Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chapter 37...Furniture And Farm Gates

Off Grid...Chapter 37

It's time for another week in the Mike and Lisa world. Week of 11-17-08.

Monday 11-17
The weather was decent this morning so we decided to go for it. We drove to Lowe's for more ceiling supplies. We bought more 12 foot grid, cross tees, floor trim, and molding for around our glass transoms above our doors.

We also stopped at the gas company because we had some concerns about our fireplace. We already know we have to put a fresh air vent in and when we use the fireplace now we just crack open one of the sliding doors. But we never got rid of the strong smell even after we "burned" off the fireplace. It also occasionally sets off our carbon monoxide detector. The manager at the gas company told us to check the placement of our logs and lava rocks and make sure nothing is blocking the flame. Mike told him that we installed the logs using the manual and the pre drilled holes from the fp manufacturer. We were told that could be wrong.

We headed home looking like "Sanford And Son" with the ceiling grid and trim hanging 5 feet out of the back of the jeep. We got home and we unloaded the jeep and Mike filled our water tank.

We then went inside to check the fireplace. We took the logs and all of the lava rock out. Sure enough some of the lava rocks were blocking the holes where the flame comes through. We put the logs back carefully and didn't put any of the lava rock back. Now everything works fine. No more smell and our carbon monoxide detector doesn't go off.

We are getting a little low on electric so we have to be careful or we might have to use the generator. We'll see everyday is different.

Tuesday 11-18
It's cold and snowy out so we all hibernated today. We aren't using any heat at night but we do put the fireplace on low in the morning just to keep us toasty.

Niki has found her new favorite spot, second to my lap, in the house.

Wednesday 11-19
Finally! It's a nice day so we decide to make the long trip to Hickory NC and pick up our furniture. Mike cleans the snow off of the trailer and hooks it to the jeep while I pack our lunch and snacks for the road. We head out and make it to Hickory in good time because there is hardly any traffic on the road. We got to the furniture warehouse to pick everything up. We were expecting the furniture to be assembled so we brought blankets with us. We were very surprised to see it all in smaller boxes. I always thought the "so called better" furniture that came from the factory(ours is in NC) would already be put together. Shh, that's what the furniture delivery drivers do and you never even know it. Anyway it was very easy to load the trailer.

On our way home we decided to stop at some of the auto dealers and look for a small 4WD truck. We figured since the auto companies are doing so bad we might be able to find a good deal. Boy were we wrong. Someone hasn't told the dealers yet. The prices were insane. As we drove through Hickory we noticed very few cars on the road and Hickory is normally a very busy place. It was really eerie. Where is everybody? Must be a sign of the times.

We drove home and unloaded all of the furniture. Here is our stack of boxes.

The first piece of furniture we put together was our sofa table which we are using as a TV stand.

We put the rest of the furniture together throughout the rest of the night.

Thursday 11-20
It's not so nice out today but our electric system did get a good re charge while we were out yesterday. We started working on the ceiling in the main room again.

Mike working in the living room.

Finished with the full tiles.

Now the hard part. Mike has to work on the angles ceiling tile.

The angles are done. Woo hoo.

Yeah! The tile and trim are complete in our main living area. Now we just have to do some paint touch up and repair a couple of sheet rock cracks. Nothing hard now.

Friday 11-21
We took a ride to David's to pick up some straw. The front outside area by our door is starting to get mushy and muddy from the snow. We didn't have the time to build the deck and walkway this year. We figured the straw would at least keep the mud outside. David is out of straw. Oh well there;s always other things to get. We picked up 2 6x6 poles and a 14 foot gate for the entrance of our property.

Saturday 11-22
Mike drove me into to town to go to the library and do the grocery shopping. Time to pick up the bird for Turkey day.

Sunday 11-23
It is beautiful out today. Sunny and not too cold. At the beginning of the week we started to get a little concerned about our electric but now we are doing great. Our batteries are almost fully charged. The system keeps improving. Si I did 2 loads of laundry and cleaned the house. Here are some pictures of the furniture and our living area. We desperately need help with decorating. We need wall hangings of some kind. I am looking into making some of our view pictures into 24"x32" prints. We will also need an area rug or 2 but not until all the interior construction is done. We still have closets to build and more ceiling to install.

Our living area.

Wish us lots and lots of luck. Mike and I are terrible at decorating. We are just too practical.

While I was inside with the doors were open Mike was working outside. First he replaced the vent cap for our water heater. There was a gap at the top of the other one and we were worried that a small animal could get caught in it. Here is Mike working on the new vent cap.

All done.

Then he put a cover on the box for our wind generator and also put in my dryer vent on the outside.

After breakfast(late) we decided to go down and install the new gate. Mike starting to dig the first hole.

We switched off and it's my turn.

We got the first pole in the ground and put the gate on. Then we started digging the second hole. Just then Howard and his son Eric showed up and offered to help. They couldn't have picked a worse hole to offer help on. We hit solid rock. We tried using the metal bar to break through and Eric tried using a hammer and a big chisel to try and break it. Here is another example of how an easy job turns into a nightmare. We only got down about a foot and we called it quits. Mike and I are going to have to figure something else out for the gate.

I asked Howard and Eric if they could help us lift our dryer on top of the washing machine. I felt so bad because I didn't expect them to end up helping with the gate but Mike and I just can't lift it by ourselves. They came up to the house and Howard, Eric, and Mike got the dryer up. Woo hoo.

After they left Mike continued working on my dryer. First he had to take the dryer door off and apart so he could change the direction of the handle.

Then he worked on the vent from the inside of the house.

Then Mike got on top of the dryer to work on the vent going outside and to also seal it with the foam in a can stuff. Cool stuff.

After dinner Mike worked on the electric wiring. He is giving the washer and dryer a separate circuit breaker.

I am so glad he knows how to do all this stuff.

That is our story for the week. I hope you all enjoyed it. Have a great week.



  1. I cannot beleive the fireplace instructions would not have made it clear about obstructions! We DO live in a world where self-appointed "professionals" who promise the earth and usually deliver headaches need to be second-guessed all the time!! Frustrating!

    Those are full size washer and dryers right? Are they meant to stack? I'venever seen that before! Can you reach the dryer controls ok? It would be awesome to get the stuff in and out of the dryer...

    These questions, of course are just that, not judgements - just fascinated with the whole project...

    1. No problem...I don't take your questions as judging. We all do things differently and this is just "our" way:) and we do change things as you will see:)

      Yes the washer and dryer were meant to be stackable. Hmm...I never thought about the height issue. I am tall so it never came up. I had no trouble reaching anything. Good point for someone who is shorter and thinking about doing this.