Weekend Homestead: Summer Progress

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Hanging Cedar Shakes

The kids have been back in school for two and a half weeks now, so let’s talk about what we got done at our cabin this summer.

You may remember that my husband started installing cedar shakes on the backside of the cabin over spring break. Well, that project had been really slow going, mostly because he hated the drudgery of it. I happen to love repetitive tasks (gives me time for my mind to wander), so I took over that project about a month ago, and now it’s moving right along.

Installing Cedar Shakes on Back of Cabin

I’ve put in three days of work so far …

Back of Cabin - Partially Sided

and I’m estimating that it’ll take me another four days to finish. Since, I’m only able to work on it one day a week right now, that means I should be done in a month. My goal is to have all of the siding up before winter. We just have a small amount of oak board and batten siding to put up after this.

Back Wall of Kitchen

Remember when the cabin didn’t even have a back wall? It’s hard to believe that was just 10 months ago.

Well Drilling Rig

Thanks to all of the carpenter bee traps that we sold this summer, we were also able to have our well drilled. We still have to build a well house and run all of our plumbing, but I’d definitely call this big progress.

Picnic Table

And we bought our first picnic table, too. I’ve been looking for a good deal on picnic tables since we bought the property, and I finally found one at our Habitat thrift store for $50. We put it down by the pond. Now, I’m on the lookout for a few more.

Solar Light

Sometimes the smallest project feel like the biggest improvement, and that was definitely the case when we added this solar light to the bath house. It’s motion activated, so now when you walk inside, a light comes on. Who says you need electricity to have light? And since we used some Amazon credit to buy it, it didn’t even cost us anything.

Mowed Field

My husband spent a good portion of his time at the cabin mowing. Since the property sat abandoned for 11 years, it’s taken a lot of work to whip things back into shape.

At the start of the summer, he found an old riding mower at a yard sale for $200, and I’m so glad he did. Taming old fields is tough on a mower, and it would have been painful to break a new mower as often as we’ve broken this one. He pretty much mows each week until the mower breaks. Then, takes it home, and fixes it for the next week. It’s been quite the education in lawnmower repair.

Barbed Wire

He’s unearthed lots of barbed wire, electric fence remnants …


and rocks in the field, and we’ve noticed a big improvement in the ticks and chiggers, since he started keeping the grass short.


The porch on the bath house is in really bad shape, so we’ve been keeping an eye out for cheap decking material. We finally spotted a curb pile with lots of decking this weekend, and it’s all in great shape. I think someone must have removed a small deck to build a larger one. They cut it up into smaller pieces before they hauled it to the curb, but the boards should still be long enough. We’ll haul it up on our next trip.

And that’s pretty much what we got done this summer. It’s not as much as we hoped, but I think we still made good progress, and we did it without incurring any debt. I can’t wait to see what we get done this fall.

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  1. You’ve done an amazing job!! You both are so talented!! What a wonderful place for your family!!! Great job!!

  2. Your quite the shingle Erin. The homestead is coming along, one day at a time. Your yard looks huge. I don’t know how you fit it all in with all the other things you do as well. Keep up the good work and someday you’ll be sitting in your house looking out at your yard and reminiscing about all the fun it was to build such a fine place. Keep on moving on. Best of luck and wishes. You are an inspiration!

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