No one burned down your she-shed, Shannon.

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

shakeysix

blue eyed floozy
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
10,840
Reaction score
2,418
Location
St. John, Kansas
Website
shakey6wordsmith.webs.com
Sheryl, Victor and even Zach, the insurance agent-- I have memorized the entire commercial. And today I am visiting Jeff, my insurance agent, to see about insuring my she-shed. Before Christmas I decided to buy the lot next door to me. There was a rumor around town that someone was looking to buy it for keeping goats. I hate goats. (Attention Goat Lovers--any argument you make in favor of goats will not sway me.) (or Geese, either, for that matter.)

I live in the last house in town. After my house it is pure prairie until Highway 50, about 3 miles away. In fact I live on Prairie Street. The lot is big and empty, to the south of my house, on a corner with two sand roads, three broken down elm trees, 2 clothesline poles but no clothesline, and a boarded up shed. Now the shed is red brick. It has a tight roof and is of a good size. The lot has connections for water, electricity and gas. I have been thinking she shed from the first.

I considered putting this in the Gardeners of AW thread but really this is about a project more than about a garden. I am old. No doubt about it but as I talk to my friends, it seems to me that those of us with projects are happier than those without. Not less frustrated by any means, but spiritually happier. So this thread is not intended to be about gardening, although god knows I cannot stay off flowers for long, but about projects. How they came about, the challenges, the steps, the outcomes.

Anyway, I am hoping to share projects. And, no, I am not wanting a sheshier she shed. I am thinking more functional although there is room for a sofa and chandelier.
 
Last edited:

Maryn

Fully Autumnal
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
45,959
Reaction score
11,957
Location
Leather Chair
Oh, I would love to be in on the discussion of your shed, even though I've grown to hate the term "she shed" nearly as much as I detest "man cave." Can it be a Shakey Shed?

If you've got sturdy walls, a roof, and access to power and water, you can make this work, I bet. Should we bring shovels and come to a trench party for running water lines? Because I'd want a tiny restroom.

Maryn, hydrated
 

Layla Nahar

Seashell Seller
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
7,613
Reaction score
824
Location
Seashore
I think you'll probably need a chandelier or a sofa. (I'll take the goats).

For my projects - I'm doing the Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Aka Konmari)
 

shakeysix

blue eyed floozy
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
10,840
Reaction score
2,418
Location
St. John, Kansas
Website
shakey6wordsmith.webs.com
oh, Layla I read that book. i'm still a clutter junkie but it was an inspirational book. Just never could get organized enough to do it. Can't wait to hear about the project. I need some clutter busting advice.

Maryn, Shakeyshed does work better. I am going to have my artist kid paint a sign. Shaky was my college nickname some 50 years ago. And yes, at my age anything more than an acre from the house requires a bathroom or adult diapers.
 

Maryn

Fully Autumnal
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
45,959
Reaction score
11,957
Location
Leather Chair
Good, it's not just me, then.

What sort of dimensions are we talking about? Is there any usable exterior, like a porch or concrete slab or pad, front or back? Are there windows? Which way(s) do they face?

My previous house's designer apparently resented there having to be bathrooms at all, and we had two of the tiniest ones I've ever seen in a modern structure. (It was built in the 60s.) When we redid them, I developed a decent eye toward giving the teensy bathroom what it must have, including enough space to turn around. Very small sinks exist and get the job done. Pocket doors are fine if they save space. (Or, if there's enough solitude, have a pocket door and use it only when the mood strikes.)

I agree, a sofa or a chair and ottoman, and a lighting fixture you love, are essential.

Maryn, in her her study, still a cluttered mess but improving
 

Chase

It Takes All of Us to End Racism
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
9,237
Reaction score
2,299
Location
Oregon, USA
shakeys-logo.png
 

Maryn

Fully Autumnal
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
45,959
Reaction score
11,957
Location
Leather Chair
Does that pizza chain still exist? I was offered a job there once, singing old-timey songs for kids and families to sing along to, with a guy I barely knew and already detested. I declined.
 

Chase

It Takes All of Us to End Racism
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
9,237
Reaction score
2,299
Location
Oregon, USA
Dunno:Shrug:. There was a Shakey's in Missoula, Montana, favored by smoke jumpers and skydivers. Another in Great Falls next to GFU, but I haven't been to either in a cheese goat's age. The once-upon-a-time Shakey's :e2drunk:here in Albany is now Abby's Pizza.
 

dolores haze

international guttersnipe
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Messages
4,952
Reaction score
3,937
Location
far from the madding crowd
*waves at Shakey*

I think the ShakeyShed should have a small dorm refrigerator for a selection of delicious beverages.
 

shakeysix

blue eyed floozy
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
10,840
Reaction score
2,418
Location
St. John, Kansas
Website
shakey6wordsmith.webs.com
Okay folks. I am back. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. But apparently not more than the rats in my new shed can chew. Yes, rats--big pooping rats. And brown recluse spiders. Fortunately they are freeze dried for now. Oh, and wasp nests. Also freeze dried. But remember that wasp nest from The Shining? This will be a Project.

Let me start at the first challenge--finding Randle, our town's reclusive lawyer. Like our county's one doctor, Randle is a bit overworked and under organized. Once you can get him to unlock his office or answer his phone, he is the nicest of guys. Especially if you can get him to talking about duck hunting. And he is sharp. I have always believed that intelligent people are by nature disorganized and overwhelmed, but that could be personal prejudice.

So there was a delay. The lady I bought the lot from --Dee from the Lumberyard-- is a widow of three or four years. She thought Randle had the deed to the lot in his office because he handled the paper work after her husband's death. Her husband's death was sudden and she was distraught enough to misplace the deed but it was more likely that it was in Randle's office. There are five empty desks, a wall of filing cabinets all piled with paper work, and he never turns on the lights. Anyway that deed thing delayed the transaction. Randle did find it, but only after Dee had torn her house and office apart and I had gone to the court house looking to track it down. (The courthouse is a little wonky too.)

Then Dee had to clean out the last of the stuff in the shed--mainly a leaky half tank of diesel fuel and her Elvis decanter collection. I only gained the padlock this morning and started clearing and cleaning. The diesel fuel had done a job on a couple of rats. Maybe I should have kept it.

Bill, Dee's late husband, had a lot of old lumber stacked in the shed. Most of it is treated but there are a couple of really old weathered boards. Not sure what is worth keeping. While I was moving lumber I found hundreds of spider eggs. The wind from the newly opened doors blew the eggs like a dust devil, into my hair and clothes. It was enough to make even me bolt into the sunlight slapping at my clothes and hair. Turns out the spider eggs were only tiny round pieces of Styrofoam. It was enough shock to call it quits for the morning. Thank God I didn't panic and strip down to my Granny Pants.

Anyway I am going back now with 4 cans of Raid--ant spray, spider spray, wasp spray and roach spray. Wanted to wait till after lunch before I sprayed the place down. --- s6
 
Last edited:

Maryn

Fully Autumnal
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
45,959
Reaction score
11,957
Location
Leather Chair
That's progress. Scary progress, but still progress.

I would take the lumber out. In fact, I'd buy some of the cheapest bricks at a home improvement place to get the lumber up off the ground and stack it a dozen feet or more away, maybe setting the most promising weathered boards near the top. Cover it with a plastic tarp to keep it dry, and weight that tarp with more bricks. (For many years, we covered our firewood outside with clear plastic sheeting that came in a three-foot width. A piece would last two seasons, sometimes three, then something would tear it. Avoid any that's real thin, which can't take what weather dishes out.)

Next up, kill what's living in there, wasps first. When you are completely done and the nests are removed, I will share a link to Charlie Hunnam Meets Wasps. (He's the Sons of Anarchy guy.)

All the critters dead and gone? Clean it as well as it can be cleaned. Wear gloves, because I bet your hands will be in water and cleaning products for a good long while.

There, now you can see a whole lot more of the true potential of what you have. At this stage, we'd love to see pictures so we can brainstorm alongside you. (And a before picture is always good.)

Remember those bricks? I think you're going to dig yourself a shallow hole, ring it with gravel, and make nice fire pit lined with those bricks. You can burn some of your wood that you don't want, too. Size it right and you could even cook there.

Shakey, do you visit Pinterest? You don't have to be a member to cruise other people's ideas for just about anything. There are quite a few pins for insect control, for example.

Maryn, who tests some of them
 

shakeysix

blue eyed floozy
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
10,840
Reaction score
2,418
Location
St. John, Kansas
Website
shakey6wordsmith.webs.com
I am a little worried about Hanta Virus. In my old school in Gray County, we lost a junior to Hanta Virus back in the 90s. She had cleaned out a farm shed for her dad. The story was that she inhaled dust and mouse dropping. I swept with a broom, and a pushbroom and am now wondering if a leaf blower would be wise.

I was thinking about dropping by the County Health Dept--just down the street, or calling my doctor about the virus thing but in this town, dropping by anywhere usually involves at least 20 minutes of small talk with the receptionist, the nurse, etc. It could eat up an hour. --s6
 
Last edited:

Maryn

Fully Autumnal
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
45,959
Reaction score
11,957
Location
Leather Chair
The fix for viruses that are dust-borne is online. Isn't everything?

For hantavirus, I found a website that has specifics at http://www.ehso.com/hantavirus_faqs.htm

Terminology:
General-purpose household disinfectant. Make sure the word disinfectant is written on the label.
Bleach and water solution. Mix 1 1/2 cups of household bleach with 1 gallon of water.

How to clean up mouse and rat urine and droppings:
  • Wear rubber or plastic gloves.
  • Spray urine and droppings with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water. Make sure you get the urine and droppings very wet. Let it soak for 5 minutes.
  • Use a paper towel to wipe up the urine or droppings.
  • Throw the paper towel in the garbage.
  • Mop or sponge the area with a disinfectant or bleach solution.
  • Wash gloved hands with soap and water or spray a disinfectant or bleach solution on gloves before taking them off.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water after taking off your gloves.

How to clean out cabins, sheds, barns, or other outbuildings:

  • Open all doors and windows. Leave them open for 30 minutes before cleaning.
  • Wear rubber or plastic gloves.
  • Clean up all rodent urine, droppings, nests, or dead mice or rats by using a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water.
  • Mop floors or spray dirt floors with a disinfectant or mixture of bleach and water.
  • Clean countertops, cabinets, and drawers with a disinfectant or a mixture of bleach and water.

They told us love conquers all, but it's really bleach and elbow grease.

Maryn, who'll treat you to a pair of gloves
 

AW Admin

Herder of Hamsters
Staff member
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Apr 19, 2008
Messages
18,003
Reaction score
4,818
Location
On the Server
Website
www.digitalmedievalist.com
I am a little worried about Hanta Virus. In my old school in Gray County, we lost a junior to Hanta Virus back in the 90s. She had cleaned out a farm shed for her dad. The story was that she inhaled dust and mouse dropping. I swept with a broom, and a pushbroom and am now wondering if a leaf blower would be wise.

I was thinking about dropping by the County Health Dept--just down the street, or calling my doctor about the virus thing but in this town, dropping by anywhere usually involves at least 20 minutes of small talk with the receptionist, the nurse, etc. It could eat up an hour. --s6


You don't want to sweep first; you want to disinfect first. Otherwise you're moving around the possible contaminants.

This is a pretty standard thing for barn owners to do. This is a pretty good discussion.

Wear protective gear (gloves and eye protection and a mask; see your local feed store).

Open doors and windows

Use a pressure washer and hose down all surfaces with a solution of Household bleach (i.e. Clorox or similar) in water witn 1. 5 cups of bleach to one gallon of water.

Do Not Mix at all in any way the bleach with ammonia.
 

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
2,152
Reaction score
612
Location
Belgium
I like the idea that people with projects are happier than others. :) I still haven't decided on my own next project.

Your shed sounds like a cool project, Shakey.
 

CathleenT

I write
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
5,093
Reaction score
1,969
Location
Northern California
Your project sounds like fun. Like Maryn said upthread, I'd save the lumber. Putting weathered wood up like paneling is a thing now, and it can look quite good as an interest wall.

Like you, I'm also interested in building what will technically be a shed, although really, it will be a hobbit house, round door and all. What size is your shed? In my county, I'm limited to 120 square feet, or I'd have to pull a permit and my property taxes would be reassessed. The reason I ask is that I've actually gotten a lot of ideas from tiny house videos on YouTube. I've watched so many of them, but I focus on ones that are the same size as the Shire-dweller home I'm building, and are single story. (No way did hobbits climb up to a loft.)

Anyway, if you can find a template for what you want, it'll probably save you a lot of re-doing things, which is always frustrating. And expensive. Also, please take care of yourself as you get rid of the ick.

I live not far from highway 50 myself, albeit much further west. : )
 
Last edited:

K.P. Iris

Just call me Iris.
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
58
Reaction score
5
Location
Maryland
I'm gonna keep track of this project s6. Reading about your adventures in shed building is more popcorn inducing than any blockbuster film.

To throw in my 2-coin of suggestions, skylight. Nothing fancy, just a simple shape in the roof. There's one in the master bathroom of my home and it does wonders boosting my mood on my off days...assuming the skies are clear. Also distracts from all the man-mess by boyfriend has accumulated in there (we purposely use separate bathrooms due to this fact).
 

Maryn

Fully Autumnal
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
45,959
Reaction score
11,957
Location
Leather Chair
I had a house with a skylight, in the past, and I just loved the additional light. Mr. Maryn built a screen for it so we could open it up to vent the heat in summer, too. So yeah, a skylight!

Wouldn't it be totally sweet if we could all meet at Shakey's with our tools and work gloves, get this underway?
 

shakeysix

blue eyed floozy
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
10,840
Reaction score
2,418
Location
St. John, Kansas
Website
shakey6wordsmith.webs.com
No meeting today--cold and rainy. I swept before I read because I wanted to get the lumber back in the shed before yesterday's rain. In retrospect, bleach should have been the first step. My sister and brother talked me out of the leaf blower. Water is a problem. The lot is plumbed but the hydrant was removed. I will have to see about getting a hydrant. The lot adjoins my yard, but my yard is about a half acre. The shed is at the end of the lot, maybe another half acre. That's a long way for my garden hoses to reach. Ditto the extension cords for my shop vac. The skylight is a good idea. One I am considering.

I will spray the floor and walls with bleach/water mix. I am walking over now to see if the roof is leaky. We carried the potting bench over yesterday, before the rain. Will carry my weed eater, wheel barrows, lawnmower bags, sprayers, dusters, etc. over today. We have been storing garden gear in the bathroom. Well, I have been storing them in the bathroom. My daughter has been bitching about the weed eater popping out of the linen closet all winter. I don't know what her problem is. I have to fight the pruning saws to get a blanket out of my bedroom closet. And the sledge hammer on the dining room table is an eyesore but she won't allow it in her room.

I stepped off the shed--it is about 18 feet (at least my feet) wide by 18 feet long. I have pictures but cannot figure how to send the. My avatar is my mailbox garden from last summer. Much prettier than the shed.

I would love a Hobbit Hole with a round door. I would paint the door Crimson Lake Red and trim the window in gold.
 
Last edited:

shakeysix

blue eyed floozy
Super Member
Registered
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
10,840
Reaction score
2,418
Location
St. John, Kansas
Website
shakey6wordsmith.webs.com
Looks like there is a small leak in the roof, at the very front. We moved in the potting bench, some tools, lots of chemicals and a wire rack. They all went to the back for now. Will have to look into the leak. The roof is high and peaked. There are rafters up high and they look to be sound. There is this board that would be perfect for a long shelf and 2 that would make a sturdy mantle--if I ever get that far. A lot to do.

I have to say that my dreams are brighter than before. I had an epiphany or a DOH! this morning. I was dreaming this beautiful dream about building a shady fern garden. My grandmothers and my mom were there to help me. My late husband was sitting on a step ladder, under a peach tree, eating a fresh peach. Of course a shade garden with ferns and lily of the valley isn't going to make it here, in western Kansas, but heucheras and hostas will.
Anyway it came to me that there are only 2 stages to life: #1--I will do great and wonderful things and--#2-- In retrospect I might have done a couple of noteworthy things. I guess I am not ready for the second stage yet. I like doing things. --s6
 

frimble3

Heckuva good sport
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Messages
8,716
Reaction score
1,365
Location
west coast, canada
I am thinking that if you want an exterminator to get rid of the hibernating wasp colony, now would be the time to do it - while most critters are still groggy and the big demand for exterminators hasn't hit. They might do it for less if the wasps aren't flying around.

And agreeing that any kind of 'blower' is not a good plan. In a shed it will only move stuff and spread it everywhere, instead of blowing it 'away'.
 

be frank

not a bloke, not named frank
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
10,049
Reaction score
4,785
Location
Melbourne
Website
www.lanifrank.com
Every time I see this thread pop up, my brain goes, It's a he-shed, she-shed type situation. :gone:
 

Maryn

Fully Autumnal
Staff member
Moderator
Kind Benefactor
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 12, 2005
Messages
45,959
Reaction score
11,957
Location
Leather Chair
What a lovely dream!

I had to look up what heucheras are--coral bells, right? Those and hostas sound real nice and low maintenance unless you have deer. (They ate my hostas down to three-inch stubs, and when they regrew, they ate 'em again.) There are lots of varieties of hostas I'd love to try. Have you seen the ghost hosta? It's a eerie almost-white. Expensive, though, as hostas go.

IMO, the plainest of buildings can be a treat to the eye as you approach, if you have plants the right scale for it. I like to use native plants when I can, although I'm a black-thumb gardener. My few successes are daffodils that naturalized quite well and some ornamental grasses that got bigger than expected.

At our new place, the previous owners put in lots of plants that are a favorite of deer, and there are plenty of white-tails here. What were they thinking? I intend to put in a fern garden (come visit me, Shakey!), since deer don't care for them, and if the hostas among the ferns make it, fine. But I'm not spending the time and effort to go out and apply deer-resistant stuff to the plants every time it freakin' rains. I'd rather do more research to learn what plants thrive in shade, wet clay soil, and among deer and a few other critters.

Shakey, do you have a phone that can take pictures? If so, and if you need it, I'd be happy to walk you through how to share them here. I'm low-ish tech, which makes me a halfway decent explainer.

Maryn, able to make herself understood now and again
 

Friendly Frog

Snarkenfaugister
Super Member
Registered
Joined
Sep 23, 2011
Messages
2,152
Reaction score
612
Location
Belgium
There are lots of varieties of hostas I'd love to try. Have you seen the ghost hosta? It's a eerie almost-white. Expensive, though, as hostas go.
The existing variety in hostas is astounding to me. I like the idea of combining them with ferns, they would look very nice together indeed in a shady, wet garden.

We don't have deer here but the slugs like 'em just as much! Not sure what is worst: having a small stump of hostas or having a few pitiful leaves where the veins are pretty much all that is holding the leaf together.
 

Featured Book