Thursday, April 20, 2017

Composting Toilet

Joseph Herrin (04-20-2017)

Some Supplies for My Compost Toilet

I had been used to dumping my holding tank about every two weeks in my daughters septic system. The access to it was about 90 feet away from where I was parked, so I acquired a number of hose extensions and ran them over to the drop every two weeks. I have thought of building a composite toilet one day, especially when I had to replace about three hoses a year due to leaks and breaks. The hoses are the least reliable part of a RV septic system.

A week before I bought the material for making a composting toilet, I had looked on the Internet at what was available. The cheapest composite toilet for sale that looked like it was built nice was the Nature’s Head toilet.

The Nature’s Head composting toilet costs about $960. It was one of the cheaper ones. Then came the news. My daughter may be moving to the outside of town. She has been out in the country for about 7 years. She asked me if I would be interested in viewing the place, and invited me to go over and look at it. It is a rental property that has been leased to some of my daughter’s best friends. We went over and saw where the motorhome would go and there was no place to dump black water (sewer water). I told my daughter that I had been contemplating a composite toilet for a while. There is no dumping of sewage with a composite toilet.

On behalf of my daughter, the location would be much nicer. It is right between her work and church. It would cut off 7 miles one way. The property is a rental house, not a double-wide like she has now. It is also not on a dirt road, so the wear and tear on her car would be a lot less. She would be able to invite people over to her house more often as it is right on the outside of town, only a few miles from her church. It is also about 2 miles from her place of employment.

It looks like a pretty good opportunity. My daughter has not made her mind up yet, but she is leaning toward getting it. The moving date would be the middle of May, so I had some time to get ready. I started on the composting toilet. Many people make their own toilets, so I felt adequate to make my own. Let me tell you a little about composting toilets.

First off there is no smell. I can attest to this by having mine in the RV for the past two days. If a composting toilet gives off any smell, it is the odor of the material put in the toilet for mulching. This can be peat moss, pine shavings, cedar shavings, or a variety of good smelling stuff. I have a mixture of pine shavings and coconut coir in mine.

To get a toilet that has no smell you have to divert the urine. Most of the reason that human manure smells is because people put it in with the urine. This keeps it wet and smelly. A correct way to handle it is to put the manure and the urine in different containers. When the urine is diverted it can be taken outside and disposed of in a catch pocket in the ground. I ordered one part for my toilet, and that was a urine diverter.

Urine Diverter

The urine diverter mounts to the underside of the place where the person sits. Mine will be a bit higher so the drain will go out the side of the compost toilet and in to the collection container. Below is a photo of my urine container and my spade.

There is a quarter on the carpet in front of the jar to give it something to compare it with. It is a very wide and low jar to keep it from turning over.

I looked online for a wide range of models to get an idea of the one I would like to build. I found the following plan.

Copied Design

I copied the design above, except for the urine diverter. The homemade urine diverter had a rise where the drain is. This was a problem as you would have a certain amount that wouldn’t go in. Fortunately I saw plenty of diverters for sale, so I was not too put off by this aspect of the loo. I liked the large catch basin, as it allowed for a great deal of waste material to go into it before one would have to empty the basin. Most people use a 5 gallon bucket to catch their waste. A 5 gallon bucket has to be emptied roughly once a month. I figured the container I chose would only have to be emptied once every 3 months, or so.

Following is a photo of my compost toilet with the walls on.

I glued the sides and put three nails per side. I found that I am still affected by the stroke I had almost a year ago, so I got George to help me with this. After I was done with the framing I had to go back to the store and get a hinge and a couple other things. I then put it all together.

I put a long piano hinge on the back. Then I moved it inside before filling it up with pine shavings and coconut core.



It looks filled to the top with the lid shut, but open the door and you can see that it has quite a bit of space left inside.

I only filled it up perhaps halfway. It is still waiting for a urine diverter up front. There was a large hole in the floor from the previous toilet that I covered with a clear mat. I then placed the compost box on top of it. I am still playing around with the location. I don’t like the current position it is sitting.

The end result: I spent considerably less that $960. I reckon I spent no more than $250 dollars on it. I did not have a jigsaw, so I saw this as a good opportunity to purchase one. You really could cut a rough hole under the seat, but I was impressed by how good a job George was able to do with the right tool.

A composting toilet is supposed to be good for the water that is saved. They are quite popular in Europe. Getting past the squeamishness is the hard part for Americans. Most of the world does not know what it is to flush a toilet, nor is there plans to get them used to it. Sewage is a big problem for major cities. A better solution is composting. Humanure is a great fertilizer.

Aside from working on this, I have been continuing to do things around here. I sold my old computer today. I had to run it to town to the UPS Store. I also got out and cut the yard yesterday. It’s getting pretty dry out. Well, I hope you got a little out of this. If you want to look into composting toilets a bit further there are the following aids.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Joseph Herrin (04-12-2017)

Above is a picture of the Heart4God website. It has been up since 2000. Of course, not all that is on it today was on it back then. Most of the books had not been written, and the audio messages had not been spoken yet. I have added to the website over the years, and now it seems that it needs a major revamping.

To those who are worried about my work on the Bible translation, I am still going to work on it, but those who are familiar with it know that it will take me a couple years work. In the meantime I have many things to stay up-to-date on, and the Heart4God website is one of those things.

The last time I did anything to the website was 7 or 8 years ago. By doing anything, I mean design wise. I had completely redesigned it 7 or 8 years ago, and had used Xara Website Designer 8 (I believe). I had updated it in since then, for I had constantly been writing books and shorter writings. I have not written anything in the past year, but I did some more work on the newsletters, so I upgraded that section.

Now I have purchased Xara’s latest offering, Xara Web Designer Premium 365. It does many things that the older software would not.

I will be able to get the site in shape for some years to come. Not only did I get this software, but I got Microsoft Office Professional 2016. This is an advance of 9 years on Publisher 2007, and a 3 year advance on Excel 2013. These are the programs I use to create the Newsletters for men in prison. I have already noted that I will have to go back over the newsletters and reformat them for space in Publisher. They are printing the text in a different size, or font. Publisher looks like they have made a great deal of advancement with it.

Flip PDF Professional is another program that I have gotten the latest version of. I had done one book with Flip PDF Professional, as well as PDF, when I posted it to the website. I will go ahead and do all of them now.

I am still tweaking my system. It will be some time before I am through. I am going at a slower pace when it comes to PC work.

Aside from this I am doing some work around the house that needed doing. I sold my trike. I have not used it much, particularly in the last year. I no longer need it to make trips to town (30 mile round trip). Since the Father led the men to get me the car some 2 years ago, I had not gone to town on the trike again. I was using it very little for rides down the dirt roads here, and the dirt was causing it to look shoddy. So I put a new back tire on it, washed it up, and sold it. I find I like walking just as much for the exercise.

I also have my old PC for sale with one of the monitors and a new track ball. It comes with a Dell keyboard, and an external Blu-Ray drive, as well as an internal DVD ROM drive. I’m selling it for $800 dollars.

I went into my trailer and started cleaning it out. I pulled out my InFocus projection system that I formerly used when I went across the country on my speaking tours. I am selling it along with my screen and the conductors stand that I was using. They have not been used in 7 years.

I have a few other odd things for sale. I’ll try them on Craigslist first, and if they don’t sell quickly I will put them on Ebay. I want to thank everybody who helped me with the computer and ongoing ministry needs. You have made continuing in ministry a blessing.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

One Month Will Be A Year

Joseph Herrin (04-04-17)

Come May of 2017 I will have spent a year in recuperation from the stroke that I had. I would like to tell you about it since I know that most people do not understand strokes.

On one of the first days of May 2016, I am not sure which, I experienced a stroke. I remember my daughter took me out to lunch. I had likely had the first part of the stroke the night before. It was relatively easy to hide, I thought, not having too many telltale traits. I wasn’t sure I had a stroke because the evidence was too little to show, though I suspected something was happening. Interestingly, my sister who is a year older than I, had a stroke about a year earlier. I can roughly remember the date of my experience because May 7th is my birthday, and it was a few days yet.

Kristin and I went out to lunch and I spoke very little, but I did speak. I figured if I spoke as little as possible that she might not be too alarmed. I felt that the stroke was still happening and my speech was getting progressively worse. About halfway through our lunch Kristin noticed something was not quite right with her Dad, and though she never mentioned a stroke she began to watch me more closely. She drove me back home after our lunch and went over to her house. I felt it was a good opportunity to take a nap.

A little later Kristin came over to my motorhome and said she thought I had a stroke. She said she had invited some people from her church to come pray for me. That is all she said, though I suspected she was going to want to keep a close eye on me for the foreseeable future.

A little while later about a dozen people from her church showed up. I wasn’t talking too well by this time as the stroke had debilitated my right side. I welcomed the people into my motorhome, and sat at the desk while some managed to get past me and the rest stood around me. They began to pray for me. I remember one of the elders from Kristin’s church praying for me. Several people prayed. There were also young people around Kristin’s age who prayed for me – Kristin is 29.

After they left Kristin told me that she wanted me to go to Nicholas’ house to stay for a while. Nicholas had a double wide home and had a man I knew staying with him. This was George. Nicholas was about 22 and George was 39. I knew that I should not give Kristin too much grief about staying with people for a little time. She was doing all she could to care for me. I told her I would go for a little while, being concerned for my two dogs, and my mother dog who had puppies a few weeks before. Kristin said she would take care of them.

Girlfriend with a Couple of Her 8 Pups

When I got to Nicholas house he was more than happy to have me stay with him. He had earlier spent a number of months with me in my motorhome when he first moved to this area. He had been out for some time in his own place, and welcomed guests.

Nicholas At His Rental House

My daughter came by to visit me every day, usually in the morning and evening. She had to work during the day so she would sometimes even come by for lunch. I began to learn how much debilitation I had suffered from the stroke during this time. My daughter would get my mail, and my email, and read them to me. Oftentimes I would read them myself. I could not answer them because the stroke had taken from me than my ability to write. Handwriting was a non-starter because my right hand would not do what I wanted it to do. Typing was also very, very slow. I had trouble thinking of what words I was going to use, and often I could not think of the word.

This slowness of speech does not mean that the person is slow of mind. I could think, but I couldn’t put my thoughts into words. If you were to ask me today if I believed all that I espoused in my 22 books, I would tell you I sure did. I simply could not tell you why in plain speech. I would just point you to my books. They are every bit of me in very good English. I can’t talk in very good English now, but I can still write.

Walking was also very difficult. I would get up and go walk circles on Nicholas’ back porch. It was a couple weeks before I was brave enough to walk down the steps, and the first few times I tried it I had someone to catch me if I fell. After a couple of weeks there I was able to walk around the house to the front yard and sit in the nicely shaded areas under the pine trees. There was a dirt road in the front of the house and in about 3 weeks I was able to walk down part of it. By the 4th week I was walking to the end of the road, turning around and coming back. I was always worn out after one of these treks. I had to use a cane, also because my balance was not too good.

The steps at Nicholas’ house were not in very good shape. I did not use the front door except for a couple of times near the end of the month that I spent there. It did not have handles and the steps were very small and in poor shape. I was afraid I would spill myself into the front yard. The steps at the rear on the porch were a little better. They were twice the height of the front steps, but they went down along one side of the wall. I could brace myself with the wall while traversing them, but it was still into my third week before I tried them.

George was at the home the whole time I was there. I suspect that this was my daughter’s plan. She would have gotten someone else to stay with me if George had to go somewhere. George played me a couple games of Scrabble. I really struggled to come up with some good words. Most of them were no more than four letters. My mind felt like it had a trap set upon it. Try to think too hard and it would snap shut. I really learned about this when George and I tried to talk about spiritual matters. I knew there was something I wanted to say, but getting the words to come out was a non-doer. It’s not that I felt frustrated, but I couldn’t think of some word, or remember a verse. George said he knew what I was going through and waited patiently for me to fill in the blank, or in resignation to confide that I could not say what was on my mind.

After a month there I told Kristin that I wanted to go home. She had been good to take care of the dogs, and the puppies were big enough to be given away. Fleas had overrun them though. They already had fleas when they were in the whelping bed with Girlfriend. I had put them on a type of mulch that was supposed to kill fleas, but it wasn’t doing the job. They were in a much nicer bed area, but still had fleas. It was 10 feet by 10 feet, underneath a roof. Kristin and Nicholas had raised the walls a little, and had closed a couple holes.


Kristin in Puppy Bed Showing Off Puppy

Kristin had already given a couple of dogs away while I was at Nicholas’. The job was made easier in that 7 of 8 puppies were male. We continued to give them away while at home. One day she gave two of them a bath to get rid of fleas and she asked me to bring one over to her back porch while she dried the other one. I picked one up and I began to walk over to her back porch with it. Perhaps I was feeling good that I had gotten so far, but I stepped on the first step of the staircase and lost my balance. My whole thought was on not dropping the puppy so I swiveled my back around and landed on my side against the wall and the step. Kristin checked on me, and took the puppy. I said I was okay. Nothing broken. Just then she had some friends come up who were getting one of the dogs, so I went to my motorhome to get straightened up then I came back over. Kristin was to find out later that I had bruised my side rather badly when I fell down. Yet it wasn’t a break, so I didn’t think too much of it. Balance is one of the things that goes the most when one has a stroke like mine.

Around the same time Kristin had a friend who was younger than her die. She was washing dishes and said “Oh no” and collapsed and died. She had a heart defect since she was born, but no one expected her to die like she did. When the girl’s Dad heard about it he had a stroke. His stroke was much worse so that he couldn’t walk or talk at all. About 6 months later he had another stroke, which put him even further behind.

I know my stroke was a mild one. Within 3 months I was driving my car to Montezuma. Within 4 months I was driving to Perry. Now I regularly go to Warner Robins, which is a good sized city about 30 miles away. I am perfectly fine while driving, and the traffic in Warner Robins is stop and go. It’s not a problem.

I have mowed the yard four times this year, but not everything comes so easy. I spent about 9 months walking with a cane. My balance was not that good. Only in the past two months have I hung up the cane and begun walking without it. I walk about 2-1/2 miles in one walk.
 I could always walk, but I did not have excellent control of my right leg. When I left Nicholas’ to return to my motorhome I plopped down twice outside when I was hanging up my clothes to dry. That was the first month I was home. I haven’t fallen since then.

Typing is another area I have seen improvement in. I wrote how I had gotten a Dvorak keyboard to make me faster. I couldn’t find the right stickers to go on the keyboard that resisted peeling. I had some before which I put on my keyboard when I wore the letters off, but I couldn’t find anymore like them. When the substitute letters wore off the Dvorak keyboard I was still learning it, so I returned to my Dell keyboard. I did some thinking about a keyboard, and since my typing has come back I have used a smaller keyboard without a numeric keypad. I am using it today, and it seems just right for me.

Mechanical Keyboard

I can type better and better as the days go by. I am close to the speed of my typing before I had the stroke. I wish everything would improve as much. I guess my talking would be better if I talked very much. In recent years I have lived apart by myself and haven’t had many opportunities to talk. I don’t get many phone calls as I do most of my counseling through Email. I also generally only see my daughter once a week as she is so busy with her own schedule. I do see her drive to work each day and back home at night. A funny thing about seeing her is that I have since my stroke called her Mickey. Mickey is the name of my younger sister and she lives in Colorado. I recognize that I have called her the wrong name and correct it to Kristin. Maybe it’s the similarity in sound, but I find myself calling people things I haven’t thought of for many years. Nicholas and George have gotten used to me calling her Mickey, though I do correct myself.

One thing I have observed is that I need a nap every afternoon. I feel a drooping sensation come over me and I know it won’t go away unless I take a nap. Well, sometimes it will if I force my way through it and continue working. I suppose my body is still healing and it needs a nap.

I do know that my care by my daughter has been made much easier because people have continued to share with me from their finances. I even have been able to buy a new computer, I will share a blog on that soon. I know during the past 11 months I have started to study in some areas, but have not finished. I started in looking into music, intending to write a book on music listening. I have found it is a good time to listen to music, but my mind has not gotten back to the point where I can read the many books that are on my shelf, and the writings on my computer, and digest them all. I can say now that my mind is a lot better than it was a few months ago. I think after a year has gone by that I will be a lot more inclined to tackle some things I have set on the back burner.

I have not forgotten the translation of the Bible that I have begun on. I am still committed to seeing it through. There are so few Bibles that are correct in any passage. Most of them have taken out the name of Yahweh. I continuously have to make changes to the most common Bible translations. There will be a major push to see it through.

If I have left anything out that you can think of, please write and let me know. Yahweh is so good in bringing us to ends that we can be sustained in, for He is the Lord of life.

Heart4God Website:   

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063