And once again, here we are, MONTHS later. Well, to be honest, Winter got away from me, we had some family things happening, the holidays, job changes, etc, etc… But I’ve learned that the theme of life, at least for right now, is “better late than never!”
Nevertheless, here’s what we’ve been up to:
First off, the deck is 98% complete! Final finishing touches are a handful of braces at the tops of our posts, it needs a good coat (or two) of stain (which will happen in the Springtime), a bit of trim in certain spots, we’ll set up a few lights out there, and it will be DONE. The railing is complete, R built an awesome gate, and we even fixed up our door that leads into the sunroom, so no more trudging through mud, snow, Loki’s poop spots, whatever, to get onto the deck. We couldn’t be happier, or more relieved.
Plus it looks fab. We can’t wait to basically live out there this Summer!
Sometime in December we re-did the bird’s coop roof. Man, those panels were BEAT UP after almost 3 years of weather and bear break-in attempts. We took the cracked ones down, added thick wire netting to rafters, and doubled-up fresh layers of paneling. I also added another layer of insulation to the inside of their coop. The girls are secure and protected!
Of course I did solar xmas lights again! It’s one of my favorite parts of Winter!
We’ve had 2 100-watt solar panels stored in our loft for the last year or so, and have simply lacked the time to put a legit solar system together. About 6 weeks ago, we tackled the first step: the two panels are attached to the roof! We figured as long as we could get the panels mounted before too much snow hits, we can just feed the cables inside the house and over the Winter we can work on getting the whole system put together. Well, now that part is done, and we were quite looking forward to wiring the whole thing together.
We got a DIY solar system book, we looked at a bunch of youtube videos, we were feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Then, we got up into the loft with wires and batteries and all the stuff… and we looked at each other like, yeah, this is out of our wheelhouse. We can give you LOTS of advice about living off the grid, but hooking up a solar system, for whatever reason, is beyond our comprehension. I shouldn’t say that, we can comprehend it, but we figured we’d rather pay someone who’s definitely knowledgeable about this stuff to hook it up for us, so we don’t accidentally mess up a battery or a panel or whatever.
Then, as I said before, the Winter got away from us, and for now that’s where that particular project sits. It’s a little amusing because we’ve already gone this long without having a “big” solar system, so we’re really not in a big rush. I mean, what are we missing, really? We have lights in the house, we’re cozy with our woodstove, and it’s easy enough for us to charge batteries and other things in the truck or when we’re in town at our normal jobs.
Other than that, Winter is… Winter. It hasn’t been as snowy as last year was, but snowy enough. We’ve made our list of projects for this year, and started to sift through our seed catalogs to see what we want to grow this year. Our big thing this year is we’re adding 2 beehives to the homestead! 2 bee packages have already been pre-ordered and they are arriving April 25th! We are SO excited.
Our days are spent working during the day, then walking Loki through the snow (or mud, depending on the day), hanging out with the birds as much as we can, sitting by the fire… I read or write, R plays his guitar. We watch storms roll in and out. Life is pretty rad.
I hope you all are having a wonderful Winter too.