Land Continued

If you have already checked out the original "The Land" tab, then this would be your next step. If you want to continue to see the land progress by date, simply start at the bottom and work your way up. I am compiling all of the posts that pertain to the progress of the land,
 so that it stays in one place and we can skip all the posts that
 don't have anything to do with this progression.
 If you would like to leave a comment about one particular project simply go to the "Home" page and click on the month that the project was posted and choose the title of the post and you can leave a comment for that specific project. 
Thanks for taking the time to see what we have been up to, enjoy! :)

May 2015   The Wood Shed

We realized pretty quickly that the wood shed that Glenn originally build was not big enough for us, so he started building on to it, now our wood cutting, splitting, stacking and storing can continue!

This front portion is what he originally built, and we were both thinking that we would be able to stack the pile really high. Realistically it's just not a safe idea, so the stack you see is about as high as we stacked over the winter. 

The unfinished roof and the flooring under it is the "new" side of the wood storage. 

We already started stacking some wood in the back corner of the new side

Glenn is finishing up the roofing for the extended wood shed

It will be a lot of work to fill this puppy now! 

Happy wood splitting! 

November 2014 More W.O.M Room Heat

We originally thought that by putting a vent fan in the bathroom that would blow into the WOM Room, we would be able to regulate an above freezing temperature. Well, when we did a test run, we found that the fan actually drew such a draft that it was pulling smoke from our wood stove! We had a room full of smoke before I could even maneuver myself out of the cat-napper! 
So, this still may be an option if we closed the bathroom door before turning on the vent, 
but Glenn already had a plan B up his sleeve.
He decided that the refrigerator fan that pulls air from the bottom front to the back of the fridge might just be enough warm air exchange to help keep it warm in there. 
So, off he went to see what the result was.

First he tore off the cardboard back vent thing, and traced it onto some wood 
to make a new and more supportive one.

Then he drilled a big hole in the wall and fit the duct work into that from behind the cabinets.
 He used a ton of shiny tape to get a good seal on the ducting and the new wood backing.

I slowly pushed the fridge back in place while he guided the duct 
work back to make sure it would not kink. 

Then he climbed out and pushed the fridge in the rest of the way.
He went to work in the WOM Room fitting on the  "anti-back draft flap"? and screen 
to keep drafts and critters out. 

It worked great, so far the WOM Room has stayed above freezing, but with all this cold, we will be VERY lucky if the pipes do not freeze…we are concerned about the trench that we dug…maybe not deep enough from the cistern to the cabin. Only time will tell. 

October 2014 Geodesic Dome Birthday Wish

When Glenn asked me what I wanted for my birthday… it didn’t take long to decide that I wanted to start working on the geodesic dome again and hope that we could get it done before any hard freeze did in some of my favorite plants.

This is about as far as we got before the rains came in.

 I weed whipped like crazy and Glenn did the hard stuff. He attached the dome to the outside walls of the tires and made the framework for the bond beam. Next we make a bond beam using concrete and bottle bricks. Once the dome is attached to the bond beam we will get the polycarbonate to attach to each triangle on the dome. 

We went through 4 bags of concrete and about 40 bottle bricks and that made it over about 4 tires.
The second day we did the same thing and we are almost halfway around the tire wall. 

This is how the first section looked after we took the wooden form off. 

My sweet honey also surprised me with a cake… and a washer/dryer, and a kitchen and all my dreams come true! He sets the bar pretty high, I don’t think I can top that for his birthday…

October 2014    Winterizing the WOM Room

Glenn has been hard at work to winterize everything that we can currently think to winterize. He added the door to the WOM (water organization module) room so that he could spray foam it to help seal and insulate it from the cold winter ahead. The plan is to add a ducting from behind our refrigerator that feeds into the WOM room and see if that is enough to keep it above freezing. He has also piped in the exhaust fan from the bathroom directly into the WOM room so if we needed to move some warm air in a hurry we could, and the last resort would be a space heater in there to ensure no freezing temperatures. We will see this winter….

So he ordered 2 canisters of spray foam and suited up in hillbilly style for the occasion. How he is ok with me posting this picture …. I have no idea.

 Before he started spraying we put a box fan in the doorway and it’s a good thing we did, there was a nasty haze of foam in the air. He sprayed all the walls except for the one that is shared with the cabin and he sprayed the ceiling too.

Now for spraying under the cabin, this is where he really got foam all over himself,
 and probably some chicken poo too. 

Here is a close up to show how much the foam didn’t really expand.

This is the end result, all we had to do was scrape off the ends of the two by fours and we were done. The foam did not expand as much as it did when the crew sprayed the cabin. It did fill in all the spaces and gaps that would otherwise have let all the warm air out, so we are happy with it. 

Our on demand water heater uses propane, so Glenn has the tanks outside, behind the WOM room. He wanted to have them stabilized for winter and so he went to work mixing the concrete for the pad they sit on. He has been getting a lot of experience working with concrete, he is kind of a pro now ( I think so at least), even though he is using a tile trowel. He still plans to secure them a bit more and also add a little roof over them. 

We have also been cutting and splitting a ton of wood, the beautiful fall days are great for it! He splits and I wheelbarrow them to their new stack.  

October 2014  Cooking and Cleaning Off the Grid

This is our Stove Tec rocket stove, an easy and effective way to cook when I need to boil eggs or make quinoa. I don't like to turn on the electric burner for something that takes a while to cook, so this has been my go-to for a lot of different meal components. Now that it is getting colder, I will not be using this and instead just cook inside on the wood stove. 

 Speaking of wood stove, we made our first batch of chocolate chip cookies in our wood stove oven. They were yum... This is a very small oven, a normal cookie sheet does not fit in it, so we had to improvise a bit. A frozen pizza fits like a glove though! 
The stove top is just one huge burner that varies in temperature. Normally it is anywhere from 200 all the way to 600 degrees when the oven is heated to about 350 or so. We have an awesome laser pointer temperature gauge thing that helps decide where to put the skillet. 

This is our simple two burner hot plate. I use this if I really don't want to burn something, and I know it will be a quick meal. This was our first experience eating wild edible mushrooms! I went foraging with my wonderful friends Nancy and Greg and we found comb tooth (that's what is in the pan), shaggy main, and maitake mushrooms. They were AMAZING!!

I am loving my kitchen! With Glenn's great idea of pulling the cabinets out from the wall a bit on the back wall of the kitchen to make them a little more flush with the huge refrigerator, we have a ton of extra counter space. So, I have an out of the way spot for the dish drying rack, and I could not be happier with how everything has turned out.  

I have been going to the laundry mat weekly for about 5 months now, and most of the time, I just barely dry everything, then bring it home and line dry it. 

Yeah don't feel bad for me because this is the amazing view that I get to enjoy while I'm hanging everything. Glenn says "ahhh it smells like sunshine.."
 when he smells the clothes that I bring in once they are dry.  

I did say my goodbyes to the laundry mat just this week when Glenn brought me home our brand new LG washer/dryer! So this is what I came home to!!!!
 He somehow managed to get it from his truck down to the cabin... I have know idea how because we just barely managed to get this beast up the stairs. Oh, and I had never heard of such a wonder machine that washed and dried your clothes, but she does it! 

Glenn decided he wanted to make it even more awesome by adding an upstairs sink too. He said it would be easy since he is already running water up and adding a drain, so that's what he did. 

BAMMM!!! Our washer/dryer plus a sink! Sweeeeet!!!
 When you turn this beauty on, she sings a little tune and lights up like she is as happy to see me as I am her! :)   She takes quite a load out of our solar bank, so she will only be used when the array is in FULL sun and our battery bank is mostly full. The drying takes the most energy, so I don't plan on drying clothes to their fullest, just like I got use to doing at the laundry mat.

You may notice that the walls and floor are still unfinished... this is really the least of our worries and are very happy with what we have accomplished and don't plan on focusing on the finishing touches. Ha!! Most people may think that finishing touches would be painting and trim work, nope we think they are drywall and flooring! :)  Life is becoming more and more convenient and cozy in our tiny  off grid cabin every day!

September 2014     Our Counter Tops and Sink!!

K & D Counter Tops did a GREAT job for us again!

Thanks guys!!!


This is our tiny kitchen, huge refrigerator, living room, and entry way.... HA! 

Glenn had to work today, he worked from 7am-7pm 
and he still came home and got the sink hooked up!

And with a smile on his face

A working kitchen sink! I will be using it tomorrow, we just wanted the 
drain dope stuff to set before we ran water down. 

September 2014     New Project

As part of our winterizing list, adding a sun room/mudroom was more of a bonus, and an "if we get to it" sort of thing. But when Glenn gets a wild hair, things happen. We had a nice weekend and Glenn's concrete friend Gary was available, so we poured the slab for the sun room and while we were at it they also made a ramp for the extension. It turned out really nice.

First we had to dig the footing, and yes I did help with this...

 but, he did most of it

They leveled it with gravel 

 Then the concrete truck arrived! 

we had to have a conveyor concrete truck that stretched 39 feet 

 Glenn and Gary hard at work before the concrete set


September 2014       Antenna TV

We had a few rainy days last week, and Glenn and I were feeling like lazy bum's and just watching TV. Then Glenn decided that we NEEDED to get a better antenna so some of the stations would come in clear... even on our rainy days. So, that's what we did. We got this big beauty and Glenn welded a bracket that he attached to the side of the cabin so that we could tilt it up and have some magic happen when we turned on the TV... it worked!

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