Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Off-Grid Living

Schew-y. It's The Secret Cabin Super Shape Up Plan. Bob and Jillian, of Biggest Loser fame, have nothing on off-grid living. I make roughly six fires a day. That includes the fires in the Garden Shed. I move any where from 100 to 150 pounds of firewood a day. That's up a flight of stairs. I figure by the end of Winter, I'll be able to really throw a punch or wrestle a mere man to the ground, tie him up, and hang him from the meat hooks on my Jeep. I'm just saying. We store the feLION supplies in the cabin so I'm always hauling bags of food, litter, and water to the Garden Shed. I scoop litter boxes twice a day. I walk down to the barn twice a day to take care of Diesel, Pumpkin, and the birds. That's a 400 foot trek each way. Sometimes through knee high drifts. I have to break ice out of all the buckets in the barn and refill twice a day. Beating on the buckets usually raises my spirits. I monitor the solar system, haul out the generator, fill it with gas, run it, and put it back away.

I have had to use our squeegee on a giant pole to clear the solar panels a few times so far this Winter.  I refer to that as my "Shuffleboard on the Aloha deck" activity. I keep an eye on the weather forecast and if something nasty is on it's way, I'll make sure I've got food for me. We've got another month's worth of groceries for the animals stashed. I usually run the tractor and clear the driveway once a week and go into town for groceries and to rent a movie or two to watch on my laptop. No TV right now. It's still at the other house. I'm not sure we'd get any reception or not. I wash a load of clothes every few days. I usually time it with running the generator and on a day I don't need a shower. Even though I wash laundry in cold/cold, the wash machine requires the cold water be 55 degrees so it will pull some hot water out of the boiler dropping the temperature in the boiler by 2 or 3 degrees. Usually, even if I run the wash machine, the boiler is still hot enough for a hot shower. Of course, when you wash laundry, you dry laundry. Here's my "dryer". It's set on high in this photo. You can kind of make it more up right to save floor space. I refer to that as the low setting.

I clean the cabin and collapse in a chair in front of the fire the remaining five minutes of my day. But remember, I still do nothing.

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