Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

ready for more snow

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Yesterday was the warmest, sunny day! Just like late spring. Most of the miserable snow ice all over the ground melted, except on the north side of the travel trailer, which is, of course, in constant shade. But I had rugs down and lifted and dumped all that weren't frozen to the ground, so it's passable out there.

I have three trampoline skins.  2 were gifts from a neighbor; 1 I found dumpster diving at Family Dollar. They're black, woven mesh, heavy duty and well hemmed with triangular-shaped "rings" for tying down. They're strong enough for people to jump on, so they're sturdy. Last summer, I suspended them from roof and fences, and over the front porch of the mobile home, for shade. Now, I'm using one as a wind break/passive solar for the goat pen.

Yesterday, I attached one to a 10 foot piece of pvc pipe and some rope that I slung over the roof of the trailer, suspended from fence posts and my utility trailer, to protect the ground outside the trailer door from more snow. It's at a steep pitch, and rather slick, so the snow may just slide off, but it's not hard to get under it and whack it with a stick so the snow falls off. No more snow as I step outside! YAY.

Then, I did the grunt job of dragging my washing machine out of the laundry room and across the kitchen and living room floors to lug it out onto the front porch. Why there? It's the most sturdy flooring outside: can handle weight & vibrations from spinning. It also gets full sun in the afternoons. Ice inside the machine's drain system MUST melt before I can do a load, or I'll wear out the transmission or pump motor. I had a scary incident, last time I used the machine inside the mobile home, and resolved then never to use the machine indoors again. It's FAR too cold in there and stays colder than outside all the time.

I did the most urgent stuff: some shoes, some night gowns, some under clothes and some sweat pants and socks. I hung them to the front door by one of those closet extender bars that grasps the top of the door, and let them dry in sun and breeze. I held the discharge hose so the water pumped out washed off my porch. We have goat poop issues, as you can imagine, and the porch is a favored sunny spot for napping. I let the drain and inlet hose dangle straight down when I was done, to empty as much water as possible out of the machine.

Then, I covered the machine and as much of the porch as possible with the 3rd trampoline tarp. The black tarp will warm the machine and the porch will be protected from snow. There's nothing scarier than an icy porch with no handrails.

There's no water to the mobile home anymore, at all. The main line broke from freezing back in January. I told the landlord, when he showed up, unannounced (it's a fifty mile, round trip. you'd think he'd call first to make sure I'm home, since he can't even afford gas for his brand new truck that he can't drive cuz he has no license, so his ex-girlfriend had to bring him. I'm guessing the truck cost about thirty five thousand dollars, and the mobile home went unrepaired), to try to collect RENT!

Well, during last week's freeze, the throat of the commode finally split. I discovered this the hard way yesterday, when I tried to thaw out frozen poop to flush it. The bath tub is also frozen solid. So, I have no more toilet, even to flush out under the house. Good thing I put my poop bucket with toilet seat in the shower of the travel trailer a few days ago, huh? I'm back to finding places outside to hide poop again.

I reinforced the goat shelter. It's not actually good enough: no solid walls, poor roof. I made it for temporary shelter during the day. The 2 plastic goat houses and the 3rd I made from an old tv console are under some mattress padding. In front of them is a 5 foot dining table with a mattress on top, covered by corrugated steel, with the trampoline tarp tied down over everything. Each goat house has a sofa cushion inside. During the day, I frequently see someone curled up in a goat house, snoozing.

The goats also have that back bedroom with a space heater for really cold nights. This morning, as I sipped my coffee, I could hear goats right outside, in their outdoor shelter. They'd rather be close to me. And, frankly, I don't blame them for not wanting to sleep in that gloomy Ammityville horror house with the mold and cold and yuck.

It's supposed to snow for several days. That probably means it will be at or above freezing, which is warm enough to work inside the house trailer, IF there's no wind. That thing is a sieve and brutal when the wind blows, whether or not I build a fire.  I have a little clutter left that needs to be organized by type into rubbermaid tubs, and then I'm pretty much done.

I will scavenge as many useful materials, hardware, some decorative glass cabinet doors, mirrored panels from the living room (for reflectors in my solar water heater), etc. as I can. I think I'll even take the ceiling fan/light. I could make a metallic umbrella shade thing and suspend it outside for summer nights. No WAY I have head room in this house trailer for a ceiling fan!  

Anyway, I pretty near killed myself working outdoors yesterday, getting ready for another snow, so it doesn't have to be as hard to walk around the house trailer in ice next time. I laid boards, carpets, etc. where I need paths to the well pump switch, the goats, the mobile home, the back door, etc. After the snow, I'll just flip them over to have dry ground underneath. And, as they warm in the sun, they'll melt more snow. I did it last time. Works pretty well. 

It's above freezing right now. Damn near balmy inside the house trailer. Neither heater is even on (both set to sixty five Fahrenheit). I did a GOOD job, insulating and skirting this trailer! 

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