Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year, Anniversary and Birthday.

Happy New Year. Ya, I know it's late. I hope everyone had a good one, over the holidays. I also had an anniversary. Dec 28 2009, marked 5 years of no alcohol use for me. I pat myself on the back. I used to really like to drink, (usually rum and diet coke). then I quit, and turned into a hermit. lol. I also quit smoking, but I did'nt quit living. Alot of people who know me might look at me like I quit living, but right now I am living more than I have ever lived in my life. Just building on the cabin, living off the grid, and living in a small shack in arctic type weather. This is something I have dreamed for as long as I can remember. When I made the plunge at the end of October, there were times when I thought that by this time, I could possibly be regretting the move I have made. But there are absolutely no regrets on my end. I could'nt possibly turn back now. It just keeps getting better and easier all the time.
January 1 was also my dogs birthday. She is now 9. She has'nt been helping me much lately, usually she's just bundled up in the shack most of the day. I guess she is the smart one of the bunch. I have been building a few hours a day usually. However sometimes it's pretty cold in the morning and I usually do some planning and thinking then. I figure that -20C is cold enough to build in. If it is colder than that, I usually do other things such as planning my stairs or getting supplies in town. I hav'nt spent much time on the computer lately. There are times where I have gone a few days and not even turned it on, I just don't seem to have much time for that lately.

The shack is coming along slowly. It takes me a long time to get things done. Alot of the time I spend just researching stupid little things. Code, code, code. Right now my stairs down to the basement and up to the loft have got alot of smoke rolling out my ears. If I had my own way, it would just be a couple of ladders, done deal. If I ever do this again, I would maybe get someone to build me some blueprints. I guess those things can be pretty handy at times. lol. But I will get more satisfaction knowing that I designed and planned everything myself in the end. I think. There's the basement so far.

A look from the inside. I'm going to need a good set of binoculars to see from one end to the other.

It was'nt all that long ago I used the old dodge and brought a new load of lumber home, and it is already covered in snow again. Seems we get alot of that around here lately, but it dos'nt even bother me anymore. Bring it on, let it snow, see if I care.


  1. Hermit,

    Congratulations on 5 years of no alcohol. Five years is a long time and I am proud of you.
    The construction on the cabin is looking fantastic. I admire your ambition building in those frigid temperatures. I dont think I could ever withstand such temps. Where I am from 50 degrees F is cold to us. lol. I think you are doing an awesome job my friend and I cant wait to see what the cabin looks like once its done. This is an interesting website Maybe you can find some ideas for use in the cabin at some point. It is very interesting. I am particularly interested in passive solar heating for the winter. Anyhow, keep up the good work. I always look forward to your reading about your progress. Happy Birthday to your lil doggie!! ~jen

  2. Congratulations on all your anniversaries! that's quite a feat!
    I understand exactly what you mean about things taking so long when you are doing them by yourself but once you get it blacked in it will seem to pick up speed I think.
    Do you have inspections out there where you are? If you have any questions on code, drop me an email; I might can help. We all go by the International Building Code so the requirements are probably similar.
    I have worked in warehouses here kept at -30 and I had all of that I wanted! Can't imagine having that all the time! You are a brave man.

  3. Wow Mark!! I'm reeeeally proud of you! Takes a big man to see there's a problem in their life - even bigger man to fix it!
    And happy birthday Traction!
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Congratulations!!! You have a lot to be proud of… keep up the good work, one day at a time. :)

  5. Thanks Jen. 5 years is a long time, but it dos'nt seem all that long ago. I have put some thought into passive solar heating, but I really don't think it is the answer where I am. When I need the heat most (the winter) the sun only shines for a short period of time in a day. All that glass would probably be taking heat away from me at night time. But where you are, it would probably work real well. Thanks for the link.

  6. Thanks Annie.
    We do have inspections here. I already had one when I put the plumbing in the ground. But I covered in all in then called them. lol. Not a good thing. The next inspection will be the the foundation, which will be taking place soon I hope. Some of our codes go with the international, but alot of our codes are different, due to snow loads on roofs and frost in the ground etc. I will keep you in mind if I have any questions though, you seem to have some good knowledge about building.

  7. Thanks Cath.
    Ya, I guess there was a bit of a problem. I just liked it a little too much. But then there is the frugal part of me that kinda helped too. Take away cigs and booze and it really is'nt hard to save a little bit of cash. Traction says thanks.

  8. Thanks Sprouting Acorn.
    I always knew I wanted to give it up at some time. I just figured it was time and it done me alot of good to quit. I don't think that drinking is a bad thing, as long as one can do it more responsibly than I always did. Not that I was a nuisance or anything like that, I just drank too much. Everyday.

  9. Thats a tough go, building in the cold like that, don't think I could do it myself. Don't over do it though, and or hurt yerself and be left out in the cold. Comes to mind, that you should have some sort of system for help, if your hurt, maybe always carry a cellphone??
    Great that your 5 years clean, its a better life that way.

  10. Congratulations to you Mark, you DO deserve a pat on the back. That's a great accomplishment!
    Happy Birthday to Traction too... tell her she doesn't look a day over 5. :)

    Now I get it... I wasn't familiar with wooden basements. You will have a lot of room down there. It's a lot bigger than I had pictured in my little mind. lol

    I was going to suggest spiral staircases, they do take up less space but it's a big pain to move anything large up and down them. Your ladder idea sounds best. :)
    It's amazing to me that you can get anything built at all in temperatures that low. You're doing great Mark, it's lookin' good.

    Hope 2010 treats you well.

  11. I was a big drinker... and smoker... Drink is now a very small part of my life... I can now have just one..... or a full bottle, the choice is mine and not the drinks... As for smoking... I had my last one 7 years ago when waiting for an ambulance to take me to hospital after my 3rd heart attack... Smoked for a few years, up to 60 aday at one time.... do you know I never found it hard to stop and wondered why the heck I'd not stopped before.
    I admire your way of living... and fully agree you are 'Living Your Dream'.. what better way to live than that.
    All the best to you

  12. You are the man. Living your dream, and doing it in the cold country to boot. You have my utmost respect. No small feat. Good luck, and God Bless.

    See Ya

  13. Hey Coal, ya the cold does seem to make it all come together alot slower, but I gotta do something while I'm not working. I do pack the cell phone all the time, and I try to be pretty cautious, but I know I have had some close calls at times.

  14. Thanks Jeanie for the pat on the back. Traction say's thanks also, but she knows you're just saying that. lol. The size of it all, I'm sure will be plenty big enough with the basement and the main floor and the loft. It actually won't be much smaller than my mobile home that I just moved out of, if I add it all up. I had to do some serious self education on the stairs situation. I'm going to have stairs under stairs with very little extra space to play with to keep things all to code with the big permit people. I think I've made some progress on the thinkin though.

  15. Thanks Tom. To quit drinking and smoking myself was'nt really all that hard. I did use the patch(nicoderm) to help me quit the cigarettes. I know if I smoked one right now, it would'nt take me long to be chain smoking again. As with the drinking, I better stay away from that one also. I do drink the .5% beer. I usually have one a night, so I guess in reality, I do consume a very small amount of alchohol. But one of these usually dos'nt turn into hundred. Congrats to you for quitting the habits yourself Tom.

  16. Thanks Tony. I hear your getting a little taste of some cold yourself. You get used to it after awhile.

  17. Dang! It's 10:20 pm here and I've gotta be up at 6am for work tomorrow when I'd rather just stay up late catching up on your blog. I'll dig in tomorrow instead.

    For now, congratulations for quitting the vices. I'm certain it couldn't be easy to quit drinking 3 days before the big new year's eve. Remarkable. Oh, and please wish your dog a happy birthday.

  18. Ginger, welcome to my blog, I hope you enjoy it. I was just looking back at my blog tonight also. I'm glad I started this thing, it will be good to look back on for years to come.
    Back 5 years ago I was pretty greedy on the job and it seemed I worked practically every New Years eve anyway so it was'nt all that tough to quit drinking 3 days before new years. I had a glance at you're blog also and have a little catching up to do there also. Looks interesting.