Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Winter Storm Advisory

Hello all!

Much as we were hoping to be able to post all about how we'd finished insulating the cabin and had drywall up by now, Mother Nature has been disinclined to acquiesce to our demands  :(

First we got another cold snap and couldn't stay warm enough to work. Then it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing.

In just this last week, we've gotten over a foot (close to two!) of fresh powder and it makes transportation brutal. It's about knee deep, with chest-high drifts here and there. It's that fine granular snow that packs in around tires and boots, just sucking you down and making it impossible to move.  And the wind has been hell... blowing all the fluffy powder all over trails, roads and into every nook and cranny.

We did finally cave in and buy some house wrap so we could get some sort of barrier on the exterior and to stop the wind before we blow the insulation. I'd prefer to use felt paper, but it's still too cold to work with that (probably for another 2 months!) and we really needed to weather the cabin in ASAP. We can work with the wrap down to -10, and it's been a little warmer than that recently.

Oh well, we'll have some extra felt for a later project then ;)

G-man is heading into Fairbanks with our neighbor Ken today, during a break in storm fronts, to pick up the insulation blower and another construction heater. If we can get the fire going downstairs and the heater going upstairs, we should be able to keep the cabin warm enough to seal things up and blow in all the insulation by the end of the week. The weather liars are saying that we'll have daytime averages 10-20 above with nighttime averages around zero for at least a week, so if we can overcome the snow and wind to get that done... then it should be REALLY easy to keep the place warm enough so we can hustle to get to the drywall and interior finish work and we can move before April. **please please please**

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Fire-up

Fired up the new stove in the cabin. Other than the stink of curing, it worked really well. Took about 2 hours to get the requisite 3" coal bed in the bottom to turn it over to high-efficiency re-burn, but the thing was frozen to begin with after all! It warmed up the interior of the cabin to "comfortable with jacket" temps; but everything is still uninsulated and unsealed and dead cold so it would take us a few days feeding the fire 24/7 to thaw everything out and get it above freezing in there. We're going to try temporarily sealing things up without temp-sensitive caulks and foams, and then get the insulation blown in... see how that works... because we can't afford the wood to be heating two drafty domiciles at once! Hopefully we'll get the insulation in next week (fingers crossed!!!!). The weather is not cooperating... either it's too cold to work, or it's warmer but snowing too hard to work!

And we knew that we were finally getting the "clean" burn from the stove when the smoke got almost clear. Hey, at least we know that the chimney works, there weren't any SNAFUs in the flue installation, and that we have really really good draft in that stove. Seriously, the damper has to be completely closed before the smoke will backdraft into the room... and who's stupid enough to open a stove with the damper still closed, eh? ROFL  But, man, with the door closed and the draft and damper fully open, that sucker roars like a freakin' freight train! Which is so awesome after fighting with non-flammable wood in the little tent stove all this winter.

And Ripley's finally big and strong enough to start earning her keep. It took her awhile to get used to the harness, and she still sits down anytime there's any significant weight behind her... but she does pull the sled and seems happy doing it.  I think after we have her pulling and empty/light sled or helping her with the heavier loads for a while, she'll get the idea that if she's harnessed up she's supposed to PULL whenever Mommy & Daddy tell her to go. She seems to do ok, even with heavier loads, as long as one of us is walking next to her, or there's one in front and one following... she just gets a little confused and distracted when it's heavy and we aren't giving her constant direction. We'll have to build her a cart with wheels for summer, just to keep her in shape. Saves gas in the ATV and a few hours towing eventually tires her out enough to get some quiet time in the evenings -- which is a blessing unto itself  LOL.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

And we have... more snow!

Now that it's warmed up to the 0F range, we get to have MORE SNOW!  4" accumulated so far, with 4-6" expected by tomorrow morning. Then it may or may not stop snowing long enough to work if we can drive/trudge through the new drifts.  I think Mom Nature is making up for the lack of snow last year :)