Monday, October 3, 2011

The Dennis & Dianna Marquis Wet Room and other updates

It took a while yet the water-proofed bathroom is finally finished, transforming a cramped space into a spacious wet-room with safety bars designed for some future Valhallans who may have physical disabilities. And unlike most bathrooms, this one even has a very stately name: The Dennis & Dianna Marquis Wet Room, in honor and recognition of all the beautiful tile they donated to Valhalla for this project:

The duel-flush toilet (1.1 gallon and 1.6 gallon flush options) will undoubtedly save a lot of water over time and we were able to buy it for less than $100, thus matching Valhalla's resource conservation and frugality purchasing goals. Although a few more accessories are needed (storage baskets, a shower bench to sit on, and a mirror to mount above the sink) we are very impressed with the end results!

Keith Hurst and Charles Jefferson were constantly on the lookout for creative ways to save on materials costs without sacrificing safety or quality. They came up with a really neat idea: salvage the old bathroom sink and move it into the bunkhouse on the other side of the wall. That way, those who are staying in the bunkhouse (previously a recreation room) can still shave or brush their teeth if and when the wet room is occupied:

The salvaged bathroom sink in its new place in the bunkhouse.
It needs a little more work and the room has to be painted, yet
 it will be a nice option for when the wet room is occupied soon!
Will the painting never end? Valhalla President
Gordon Cucullu putting the finishing touches on
one of the bedrooms while knowing there are many
other rooms that need work before next spring.
Three or even four twin beds should be able to comfortably fit into the bunkhouse, and another three up in the loft above the living room, while the two private bedrooms will eventually need to have queen sized beds for married couples who may spend periods of time at Valhalla.

The house isn't the only place where preparations are continuing: the property had a number of abandoned vehicles that not only posed a health and safety hazard (they were all contaminated with inches of rodent droppings), they also had undoubtedly dripped oil and other industrial chemicals into the soil for many years. Removing them meant bringing in a lot of heavy equipment, and it was also necessary to cut down some trees to extract the enormous dump truck that had been swallowed whole by the forest.

Valhalla would like to thank Steve and Sharron StClair for their incredible work in removing this ancient
dump truck from the property. The rear axle had frozen with rust so the wheels couldn't turn, and in
the end they had rig skids and cut the bed off to get it onto their trailer. Thanks Steve and Sharron!
Steve Nelson had to make many many trips to
apply lime over Valhalla's pastures.
The large pastures on the property have been neglected for years, so in came another huge truck to distribute two and a half tons of lime on each acre. Lime (which is simply ground up limestone, not the toxic quick-lime!) sweetens the soil without using commercial fertilizer, and by next year we should start seeing some positive results in the quality of hay and wild grasses.

Bottom line: a great deal of progress is being made yet the Valhalla to-do list remains very long. How does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Our IRS application for nonprofit status is being processed, 
yet you can still donate to help Valhalla today!

1 comment:

  1. Keep doing those amazing projects! I hope you continue to incorporate
    solatube daylighting in the roofs of the homes that you will be getting on next. I look up to reading your noteworthy efforts.