Monday, December 10, 2012

it's the pits

IT’S THE PITS
Well, there I was, minding my own business and musing aloud as always the next homestead project/problem to solve.  I still wanted to live in the pit to combat the bad weather and had thought about other ways to do this.  I had even tried digging another hole in back of the second smaller trailer with a view towards backing it down and in and covering with a dirt roof.  That ending unglamorously when over two foot down the dirt was just too hard for my limited spare energy.  I was only barely chipping it with the Maddox.  So, as I was pondering on how to make the pit livable, the wife up and surprised the hell out of me and agreed to inhabit the pit, as is!  She didn’t want to wait for a possible but not guaranteed covered trench from one of the trailers down into the pit ( I also have a junker cab-over trailer.  With either one I’d have had to move them closer to the pit steps so the wait would have been both for lumber money and to get the trailer moved ).  The weather forecast was calling for ten degrees low and she was worried about that ( our last low of 15 was when she was off visiting family so she missed that one ).  But more realistically ( the temp was nothing like the low they called for this morning ) it was going on yet another day of not-too-cold but mostly cloudy, so the effect of sitting around was miserable.  This winter has been exceptionably mild for lows but the clouds are here almost every day so our solar gain is crap.
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The main problem getting the wife to agree to the pit move was the cat.  We are mainly using the pit as a bedroom, for evening and night dwelling.  So that involved moving the cat up and down at least twice a day if not more ( we had to decide where to put the single TV as I’m not yet budgeted to buy another one, so if she wants to watch her dairy soap opera she has to descend again.  Of course, she can always just leave the cat upstairs but that isn’t an option dawn or dusk ).  If you’ve ever had a cat you understand that this has a critical component of the cat actually wanting to cooperate.  With most of our cats, they seem to stick like glue to the wife and regally ignore me, the schlub who buys their food and changes the little box, so she is able to wrap the cat in a sweater and carry her down.  Well, it was decided about nine thirty Sunday AM that I could go ahead and get the pit ready for habitation.  Ten hours later I was barely done and every muscle ached.  I was so wiped out I could barely eat some dinner.  But the majority I’ve completed and we did stay the night in the pit.
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This turned out to be a bigger project than I had envisioned, after having modified everything over four years of trailer living I had forgotten all the small details I now needed to undo.  First of all, I had to complete the pit.  My no-plume-line construction had created a lot of cracks inside I needed to caulk and spray foam.  Once I got that done I had to transfer propane tanks and lines that I had jerry-rigged into the trailer ( instead of drilling holes in the walls I had snaked the rubber hoses through access hatches and to the appliances [ I never trust original lines on old trailers] in a convoluted manner ).  I didn’t have time to break up the solar panels and the batteries, which I’ll do later this week, so in the meantime I just unhooked one charged battery and set that outside the pit.  But the majority of the day, the most calories used and the most punishing to my muscles, was getting all the wheat buckets out of the small trial pit and transferring them to the bigger pit ( the small pit is in pretty sorry shape as I never provided adequate ventilation and the inside wood is damp and moldy ) to use as the platform for the bed and the couch.  Wheat buckets have the benefit of already being paid for and I had just bought three more so that was fresh in my mind ( still $42 for a hundred pounds in buckets ).
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As I’ve mentioned before, the inside pit dwelling is only six by twelve, with the front part of the pit, unwalled and all dirt but enclosed before the outside wall and door, another six by six.  This is barely enough interior space for a bed and a few milk crates.  I thought I was going to be slick and shorten the bed to five and a half feet so I could turn it sideways and make room for a five foot couch but last night was a bitch not being able to stretch out to my full six two.  Even the wife who comes up to under my chin was complaining about the lack of stretching room.  I might need to take out the couch ( which is just the cushions from the small trailer couch set on buckets ) and turn the bed vertically and use the bed as the couch ( I’ll have to cut up the poly foam couch to lengthen the bed back to six feet- hey, what can I say?  I was tired at the end of the day when I installed the bed ).  It won’t be as comfortable sitting, but more comfortable sleeping.  There are a lot of unresolved issues.  I need to wire up some 12v lighting ( the push button LED’s are great, lots of light, but they need to be temp lighting, not hours long lighting ).  It is so small I can only take a whore-bath.  We need to work out doing dishes, where to store dishes, etc.  The trailer will be used for daytime as long as it stay’s reasonably warm inside it.  We would go crazy if we just stayed 24/7 in the pit due to not being able to move ( think tent living, small tent living at that ).  But I know I’m on to something.  With running the heater the normal evening hours we got to 65 instead of the trailer 55, and that heated up the pit itself also, from 42 to 50.  It was still above 42 the next morning.  I’m sure I’ll harass you with more details as they are resolved.
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8 comments:

  1. Can't be that expensive to rent a wildcat to make the damn hole bigger.-SeperFido

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  2. Congrats on being able to keep a women in a pit, voluntarily. j/k

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  3. You got a woman to live in a hole in the ground and I can't even get a second date after they see my house that has two gas heaters installed. TWO heaters, and grid electric to boot. I must be "short" something.....

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    1. If it makes you feel better, it is a very cozy pit. Think of it as a Hobbit Hole rather than The Bison Pit Of Doom.

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  4. Nightshift says.....Sorry Jim, it will always be the Bison pit of doom in my book. Hobbit Hole just sounds wimpy. LOL

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  5. You can get your woman to live in a hole in the ground, you are my hero!

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  6. I'm a woman, and I intend to build a hole-in-the-ground house! (I kind of like the Hobbit House, but mine probably won't look that nice.)

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