Insulating For Snowmageddon

I’m trying to be “responsible”. I aspire to be more responsible. To plan things out and make them happen in a timely manner. Like getting ready for winter. I’ve found over the last year that not having a lot of money makes it a lot harder to be responsible. You are more likely to have to make do somehow rather than do what is prescribed but you don’t have a choice and you do your best and that is that.

Having more money on the other hand, makes being responsible a lot easier. If you need parts, money for fees and bills etc, life is a lot easier. This now means Amazon is my new BFF. We put up signs pointing to our property to make life easier on the UPS guy and took down various branches and one tree so he wouldn’t continue to scrape the crap out of his truck. In winter, we will have to pick up our packages in town.

We have ordered appliances, parts, supplies…things to improve our living situation out here including a solar power system and the questionable water heater. We’ve been debating about the best ways to insulate the big rv and the smaller one our son insists he wants to continue to live in for privacy.

The small trailer is much easier to insulate but the fifth wheel is like a barn on wheels. We have to find all the cracks and fill them in, skirt the lower perimeter to keep wind from circulating underneath, find a way to keep the “basement” warm (that’s what they call the lower storage compartment of a fifth wheel), etc. etc. etc.

I have had my head crammed in RV forums and on Youtube for weeks now trying to figure out the best way to do this. For skirting: foam board vs RV cloth skirting vs straw bales vs snap-on stuff vs vs vs vs. What kind of heater and where? Gotta keep those tanks from freezing. The water lines also.

When I told our counselor about this decision making process he asked if we were planning on -40 degree weather for weeks. I told him “yes, we were”. And snow up to the roof. No repeats of last winter when our trailer turned into an ice cube and half of us had to leave for town!

Must insulate: bubble wrap on the windows, a full body storage RV wrap..just wrap that whole sucker up baby, new seal on the front door, use that digital thermometer to get readings on the surfaces to find those air leaks, Great Stuff spray foam everywhere! Make sure all hatches are secure and maybe replace the doors with that foam board, insulate the pipes and the water pump, make sure the drains and outside hoses don’t freeze..but how?

Think The Ants and the Grasshopper. I don’t want to be the grasshopper freezing to death. Not this time. No repeats of being on my way to my first day of work and getting a call from my husband saying “I’m stuck in the trailer. The door is frozen shut!”

Better overkill than under. Winter is a comin’.

Goose On The Lose On Gold Creek Loop

Honkers

Posted To Local Facebook Group on Febrary 3rd, 2018……

“Goose on the loose on Gold Creek Loop.

Neighbors big white goose followed me and my husband up Gold Creek Loop about a mile from Corbett Creek road couple of weeks ago. He’s missing now. We thought he’d have the sense to return the whole half a block home but no, he seems to have upped and runned. We couldn’t turn back at the time and feel terrible. He might come to the name “Honkers” or message me if you know any thing.”

We met Honkers the first week after we moved in. He was a hefty white domestic goose with a lot of character. He seemed quirky like us and we quickly “adopted” him as the security system and gate guard.

He belonged to the neighbors who lived on the road going onto our property. You had to drive past their house on a common road to get to our gate. Honkers had a penchant for cutting us off while driving by and we had to start figuring in extra time when we left for the battle to pass. He came to know us and the sound of our truck and we were soon obligated to stop and say hi to him and a quick pet.

We were told by his owner that he had survived an attack by a predator and being hit by the owner’s vehicle. He would waddle up the dirt road next to my husband and they looked adorable together. I regret I can’t seem to find any pictures or videos of them.

Then one winter day, me and my husband were frantically trying to get our truck out of the long driveway, around the corner, and up the hill of the main road during a snow storm when Honkers waddled out. We were extremely stressed out and taking turns pushing the truck up the slick road but seeing Honkers was both funny and dismaying at the same time. He needed to go back.

By the time we got the truck to the top of the hill and hopped in, we didn’t have time to have one of us hop out and usher the goose back to the driveway just down the road. We thought he would have the sense to just turn around and go back home but he didn’t.

We’d like to think that Honkers found some other geese to fly away with but no one really knows as we never saw him again after that day. Miss you Honkers 🙂

Next: The Spring

Out of the Pot and Into the Frying Pan

How we came to live in the wild (three and a half miles from the nearest town).

Introduction

  Following are the stories of my family’s journey from a place of manicured lawns and HOA’s to a place of yellow jackets, ticks, stickers, mud, frozen pipes, neighbors that almost shot us, a driveway from hell; and the best adventures of our lives.

I am not a formally educated writer. I go on gut but I love humor and it’s a great way to gloss over the underlying struggles we’ve faced since we left our previous lives behind hauling nothing but a 20′ travel trailer. When we pulled onto the road to find our destiny in the Spring of 2017, we literally didn’t know where we would end up by the end of that summer but we figured (rightly) that adventure awaited us on the open road and beyond.

……………………….

 

We are a married couple with a sixteen year old son and two cats. We were tired of the increasingly frenetic atmosphere of the Puget Sound region so we sold our house in the spring of 2017, bought the travel trailer, and headed east in search of wide open spaces more compatible with our nature.

We camped in the national forest and anywhere else we were allowed for over three months as we cruised the real estate websites for property. In September we found a few acres of raw land in eastern Washington near the Idaho and Canadian borders that was just right. It was three miles away from the closest town and far far away from any major metropolitan area and came with no utilities.

Moving onto undeveloped land means you’re on your own. Amenities – heck – the things you need to survive are no longer a matter of pushing a button or paying a bill. You have to figure it all out for yourself. You become the chief engineer, contractor, and if something breaks, repair person for every project . Everything we used to take for granted is often missed sorely but we’ve grown in ways it’s hard to put into words.

We kind of scrambled for lack of preparation for the first few months. We got our water from the city standpipe then found out they close it in the winter. Luckily, we had discovered natural springs on our property which we dug by hand. For power we used a gas generator.  The following autumn, we installed solar but couldn’t really use it until the next summer.

We initially used WiFi for Internet but it became us vs the Google data pig.  The neighbors let us use their WiFi until we got into a fight and they changed their password.  We could only connect from my husband’s spot in our bed anyway, and only if it wasn’t raining. It eventually took downing three gargantuan trees to get Internet service to the property.

 Emotional and social adjustments were inevitable with such a big move.  Like the new extremes in the weather in eastern Washington as opposed to those of the moderate rain belt we moved from, the emotional highs and lows were more extreme. Hotter summers and colder winters gave rise to newfound happiness and adventure which gave way to days and weeks of depression but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Our first weeks at our new home were fantastic. We were officially land owners and there was exploring to do but then winter came on fierce and with a seriousness that slapped all thoughts of anything but survival out of our consciousnesses. Our water pipes froze and our worldly possessions disappeared under three or four feet of snow. Some things we didn’t find until the spring melt.

Zero degree temperatures forced us to make the decision to relocate my son and I to an emergency shelter while my husband hunkered down at the property with our cats. Three months later, we moved back to the property and picked up where we left off; still struggling financially and with very little to work with.

Spring, then summer came with new challenges. We got a crash course on bugs and I took up slingshot while trying to shoot down yellow jacket nests. The heat, and an oppressively hot summer made it one of the longest I’ve ever experienced but we had things in the works.

We tilled rock-hard soil and planted a garden. We dug the spring and a trough going down the hill to a catch hole. We used antiques we found buried on our land to construct things we needed such as the fence to our garden.  We did whatever we could to pass the time and keep our chins up.

Thank you to my husband for helping me to get through it all. When I was at my worst, he would hold my face in his hands, look at me and say “Good things Baby, good things”.

As fall arrived, our “eggs” began to hatch and we were finally able to make some huge changes to our living conditions and begin to build, literally and figuratively, the quality of our lives. We could stop trying to just survive and begin to live. 

We’ve accomplished a lot since fall. We now have a solar power system, generators, a large shed, an upgraded RV (we decided to put off building until spring), and other necessities. We have a fireplace to  sit by, a wood pile, larger propane tanks and other means for which to stay comfortable and dry for the winter. So far, so good as of January 2019.

Although better prepared now, this life is not for the faint of heart. It requires sturdiness and ingenuity. More money wouldn’t hurt but we have something in the works.

Welcome again and I hope you will enjoy the stories (and some of my eccentric poems), that follow. 🙂