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Precious Water

April 10, 2009

When you have to haul heavy buckets of water to the house, you begin to find ways to conserve it or find other sources of water to use for various needs.

We did have the pond but it wasn’t very clean water so Rick got a water pump and several lengths of water hoses and built our own irrigation system for the garden.
All of our pets drank out of the pond so we brought some up to the yard where it could be used for them when they were penned in or when they were inside the house with us. During the warm months, Rick would bathe in the pond but not me! There were snakes in there–no way!! I used a huge metal washtub that sat on the floor in the kitchen. I heated water on the woodstove and poured it into the tub, washed my hair, then bathed. Then, I had a separate tub for rinsing everything off. It also had to be filled with hot water. This would take a big chunk out of my morning so eventually I got to where I only shampooed/bathed once a week but would wash up thoroughly in between with a washrag, soap and a big bowl of hot water. Hey– You gotta do what you gotta do!

There was a spring behind the house that flowed with wonderful fresh water but that only happened in the  Spring. During those few weeks, we used that for drinking and cooking. There was also an old waterwell that we were going to clean out and try to get it usable again but one day we saw an old animal carcass floating in it and decided Not!! During the summer we went to Devil’s Den State Park and used the showers there. It was a 10 minute drive and the showers were free so that was great for us!

We had an 8 gallon plastic bucket that was our ‘potty’ bucket (I called it the ‘yucket’). Rick put a piece of thick foam pipe insulation around the rim so it was softer to sit on. He borrowed a backhoe from work and dug a very, very deep hole in the ground about 50 feet from the house. He covered it with a huge, but thin piece of plywood to keep animals from falling into it yet it was lightweight enough that I could slide it off the hole. That’s where I carried the ‘yucket’ to everyday to empty it, then over to the pond to rinse it, then back to the house where I cleaned it then put a few cups of pond water into. If you didn’t put some water in it, the ‘waste’ would stick to the bottom of the bucket and be hard to clean out. (Too graphic for ya? Hey, you wanted to know how it was done!)

When the day turned into evening, Rick would be home and we’d have dinner and talk about our day. He loved hearing about my adventures in the woods or the trials I was going through and was amazed at how I resolved this problem or that. We would settle down for some TV.  That was an adventure in itself! We could get 2 channels but only if we turned the antenna just right. The antenna was outside, strapped to the house. One of us went out there to turn it while the other stayed in the house and said when the picture was coming in good. Then, if we wanted to watch the other channel, we would have to repeat the procedure. Sometimes  it would take forever to get the antenna just right, sometimes when the weather was bad we couldn’t get anything on the TV so we would read or play cards together. It was rather nice because we enjoyed each others company and had good times together.

Rick and was so happy and seemed a changed man ……….

(Feel free to ask me any questions you have on conserving water or “how-did-you”  questions that I haven’t touched on.)


10 Comments leave one →
  1. Louna Cee permalink
    April 13, 2009 4:08 pm

    Now, I have the word “yucket” in my mind and I can’t stop smiling as I am reading the post. I can only imagine the visual with the details in your post. ahaa!!!

    Any ideas when you will publish the “How-did-you…?” handbook? 😉

    But really, how did you handle this for so many years. Brave and strong woman. Truly, these men have no idea how they are preparing us for the toughest time in our lives!


  2. April 13, 2009 7:26 pm

    Thank you Louna! To tell ya the truth, I loved the homesteading–I must have some pioneer blood in me–I just did it with the wrong man!
    If things had worked out like they were supposed to, I’d still be there. 🙂

  3. Louna Cee permalink
    April 13, 2009 8:40 pm

    Actually, I can understand enjoy this easy going life…

    My family comes from an exotic place, and when I would go to visit them in the country, I always enjoyed the cold water, the walk in the dry or muddy path to get to the ‘yucket’, cleaning the laundry in the river, etc….

    Because of these experiences, I am known for being not attaching myself to materialistic things.

    Ahhh! I’m smiling at the thought of you living this great life story with the right man…

  4. April 16, 2009 12:15 pm

    (Comment by email)

    I had wanted to comment on your blog about Domestic Abuse– I guess like many I will say that I had no idea– Your story is so well written and descriptive aside from the subject matter. Sometimes i could detect hints of similar experiences with Patti and I– that thing where neither of us seem to measure up to the other’s expectations and we kept trying and hoping things would get better…There’s wasn’t so much blatent domestic abuse in the physical sense as much as the subtle criticisms of mental based abusiveness; an area that in itself needs more attention I think… A lot to reflect on–

    Also. I could appreciate the homestead thing– I helped a friend of mine once build a log cabin up in Alaska in an out of the way place 2 hrs north of Anchorage… I experienced the outhouse thing– and can appreciate the work involved in preparing the basics– realizing the conveniences once you are without them! —

  5. April 17, 2009 6:40 am

    I’m really enjoying your story – and am so sorry that it was with the wrong man.
    Louna’s comment made me smile…

  6. April 17, 2009 12:10 pm

    Strong woman, indeed!

    It’s amazing to hear the details of how you accomplished things we take for granted every single day.

    Even when I read the word “homesteading”, I just didn’t put it together with how much hard work that it! Hard but rewarding … having someone to share it with makes it SO much more rewarding. I’m sorry you put so much into something you obviously loved and enjoyed and wasn’t able to reap all the rewards due you because you were with the wrong person.

    What makes it harder is that you did have some good times. And I know from personal experience the absolute joy one gets when they work so hard for something alongside someone they love, and then you fall into bed at night, exhausted but thrilled at your accomplishment, or just taking delight in those small moments.

    When they pull their stunts and eff it all up, it seems to take away every moment of joy and that sense of goodness and sense of being “home”.

    Yes, you are a strong woman. You’re homesteading now … within yourself, chica!


  7. April 17, 2009 2:25 pm

    Thank you Jonie for your comment. (Yes, Louna is a hoot sometimes.) 🙂

    ‘V’–thank you for your insight!

    “What makes it harder is that you did have some good times. And I know from personal experience the absolute joy one gets when they work so hard for something alongside someone they love, and then you fall into bed at night, exhausted but thrilled at your accomplishment, or just taking delight in those small moments.”

    So true! and so sad.

  8. Louna Cee permalink
    April 20, 2009 4:29 pm


  9. Lorraina permalink
    December 9, 2010 6:12 pm

    So far your story has had lots of uncany similarities to my sister’s life experiences with the wrong men. Will be back later to continue.

  10. December 9, 2010 6:52 pm

    Looking forward to your comments, Lorraina! Thank you!

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