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Planning ahead for that all important flush

TPPlanning ahead for that all important flush, life in a rural area. Or... who said an outhouse was a bad thing?

When you live in a more rural section like I do here in New Milford, CT, there are a things you might to think about. (certainly not a complete list, but a good start)

  1. Feeding the birds can morph into feeding the bears.
  2. You know those haunting howling sounds you hear at night? Best to keep your kitties and small doggies inside where it is safe when it gets dark out.
  3. Never store cat/dog/rabbit/people food on a back porch, even a screened in porch.
  4. Lay in a good supply of tomato juice or something to give the pooch a bath with when he tries to play with a skunk.
  5. Not only is a doggie door convenient for you and the pooch and kittie, it is a perfect entrance for raccoons, possums, skunks, etc!
  6. Batteries, batteries, batteries and more batteries. Toss in a flashlight or 2, a few candles and you are good to go.


skunks and kitties

And last but not least, fill a few gallon jugs with water and put them away for safe keeping. Let me remind you that when the power is out, when the well pump goes or some other disaster befalls the well water system it is far more pleasant to have some water handy for that all important flush!

And my family thought I was a bit on the obsessive compulsive side! There ARE times when an outhouse might not be such a bad thing after all. I'm just sayin....


Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 25 commentsAndrea Swiedler • April 19 2010 10:50PM


Lots of good advice here... I think once someone has experienced no power.. they will understand the meaning of a "flush".

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 8 years ago

Very funny post. I'm amused by how many of those cautionary items would have been useful to me in my younger years. The tomato juice, the dog door for non-dogs, the flush-saving water jugs, the varmints showing up for the bird feeder. The list is long and we live in a natural world. I've solved half the problems by swapping out a woods-roaming golden retriever for a bed-guarding miniature poodle.

Posted by Dave Roberts (Healdsburg Sotheby's International Realty) over 8 years ago

Following a major wind storm in December of 2006, an outhouse would have come in very handy during the week we were without power, and thus without well water.  But we did have a hot tub full of increasingly cold water that we siphoned as needed to flush toilets.  And where we live, it's not exactly rural.  Your tips hit closer to home than many of us might think!

Posted by David North, for a rewarding real estate experience (Coldwell Banker Bain) over 8 years ago

This is a great post Andrea because these are things that people would just never think of.  These are the kinds of things I tell my clients all the time.  (coming from the city and out of town)  Alot of the time they laugh and think I am kidding.  Til that first unwelcome visitor is roaming the house!  LOL


Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 8 years ago


What a wonderful post about things that we would not even think about. And your photo of a kitten with skunks is just fabulous. Of course it is even better when you have enough tomato juice

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 8 years ago

You have some great points! And you know - sometimes simple is better!

Posted by Pat, Ben and Martin Mullikin (M3 Realty) over 8 years ago

Andrea - living in the country has its rewards and its pitfalls not being able to flush is one of them ..... our "outhouse makes a great tool shed tool sitter

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Words of wisdom from a very wise woman!  There are some things that it just pays to be prepared for, so don't forget to lay up some TP with that water!

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 8 years ago

Andrea, good advice!  It is always wise to prepare for emergency, especially when you live in rural area.

Posted by Rita Fong, Realtor - Marion Arkansas Homes for Sale (RE/MAX REAL ESTATE TODAY, Executive Broker 901-488-9590 ) over 8 years ago


Having lived in the country for many a moon, I know what you mean about being prepared. Extra batteries, Coleman lamp, gallons of water...


Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Andrea - Very sound advice you country gal! The outhouse like the silo has pretty much disappeared in my neck of the woods. I suppose you could always put one of those blue plastic porta johns in the woods....nahhh. We just fire up that great big generator for such ocassions. I know, I'm spoiled. ;-)

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) over 8 years ago

I love the picture of the old outhouse Andrea. Nice tips for keeping the critters away too:)

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) over 8 years ago

One word - Generator. Replace those water jugs with gasoline cans and you're good to go. One side benefit of storing gas...It appreciates in value:)

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 8 years ago

Andrea, those people in the country with the rain barrels connected to the downspouts had a lot of bases covered, and you have first hand experience with the tomato juice. Interesting post 

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 8 years ago

Great tips and advice from our very own rural living expert, Andra Swiedler!

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) over 8 years ago

HA!  I learned that lesson the two months after moving in when I had a houseful of guests coming for an lunch "see my new home" and

NO WATER!!!  I've sence put in a new well, but I also keep . . . . .


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Ahhhh, the pleasures of living in rural America. I know some people living in areas that are typically last to get their power restored after a storm who fill their bathtubs up before major storms as well as the jugs for drinking. I also have a campstove which is great for coffee in the morning.

Posted by Mike Saunders (Lanier Partners) over 8 years ago

Andrea, glad to see that you learned you lessons well :)

By the way, I don't know if you know Leslie Strauss the Broker/Owner of Century 21 Heritage in Chester.  She wrote a book on Outhouses and went all over the State take picture for the book.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 8 years ago

Joan, just let it happen one time and you really do know better, LOL.

Dave, LOL, so now you have a little poodle huh? Last time my dog got into it with a skunk it was late and I had NO tomato juice. I always keep some on hand, I think some 2 legged varmint got into it!

David, a hot tub would certainly solve the flush issue! I don't have a hot tub, sometimes in the winter I will fill up a few tubs outside with snow, LOL.

Debra, yes, you have to have this talk with those city folk who come to buy... LOL. No doggie door!!!!

Jon, thank you! tomato juice is a necessity where I am, and as I said to Dave, the last time the pooch got skunked, someone had drank it all and never told me. :( It was not a fun night that night.

Pat, sometimes simple is much better, LOL. Thanks!

Kathy, ahhh.... you have one still? Lucky you!!!

Janna, hey, how is the sale of your outhouse going???

Rita, thank you! Yes indeed, when you don't have town water you have to think ahead.

Michael, I have to admit I never got the hang of a Coleman lantern, LOL. I don't know what the problem is, but they are good to have around!

Judy, LOL, I cracked up on that one. I would run over to Chick's, he backs up the tractor to a generator, hooks up with the PTO shaft and voila, power all day long! :D

Bill, I would never have a doggie door, you are only asking for trouble out here! And I never leave my kitties out after dark. We have too many coyotes here.

Jim, no generator here, sorry! But I know what you mean!

Ed, I was thinking about rain barrels this year. I really was! I could use the water for the garden.. or for a flush or 2, LOL.

Craig, LOL, well thank you!

Lenn, you just never know about a well, do you. I have 4 glass gallon pickle jars from Costco that are always full of water. And more.... I see you have a good supply too!

Mike, I try to fill my tub during a storm, but something happened the other day to the water, we got it back that night, but it was touch and go, LOL.

George, I don't know her, but I think I have seen the book! And yes, I have learned my lesson very well. :D

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Andrea, the girl scouts are always prepared and so are you, thanks for the humor! Love the outhouse photo!!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) over 8 years ago

Caren, yes indeed, the girls scouts are always prepared, and I was one, years and years and years ago... a lifetime away.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 8 years ago

Great post Andrea and very funny, who knew? But it is great advice for us city slickers for sure!

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 8 years ago

One can never be too prepared when it comes to living in the country my friend. I remember saving gallon jugs when I lived in rural areas.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 8 years ago

Andrea this was rather funny. yet really practical tips for living in the country.  I like that last sentence about the outhouse., Is that why some people still have one?..:)

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 8 years ago

Thanks for the Friday laugh. Its a good way to start the weekend. We have skunks galore here (and coyotes). All my pets are locked in for the night. I'm not taking any chances!

Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 8 years ago