Sunday, December 14, 2014

solar power, power, phone and internet

Our first big step back to the somewhat modern world was purchasing a solar panel kit for the cabin. We had always talked about it but because we were not spending much time there in recent years, it was not worth the cost. Once we had to stay in the cabin, however, we quickly realized that propane lanterns were not cutting it. The small propane canisters are 3 bux a piece and only last a few hours.  In the darkest days of the year, that meant we were burning through a tank every two days. Beyond that, they don't provide much good light, are relatively scary to operate and serve no purpose other than provide light.  Since the kits have come down in price and we received some Amazon gift cards, we got one set of panels and a battery  to charge the phone, have a small clock radio and provide light for us. I must say... it is wonderful and we should have bought them years ago!! 
The next step was to get a power pole  for an RV put in place.  We  first had to get a permit to place it but thankfully, they  did not charge us for it. The following day the electricians  came and placed the pole.The day the fellers came out to put that in was a joyous one  indeed! I even declared it the prettiest pole in the world though it is rather ugly. Two days later the power company came to hook us back up to the electrified world but first they had to take down the final  dangerous  and burned tree. Poor Percival, the younger dog, did not like it so much, however, and he ran off to the woods again to hide. We think the poor lil guy has a bit of PTSD and as soon as the truck  backed up and lifted the bucket he ran to the woods to hide.

This week, the phone company was finally able to  be called and the phone and internet reinstalled.  A portion of that line had burned as well so once again the bigger truck rolled in, the bucket went up and the dog ran off.  By Tuesday evening we were finally back online and with a real land line hooked to the camper. This marked another small milestone as it meant that I had the ability to get back to work. Now if  I could just get work to send the equipment, I would be all set.  This also means that I can get rid of that ridiculous smartphone, although, I have almost come to like it, but not quite.

We still have a long way to go in this process. It is far from over and far from ideal. The tin can is tough to heat and warm up on a budget or at all for that matter. After two hours, it is currently about 54 degrees in the camper. There is no current source of water except for the spring or rainfall captured in bucket. Cooking is done over open fire which I am used to and don't mind but, it isn't exactly an outdoor kitchen like I am used to and I simply do not have the tools and implements I once had. While I can cook and even have fresh veggies n such, I do not have the ability or space to make breads and tortillas or get too fancy in what I make. Dishes are done outside which again isn't bad but dang it is chilly out there and dark so early. Showers are non existent unless we drive to them. While  awesome to have one (thank you Mulberry Gap) it is not exactly convenient. We take bird baths, which again, are done outside because of the time of year and the tin can is winterized. Our bedroom and entertainment space is in the cabin but our internet n current  kitchen space is at the camper so we spend a fair bit of time running place to place and heating both as needed. 

I am not complaining. It is what it is and it is how things are going to be for the foreseeable future.  There is no real budget for rebuilding as I simply do not make enough for that and we do not want to go into debt. Things will improve. We will have  a water catchment system in place soon. We will  turn the old cistern into a dry storage area. We will rebuild the outdoor kitchen and we will get some sort of covering over the tin can as time and money allow. It is just going to take patience and perseverance unless of course I finally decide to sign a contract for a "reality show"  and that just aint happening unless I can sign a two-show guest appearance for 20k a show.


  1. You'll get it. You got what it takes. That's why I love yas.

  2. Doesn't insurance cover fires? You should be able to rebuild with your insurance money but it may take awhile for that to come. In the mean time I hope you stay warm through winter.

    1. we had no insurance due to location, lack of services and cost.. best we could get was 30 k coverage at 1200 plus a year.. .. we have already had to spend about half that amount and 15k isnt enough to rebuild anything.. we would also still be waiting on a check and likely would not have been able to do the cleanup we have done thus far..

  3. How about Habitat for Humanity? There is a chapter in Elijay, I don't know much about the organization, but we like to check out the Restore run by HH when we can get there.