Update from the Shikata Homestead, where have we been!?

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Top to bottom, left to right: Cabin side shot, cabin bathroom door opening, cabin front door opening, cabin addition door opening (will be a bedroom)

Much always happening at the homestead. We lost our guest cabin to repossession. Our two small cabins have been threatened with repossession and as far as we know, will be repossessed. They (Derksen Cabins) won’t even respond to our mail now. So we don’t know what is going on. We will just stay in the big cabin until it is gone I guess. Our truck died. Only transportation. Today marks the first day my daughter and I have been out of the woods in almost 2 weeks. Being in town today is foreign to say the least, although, still, not exciting to us.

Our cabin is moving along slowly, unexpectedly. Apparently we are competing for good pallets in this small country town now. SO we changed the plans and started buying stuff, although we still have not spent one dime of our money on anything. Some people donated a few hundred to our cause and we used it to purchase floor and roof wafer boards, got almost all we need. I waited, we were going to start buying 2×4’s, I got tired of waiting.

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Top to bottom, left to right: Hand building custom pallets to fit, daughter measuring to build wall piece, wife working on cabin, wife and I building wall piece.

The other day I just got dressed, walked over to the cabin floor and said “I am going to build this cabin I am tired of waiting.” So my daughter and I went to work with the scarp wood and pallets we have here. In 2 days we got the lower cabin walls complete, the door ways cut and framed. Now we are already working on covering the walls with boards from recycled pallets. I can have the 2nd half of the walls done in 2 days, just need a truck to haul pallets from town with. Luckily I repaired the truck today, took 5 hours, and we can haul wood again. So we will be getting back to work on it in a day or 2.

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Top to bottom, left to right: Installing outer wall covering, daughter and I installing outer wall covering of reclaimed pallet wood, Cabin back door shot, earlier cabin shot.

So that is the happenings. Been a lot of wood cutting, splitting, stacking going on, as usual. Mostly what we have going on now, besides that cabin. Probably had 2 cords or more done last week. Been cold here, so been burning a lot of wood. So have to keep at it more than usual. We always have a stock of food available, although it does get low, we have recently located an actual food stash that was abandoned out near the homestead. My daughter and I have been backpacking that stash to the homestead, every few days. Got some other things from the stash as well, tools and such.

An “off gridder” just up and abandoned apparently for the city life. Last winter here was hard…. probably left not wanting to deal with that again. Been hunting small game, as usual, on our property. Bagged 5 squirrel a few days ago. As for the future, the first few months of 2015 will look like this for us:

In January, we will be doing what we are doing now. That is, free ranging chickens, raising meat rabbits, building a new cabin from scrap wood, timber and recycled pallets. Probably seeing a repo. of the Derksen cabins, cutting, splitting and stacking firewood. Huntin small game, washing laundry in 5 gallon buckets in the cabin, haha, dutch over cookin, book writin (working on my next print book), water catching, filtering and maybe some wild water harvesting from the backwoods river. Daughter is working on crafts that will be sold at the Spring Planting festival at Bakers Creek Pioneer village in Mansfield, MO. in May. Wife is always knitting and crocheting things to sell or for use at the homestead.

Doing some land clean up for beautification purposes (winter is the best time, no bugs, no heat, no poison ivy, no chiggers, no weeds/leafy brush etc.) Searching out and hauling home reclaimed wood for the projects. Searching for a way to get a better vehicle so we can continue life. Possibly start work on a small guest house that will serve as my daughters home in 4-5 years as she ages. She is actually drawing and designing it. It will be all recycled and re-purposed wood. -No telling what will pop up to add here anytime.-

In February, we start seedlings in doors for the spring garden. If the temperatures are right we sometimes plant cool weather crops in late February. We will no doubt be doing all the stuff in January too. But February is a time of preparing for the spring. Garden tilling, maybe, garden planning, which includes probably cutting stakes, putting up fences, cages, building and putting up trestles and such. We will be going through out seed collection then, making sure everything is in order. Probably preparing/planning to get our new chick flock. Rabbit breeding is restarted. No telling what else.

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