Monday, December 21, 2009

Lovin the Country Life.

So far so good with the shack and everything. We've survived some pretty wicked weather up here. It kinda sounds like everyone everywhere is having a little of that off and on. Lots of snow in alot of the south too I hear. What a weird year for weather again. Personally I like it when it stays a little bit cold, just so things are'nt melting and making a big mess then freezing again. If it stay below freezing the snow wipes or sweeps off things pretty easy, but lately I'm finding alot of boards need a good ice scraping in order to build with it. That sucks.
I lost a few days when it was severe cold out, then when the weather warmed up a bit, just as I thought, they needed me at work, so that took another 3 days of my building time, but I guess I'm that much wealthier also so it just does'nt really matter. Today is the shortest day of the year and everyday is going to get a little longer from here till the shack is built. (Hopefully). So that is something to really look forward too. Especially when you're running solar energy. The solar thing is going good, but because of the extreme cold temperatures, I do find myself running the generator a little more than I would like to. More to keep the batteries at a warmer temp than anything. This is a minor little problem that will be rectified in the new cabin when it is done. As far as I know, I can have the batteries in the basement if things are all done right. This would solve alot of problems, but if for some reason I can't put them down there, then there are still other ways.

Well I have four walls up finally. When I look at this basement, it is going to be a pretty tall house for the size of it. It might even look kinda funny, but I don't care. I will enjoy the veiw. The walls that are going up next are a little more than 10 feet tall, then the trusses with a 1 to 1 slope(I guess that's what it is called). These basement walls are 8 feet tall.

I am really enjoying the building process lately, even though we have been getting alot of snow off and on, and the weather has been windy and chilly, but warm enough to build in anyway. I probably wont get much accomplished on the cabin tomorrow, besides getting some building supplies and a tiny little bit of Christmas shopping and other supplies etc.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Brutal Mother Nature Test

Me and my little shack are really being put to the test now. I did'nt do much building today. I'm pretty sure that if I tried to drive a nail in a board, it would have just split the board. Lumber even sounds different in weather like this. Right at this moment my thermometer is reading about -39C/about -38F. Thankfully there is not much of a wind. My propane is still flowing, but I have done a few little precautions in case. Propane quits vapourizing at -44C, I have read. Our local forcast for tonight is calling for lows of -43C. I dunno, thats a little close for comfort. Out here, hopefully it gets no colder than it is, but it also could get colder than the local forcast. I have seen alot of this -40 stuff over the years, but not since I moved out here in the shack. I can actually remember one day, quite a few years ago where it was in the -50 area, but that dos'nt happen very often. All I know is that the floor in this old shack is cold enough to freeze an egg on.

Today I bought a couple of 72 inch battery warmers for inside the deep freeze to keep my batteries warm when ever the generator is running. Right now they are at +4C, which is not bad concidering what the temperature is outside. When the power is taken away, it takes quite awhile for the batteries to get to the outside temperature. I'm guessing that if I shut it down right now, the batteries would be about -15 to -20c by morning, maybe even warmer than that. I used to just use a 100 watt light bulb for this same purpose, but it was pretty slow warming it up a few degrees, but it did work. I'm actually quite impressed with the battery warmer blankets. However, in my new cabin I will have it somehow, so I don't even have t0 worry about things like this. This is actually quite a good experience to live in this shack for a winter before the house is built, just so I can iron all these little issues out and kinda plan things in. This is all kinda new to me also. I have done alot of research on things, but nothing beats hands on experience to really get to know how things actually happen.

I also put a 250 watt heat lamp in under the propane tanks which are covered with a tarp. I don't have that plugged in at the moment, because I want to see if this propane is going to keep running on it's own or not. I really need to know, because if I were working, I would'nt be around here to keep a generator running and all that. The generator is running now, but I wonder if it will start in the morning if I shut it down. I really should invest in another generator for backup. I'm also thinking that I should have bought another one of those battery warmers to wrap around the propane bottle. I think that could pretty good maybe, and might even be a little bit safer. I think, anyway.

I did do a little work with my pay job, but I also managed to get a little more building done. It must be like watching paint dry, for anyone who reads this blog. lol. Trust me, by this time next winter, I will be sitting in front of a warm crackling fire inside my new cabin type house, and I won't even care if it is -50c outside. I hope. lol.

Well it is actually starting to look something. I don't know how much is going to get done in the next few days. I guess it is supposed to be pretty nippy until about Wednesday, but I might get a little done in the sunshine, we'll see what happens. I am pretty eager to get going on this thing.
Just thought I would put in a little bit of an update, it is my own little way of keeping track of my progress.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Good Weather Test, Building Again.

I woke up this morning to -28C/-19F. You would never know it was that cold outside until you look at the thermometer, the shack was cozy enough for a king and his dog. I'm not totally laughing yet though, there is much colder yet to come sometime soon. There was a bit of a draft coming from what I call my fridge under the bed, so I hung a blanket and closed the fridge off. The fridge is now a freezer in this weather. I have a thermometer under there and the last time I looked it read -2C/about 30F. My cold water bottle dos'nt need to be outside for awhile. I had to take my potatoes, oranges and onions out of there for obvious reasons. I can sure notice a difference in the shack with that all closed off. The shack is skirted. Nothing professional, just full size sheets of OSB leaning up around the shack with a tarp in front covering the propane bottles. I'm kinda hoping that will be enough to keep the propane flowing when the temps get down to
-40C/F area. They might get some of the shacks heat hopefully.

I was building pretty much all day. I needed the old backhoe, but she did'nt want to run without a little coaxing. I had to plug it in for a bit and charge the batteries. I hate starting it in that kind of weather, but it was either go now or wait a few days by the sounds of the forcast. It is this kind of weather that I would just love to be feeding a nice warm fire in my new cabin. When I first started this whole project, I kinda thought that I would have been living in my new house by now, maybe next winter. It was cold, but it was a nice day for building, the sun was shining and there was no wind or snow.

The top picture, one long side wall and one end wall framed. I have an idea, but I'm still wondering how many windows and exactly what size and where they will go. Hopefully I'll have it all figured out for tomorrow morning.
There's the floor, (picture taken on a previous date), still not nailed and insulated. I'm going to wait until I have it a little more closed in and out of the weather to do the finishing touches on the floor.

I finally got done with all the safety courses for work(I think). It's nice to get those out of the way. So far they have not called me for work this month. Good. It sounds like I should be slow until the new year. There's always a possiblilty they could be wrong, but I sure do hope not.
Well there's an update, I'm just loving the country life even if it is a wee bit chilly out. They are talking about some more snow soon. I sure hope they're wrong, yesterday I spent quite a bit of the day plowing a big dump of snow that we just had and I have it all cleaned up nicely. Well I don't know who I'm supposed to talk to about that, but if you happen to be reading this blog, no more snow please.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Living Without a Fridge-Life is Good

Well it has been a month since I moved out to my little shack. So far everything has been going great. We had snow and some cooler weather. The coldest night was about -17C or 0 Farenheit so far, but it has been hanging more in about the 0 to -10 celcius range mostly. That is nice. One of the things that I was kinda concerned about when I first started living out here was living without the fridge. So far, my life has'nt really changed much in that sense. Those two green boxes are my fridge. They seem to stay at about 10 C or 50 Farenheit sitting there on the floor under that bunk. I know a fridge is usually alot colder than that, but this is really working good for what I keep there. I leave a 2 liter pop bottle outside on the step that is usually about half full of water, that I can grab from inside the shack. When I mix some orange juice or powder milk(which I am pretty used to now, Yummy), it is nice and cold. If it happens to be frozen, I just add some water to it, and it is ice cold. The red cooler out in the shed is my deep freeze that I keep stocked with a few days worth of different meats. If I have some left over chile or something that I want to freeze, I just set it on top of the cooler over night, then put it inside in the morning, that way it dos'nt disturbe any of the other already frozen goodies inside. I have plastic bottles filled with water(ice) inside, so if the temperatures rise above freezing for a few days, things seem to keep frozen for quite awhile. There are some advantages to living in northern Alberta I guess. When I get into my new house, I do plan on having some kind of refridgerator, I just hav'nt quite decided yet if it will be on propane or 12 volt DC power. I am kinda leaning toward 12 volt though, I can always help it out in the winter with home grown outside ice. I have been kinda busy at work a little bit off and on this month. Although I hav'nt been there for a few days now. A couple days ago I got ambitious again and cleaned a bunch of snow out of the basement area again. The last time I did this I no sooner got it all cleaned up and ready for action then work phoned and I went to work for a few days, and by the time I got done the darned thing was full of fresh snow again. I hope that don't happen this time. So far so good, but I do have some courses pertaining to work that I have to attend all weekend long.
I finally worked on the floor some more. A wood basement floor seems to take a long time to build. If I poured a concrete one, my whole basement might have been built by now, but maybe not. I blame work. lol. I lost alot of good building weather while I was hauling the bales, and it seemed that once the bales were hauled it started to rain and never did quit. I knew that was going to happen, but I gotta make a living too I guess.
The sub floor is'nt permanantly nailed down yet, I still need to be able to get in there for awhile yet.

Just a bit of an update on things. Life is good, and the little old shack is still cozy. I hav'nt started beating my head against the walls yet, so thats gotta be a good thing. The days are getting shorter and I have been running the generator for about an hour in the evening, just to make sure the batteries don't run down too low. I probably don't need to, but it is good to keep them full. Never know what the temperature will be in the morning and weak batteries are more apt to freezing. If I did'nt have a generator, I could survive easily with the solar panels alone, if I were to conserve energy a little, but I have been a bit of an energy pig lately. My inverter charger is equipped with a battery temperature sensor and the solar charge controller is not yet, but one is in the mail. That will help out quite alot, I suspect. The solar panels do usually have my batteries charged right up at the end of the day, but the inverter seems to just dump a little extra voltage at it, because of the temperature correction.

Anyway, this is the life, and I'm lovin it. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends. Canada's was in October. Catch ya later.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Solar Power, Country Life and Work

I got brave and posted a couple pictures of my messy living quarters. I have been so busy at work this last week and kinda got behind in the cleaning department. It happens to me like that all the time. But it is quite liveable, I think anyway. I know there are people out there that could'nt even imagine living like this, but I am pretty flexible. So far, things are going great. I still love my country way of life, even though I hav'nt spent a whole lot of time here lately. Last month when worked asked me what my plans where, I was pretty busy moving and all that, so I told them that I would really like to have no work until November. Well I guess they must have thought that what I meant was I wanted to be full bore in November, because that sure seems to be what happend so far. Ever since November 2 I have worked stupid hours. Get up early one morning to go to work, then work about an 8 hour shift, shut down for 8 hours then go back to work at about 10 at night and work all night. I've played around in the mud way out in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. Had bad directions and ended up going a kilometer down a road that dead ended with no turn around with a 330 cat hoe on. Then just as I start to back out of there for a km a wild snow storm has to hit. Well I'm not whinning, it's just one example of what goes on in my world at times. I sure do wish they would see just what a guy does for them. I don't even really care if am even working or not really. But then when the week is over and the hours are all added up, including the overtime and all, then I'm kinda glad it all happend, but at the time, I'm sure that all the wolves and other wildlife out in the wilderness probably learned some fancy new words. I was'nt a very happy camper at times, being tired and all.
I got all my solar panels up before work called. I am glad for that. At night I run one or two lights through the inverter, my laptop, and whatever needs to be charged (cell phone, drill, camera, etc), I occasionally use the microwave to heat up some food or water and I use a toaster in the morning. So far I have not run my battery bank down to any less than 70%. Roughly about 12.4 volts. I usually don't even get it down that low. I have had an evening where I was on the computer for a few hours and still had 70% battery left. I have not had to start my generator this month yet. Every night that I came home, my batteries were completely charged except for one night. That day it rained practically all day and my batteries still did charge some, but not fully. I still had enough power for the night without the generator. My six panels so far are a bit of overkill for my power demands, although I do see some days in the future where the generator will probably need to be utilized.

I have been around town alot lately with work, so a shower was always available at the truck stops. As an experiment one night I had a sponge bath in the shack, just to see how well that works. I was actually impressed. I would much rather take a shower at a truck stop, but if I don't happen to be near one, then to get cleaned up in my little shack is totally do-able, which is really nice to know.

Sometimes the temperatures fluctuate inside the shack. The floor is a bit cooler and the top bunk is alot hotter. I like the top bunk, but I need to rig up a fan with some kind of reverse thermostat that will kick the fan in at a certain hottness to circulate some of that heat around. I just hav'nt had the time for things like that yet.
This is my basement at the moment. All these pictures were taken this morning. Now if I new, that I had a few days without work bugging me, I would maybe take a chance and try to get some basement walls up and a main floor. I would really like to have the basement built and backfilled before the major cold hits. Keeping in mind that I did'nt skirt the shack in yet and I hav'nt really checked into the weather forcast yet either. If I start cleaning this basement up so I can start to build, I would hope that rain and snow would stay away for a few days(weeks). It seems like a big chore to get things started and then have to cover them all up again at the end of the day.
I just checked out the solar charging system. As I sit here and use the computer, my batteries are showing 13.3 volts. When I got the computer they were at 12.5 volts. It all makes me want to waste some power somewhere. I guess I should have more batteries for days like these.
Usually when I use my laptop, it is using about 29 watts. Right now, and the sun is still kinda hidden behind tree tops and light cloud etc, my charge controller is showing 185 watts. At that rate 185 divide by 29 =6.38, that means that one hour of charging at 185 watts should give me 6.38 hours of computer use. One of my lights run about 13 watts and the light it emitts is equivilant to a 60 watt light bulb. I have plenty light. I have four 80 watt panels and two 75 watt panel. If things were right on, my panels should be capable of bringing in 470 watts, although I hav'nt seen that yet. Since writting this part I posted two new pics of the brains of the system(the top two photos). The sun is still far from its peak performance as it is still rising and not yet in the south.

Sorry about having to let you all witness my mess inside the shack. I kinda wanted to have it all nice a clean before posting the pics but maybe next time. It'll be like the before and after. I realize I have been a little sloppy on leaving comments on other blogs too. I have glanced at quite a few of my regular bloggers, but just did'tn have the time or energy to spend a whole lot of time on it. This morning I am more relaxing than doing things outside so far.

Things are going really well here at the shack. There are some days when I wonder why I am living like this right now, but when I think of the new income(rent income) and the lack of bills going out, it is like they are actually paying me to live like this. Thats what I like. Time will show the difference. My little house that I am in the process of building, is going to feel like a mansion when I finally get into it compared to the shack.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Snow, Batteries, and Solar Panels.

This is the veiw from my door. (Front porch???) I don't know, sometimes I think maybe this is the spot where I should have built my house. To late for that now though.
The building spot is actually straight ahead and between the black trailer and the garage. It will do.
The battery bank. I know, the wiring is a mess, the cables are all different sizes and it is just plain messy. But it works. lol.
Today I was putting some solar panels on the shack. I did'nt get them all up there yet. For a change it did'nt snow all day long and it was pretty warm, but I did have to shovel the roof off this morning so I could do my thing up there. Alot of the snow that used to be up in the trees melted or fell off. Actually today I could hear all kinds of crashing sounds around me with clumps of snow falling from trees and sliding off the garage roof etc. I hope my frozen meat stays that way.
P.S. Still lovin it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Life is way different now.

I'm just sitting here in my cozy little shack. All 192 square feet of it. And I am loving every minute of it so far. This is where I live, there's no turning back now. Today I just bought 6 new 12 volt deep cycle batteries for the power system. That will be much better than the two smaller ones I was using from the RV. If I want to nuke a cup of coffee with the microwave or make toast with the electric toaster, I just do it. No need to start the gen set right away. I don't have any solar panels up yet, but they would'nt have done much good the last couple of days anyway, with all the snow and cloudy weather. It snowed a bunch yesterday and today here. The snow has alot of disadvantages, but it also has some advantages. Since fall came and the leaves blew off the trees, I sorta lost some of my privacy. But with the new snow, I am totally secluded again, just the way I like it. The snow is making a bit of a mess around my house construction that I want to get moving on again soon. I hate to even uncover anything and start. This whole month was off and on wet and muddy and snowy, so if I were not in the process of moving out, I don't think I would have got much building done anyway. I can't even remember where I left off, but I am sure that it will come back to me soon. I also have a real strong feeling that work is going to phone me right at the beginning of November. I'm pretty sure that I am getting due for all our safety courses (first aid, h2s, whimis, and all that stuff). I am really not looking forward to all that. Who knows, maybe they don't want me there anymore (yaaaahhhh). lol.
I just tried downloading a picture again, and it just dos'nt seem to want to work for me. I even edited the photo first and brought it down to size. I don't know what's going on. My new internet service seems to run not to badly other than that. I'll get it all figured out eventually I hope. I love this lifestyle that I am living right now, even though I find myself really keeping an eye on things like propane, water, power and internet usage. Everything is more work. I now have to wash my dishes by hand, fire up the generator periodically and whatever else.
I can see by using the computer and monitoring my inverter display, that my new batteries are going to make life a whole lot simpler for me. Anyway, thats all for now.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lots of snow.

Well I am all settled out at the acerage. I do have a mobile high speed internet connection, but I can't seem to upload a photo to my post yet. Maybe the pictures are to large, I don't know. I have been doing a few preparations for winter. Today I put on a propane switch over valve so that the propane will empty a tank and automatically switch over to the full one. My propane system is one concern that I do have with the oncoming winter. We do get some pretty frosty weather here sometimes. It is not real uncommon for the temperatures to drop as low as 40 celcius/ 40 Farenhiet or colder. At temperatures like that propane can quit flowing. I am trying to come up with a simple solution to try and avoid things like that before the time comes. Alot of times all that is needed is a 100 watt light bulb under the covered tank. If I happen to be here then I guess that could be arranged, but if were gone for a couple days, which could happen easily, then I don't know. I'll have to figure something out.
The shack is great. So far it has been keeping me toasty warm at temperatures about 0 celcius/ 30 Farenheit and about 3 to 4 inches of snow. Tonight is supposed to drop to about -9 C/15F. That will be a little bit of a test. It should be good though. This is just a bit of an update, I will get some pictures up soon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Empty House (Mobile Home)

I don't have the time for a real post at the moment. I have been living out at the acerage the last couple of days and came into town for a final cleaning on my town property, where I still have an internet connection. The place is pretty empty. So far things are going good at my new arrangement. I will post again soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Process of Moving

I went and picked up a shed that I had stored at one of my brother's place. I used to keep my quad and a garden tractor in it, and my brother would store his garden tractor in it for the winter also. But I went out and scooped it up. I had it parked out in front of my place in town for a week while I was slowly putting alot of my stuff into it. Then I hauled it out to the acerage, tied the skids to a tree and drove away. There she sits, still loaded. Done deal.
I got the mound plumbing all glued up and covered. Hopefully it is all done right.

I put more gravel over the pipes, then a layer of landscaping cloth, then about 3/4 of a big round bale of wheat straw. Over the straw, I put all the dirt from the top layer of my basement diggings. Then I covered it all with some nice topsoil that I hauled in from the new Ritchie Bros Auction site awhile back. I need to touch it up a bit with the quad and a drag of some sort, just to smoothen it all up a bit, then seed it to grass and watch it grow (next summer).
Traction (the dog) is putting it all to the test. Mom was out giving me a hand with this project too, she was a big help doing some raking on the gravel layer, and picking roots out of the first layer of dirt, and of course lunch and other small jobs. I can't even take all the credit anymore. I think I am starting to rely on the help, (maybe not a good thing), but it does get things done alot quicker. Thanks Mom. (I feel like such a slave driver sometimes).

Today was kind of wasted day running around town looking for something, but I don't even know what. Tomorrow I am planning on taking some more goodies out there, and getting started with setting up my tempory home out at the acerage. I hope to have it situated and with some kind of a power source tomorrow. Reality of moving is kinda sinking in lately. I have to admit that I am a little stressed out lately with all that is going on. But on the other hand, I can hardly wait to get out there and get living a totally different way of life. It's going to be interesting.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

It's a Sofa's Life.

And then we'll give that worn out old couch a little taste of some snow.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wasted Trip

But not a wasted day. It was a really nice morning, warm and calm, but that changed in a hurry.
By the time we got half way out to the acerage it was raining pretty good. I did'nt waste much time out there. I unloaded the few things that I hauled out and headed it right back to town to get something accomplished right there at home where I came from in the first place.

Mom and I proceeded to boxing things up and cleaning out lots of useless garbage. I really need to learn to let go of junk. I have old bills from the year 1834. Well not actually, but it is probably safe to say that I would have, if I were alive back then. I said goodbye to alot of stuff today, including my old couch. It is out on the deck getting a good taste of the rain we are getting. I brought the matching love seat out of storage to put in its place for now. This is the kind of work that mom really shines at, cleaning and packing. She loves it I think, (crazy women). I, on the other hand, was'nt really enjoying it all that much. lol. We did get alot done though, but there is still alot to do yet. I really can't wait until this part is over.
Every day I have been eating some of my tomatoes. I don't think I have had a completely ripe one yet though. I just can't wait that long. At first I kinda thought that all the tomatoes would ripen together. But I have been keeping up to them so far. It is like a contest to see who will win, the tomatoes or me. So far I am in the lead. All I know is that they are very tastey. It is simply amazing how these things come to be. I'm still scratching my head on this one. Amazing.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Sewage Treatment Mound

This basement floor picture was taken on Oct 1, I do have a little more done to it than the picture shows, but I hav'nt touched it since the 1st. We have had quite alot of rain lately so I have been doing other things instead. I am really eager to start getting some walls framed up, but I know that there are more important things that need to be done also.
I finally got that door on the shed that I built this summer. I could be needing that sooner than I think. I have also been trying to clean up at my in town place and trying to have it ready for the renter at the end of this month. When I head out to the acerage, I usually have some kind of load on my pickup also, gradually getting thing moved out there.

Another project that I have been focused on is this sewage treatment mound. I would really like to have it out of the way before snow flies. This is what I was working on today mostly and will probably be working on tomorrow also. Hopefully it will be completed after tomorrow. I would like to move my tempory shack into this area somewhere and get it all set up to live in, but I can't really do that until I am done with the mound. I have to pick up some pipe fittings in town in the morning and get all this stuff glued together, then some more gravel over the pipes, before I proceed with the straw and all the other goodies. But first I think I might haul a load of garbage to the dump and load up the old Dodge with some more stuff for the acerage.

I sure hope they don't phone me to go to work this month. I would really hate to turn down the work after all they did for me, with using the truck and all. After October I don't really care, but for now, I just have so much that needs to get done. Forgot to mention that on Saturday I hauled three loads of gravel out there. It was kind of a muddy situation, and I had to spend an hour or so washing things up when I was done, but atleast I got that done. I should'nt have to haul anymore product for awhile now. I hope. I also stole (purchased) a round bale of wheat straw from the boss for my mound. So the rain did'tn really slow me down too much, but there was a lazy day in there somewhere I can remember.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Bit of Everything Today

Mom and I went out to the acerage this morning with intentions of building on the basement floor some more. But once we were out there, something made me think that I should work on the sewage treatment mound first. It just seemed like something that should get done soon, before a bunch of snow dumps or something. So we flattened out the rest of the expensive sand in to a 400 square foot area. 10 x 40 feet. Then spread a layer of tile rock on top of that. The next step will be to istall two rows of perforated pipe down the length of the mound and connect it all to the pump out hose that can be seen in the picture. Then more gravel over that, some straw, fill, and topsoil. And don't forget the grass seed that gets sprinkled on top of that. I could'nt remember just how much gravel needs to be on the mound, so we were kinda guessing today. It should be close, but I may need to add a little more yet. I feel it was a pretty productive day and I am really glad that I got this portion of the mound done. Now I have room to haul some more gravel in, if the time is right.

We covered the mound with a tarp in case it snows and to keep all the leaves off etc.

Then we proceeded to do some more building on the basement floor. We're still beefing it up a bit. I am in the process of installing blocking between the joists. Before heading home for the day, we decided to winterize the RV. I just know that one of these nights it is going to drop well below freezing. It was dark and lightly snowing when we headed for town.
The month of October is going to be pretty interesting. I'm sure it is going to fly by even quicker than all the rest this summer. I will be moving out of my home in town by the end of October. One month. It is going to be pretty interesting. The place I live in needs a bit of TLC before the renter moves in. Just a few little things, but I need to be packed up and out. All the while trying to get as much done out at the acerage also, so that I can actually survive out there in my 8 x 24 shack on wheels. lol.. I am so mixed up at the moment, I'm not real sure what to do first. lol. I can't really see me moving into the new house by that time, so I guess I should maybe concentrate on getting the shack setup first, then it just dos'nt matter. I kinda wish it was about the 1st of June today. I would also like to have the main floor on and the basement backfilled before alot snow and cold hits. It's going to be interesting.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Basement Floor Framing

I'm not real sure where the time went today. I was going like crazy all day and before I knew it, it was getting close to dark. From yesterdays picture to this, it really dos'nt look like much got done. But I feel that quite alot got accomplished today. Mom was out today giving me a hand, it helped out alot. We got it all squared up and into the final position, before nailing every joist to every 2x4 sleeper under the plastic. That kinda joins things to the footings. Even if I find that it is unsquare or something, it is not going to get rectified now. I still need to beef this baby up a bit, as this floor is going to hold the walls from squeezing inward when I back fill the basement. Just an update.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tomatoe Crop and the Floor Construction

Saturday was kind of a write off although I did manage to bring in all my tomatoes for fear of frost, and it did freeze that night(next morning). That is my whole gardening experience for the summer. lol. Next summer I will expand a bit. I did go out to the acerage on Saturday, but the sky was'nt looking all that promising. I did'nt even want to pull the tarps off my project for fear of rain. And it did rain, and blow, and it was colder than heck. I thought this would be a good time to test my new to me bunk house. I wanted to know if I would even try to live in there for awhile this fall/winter. I lit the furnace, grabbed my newspaper and a cold near beer, and relaxed. It took a little while for the furnace to warm the shack up, but once it was warm, she was cozy. I even peeled off my coat had a power snooze on one of the bunks, even though there was'nt even a mattress. The little shack is pretty plain, but I kinda like it. I'm getting to be pretty sure that it is going to become my new home as of November 1, while I build on my cabin. I don't think my house will be quite ready to move into by then, and I think that my house in town is going to be rented out. I don't know for sure, but I think so. I have a funny feeling that I'm going to be a true blue homesteader in no time. I'll have to figure out a way to warm up the seat in the outhouse. lol.

There's all my bigger tomatoes............... Now what?

And all my little cherry tomatoes.

This is what I was doing on Friday, until the rain came and shut me down.

This is what happend today. There are alot of things that need to be done to this floor yet. But at least there is some nailing happening. Thats what I like to see. I have to go into town and get some supplies in the morning. I changed my mind on the floor from 24 inch centers to 16 in centers, so I will need a few more 2x6's and I'll need to get some different insulation to fit between the joists.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cistern and some Building Supplies.

Wednesday was going to be a productive day in the building departement. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. I went and picked up my culvert for water storage, then I went over to the lumber yard and bought my lumber. Then as I was waiting for my load, the phone rang, and I just knew that I should have dropped it on the ground and stomped on it, but instead, like a moron, I answered it. There went my day of building as I had to go to work, and there is no way that they could have possibly lived without me. lol.
I was able to get an earlier start this morning, but I did have to go and put a deposit on my trusses that I ordered. The day was windy. I had 5 packs of insulation all bundled into one and was laying loose inside the culvert. When I started down the hiway, I seen the wind pick up the bundle and haul it away. It hit the hiway and did a few bounces and rolls, and to my amazement, it all hung together in the bundle. I had visions of yellow insulation blowing all over a farmers field and the hiway, but I got lucky I guess. I can't even believe the wind picked that up. It is insulation, but it is pretty heavy the way it packed tightly like that. I had to go and get it out of the ditch, and it was hard work getting it back on. This time I tied it all down.

I did'nt get around to working with the wood at all. It was pretty windy and I just felt more like getting that cistern out of the way today. I had to finish digging the hole and drop it in there. That took the rest of the day.
I am hearing some nasty rumors about some snow supposed to be coming on about Tuesday. Not really looking forward to that.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Almost Ready for Wood

This is where I am at with my project. I hav'nt done much since this, because of just a touch of bad weather(not major bad), an auction sale set me back about a day, and my pay job also set me back a bit. Today I was getting a bunch of quotes on lumber and other goodies, then I picked up my new shack and hauled it out there. I did a bit of digging for my water storage, but did'nt quite get it done when darkness came. In the morning I should be picking up a culvert cistern and some lumber and hopefully getting a good start on the basement.
This is how all the piping is connected to the sump. If ever you are building your own home, this is NOT a real common way of doing things.

Some of my green tomatoes at home in town. I am trying to leave them on the plants as long as possible, but I also am prepared to bring them in soon as old jack frost should be sneakin around the corner sometime soon. This is my first time growing tomatoes and there are some pretty good sized ones hiding in there somewhere.

I went auction saleing, and look what I found. It is quite possible that I will be giving my town home up to a renter on Nov 1. It's not written in stone, but if it does happen, I am now prepared. It is not even close to being fully loaded, but it does have a propane heater and stove, along with some other goodies. My RV is not really designed for the winter conditions, but this thing will get me by for awhile. I will be roughin it though. It does have a kitchen sink, but no running water. Even if I don't rent my place out in town until the spring, this will be handy to have as a place to relax and warm up etc. while building.
The last few days I hav'nt been around very much. I stayed out at the acerage for a couple nights, then I went to the auction sale, then to work on my pay job. Tonight, I am going to sleep in my own bed for a change. I did have a glance at a few blogs, but I did'nt seem to have much time for commenting to many.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Larger Sump required.

I kinda thougt that digging my sump earlier was easier than it should have been. I did a little research this morning, and I found that maybe the sump liner I was going to put in my sump, was not quite big enough. There is the old one and the new one I bought just today sitting side by side. My digging was far from over.
I did finally get it dug in there. I sure have been getting alot of exercise lately. I guess it is probably good for me that way.

Outside of the footings before the grout. This is'nt the worst of it, but it gives a bit of an idea.

This is some of the new cement grout I put in along the outside of the footings in an attempt to keep water from sitting right next to the footings. I have just a little more to do right in the very front. I honestly think that this was well worth the time.
And in other news, today I thought I had lost a friend for ever. Traction went missing in action. Traction, my dog, is almost 9 years old. She has started acting kinda weird awhile back when ever she hears gun fire, or at least I have noticed recently. Even when it is along ways away. It is almost as if she had been shot at before. Anyway, today the neighbor across the creek started doing some major target blasting. I can remember looking at traction, a quick glance when it first started and I reasured her that it is alright. But I was deeply involved with my cementing and went on with the task at hand. A while later I noticed Traction was no where to found. That is really odd of her not to come when I whistle. After a couple hours passed, I really started to think I was never going to see her again. Well I decided I was going to sleep there for the night, incase she did show up. I was sitting there, kinda accepting the fact that she is gone for ever. I decided to step outside my trailer with a flashlight, I did'nt whistle or call or anything, I was just standing there in the dark, and in the distance I heard the jingle of all her tags on the collar. Thought I was hearing things for bit, but then I heard it again, and it was getting closer and closer, I just knew it was her. I never really realized how much I could miss a stupid dog. I was kinda preparing myself for a few days of major sadness. She was missing for 4 hours or more all together. I wonder if there is a way of getting a dog to accept gun fire. I guess I learned to pay a little more attention to her next time this goes on. I sure do hope she gets used to it eventually.