Thursday, November 20, 2008

Around the House

Here are some of the neigh-bors!  This pasture is one farm south of here, just past the South Marysburgh Dump.  Don't drink the water!
What I enjoy most about Prince Edward County is the view of the sky.  So much wide open space is good for the soul.  And weather forcasting.  You'll always know what lies a half hour ahead of you.
The firewood has been here for at least two months, so it's nice and dry.
Our wood stove is so small, though, that Jim had to build a buck to hold one log so he could saw it in two.  IE chainsaw!
I thought you'd like to see our whizzer!  Our potty.  The composting toidy!  Works like a charm, just a bit breezy on the bum because of the 4" chimney creating the necessary draught to take odours and humidity outside.
Last but not least, our solar panels.  Mounted on pressure-treated lumber, we saved hundreds of dollars by NOT mounting them on a metal & plastic stand that revolves to track the strongest rays of sunlight.  This gives us enough power to run Jim's woodworking equipment, a vacuum and the house lights.  The Surette batteries can store a fair bit of power, although not lots, so we do have to be careful.. The whole idea of the Mini House is to REDUCE, right? Right! if we can just get The Big Three to invest in solar panels, we'd get this economy on the right track!  BTW, there is a picture of Bill & Leslie, of Manjack Cay, BAhamas, on my other blog, pictured with their solar-powered golf-cart.  Hey, GM, take some hints!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Welcome our wee house-y! You've caught us on quite a food-production spree! Jim had just finished bottling his first batch of beer. I had made a few batches of jam. What a crazy aroma was in the air!
Here's the shower stall.  Very Exciting!  Salvaged from Bob's "must-go" shed, this baby is connected to the outlet pipe for the grey-water field.  More info regarding this in the post below this one.
Here, I would like to discuss Mini Feature #1. 
Water Reduction.
See the black thing hanging up above the shower?  That is a plastic shower-bag.  You fill it at the top, seal it and sit it in the sun for a few hours.  If the sun is at all shining, you will have hot water.  The shower-head isn't visible here, but it hangs below the bag.  It saves about as much water as possible because you only get so much!  10 litres, as a matter of fact.  So you don't let the water run when you are not using it.  One bag is ju-u-ust enough to wash me once and my hair twice.  When there is no sun, a hot kettle will do.  We try to avoid burning any non-renewable fuel source, but there have been days...

...and here is the piece de resistance!  My beautiful, functional, practical galley!  All the woodwork is done by Jim.  White pine with some spruce kickin' around in there.  The counter top is laminated maple.  Missing are the cabinet-doors, will build those when we get more dough! The china-rack will remain door-less.  Don't forget to double-click to enlarge the image so you can see all my stuff!
The Mini Features here are:
* the sink drains into a block-lined, sand-filled grey-water pit.  Since we have a composting toilet, we don't need a septic field.  We have saved so much money, it's crazy that anyone would prefer a septic system!  I guess the winter management of a grey water field would be a bit scary (the outlet pipes could freeze!), but hopefully we won't be around for the deepest freeze.  (Florida beckons)
* the Franklin "Intrepid" wood stove.  Pretty and pretty small!  Once again, small is cheap!  But with such a small area to heat, it's really all we need.  The place heats up in no time at all thanks to the insulation below the concrete slab, in the walls and ceiling.  We did discover that we must cut our hunks of fire-wood in half so they fit, though!  We got this from the local home-improvement place in Picton, used and for quite a good price.