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!!
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.