Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chapter 19...Motorhome Ramps And Wiring The House

Off Grid...Chapter 19

Good Morning everyone.

This morning we got an e-mail from Nicole, Mike's daughter. She finished tiling and grouting her vanity top. She did great.

We started our day by leveling our shipping container. That took some time because we had to jack it up and either dig some dirt out or add some block. We finally got it level. Of course all the cows were there this morning checking it out because we did something "different".

Then Mike decides he wants to move the motorhome on the side where the building used to be. This way we can finish graveling our parking area and finish seeding the rest of the yard. We have to get grass growing before the winter. We knew that Mike had to do some grading in that area because that section of our land is very un level. The motorhome is 40 feet long and we want to make sure we are not too high in the air when we park it there. First Mike had to scrape the existing gravel off that area and then start grading. This took a long, long time because we only have the tractor and it's not really meant for grading. After he was finally finished he put the gravel back on top and then we moved the motorhome over. It was really, really uneven almost like we were going to go flying down the mountain. So, we made some ramps to put under the front tires.

We were still slanted forward so Mike moved the motorhome and we dug out about 1 foot of dirt under the back tires.

We are still way too high.

Mike had to start all over again(this is now many hours later) by moving the motorhome, scraping the gravel away, re grading, and then getting more gravel to put on top. By the time he thought it was good enough it was getting dark. We moved the motorhome over got it as level as we could and called it a night. We are a little high in the front but we are level.

We left our front blinds open and we woke up to a beautiful view. We are now looking at the same view we have from the front of the house.

Howard, the cow owner, came by with his brother and a friend. They had to work on some perimeter fencing where some trees fell. While they were out doing that the man from our propane company stopped by to see the house and figure out how to run our lines. They will be back next week to bury our tank and run the lines to the house.

After everyone left Mike almost got us both killed. We had the trailer attached to the 4-wheeler and we loaded it up with the extra metal re bar and concrete boards that the concrete company left behind. We get it all strapped down and we start down our driveway. We are going to store all of this in the barn. We get through the steepest part of the driveway OK and then because the trailer is so heavy it starts pushing the 4-wheeler forward as we are sliding on the gravel. Mike is doing all he can to keep us from losing control when the trailer starts to jack knife. Oh we are in so much trouble now. Finally Mike is able to get us stopped and I get off. Mike tries again with out me on the 4-wheeler with him. He jack knifes as he is headed for the ditch. Not good. The trailer gets stuck on the back tire of the 4-wheeler and Mike is able to stop. We decide to unload all the stuff from the trailer onto the side of our road, sound familiar, because it is just too heavy. We push the 4-wheeler around until it is straight and Mike takes it to the barn while I walk. "That was exciting, let's not do that again".

After our trailer fiasco we hook the trailer to the jeep and go to David's, the farm supply, to get more "stuff". We hung out with David and his family for a couple of hours because 1. they are all really nice and 2. we were in no rush to go back and work. It was a rough weekend. Last week we told them about the great bargain we got on kitchen cabinets and they went to Lowe's on Sunday and got kitchen cabinets for one of their daughters', Leslie. She is thrilled. His wife Terry told us we could stop by anytime at the house and pick fresh vegetables from their garden. I thought that was really nice of her to offer.

We finally went back home to relax. You know after our long day and we heard someone coming up the driveway. It was Howard with his wife, Ivalee, and their son, Eric. And they came bearing gifts. They all got out of the truck with a big basket of fresh vegetables, canned beets, homemade jam, and the largest head of cabbage I have ever seen. Yum, time to make soup. Howard also gave me a big bucket full of green beans that he picked. they also brought us some frozen beef and Ivalee said "don't ask about it". As long as I didn't name it I'm OK.

We had a really nice time with them. Ivalee and I can talk up a storm and while we were doing that Mike and the men went down to get the metal we left on the side of the road. They loaded it into Howard's truck and took it to the barn. Just as they were getting ready to leave we all saw 3 deer on the hill.

Mike got a beautiful picture of the sunset.

Our propane is scheduled for next week so we have to get another delivery so we can get back to working on the house. Mike placed the order and I tried to track down my gas appliances.

After lunch our delivery arrived with 40 sheets of sheet rock, 10 sheets of waterproof board(for the bathroom), 28 more 2x4's and 3/4" plywood for my counter top. Now we have so much stuff in the house that it all gets in the way when we work.

It's a mess.

Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day.

Today we really need to get back on track. We started out by moving everything inside the house into the office area, the only room that is sheet rocked. Now we have room to work.

First we wired the bathroom.

We completed the last wall, and installed the electric wires and boxes in the kitchen.

We also cut out the correct openings for our doorways into the master bedroom and the bathroom. We still have to add one more 2x4 across the tops.

The last thing we did in the house was start the plumbing in the bathroom. We are using pex tubing instead of copper for the first time. It is much more cost effective and also much easier to work with. There is no cleaning and soldering the pipes and you can run it through the walls.

Now all we have to do is finish the wiring and the plumbing and then we are ready to sheet rock the house. Now that's going to be a job.

Tonight we went back over to Nicole's to help her finish the sink installation, the plumbing, and put her mirror on the wall. We got most of it done but we were short some plumbing parts so we will have to go back Friday to finish.

Lisa and Mike