The rest of last summer and fall (2011), while taking what turned out to be only a temporary hiatus from the blog, I really began feeling settled into the cabin. That wonderful sense of "this is home" set in. We've gotten to know our neighbors better in the two houses closest to us and they've gotten to know us better. Strong family values and hard workers. Good neighbors. We consider ourselves fortunate. So, we are HOME and it feels all warm and fuzzy and good.
One of the reasons I thought I wanted to end the blog was because we had already gone through a complete cycle of the seasons living off-grid and I didn't want a bunch of boring "rerun" posts. The other reason was because I was going underground to do a rogue, under the radar, illegal turbine installation. You know, put it up withOUT any permitting, black cat suit, ski mask and all.
Let's start with what hasn't been a "rerun" this Winter. The weather has been mild. Not much snow. Balmy temperatures. Relatively speaking. Where last Winter I was struggling trying to keep some heat in the cabin with three fires a day, this Winter I've been burning once a day and not at all on some days. I've been running around in my Summer weight jammies and kicking the covers off the bed as I sleep. The bitter cold snaps have been short and few and far, far between. I've been comfortable and I like it. Also, different this Winter is the refrigerator issue. Our refrigerator is a complete kW hog. We unplugged it last Winter and threw our food outside. This Winter, I kept it plugged in because I didn't like the inconvenience of my food being outside and even though last Winter was bitter cold, my frozen organic fruit did not stay frozen. I had to forgo fruit in my smoothies. I "indulge" in a very healthy smoothie called Vega. We fondly refer to it as "ogre grog." It is swamp green. For some silly reason, by the end of Summer 2010 which was also the end of the cabin remodel, I couldn't eat anything that my body didn't immediately reject so I thought I'd try a meal replacement shake. While this was successful and I feel better than ever, I like frozen fruit in my ogre grog so the watt-sucker has stayed plugged in. Which leads us to the next difference this Winter - the generator. With the watt-sucker plugged in, I have had to run the generator more - a lot more. I have a soft covered trailer that I can pull behind my Jeep. We parked the trailer behind the cabin and store the generator in that. When I run the generator I unzip the cover, flip the flaps up, set rocks on the flap ends so they don't come down, and turn the generator on. Easier, peasier than last years dragging it in and out of the cabin.
On the issue of my Operation Covert Turbine Install, I easily conceded to The Husband after hearing that the neighbor a road over with the turbine I have been coveting was visited and grilled with questions of a "we don't like your turbine and want to shut you down" nature. That's enough to remove anyone's ski mask.