Category Archives: Uncategorized

Pasture Area & Headboard (10/21/2016)

Hello All!  Another update from this past weekend.  Since Sheralee was in the ‘big city’ last weekend, this was my first trip up to our property.  This past week we started having some acreage cleared for our future farm animals.  It is very very exciting to see the transformation.

Let me post a couple pictures, and describe what has happened so far.
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The above picture is looking just SW and West.  You can see our little shed and then follow our driveway road to the West and then heading South.  Where the curve in the road is, just last week that was full of trees.  Amazing.

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Our Saturday morning walk of the new pasture.  At this point we were two days in of ‘dozer’ work.  As I write this, day three is in process, and probably about 2+ full acres to go.  Just a note…looking at 4 acres cleared, is pretty daunting and a lot larger than I imagined. Ha.

Our other projects for the weekend were stabilizing and fortifying one of our compost bins.  You can see in the below pictures, the bin was starting to slide to one side, mainly due to no support on the two front posts.
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I have a long term idea on that, but for the interim, I added some stability on the inside, and also braced against the other bin there.
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This will definitely work for a while, but I am thinking some metal fence posts pounded into the ground at each front post, tying the posts to that metal post.  That should do it.

After this was done, Sheralee and I turned to building our new headboard.  We are using 2×6’s left over from the left.  It will be boarded on the side towards the bed, but open on the other side for shelving into the closet/office area.
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* not sure why the blurry pictures….but you get itl  We had to lay out the design first to get our bearings on how the install would go.

Once we had it figured out, we started with the side that would be mounted to the wall studs.
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There is a gap in the shelving, so we can look North from our bed through the window that will be there.

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So far, it is turning out great.  We now have to add the base cover on the back side, and create the rest of the shelves.  Currently, our stock of 2×6’s are all slight warped, which makes for a lousy ‘flat’ shelf. ha.  We also have to run some 120V and 12V for two outlets and some cool ambient led lighting in the headboard/shelving.

Doing that, I also had to finish some electrical panel additions, and wiring one side of the bedroom container.

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Electrical is truly fun, as I told Sheralee.  It is fun, until you get shocked, which (knocking on wood) hasn’t happened yet.  For the bedroom I still have to wire in the headboard outlets, 12V led lighting, and two ceiling lights.  Gonna be great.

I think that is it for this entry.  We will have more acreage pictures soon. Very exciting times!

New Floors Part II (9/30/2016)

Hello All.

Not a lengthy blog post this week.  We did get some good stuff done, but yours truly wasn’t ‘johnny on the spot’ with the camera, so I will have to tell you about the happenings instead.

Made it up Friday after work, arriving just after sunset.  The stars were amazing, especially with a new moon on Friday.

Saturday, got the rest of the floor planks installed, and managed a stain coat before she had to leave for work.  Yup, Oktoberfest in full motion in town on Saturday.  After dropping her off I returned to do some framing around our connecting doorway, and added some insulation.  Not a whole lot done on my part, but it will help with the wind/cold…hopefully.  In the late afternoon, I ventured into town to enjoy a dinner with my favorite restaurant goer!  It was a good time, and GREAT service!

Saturday, Sheralee started on coats of polyurethane on the floor.

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It looks awesome after 3 coats as of Monday morning!  So close to moving our sleeping operation over there!  Can’t wait!

I started the shower pan/plumbing on Sunday as well.  Sheralee had drilled the whole for our shower pan, and I finished leveling it, securing it, and started the plumbing.
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I added a 2″ drain pipe into a p-trap, which I don’t have pictures for. ha.  I will continue on…and eventually it will tie in the bathroom and kitchen sinks for our grey water reclamation.  That will be cool.

Solar Update:  Everything is working great still.  We are afraid to touch anything. ha!

Since there weren’t a lot of other ‘action’ photos, I wanted to add a couple really cool sunset pictures.

This one was taken Friday before I got there:
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I took this one Saturday, driving back from dinner:
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This one was taken Sunday evening as we were heading down the hill:
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Until next weekend’s update!

Loft De-Construction (6/17/2016)

We were up last weekend and had a couple tasks that we wanted to work on.  They were simple things that we wanted to do, but ended up doing more and more. ha.

We wanted to work on our firepit, I have this idea of shallowing it out and securing the rock walls with cement.  We also wanted to finish off some paths to our outdoor shower, since it would definitely be used during the warm weekend.  The last thing on our list was to finish off the one corner of insulation we didn’t get to last weekend in the second container.

Well, we did those and more. ha.

We started with 4 bags of quick set cement mix in the firepit.  I emptied the pit, removed the loose rock, and added some rebar/rocks on the bottom for strength.  I mixed up all four bags, and didn’t get anywhere near where I wanted.

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I added a platform in the rock wall for setting pots on and whatever.  I used all four bags on the bottom, and securing the one platform rock.  Not nearly enough to raise the floor of the pit to the level I wanted.  We are adding more this weekend to the walls.  Then raising the floors later on.

We did add some of God’s mulch to our shower path.  God’s mulch is all of the tree debris around big tree trunks that has collected for years and years.  Perfect stuff for paths.  Sheralee did a great job bordering in all of the paths with rocks…more great physical labor in the high temps.

Speaking of temps, and outdoor showers.  We purchased a single water mister on a stand.  It is awesome.  We can sit in our chair and turn on the mister and be cooled down, with a cool drink.  So awesome.  Well, until the water pump box malfunctioned on Sunday.  We were enjoying the mister when all of a sudden…”POP”, and the water died.  What the heck?  Turns out the 1/2″ vinyl tubing I used in the pump box had swelled and exploded.  Imagine Elmer Fudd’s shotgun with a carrot in it..and it explodes. That is what the tubing looked like…and expanded way beyond 1/2″.  So, that is a project for the next weekend.

We had some unexpected bird visitors that were obsessed with our stainless steel chimney, and since we are reconfiguring that wood stove, Sheralee took it down.  Along with that, we ended up removing the patio door from the loft.

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There it sits, for now.  We are going to work on it’s future permanent home at one end of a container.  Framing out a new wall for it’s installation this weekend.

Besides this work, in the hot hot sun, we decided to get up Sunday morning and go on a little walk.  We went East on our pipeline road to the next hill and check out the view from up there.  Spectacular view looking East towards Flagstaff.
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We also managed to get a quick shot of us.
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Then in turning around and facing West…looking back towards our place…there is one thing that sticks out in that wonderful view.
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Yup, that is our lovely loft in the distance there.  Oh that thing needs to come down.

It is also the time of hummingbirds.  They are just fascinating to watch.  The energy that is expelled in order to protect their tree is amazing.
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I think that is it for this week.  We are heading up this weekend again for some big project work.  Working on a new bathroom barn door and framing in and installing our patio door.  Oh, and fixing the pump box of course.  We need that mister….mister!

Two Weeks Of Updates (6/3/2016)

It has been a little while since I have updated.  Basically two week(ends) of trips to account for.  Last weekend was Memorial Day weekend, a nice 3 day weekend.  We had a great visitor for the weekend, my daughter Katherine came up from Phoenix to hang at Rebel Ranch and check out all the things we have done.  It really was good times.

Sheralee and I drove up Friday after work and arrived about 8pm.  We got to see some deer, Sheralee’s first sightings I believe.  First a group of three (pictured) and then another group of three closer to our property.
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And no, since some of you will say it….these are not the eatin’ kind. As long as Costco still operates, these guys are safe with us. ha.  Saturday morning we got up and FINALLY, just ask Sheralee, took the top off the Jeep.  I think we have had it almost two years and this is the first time off.

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We went and picked up Katherine a little bit later in the morning, ‘cool wind in our hair’…that kind of thing.  Like a terrible father….I didn’t really get any pictures of the three of us.  I seem to take pictures of deer and Jeeps, but can’t seem to remember to grab one of us enjoying our time on the ranch.  doh!  I did get this dark grainy shot at night Sunday. hahahaha
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Next time for sure!  On Sunday we jumped in the jeep and drove North to the end of Ranch Rd. on Westwood Ranch.  It was some good times, and I do believe we found the ‘end’ of the road.  Just more desert/trees everywhere. ha.

Katherine decided to head back to the valley Monday morning.  After dropping her off and watching her go, we headed back up to the property to get a little work in.  We are in the process of changing our driveway, and one of starting points was first laying out the driveway, but then removing an old fallen tree and a Juniper.

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The last picture is right as we were heading out.  It is going to be a great driveway, and eventually divide our living property with our pasture area.

That brings us to this weekend.  Yup, we escaped the 110 degree heat of Vegas, for the 100 degree heat of N. Arizona…whoa.  It was warm up there.   We did a couple of really cool things, in our minds.  First, since it was going to be summer shower days again, Sheralee had a great idea to move our outdoor shower to a new location, which complete makes sense.  In the future we will have a guest cabin just north of our home, and that is were the outdoor Loo is, so why not situate the new shower (spa) near there, and that is what she did.

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Once we settled on a new location, she attacked the limb clearing with gusto.  She created a new path and new shower basin. The basin is the same as before, a pallet with some fake green grass, but it is surrounded by large rocks and then a whole is dug underneath, filled with smaller rocks, for drainage.

You can see from the pictures above, she then had to hall of that white rock, and pavers, up to our new shower location.  It really started to take shape.
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Not that easy to see with the tree shadows, but our pallet is in there, with our fake grass, the white rock and pavers, and our ‘spa’ chair.  Trust me, that outdoor shower is the best thing ever…especially on these hot summer days.  Nothing is better than a real shower after working all day in the dirt.

The week prior we decided, “why not use the water we have in our tank?”.  I mean we had close to 700 gallons sitting there, and more rain to come this year, why not use it instead of lose it….so that is what we did.  I had PEX coming from the current tank, after re-doing the valve and insulation…http://rebelranch.us/first-really-nice-weekend-21316.  I added a hose spigot to the cut end so we could connect a hose and draw water from our tank.

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We pumped that water up to our 65 gallon tank that we use to shower with.  Worked awesome and so nice to have all that water!  The 50′ hose goes from our tank to our shower for a nice warm/cool shower. ahhhhhhh

Sunday morning, Sheralee fortified our shower, adding in a wall of trees for future use, amongst company.  ha.  While she worked away at that, I finally tackled a project that I have had to do for a while.  Finish the bathroom vent conduit to the outside.
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The vent has been installed and working for a while, but the air goes nowhere.  So, it was time to add the ducting to the outside.

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Now we have a functional bathroom vent.  woohoo!  It works great!  We will be heading up again this coming weekend, if nothing more just to take an awesome shower. ahhhhhhhhh

Until next time.

New Solar and Misc. Projects (3/2/2016)

Since I was off the first half of the week last week, I decided to head to the ranch on Wednesday last week.  I could work remotely Thursday and Friday, and then get some stuff done after work and on the weekend.  Upon arriving Wednesday I found that indeed the batteries were not being charged by my little 40 watt panel, and the power for the fridge was off.  My first task of the day was to start the solar rebuild so we could get some ‘real’ charge on the batteries and give me power.

We purchased two new pieces of equipment, among miscellaneous items such as fuses, switches, bus bars, and new cables.  The two major (unplanned) purchases were a new Renogy MPPT 40A Charge Controller and a Renogy 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave inverter were made to replace our blown charge controllers and the modified sine wave inverter we were using.  After doing research I found that a modified sine wave inverter takes more power to function.  So, my first task was to remove all of the previous components and wiring configurations.

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I then moved the solar panel input to the left wall and added a fuse on the input.  In the future, when I add more panels, I will want that wall to hold a combiner box so that all the individual lines come in to the shed and I combine them there in any configuration I want.

Next I added voltage bus bars at the bottom of the board, so that no longer will I be going to the batteries to add/remove any components.  I have one location now, a common bus bar.  I took the 4 gauge wires from the batteries and attached them to the DC voltage bus bars.

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It looks a little jumbled, but I have some loose grounding going on and some extension cords for now, but overall very happy with the way it turned out.  You can see the bus bars at the bottom, and the different switches for each area of power.

I think on Friday I added the A/C panel back to the mix, so we would have power upstairs to charge things.

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This is pretty much the finished configuration.  The shelf I added I will be extending on my next trip.  I also added a 110V outlet in the upper right hand corner of the shed that you can’t see.  A generator fed A/C sub panel will be added to the right side in the near future so that in case anything happens to the solar, we can power up the generator, plug it in to the box, and get power to some major appliances.

Oh, so back to my story…after completing everything, except the A/C panel, it was too late on Wednesday to get a charge back on the batteries, and I needed some cooling….not just for beer, but for food as well.  I had to head back in to town, yes hooked up the horses to the wagon, to get some ice for the night.  The next day refrigerator was back on and running normal.  Over the next couple of days I had a lot of charging on the batteries and running anything I needed to.  We are back on our way to power freedom, I hope.  I will know more tomorrow.

Another task I needed to finish, as rain was expected on Sunday, was the rainwater input.  Something I found out, that was kinda funny, is my first flush diverter I installed, you can see it here.

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Well, I opened it up to clean it out and what did I find?  The oversized ping pong ball it uses to float and close the diverter was squashed completely. ha.  Something definitely happened over the winter.  I ended up taping it to a long piece of PVC and shoving it up there to divert all of the water.  I will have to cut that thing off and cap it so all the water flows in.  Since I added the Banjo inline filter, not sure how much I need that first flush working.  I got the last piece installed, so that we have that inline filter in place, and now just waiting for rainwater.

I am pretty sure my days all ran together, with a mix of work and ranch project work.  Another thing I wanted to work on was adding a PVC conduit for power lines so we could close up the wall behind what will be our bedroom closets.

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This will make it possible to put the back wall in place and still run power lines from the utility shed up into the ceiling where they will be routed to where they need to end up.  I think it turned out pretty well.

Another project I wanted to get one was leveling the new container, Crusty, somewhat to remove about 1.5 inches in slope.  This was fun for sure.  Using a little bottle jack there is somewhat a lack of stability when jacking up that think.  We had done it before on our first container, so no reason it wouldn’t work again.  I found that the jack would tilt left or right and the container would move that way as well.  Not good.  I finally got about an inch of slope out and that is all I wanted to risk.

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The next thing I did was to frame out the door opening to accept a 36″ house door we are moving from our other container.  I think it went really well and will be ready to move the door once we have the opening between the two containers.

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Now, some might notice the support framing above the door…and yes there is really nothing to support since it is a solid metal framed container, but I just couldn’t help myself. ha.  That frame is ready to go whenever we move the door.  The plan is to move that single hung door from the the other container to this wall.  Then we are going to move the patio door from the loft down to the other container, once we move the bed down to the main floor.

Today is Thursday the 10th, and I am heading out tomorrow afternoon for another five day stint.  I am hoping being up there for multiple days will help the progress all that much more.  We shall see.

Oh, thanks to my buddy Dave, we now have a webcam to test up at the property.  I am going to get it connected this weekend so that after I leave it will upload a couple pictures per day to a webpage I have running.  Very exciting!  More on that later.  Thanks Dave!

 

 

 

Wood Floors Part II (2/20/16)

We made it back up to the ranch early Saturday morning, a beautiful day once again.  First thing, of course, I check on is the solar…wha wha wha…and it is bad once again. Found a bad connection on the DC input of the charge controller…where I had melted wires/inputs on former charge controllers.  Same thing here…tried to put the wire back in and found it was fried.

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Kinda had enough of that.  What a disappointment.  I have been chatting with Renogy solar people off and on today, and think it is more than likely where my DC voltage is connected on the battery bank.  I will be getting a new charge controller and changing the DC input (battery charging side) termination on the battery bank, to a terminal all on it’s own.  Hopefully this helps it and helps our future charging.

Enough with the bad, decided to move on to other things.  I had to continue the water tank plumbing that I left off last week, due to my leaving the pex crimper at home. ha.

I started again with making the connections that I had already cut and sized.

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After the connections were made, we started making some water runs to get some water in the tank to ensure nothing was leaking.  We needed to be about 200 gallons, above the outlet to test the valve is working fine.  It took us 3 trips, one on Sunday morning, but we were able to finally get above the outlet and test the connections were good.  I then proceeded to wrap up the pex in insulation and insulation tape.

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After I wrapped the pipes themselves, I insulated the irrigation box that will house the valve.  Then I filled in and packed the dirt/ground around that irrigation box and the underground pipe that runs to the center valve (to be installed later).

I also worked on the water intake from after our downspout first flush diverter.  I wanted to add our Banjo line strainer to filter even more of the water flowing into the tank.

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Before

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After

I still have one more PVC/PEX connection, but overall I am happy with it and it is ready to roll.

On to the rock star of the weekend.  The final two coats of polyurethane on our new wood flooring.   After applying two coats last weekend, we came back to a good lucking floor, well that needed sanding…per the instructions.  Sheralee sanded the floor Saturday in preparation for the Sunday double coat application.

While I was off making the final run for water, Sheralee started with the floor.  It went really well, but then we had to wait some four hours until the next one could be put on.

While was applying the last coat, I got some pictures….and yes the polyurethane is wet, you can already tell it is going to be awesome!

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We are pretty sure this is our flooring method of the future.  Just seems so good, and easy enough to replace one flooring panel.

Almost forgot the pretty cool phenomonon we saw on a nice quiet Sunday morning.  Sheralee and I were up on our deck enjoying a cup of coffee when all of a sudden, we thought we saw campfires, her in one direction and I in another.  What was going on?  I thought we were going to have to talk to be people about ‘Private Property’ and what not…but alas it was something totally different.

By that time the wind and picked up to a breeze and it turns out that during this time of year, and seems to be a certain temperature, the male Juniper trees pollinate the air!  I guess this happens every year, but this is our first time noticing it.  It was just incredible to see, looked like little explosions…and it was only the male trees.  I tried to capture it best I could.

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Pretty cool!

We are off a weekend, for a true joining of two people, but up again the weekend after that…well until maybe forever! ha.

New Years Weekend (12/31/15)

Hello All!

A new year is upon us, and there are big things planned of this year, but we won’t really move to quickly for a few months in order to gather up our new plans and resources.  Until then, we go up and enjoy our time there, working on small things that we need.

We headed up Thursday (New Years Eve) for a long weekend trip, which included a quick trip to Phoenix.  On our way up Thursday, we stopped in to our see the seller of “Rusty”, inquiring about purchasing a sister for “Rusty”.  I think we settled on another 20′ shipping container to sit side by side with “Rusty” and at first provide us a good secure staging area, until we can start outfitting that one.  We are very excited.  We do have to wait for the delivery though, as there is some good winter weather going through the area this week, which is not conducive to heavy trucks on the ranch roads.

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So, some point in the near future we will get her delivered, which will start our new year out exciting with new options for our future house.

One of the things I needed to get done right away, was replacing our solar charge controller.  Our previous one went South on us and caused our batteries to really run down, which has caused some issues.  I purchased a new 30amp PWM charge controller, which seems to be better and has better user information via a front panel LCD.

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It seems to be working much better, and the charge is coming back, slowly.  We had dropped the total percentage down to about 30% I estimate.  Not good for those types of batteries.  We are hoping  You can see in the left image, the batteries are at 11.9v.  While that may seem close enough to 12 volts, it is about 30% charge.  I am hoping when we make it up there again, they will be topped off and just charging as needed.

After I had that installed and charging, we decided to take a little hike.  There is a hill down the road from us, where you can get a great view East, and one of our property.  We climbed up the hill and sat for a bit.  It was windy, as it was all weekend, but the view was great.

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In the left picture, you can see I circled our loft, which you can see…kinda stands out.  We have a plan for that!  In the right picture, those are the mountains outside of Flagstaff, which plenty of snow, the San Francisco Mountain range.  Below is a nice panoramic picture I took, not sure how it will turn out here though.

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That night was pretty chilly, probably in the upper teens.  We sat in front of the fire having some coffee before we started our day.  Our day plan on New Year’s Day was to drive to Phoenix and have dinner with my kids.  It is about a 2 1/2 hour drive to Phoenix from the ranch.  Really, it is an easy drive down through Chino Valley and Prescott.

While in Phoenix (a gorgeous 70 degrees), we had dinner with the kids…which was really a great time and then on Saturday drove to Scottsdale to visit with Sherlaee’s sister.  Great weekend all the way around.  We headed back up to the ranch about 1pm.

We arrived at the ranch, and there were a few clouds, but definitely warmer, I think low 50’s.  So nice.  While in Phoenix, the kids had gotten us some very cool ‘outdoor’ type of things, but one item is this blow up solar light, that has multiple colors.  It is so light, and you can hang it anywhere.  We experimented that night.

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It was just so cool, to sit there and have the green or blue light on while the fire was going.  The pictures don’t really do it justice!!!!  Great gift!!!

Sunday, we had a couple smaller tasks we wanted to work on, one of which was composting, which meant the mobile pump in action again.  One problem though, our water level a the compost bins was very low.  We threw around some ideas, and we were going to try and get water out of the sink 35gal tank.  I had a better idea….here we have 1550 gallons of water sitting there doing nothing, with more rain/snow on the way.  Why not take some out to try and make a little room…turns out it was just barely any room, but still it was the thought of using that water.

Our first time using rain water collected in our tank!!!!

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This worked AWESOME!  We filled up some 5gal water jugs, and transported them over to the compost area, filling up our compost tank to the top.  So very cool.

That was about it for this past weekend.  It is nice to see some of the things we plan on, working out for us!!!  Very very cool.

Wood Stove Part Deux (12/05/2015)

After a long holiday break, and reworking our entire layout….based around some issues with our first wood stove install, we headed back to the property to remedy our issues and start anew.

Our first stove install did not quite go as planned, well it did, but our plan was flawed.  In our container there was a vent (a 14″x14″ squire hole) added to the very back end.  This was going to be used as a bathroom vent, but we thought about, actually Sheralee thought about it, and it seemed perfect for our wood stove chimney access.  This way we could go straight up at the end of the container.  This added big benefits…first we get a stove pipe inside of the container, as before we just went out the back of the stove through the outside wall.  Second, the location of the chimney is now at the end of our deck outside, which is the best scenario for us.

Now, on to the installation.  Remember, this is what it was like before.
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We had the stove pipe going out the back of Frodo, directly through the wall.  Now we changed that.  We headed up early Saturday morning and stopped at HD in Kingman.  We had ordered two more 36″ chimney sections to go with the one we currently have.

Upon arrival, we first dismantled the above fixture and dismantled the through-wall installation we had done.  Once that was finished we had to see if the thimble would fit in the opening we wanted to use, and move forward in that.

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We had to grind out some of the support bars that were in the opening, but the thimble fit great!!!  The top portion fit, from the roof down, and we were well on our way.  After we did this, we had to prep the wall, framing, insulation, cement backer board, and corrugated metal wall.

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Once we got the framing installed, and all that comes with it, we had to install the inside stove pipe.  Well, this was very tricky, and I think both of us are still in awe that we got it sized just right.  We bought a telescoping stove pipe that would adjust to the correct height for us.  Well, so much easier said than actually done.  Somehow though, we did it!!  We were high-fiving for sure.

We then worked on the adding two sections on the top side so we could have a fire for the night.  And yes…the following pictures are post chimney and with a nice cozy fire that night.

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We heated up some homemade turkey chili, at by the fire, and enjoyed some wine with our dinner.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH……….
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Sunday morning, with a nice muggy 19 degrees outside, we started the chimney permanent structure.  I first had to add the final support beam of the deck,which I tied into the support posts of the utility shed below.

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I then mounted two 4×4 posts vertically which will support the chimney bracing.
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We then added the cap, and had to test it out of course!  We sat in a warm container watching some sunday NFL.  woohoo….great day!

I forgot to take an outside big picture,  until late, so this one was as we were packing up to leave.

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Now we have heat, and it feels great.  I think it is going to be around 13 degrees next Sunday morning, so comes at a great time!  We have also reworked out internal layout, and that is exciting.  Sheralee works out the details, and I figure out where to put the framing.  Simple, right? hahaha

Also, found out our compost water pump bit the big one.  Just no more action on that little guy, so I am working on a ‘mobile’ pumping solution.  Should be fun!

Entry Light & Inside Framing (11/8/2015)

Sheralee and I headed up early early Saturday morning to the property.  We knew there had been snow earlier in the week, but pretty much all gone, except some white in the shadows of trees.  Very cool, but kinda chilly during the day..

Our first goal was to finish our entry way lighting.  We came up with an LED light scheme using mason jars, and some LED strip lighting, tied directly into our 12 volt system and use some 3 way light switches so we can turn the light on/off from the door entry or upstairs in the loft.

Here are some pictures of us putting the lights together.

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Basically, I purchased a 16′ strip of LED lighting, cool white, and bought six 16oz mason jars.  The goal was to put about 30 inches of led strip lighting in each jar.  We tied the led lights together on the back of the board, and then mounted it and tied it into the ceiling light fixture.

It really turned out great!!  We are very happy with it, and will try and incorporate the same concept in future light projects.

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So, that kind of wrapped up Saturday.  Sheralee did some tree hacking, with her manual saw, and I attempted to chainsaw some of those trees she fell, unfortunately our Poulan chainsaw balked again.   It just wasn’t meant to be that day.

So, we settled in with a nice fire and made some dinner.  After dinner though, we got quite a show in the sky.  It was well after sunset, and dark, when Sheralee got up for some reason and looked to the West sky.  There was a sight to behold…and believe me, when you are in the middle of no where, and there is a very strange occurrence in the sky, you have no idea what is happened.  To me, it looked much like a helicopter search light, and then some sort of mushroom type cloud.  It was way strange.

These pictures are very close to what we saw.
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Turns out, there was a U.S. Navy Trident missile test off the coast of San Diego.  This strange sight could be seen as far East as Arizona (us) and Nevada.  Twitter was going crazy with possibilities, but by the morning we got the straight scoop.  It was clearly one of the craziest things we had ever seen in the sky.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2015/11/07/california_mystery_light_trident_missile_test_seen_by_thousands.html

On to Sunday.  The goal was to start some inside framing, especially the bathroom walls, to accommodate the wall that will be surrounding the wood stove.  In order to make that wall, we had to frame in the bathroom back wall, one side wall, and one door way wall.

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In the above photo, you can see a wall jutting out, this is one side of the bathroom doorway, and then the wood stove will be right in front of that.

It was just so amazing to see walls being created.  One thing we both agreed on is that everything looks different on paper! ha.  We also had some minor changes in where windows will go in the bathroom.  All, still very very cool!

On to the next weekend…

Loft Electricity [done] (10/30/2015)

Headed up early Saturday morning, after a great breakfast in Boulder City.  We got there, and first thing we noticed was our newly planted trees were all leave-less.  Upon further investigation we noticed a lot of deer poop and plenty of hoof prints, the buffet had been open for a week.  Good thing though, they only ate the green leaves, the rest of the trees seem to be in tact.  Sheralee did some creative closing of the tops and we will leave them for winter.  If they make it through, then we should be better off in the Spring.

On our way in, I wanted to stop to take some pictures of the road into our property.  This is maintained once a year, maybe twice a year, but was not done this fall.  You can see what six straight days of rain and elk hunting season can do to it.
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We made it through ok, just a little mud, but by Sunday afternoon it was just fine, but deep ruts.

We also purchased a nice comfort addition for the property and got to enjoy it first thing Sunday morning. ahhhhhhhh
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Yes, no more getting up in the cold to start a fire just for coffee.  We enjoyed our first hot cup of coffee in bed, and our second cup on the deck.

It was time to get back to wiring the loft electricity.  I had to change out a dimmer switch, which sucks, to a simple on/off switch for Sherlaee’s bedside lamp.  Did that, then did electrical pulls for our 12 volt fans, that will push warm wood stove air up to our left through the vents.  Did that, and then finished off with running coax for our satellite receiver (in the future).

This was the mess I addressed.
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This is as you go up the stairs and enter the loft.  One switch is a 3 way to light the entry way light below.  The second switch (shown wired) is our 12 volt fan switch that is downstairs to push warm air up.  The third location is 120 volts for the ceiling fan/light.

While I was doing that, Sheralee did some pretty cool things.  She put up our new loft drapes over the patio door.
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You can see the drapes, and yeah someone having a beer-thirty break without me. ha.  After a bit, I started the wiring again and she worked on our pass-through door from the container to the entry/stair way.

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I helped out the last foot above her line to give us about 6′ of space.  We still have roughly 10″ to go to get to the full height, but just so cool to see that passage way open.  It is becoming more and more legit every weekend.  I almost forgot to show the coat rack Sheralee put up in the entry way, so cool.

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Little by little we are becoming a home, this part is just so great….hard to even explain it.

Sunday is fun day hahahahahahaha.  I had to do the 120 electrical panel install and terminate the upstairs wiring for our outlets and USB outlets.  This is the part I had been worrying the most about.  Little background, and this is where the techy stuff starts [fair warning].  We purchased a 3500 watt power inverter to turn our battery power into usable house electricity, 120 volts.  The only thing with the inverter is that it is a modified sine wave inverter, meaning that it isn’t wired like a normal house electrical input.  If I hadn’t done some deep research, I could have torched the inverter and who knows what would have happened to the batteries.  I purchased a Seimans 125 amp electrical panel and basically turned it into two separate 120 volt distribution centers.

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Red is the common (hot)
Yellow is the neutral

I had it wired in from the inverter plug, to the top termination lugs, and then used a 15 amp circuit breaker to handle the upstairs.  Oh I was a tad bit worried, so at first I had to wire in the dc switch and fuse that resides between the batteries and the inverter, just in case.

Once I had that wired in, it was time for a test.  I plugged in the panel feed to the inverter, just a thick extension cord lopped off one end, and fired up the inverter.  No sparks or smoke, good so far.

I then flipped the curcuit breaker to ON….again nothing happened.  (small high five here).  I ran upstairs with the volt meter and started taking reading.  NADA, nothing at all at each outlet.  huh?  What had I done wrong?  I went back down stairs, and stared at the panel.  It took me about 30 seconds to realize I had put the circuit breaker on the wrong side of the electrical panel, the non-hot side.  I switched it to the hot side and ran back upstairs.  All good!!!  We have 120 volts at each outlet and our USB outlets are working great, charging our phones as prescribed.

This is a before and after.
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You can see the new big red switch and fuse under the blue inverter.
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Wala…we now have 120 volts A/C power in the loft.  Moving right along.

Next week, we are doing some misc tasks, but getting ready for my friend John to join us for our siding installation party day! woohoo!