Thursday, May 17, 2012

What's With That?

 I was going to post a blog entry last night about our first full day living off grid, but after dinner, I was just too tired to write a cognitive sentence. I decided I better wait until after a good night sleep or it would not be a very perky update. Here is a timeline since we arrived:

12:00 Arrive at the property for the final walk through the house with our realtor. We learn the closing is scheduled for 8:30 in the morning so that will give us most of the day to get set up before nightfall.
1:00 Realtor leaves, Alan and I walk around the property close to the house for about 15 minutes. I know this seems like a insignificant timeline entry, don't worry I am not going to list everything we did in 15 minute segments, but this 15 minutes impacted many of the following...
3:00 Check into the hotel for the night before the closing. Alan finds a tick crawling on my shirt.
3:05 I find another tick on my shirt. What's with that?
3:10 Intensive tick check. Final count Alan:2 Arn:3. That was fun except for the actual tick part.
Late lunch then stop at Lowes to beef up our tick arsenal, this is war. We had arrived prepared for deep woods tactical encounters with permathrine to treat our clothes, but did nor expect so many insurgents awaiting our walk from the cars to the house. We picked up granules that, when spread on the ground, controls tick encampments throughout the season. Alan later researches and finds a yard spray based on permathrine he can order. But it requires a hose sprayer to use, it does not work with a pump sprayer. So now he has to research a sprinkler pump to work off of the cistern.
4:30 Our realtor calls to tell us the closing will not be at 8:30. It will be sometime tomorrow but the HUD papers still have not been signed by the seller (bank). What's with that? She will call us tomorrow when she finds out the time.
7:25 Back at the hotel doing some work, I find another tick crawling on me.
7:30 'Tick Check: The Sequel'. Two more on Alan. We noticed there is a variety in size, color, etc. Google and learn there are over 702 species, hopefully not all native to The Ozarks.
4:30 The closing. After all this time, the actual closing takes about 15 minutes, how anti-climatic is that? The HUD papers still are not signed, we will get a signed copy mailed to us. What's with that? The closing was moved from early morning to late afternoon just because the signed HUD was 'needed'.
6:30 Arrive at the property and unpack both vehicles. Not much daylight left for the first day's set up.
8:00 Internet is up & operating, kerosine lights are hung in the living room, the perimeter of the bedroom has been sprayed with spider killer, the bed is set up (inflated) and motion detectors have been attached to the doors (locks have not been changed yet).
9:30 Alan opens the french doors (Ooooh! french doors) and a huge moth (at least 6 inches long) flies in. It must have been conscripted by the ticks.
9:35 Alan is a moth wrangler and uses the LED flood light to herd the moth back out the door like the Pied Piper for moths. The moth continues to bang against the door wanting back in, its two eyes glowing bright gold..
6:30 Wake up. What's with that? Thanks Mr. Woodpecker or joining the tick's side of this war.

View from our deck.
Alan walks down to talk to the men with construction equipment coming onto our property. What's with that? I think I forgot to mention that when we got to the house after the closing there was construction equipment parked at the edge of our property, it looked like some kind of pipeline project. Alan discovers it is the county bring 'city water' up this dirt road. How ironic for our first day in our off grid house! Now remember, we need to drive at least 5 miles on dirt roads (half of which is rough, rocky dirt roads) to get to pavement, yet there is now going to be city water going across the property.
11:00 I set this as the time I would stop working on the house to check email, and make lunch. Here is what we accomplished this morning:
- a solar panel is up and charging the gel cell battery we brought with us
- all the kitchen cupboards and drawers, office shelves and bathroom cabinets have been washed so things can be put away rather then piling up on the counters and floor
- bathroom and laundry room floors mopped, I am trying to be economical with the water I use for cleaning since we have to carry it in for now, so I looked at the bucket of water after washing down cabinets and decided it was clean enough to do the bathroom floor. By then it was pretty dirty, but the laundry room floor was filthy so I figured even dirty water would work for the first mopping of it.
- Alan cut down a couple small tree that overhung the ladder we are using to get up onto the deck. This will eradicate the tick sniper troops that would lie in wait for us up in the branches to leap down on us.
Rodney holding down the water line.
While I worked on the computer, Alan started working on the well. The goal was to determine how deep it is which will in turn determine what type of pump we may be able to use to bring up water. It currently had a submersible pump and we could not see the bottom. We decide to pull the submersible pump. So I don work gloves to give Alan a hand. After pulling about 30 feet of water line, with the heavy pump attached at the bottom, we decide it's time to engage the help of Rodney (4 wheel drive Kia Sportage). We tie the well cap to the tow hitch and are able to pull about another 20 feet before the rope breaks when we had to turn and start driving up the road, and the rope rubbed against a tree. So,we park Rodney with a tire on the water pipe to hold it at the point we have it at so far, and will have another go when we our muscles recuperate.
4:00 Alan heads into town to pick up some 'odds and ends' we have added to an ongoing list that will make projects and life a little easier while I enjoy listening to the solar powered radio and working on client projects. At about 7:00 the radio stops, the sun is going down.
Our temporary solar set up in the kitchen window.
Alan returns with all the things on his list plus a few other goodies I got excited about - a new power inverter, clothes hooks for the bedroom, an extra solar panel (we left two at home, not thinking the window was big enough to hold two) and wasp spray. I made dinner while Alan added a second solar panel to our temporary set up in the kitchen window.
8:45 After dinner tick check. (Alan:1 Arn:0 Woo-hoo! we are winning the battle)
9:00 We have turned in for the night. So early? What's with that?


  1. Great story!!! Darn ticks. Sounds like you two are having fun. Any Paneras down there???

    1. Yes, there are Paneras. The closing was at an Atlanta Bread. First time I was at one, I was not impressed. Very small selection compared to Panera. We are having fun, although today has been a lot of 'real' work and not much getting done on the house/property yet.

  2. Watch for the chiggers too, they hide in the grass. Check them out on google. Sounds like you are having a great time, wich we were there to help. See ya soon.