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.