Archive for October, 2009

Plans Redux

Here we go again. Click on the link to open.

Site Plan 6 29 2009

This is pretty self explanatory , a diagram of where the house sits on the site in relation to the road, river, barn etc.

Floor Plans

An overhead view of the layout of rooms on the first and second floors


Vertical views of the house and garage from all 4 sides. The areas filled with horizontal lines are clad in galvanized corrugated steel and the white areas around the windows are clad with cement board. http://www.americanfibercement.com/etercolor.php The color is E10, Light Beige. It’s more of a very light cement gray than what they show on the color chart


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Here goes an experiment. The architect sent us a digital set of plans in .pdf format today so I’m trying to figure out how to get them on the blog in a usable size.

Floor Plans




Shoot, that was a big flop! The files are over a MB each and it looks like the only part that made it into the post was the title. I’m sure you were all notified of a new post but this all you get until I can sort this out. Sorry :-|

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Lesson #37, ALWAYS Check Water Levels Before Showering!

You’d think some things would be just too obvious to overlook… BUT, you’d be wrong! We have most of the necessities provided for in our trailer. We have a temporary box on the power pole to plug our trailer into for power. We have a phone line with DSL AND a wireless modem so we can send email from the campfire. There’s a shiny new plastic outhouse so we don’t have to keep hooking the trailer to the truck and towing it to a dump station every few days. We have a convenient hole full of leaves and branches with a trench leading into it for the grey water from sinks and showers. We even have water… almost.

The problem is we only have a big black plastic pipe, almost big enough to fire golf balls, hooked to a 240 volt pump on steroids that only has two settings… off, or Old Faithful. If we tried to connect this to the hose coupling on the trailer we’d wash everything, cabinets included, right out the door. Until we get plumbing in the house, this is as close as we’re going to get. Fortunately, most trailers also have holding tanks to hold water for dry camping. Under normal circumstances, you’d slide out a 2″ tube at the back of the trailer, politely aim the garden hose into it for a few minutes until it had swallowed 40 gallons. For us, it’s more like trying to sip water from a fire hose. First, I must remove the 2″ tube altogether, grab my roll of black plastic pipe about 5 feet from the end so as not to get completely soaked, and try to fit it into the socket so the water aims toward the 3/4″ neck and stays clear of the small vent line right above it. Then I cross my fingers, cross myself, and holler to Leanne at the breaker box to fire up the pump!

What happens next is much like a scene out of Giant where I’m like James Dean. (Yeah, right!) Only instead of drilling an oil well, I’m holding onto a big black plastic pipe for all I’m worth. It starts as a distant rumble and builds to a roar as the water gets closer. Then the pipe starts to buck wildly as the water careens through a few 5 foot coils of extra length before racing past me and slamming into side of the trailer and the little filler hole. The tricky part is to get the pipe aimed just right so the extra water flies everywhere EXCEPT into the vent that sits just over it. Before I found the vent it took over half an hour to fill the tank less than half way. Every time I moved the hose the tank would purge air like Moby Dick. Now that I know where the vent is, if I keep it open, I can fill 40 gallons in under 2 minutes. Of course after sitting mostly empty for 3 to 30 some years that tank could be a little funky. So… After topping off the tank with a bleach solution, running it through all the pipes and water heater, letting it sit overnight and draining the entire system to sterilize it, I get to repeat the whole process 2 more times so we don’t gas ourselves when we turn on the hot water. Needless to say, no extra showering was required on that trip.

Our next visit to VT was our first multi-night trip. We had some stove shopping to do in the area and some sculpture demos we wanted to see in New Hampshire just north of us. Since we’d had 3 visits now with no sign of mice, Leanne was also anxious to give the place one final scrubbing to remove even the memory of mice. With potable water finally in place we could even wash dishes and try out our almost coffin-sized shower on this trip. After a day and a half of stove shopping, mouse scrubbing, firewood stacking and contractor kibitzing we were ready for a shower.

The previous night had been crystal clear and the temperatures dove into the 30’s. This, and the meager sunlight, didn’t exactly put me in the mood to remove all my clothes and climb into a wet casket! We stalled with coffee and cereal for as long as we could. Courageously, Leanne went first. Once she had survived the experience she pointed out that with one of us inside, there was only a few cubic inches of air to keep warm and that it was actually quite cozy. I turned the heater up another notch for good luck and headed in. Before I turned on the water I climbed in to check the fit. The shower had a hand held sprayer but if I dropped it I’d have to open the door just to pick it up. Fortunately there was a knob on the back of it to shut the water off while you soaped up so I wouldn’t have to attempt doing this with my feet or through telepathy. My action plan in place, I stepped out and turned on the water.

Once under way I discovered Leanne was right and a little warm water heated the tiny space right up. Getting wet wasn’t too hard with the hand spray washing my hair and beard went ok. Getting soap everywhere was a bit of a challenge. I finally learned that if I stood on one foot, crossed the other one over that knee, and pressed myself up against all four walls at the same time, I could even wash my feet. That accomplished, and with at least as much soap on the walls as on myself, I reached for the spray and turned the water back on. I was treated to almost a second of warm water before the sprayer began to cough. After a few more seconds of mixed water and air I’d managed to rinse my face before I suddenly realized what was happening… SHIT!…. That was the last of 40 gallons! ¬†LEEEAAAAAAAANNNE!!!! She’d had a very quick shower but never underestimate how much water a Catholic School girl can use cleaning invisible mouse tracks!

Fortunately, it’s hard to get out of earshot in a 24 ft trailer. Leanne came running to my rescue and was able to collect another cup or so of warm water by dropping the sprayer down to floor level. After that the only other water was 2 small bottles in the refridgerator! “NO WAY! Get a pan and warm them up a bit!” Leanne mixed them all together and managed to warm about half a coffee pot of rinse water. By removing as much soap as possible with a damp washcloth and with extremely judicious and precise dribbling of the remaining water she was able to help me remove all but a tolerable level of soap. My Hero! She saved both me and the trout from from a possibly fatal stream side ice water rinse job! Never again will I forget how small 40 gallons is!

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