I swear sometimes my life feels like a novel. It’s tax season, so I guess there’s a bit of that going around. For me, I’ve created a little storm, and the lightning has begun flashing in the distance.
Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately, and apologies to anyone I may have gotten a little short with yesterday. There’s been quite a lot on my mind.
The State of the Woods:
I’m not seeing any grasses coming up yet, but come spring, there should be plenty of “disturbed soil” species popping up around here. I need to start mowing to ensure that the cedars don’t come back, at least in the areas I’ve cleared off. I don’t know if the garden is going to be a go yet for spring.
The house has 550 gallons of treated drinking water stored in two tanks alongside it. Not very accessible at this time of the morning because I’m afraid to run my pump due to ice in the outside line. But it’s there, and there’s another 200 in my reserves, which will hopefully fill up tonight depending on how much rain we get with our sleet and snow. The reserve tanks are identical to the house tanks, 550 gallons, but untreated rainwater with an overflow. Plenty to live on, especially considering my humble lifestyle.
I’m adopting some more tried-and-true methodologies for daily living. I’m going to pass on a washing machine for now. Washing clothes isn’t that hard, and I’ve learned that it can actually be faster than using a machine, in addition to the higher efficiency on the water and power fronts.
I’m not buying a fridge until I absolutely need one, but I may dig a little root cellar this spring to keep a few things on the chilly side. I’ll keep you posted if I do that.
After I get the countertops in (waiting patiently on arrival), the LP inline hot water heater hooked up, and a bathroom vanity, I’ll pressure test my “house” pipes and I should be able to cut the apartment bill. Speaking of bills…
No More Money
I used it all. I’m not even sure where some of my 401k money went, but I know where the rest of it is going. Tax penalties that I couldn’t pay from the investment people side. I was expecting some money back at tax time, but instead I need to shell out 4k to the IRS. I am getting some back from the state of Missouri this year, so that will cushion the blow a bit.
My red truck is still in the shop, and without tearing apart the transmission, they can’t give me a real estimate of the costs. One axle is not fully inserted, and it’s loose, and nobody knows why until we open the case. It’s in the cost range where a used tranny swap would be cheaper, but then what happens if the “new to me” transmission is a dud? I’m at the point where I’m ready to sell it off as a cheap gamble for someone else and take my losses. I simply don’t have the time to dork with it, and someone has made me an offer that seems fair considering we don’t know the full cost of a repair.
Plus, they have the parts and experience to get it working again, I don’t. Hopefully it’s a simple fix and a win for them, but for me, it’s money in my pocket now, and the green monster (my suburban) is still working for me. It’s had it’s fair share of shop time this month as well.
Finishing the house is nearly all I think about. Finish it to the point where I can live here happy. I got a delta faucet for the sink yesterday on sale, and I procured a display model of a two-burner stove top. The vanity and hook-ups is about all that’s left. I’m getting more comfortable in my little house, but there are still summertime considerations.
My battery bank and power equipment is set up to handle up to 4800kW of solar panels, which would equate to roughly 600kWh per month of power in this area (I’ll spare you the math this time). I can’t afford all that, nor do I need it, but because I bought smart with my equipment, I can harvest enough sunlight to power an A/C unit, which will be the biggest power draw in the entire house by a wide margin.
At least living here has given me a lot to think about, and seeds for articles. I think I’m going to inject some of the “farm” back into writefarmlive, and probably line up some articles this year about off-grid living. It’ll give me something to write. Most of my quiet time is spend researching, testing, tweaking, and generally finding the best solutions for myself to have a comfortable life out here while I finish making the walls pretty.
Once the paint is all done and dry (after the drywall mud under it is smooth), everything else is interior design and decorating…I think. I can move my humble pile of apartment stuff out here and start building shelves. With running water the only real big expense is going to be those panels. I’ve opted for a 1.5-1.8kW array, or six big panels, and I’m going to price out the cost of building the ground supports for them myself to compare with the ones I’m looking at. In case you are wondering, 2x4s won’t really cut it for solar panels.
Anyway. I have some stuff to do. Hope you enjoyed reading.