) said we could sleep at the new house, and by golly, we were going to sleep there! Who cared about no plumbing?
Well, we cared that night.
Want a drink of water? Go to the barn.
Have to go to the bathroom? Go to the barn.
Want to brush your teeth? Go to the barn.
Want to shower? Sorry, you’ll have to wait.
Drain the cans of tuna fish for dinner? Um… put it in a bowl for the chickens.
Yeah, that was interesting.
Fun fact: when you know that there’s no toilet in the house, your bladder likes to play tricks on you. And walking to the barn in the middle of the night, at 11, 2, 4, and 5 am isn’t fun. Especially the one night when it rained. Mom made Dad drive her to the barn that night. LOL
The next morning, Mom told Lucky that we really needed a toilet, and somehow, with some blue plastic tubing*, he managed to get us one working toilet – although you couldn’t wash your hands afterwards (yuck!).
See the stick holding the tube against the wall? One night, in the middle of the night, I stumbled to the bathroom, still half asleep. When you flushed the toilet, the tube would jerk as the water went through it, and apparently it had done that just enough times to work itself loose. So I flushed, the tube jerked, the stick fell, and the tube came around and smacked me in the face.
I wasn’t very happy. It did make for a good story the next morning at breakfast though. And when the plumbing contractor finally made it out to the house two days later, everyone was VERY excited!
Those were just some of the lessons that I learned during the two years of construction at our new farm. We learned so many things (including what is really important), we made so many memories, and we met so many awesome people. Yes, there were some challenges that I could have missed out on (walking to the barn three times in one night wasn’t fun), but I’m so glad even that happened.
And just think of all the fun stories I’ll get to tell my kids someday!