Off Grid...Chapter 31
It's another chapter in the Mike and Lisa world.
Mike and I are beat. Last week was pretty busy so we are a little run down. Mike did some clean up outside while I gave Niki a bath.
After breakfast we took a ride. First we stopped at David's to get some plumbing parts. Then we drove over to one of Jimmy's properties to see how he was doing. He is developing his land to sell. He's doing a really nice job. After we left Jimmy's we stopped at a new neighbor's house "across the holler" from us. Hi Shogun- sorry we missed you. He and his wife weren't home but we got to see how our property looks from across the way. I wish I had my camera.
We finally got back home and Mike said "we have to do something on the house". OK, let's go. So we went down and installed the toilet. Exciting stuff .
The first thing Mike did was install the water line and valve for the toilet.
Then he put the toilet flange over the 4" sewer pipe and marked the holes to be drilled.
Next he drilled the holes into the concrete floor.
After the holes were drilled, Mike put the flange on top and screwed 6 screws into the concrete floor. This will hold the toilet in place.
Then Mike put the wax seal over the flange.
Then he centered the toilet over the flange, wiggled it into place, and bolted the toilet to the ground.
Next, Mike put the gasket on the back of the bowl.
And then he installed the tank.
This is Mike hooking the water lines to the toilet.
And that's how Mike installed our toilet.
Today is our anniversary but we will have to put off celebrating until the house is livable. We have our priorities.
We did a ton of work outside today. We started by cleaning the entire front yard. We had to rake up all the rock, seed the lawn, and put straw on top.
I raked all the rock and Mike and I both shoveled it into the tractor bucket. We filled the tractor bucket about 6 times. Mike unloaded all the rock and debris onto our pond wall. Mike also picked up the curlex that was destroyed by the cows on our big hill. At least all the grass grew in before the curlex was torn up. Mike put all the curlex in a big pile so that we could burn it next time we get some rain. As he was doing this Mike had an audience of cows. They really are like children. As soon as Mike left the pile, the Bull went over and started throwing the curlex around with his head. He ended up with it all over his neck and face. What did I tell you? Children! Really big children.
This is the front yard.
Howard stopped by to try and get the calves used to going into the pen. He will take them all to auction in a couple of weeks. I'm really going to miss 98. I hope he grows up to be a big healthy bull with his own harem instead of steak.
Mike worked on the hill next to the house. After the block was installed we had to clean all the dirt off of it and wrap curlex around the hill.
Mike also brought up more gravel from our pile, we are almost out, and spread it in our parking area.
We also made a decision on our furniture today. Mike liked a theater seating set that we found last week at the store where we got our other furniture. The problem was it was on clearance and there was only one. So, today we decided to get that and buy 2 chairs and 2 end tables for the living room. The only thing we need now is a daybed, for the grandkids, and a desk for the office. That should be really easy.
Today we woke up to gray and drizzly day. Jimmy called us and told us 2 gravel trucks were on their way. We got more gravel for the road, we only have about 20 more loads to go LOL. But now we have a really good road from the top down to our culvert.
We also got a load of small gravel for our walkway down to the house.
The rest of the day was a forced day off because of the weather so we organized the coach and did some paperwork, you know bills.
This morning we went to David's to pick up more stuff. David and his wife just got back from a short trip to the Amish area in Ohio. They had a good time.
When we got home we got everything ready for a burn pile. We loaded up the trailer and went down to the curlex pile. The cows dragged it all over so we had to re stack it and we finally got to burn the debris.
Now our yard area is nice and clean. Mike is eying my clothesline. He doesn't like it where it can be seen. He wants to fence it in or something. I told him "we could always move the building again and put the clothesline behind that". Oh yeah, that will be fun.
Mike also graded the gravel on the driveway.
And we threw more rock into the ditch line.
The leaves are starting to change.
It should be really beautiful in another week or so.
I called Lowe's about my tile. I special ordered 12x12 porcelain tile for my kitchen counter top. We brought them home and laid it out on the counter. It turns out the tile was only 11 1/2x11 1/2 and the grout lines would have been really big. I was very disappointed. I asked the manager if all tile was not the true 12x12. He went and measured some in the store and told me the ones in the store are 12x12 just like they are supposed to be. He told me to bring them back. I am very happy about that.
This morning Mike and planned on going to Lowe's to return my tile, find another counter, and pick up more stuff. So we got up, showered, got dressed and looked nice and neat. You know, no work clothes. Well nothing ever really goes as planned because while I was getting ready, Howard showed up with our culvert. Howard stopped by yesterday and he was concerned because he couldn't get his truck across our ditch line to feed the cows hay. He has to start feeding them now because there is not enough grass for them to eat anymore. Mike and I already paid David for a 20ft culvert for this purpose but we haven't been able to pick it up. So Howard got it for us.
Then as Howard was leaving one of Jimmy's guys shows up with a backhoe to help us with the wind generator. I went out to help Mike and Randy with the wind generator. First we had to stand it up, tie a chain around the pole, and hook it to the backhoe.
Here they are lifting the wind generator.
Standing it up.
Getting it connected.
Trying to get the chain off.
Mike in the bucket so he can reach the chain.
The wind generator is now up and now Mike has to connect it to the battery bank.
Mike and Randy went down to work on the culvert. I brought the 4-wheeler down to help. While Randy dug out more of the ditch line Mike and I moved the culvert.
Then we rolled the culvert into the ditch and covered it with dirt. Now we can drive across.
Finally Mike and I connected the trailer to the Jeep and went to town. First we stopped at wally world. Mike went his way and I went mine. I found a really nice comforter for the bed so I grabbed it. I believe in the saying "you snooze, you lose". Anyway when Mike and I caught up he said he picked out the exact same comforter. Great minds think alike.
Then we went to Lowe's to return my tile. Unfortunately it was raining so we couldn't get everything we wanted. We did find another counter that we will pick up when it is nice out. We also found a bathroom sink for our vanity. Remember we bought one from HD but it was damaged so we needed to get another one.
All in all it was a good day.
We worked on the bathroom today. First we had to cut the holes in the vanity for the drain pipe in the bottom of the cabinet and also the hot and cold water lines through the back of the cabinet. It's always fun cutting different holes without any mistakes. There are no second chances.
We got that all done and put the sink on top of the vanity to check it out. The sink looks great. Then we go to install the faucet with no luck. They now make different sized faucets for bathroom sinks and the faucet we have fits the damaged sink top. Life was so much easier when we didn't have so many choices. Sometimes I wish companies would just leave things alone. "If it ain't broke don't fix it". So now we need to get another faucet and more plumbing.
We then installed the mirror medicine cabinet above the sink. That went well. Now we have tons of storage above the sink.
We had a really good and busy day. Mike started working on the roof first thing this morning. We have to connect the vent to the water heater and bring it through the roof to release any gases. We went inside and measured where the pipe has to go through the roof. Now, on top of the roof, Mike cuts a 4" hole to insert our pipe.
This is the pipe going through the ceiling from inside the house.
Mike installing the collar.
Our vent pipe and cap are done.
While we were on the roof we also checked all the screws and found one hole, oops. Mike also cleaned the gutters and added more sealant.
Back into the house. Here is Mike working on the gas water heater.
The water heater is now done except for the gas hook up.
Next we started working on the electric for my washer and dryer. Mike is running a separate line and outlet for this.
Then Mike started doing the plumbing for my washer. We never installed sheet rock behind the washer because we wanted it to sit "in" the wall. Mike has everything hooked for my washer.
I can't wait to start using it. I got the most energy efficient one I could find but it is still huge compared to the one in the motorhome. This washer only uses 142 KWH per year and that number is based on doing 8 loads of laundry per week and using an electric hot water heater. So for Mike and I this washer should hardly use any power.
Both of our wind generators are going. Check it out.
Two things I don't get about the wind generators. One- it is recommended that you put them very high for more wind and two-the smaller one should be easier to turn. Well we have 2 opposites. The larger wind generator was moving more than the smaller one and the larger wind generator isn't as high as the smaller one. I guess the books are wrong about that. And they are only about 15 feet apart.
Here is a picture I took from the roof of the house.
We started to fill our big tank with water for the first time and everything we did works.
Mike went down to the house to hook up the water pump, prime it, and test the water lines in the house. This is always really scary because now you see of there are any leaks. We have also never used pex for plumbing before so we are a little nervous. Well he got the water running through the lines and we found one small leak in the water heater connection. Thankfully that was an easy fix. The toilet and shower both work, Woo Hoo.
There is only one other problem. The water pump is going on too often which means there is another leak somewhere. Mike thinks it is the water pump itself. When he hooked it up he noticed a part was broken. So we may have to exchange that water pump and install one that isn't broken. It was getting too dark to do more so we called it a day.
The house is almost livable. The furniture should be coming this week or next. We still have to hook up the sinks and also install the 6 new solar panels. Lots to do but we are getting there.
I hope you all enjoyed This past week in the life of Mike and Lisa.
Have a great week and I will write again next Monday.