Winterizing

I hate to abruptly switch to posting about something so boring and practical as preparing for cuper-cold (for us, anyway) weather, especially after Tia’s wonderful DIY post yesterday. But this blob is supposed to serve as our record of what we tried, what worked, what didn’t, and how frustrating it can be at times. Today is one of those days when it just ain’t simple to live simply, and it needs to go down in our permanent record.

Sunshine is out of town working. He’s hoping to be home tonight, before the hard freeze sets in.

side note: hard freeze are some frightening words to RV dwellers. We’re not insulated as well as a house, and shit is so hard/expensive to fix when it goes wrong in an RV…

Sunshine took care of a lot of stuff before he left; he really did a good job of setting me up for success. He winterized all of our vehicles. He switched out the propane tank that feeds our stove and furnace for a full one so I don’t wake up in the night with a furnace working overtime to warm a house that is being pumped full of sub-freezing air by that same furnace.  He leak proofed the windows again, as the brutal Texas sun and heat had destroyed the sealant we had previously put around them. He got our hose heater plugged in so that the hose that supplies our water doesn’t freeze. He even put his Jeep in front of the RV, with jumper cables at the ready in case we lose power and I have to jump start the bus to get the generator going so I can have heat and shit. He thought of just about everything.

side note: we had previously put all those giant foam blocks around the bus to serve as skirting to keep the wind out, and I feel like I can already tell a difference even though it hasn’t gotten below freezing yet this winter.

There hasn’t been a lot left for me to deal with alone, which is why Sunshine is a total keeper in spite of the fact that his hoard takes over all the available space.

That doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been anything to do. It’s a misty, drizzly day, which means that the roads could easily turn to shit tonight. If he isn’t on the road early, I’m hoping he plays it safe and stays at his sister’s for the night again tonight and heads home after sunup.

side note: not that Sunshine can’t handle shit road conditions. He did grow up in the high Uintas, and he’s been driving on Louisiana roads for decades. Still, I’d rather face the hard freeze alone than risk his safety.

I’ve gotten out and found a way for the cats to stay plenty warm tonight. I snatched up that travel kennel that Mr B wound up with after he brought us those 6 kittens and 4 chickens in it. I brought it up from the distant reaches of the backyard; I put it in between our magic bus and the pink house. It’s snugged up to the house as close as I can get it, covered with a blanket, and facing so that the door (that I fixed open so they can come and go as they please) isn’t in the wind. I layered the bottom with some old sheets and blankets that Sunshine’s kid took home from hospital last year. I’m laundering some old towels to stuff in there for them, too. I feel assured that the cats have a way to stay nice and warm tonight.

side note: this is where my interest in weather has come in handy. I know that our prevailing winds are from the south around here. When the weather changes, the wind can shift and come at us from the north, sometimes the west. We almost never get winds from the east, so that’s which way the opening on the cat house is facing. I did make sure that there is stuff to block the wind, just in case; but I’m figuring it’s not likely. Science is useful, y’all.

I’ve rolled another half sized foam block over close to the magic bus so that I can use it to plug the one gap we still have. It’s going to have to wait until just before sundown, since it will block my access to the tank dump valves. I’m going to need to dump both holding tanks so I can leave a drip without overflowing any tanks (because even the grey tank stinks like hell when it overflows).

I had to climb a ladder with a push broom and sweep the water off the top of our slideout living room. I do NOT need water freezing and damaging any roofing or seals at openings.

I’m certain I’m forgetting something, and I’ll keep wandering around looking at shit and thinking about it throughout the day. I’m concentrating on the magic bus first, because later on I might have to help Mrs B with the pink house and their RV. See, Mr B is out of town also; he seems to think he’ll be back before nightfall but who knows what can come up to change his plans, right?

Later, before it gets too late, I’ll make sure to get both the electric and stovetop coffee makers ready for the morning, just in case we lose power overnight. I don’t really want to go fire up the Jeep to get the generator going before coffee, so I’m preparing for anything and everything.

final note: if we really do lose power overnight, my ass will be quickly opening up our low point drains and heading into the pink house, where there is a woodburning stove ready to crank up and save us all from hypothermia.

And that, folks, is one of those things I was sure I was forgetting. I should make sure we have plenty of shit to burn in that wood stove, just in case. Off to the treeline I go to gather limbs and sticks that I can chop with an axe by myself. Shit that isn’t bois d’ arc or cedar, because we can’t coat the chimney with sappy stuff that could catch fire itself in the future.

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