Category Archives: 12volt

Spring 2017, a dozen and more projects.

This winter, while not as cold as some, the cold has lasted. Nightly, falling well below zero neighbors across the state have had frozen water and drains. Not just those in rural areas but towns and cities have had water simply creep to a frozen standstill. Up here on the mountain water has remained the same for us. Off grid certainly has its advantages.

The cold has however, eaten up the wood stack impressively. Last week when the weather gave us a break and we got above freezing it was cause for days outside. A dozen spring projects to began in a flurry of activity not seen since the last few days before the snow arrived. img_20170121_193401_714The unsold wreaths came down to start with. The ornaments and now dry boughs were all unwound and put away for next season. Thor decided the big ones made great beds after a day chasing snow balls and helping haul wood.

Large boxes from costso we turned into new indoor nest boxes for the ladies. They loved them at once and eggs started to show up.

img_20170121_192921_172The big dead tree by the driveway came down, was bucked up, hauled up the driveway via sled, and split. Shane came up to cut down the old Pondarosa as my chainsaws have deiced to stop running. They are both in need of carburetor, work so they look useful, but for now they do little. James and I saw to the rest of the tree and got it all stacked in one long afternoon. The beetle killed pine split so easy we had to remind ourselves not to chop it too small.

The deck had to be shoveled of snow and ice from almost record breaking snow fall. Of course a sled hill had to be tested… img_20170131_195319_546…sticks had to be tested for strength and bonfires had to be built.

We had four glorious sunfilled days before the snow returned last night and buried us under another foot. We will be back inside the rest of the week finishing up the long overdue sheet-rock in the Little Cabin.

Yesterday, however, was stunning. I woke up to a dozen types of birds all greeting spring, chipmunks were chirping, and the squirrels shouting their chatter. Thor hasn’t been so excited to get outside since the snow first arrived. I let him out and sat down to have coffee before James woke up.


After seeing to morning chores it was warm enough out the greenhouse to sit down for projects without even needing to build a fire.


The beadwork my grandma had started before she passed away this fall I finished while the chickens debated if it was truly spring or not.Craft supplies from the last homeschool kid co-op visit were sorted and put back in their drawers, and most of the glitter swept up. (I doubt it will ever be truly all gone. By time that happens I am sure a handful of little girls will be back for another art workshop.)


Thor on guard duty. he likes the snow this year if for no other reason than he can sit up very high and watch the driveway.

Waking up to snow this morning was very pretty but I will be glad for the next day with sunshine and thawing weather. I count the days to get the first seeds into the ground int he greenhouse. The thermometer is in the ground. It will be soon.



Little Cabin Work -October

Little tasks keep getting done.  Bit by bit they come together one day to the next.  A part picked up here, a another purchased there and things start to function.  The biggest improvement in the last month has been the advancement of the wiring and the kitchen cabinets going in.

oct.nov 2014 005

The wiring is all 12 volt. It comes off the battery bank into the house with no need for conversion, thus saving a lot of the energy that is lost as people convert from 110 to 12 volt.  I have been limited to one old camper style light but have recently made huge steps forward.

new wall sconce, switch for that one and the ceiling light, (switch not wired in yet but the wires are in place behind) and 12 volt outlet.

new wall sconce, switch for that one and the ceiling light, (switch not wired in yet but the wires are in place behind) and 12 volt outlet.

With the help of the ‘snoring bear’ the has been run up to the vaulted ceiling.  I am now in the hunt to find  12 volt ceiling fan.  Two wall sconces I picked up at the Restore.  You can use any light fixture if you get a special bulb made for 12 volts.  These two I couldn’t pass up.  My 12 volt outlet is also hot now.  That means the lap top wont go dead every hour and a half, needing recharging elsewhere.  I can also now charge my cell phone and other such devices.

cabinet doors on

cabinet doors on

Soon the last of the insulation will go in and the sheet rock will go up.  The east end wall will be done in a rocket stove and cob next year but there just was not time this year to get it done.  A couple windows are still planned on but with the way the weather and winters can be in Montana it is a better idea to insulate and sheet rock now with plans to take down next summer for more work.

Being cold is a way to really ruin the joy of living in the mountains in winter.  Today is the first day snow flakes have come down here this year, quite late, but we have had cold rain for days.  The fire has been going and while I am a long way from having all I need for the course of the winter I have been warm and cozy this far.