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Snow day sun

When it looks like this after lunch, we sometimes decide one hour out in the cold is enough. 

If you're similarly inclined and need some winter fluff to fill your snow days, perhaps you'd enjoy snagging my novel Verdant Magic while it's on sale? This is my most homesteader-friendly work of fiction --- there are witches and dragon shifters, but also gardens and goats. Enjoy!

Posted Wed Jan 17 07:00:14 2018 Tags:
Malco metal cutting shears.

We used the Malco Heavy Duty Turboshear to cut our metal to size.

It uses the power of any drill to cut up to 18 gauge galvanized steel.

I figured out the hard way that it does not cut when it's upside down.

Posted Tue Jan 16 07:00:14 2018 Tags:
Snow drift

Here's a puzzle for you --- if a snow drift builds up on the south side of the trailer when only the south and west sides are enclosed with skirting, what's the prevailing wind direction? (Guess now --- the answer is in the next paragraph!)

Snow drift dynamicsAccording to the University of Wyoming, the trailer is acting like a windbreak, allowing snow to build up on the downwind side of the barrier. So, during this storm at least, the winds came from the north. (Drat! We chose the wrong half of the trailer to enclose during our warm spell before the next storm hit.)

Is that the prevailing wind direction? I guess I'll have to pay attention to more snow drifts this winter and find out!

Posted Mon Jan 15 07:00:16 2018 Tags:
Sweeping snow


We left our snow shovel in Virginia, so Anna tackled our Level 3 Snow Emergency with a broom.
Posted Sun Jan 14 07:00:16 2018 Tags:
Cutting insulation

Mark discovered that the easiest way to get the skirting metal and insulation to come out even is to measure and cut the former on the ground then to run a knife along the upper edge of the metal to trim the styrofoam.

Screwing metal together

Next up is doors --- the spot for one of which you can see at the far left of the photo above. Rather than inserting premade vents into the metal skirting for summer ventilation, we'll be framing up wooden doors with closable vents so we can easily get into the various parts of the trailer's underbelly as well as ensuring accumulated moisture doesn't rot our subfloor.

In case you're following along at home, here are the rules of thumb for skirting ventilation:

  • Plan on one square foot of vent per 150 square feet of trailer (6.5 square feet for a 14x70 singlewide).
  • Make sure there's a vent within three feet of each corner.
  • Close vents in the winter to keep your pipes warm!
Posted Sat Jan 13 07:00:14 2018 Tags:
Small angle bracket.

We attached our under pinning vertical supports with these small triple zinc framing angle brackets I found at Lowe's for 58 cents per bracket.

Posted Fri Jan 12 08:19:08 2018 Tags:
Framing trailer skirting

There's nothing quite like a round of adversity to make you appreciate how good you have it. With temperatures rising above freezing for the first time in over a week, diving back into the skirting project became a breeze. Without even pushing ourselves, Mark and I managed to frame up one long side of the trailer in two afternoons.

Evening up the ground

The hardest part about the framing endeavor is the fact that the ground isn't entirely even along the trailer's length. Mostly, we dug out to make smooth transitions, but at the end Mark built up using a cinderblock instead.

We're taking a bit of time off to celebrate Mark's birthday today (happy seven squared!), but hope to put up the metal on that side by the end of the week...just in time for another cold spell to hit. Maybe blocking the wind will at least count for something as winter weather returns!

Posted Thu Jan 11 07:00:13 2018 Tags:
Selling the Kubota X900.

The Kubota X900 found a new home yesterday.

I was a little sad to see her go but her new owner promised to treat her good.

Posted Wed Jan 10 07:00:13 2018 Tags:
Pulling a UTV with an ATV

We made a deal with someone who wants to buy our Kubota quite a while ago...then the deep freeze hit and the diesel engine refused to start. It's tough to sell a "no, really, it's running perfectly" vehicle when the engine won't turn over, so the sale was put on hold until the thaw.

Enter our neighbor, who showed up in our lives a couple of weeks ago during a snow storm. I was out walking and enjoying the scenery; he was out scraping people's driveways with the blade on the front of his ATV.

"Want me to scrape your driveway?" he asked.

"How much do you charge?" I replied.

The neighbor looked at me like I was nuts --- clearly, the joy of scraping snow was payment enough. Nonetheless, I pulled out some excess Christmas cookies I'd stashed in the freezer and paid him in sugar and chocolate.

Pushing a UTV with an ATV

Soon thereafter, Mark and I received an invitation to come over for a New Year's eve party. One thing led to another...and soon the guys had cooked up a scheme to drag the Kubota over to their heated garage to thaw.

Our neighbor arrived with the same snow blade on the front of his ATV. First he pulled, then he pushed, and soon the Kubota was in the heated splendor she rightfully deserved.

Impatient to get her fired up as quickly as possible so he could take a joyride, our neighbor pulled out the air filter to increase the amount of hot air flowing through the system, raised the bed for the same reason, then took a hair drier to the fuel lines. In less than an hour she roared to life.

Unfortunately, that means Mark will have to part with his baby sooner rather than later. On the plus side, we met some awesome neighbors as part of the deal. I find it hard to believe that every neighbor we've met thus far has been interesting and welcoming, but so far that has indeed been the case.

Posted Tue Jan 9 07:00:10 2018 Tags:
Greenhouse fabric tear down.

The greenhouse needed to be moved to make room for the under pinning project.

Posted Mon Jan 8 07:00:16 2018 Tags:

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