November 9, 10, 11 and 12, 2013
Old man Winter is knocking on the door. So far the weather has not been too bad considering its well into November. I drove out Friday from the city through rain, then freezing rain and then snow. No better time to get the last two ‘must do’ jobs for this year done – windows & door installation and move the solar panels to the shop roof.
During the week Ken got the six new panels already up on the roof hooked up and disassembled the eight old panels. The panels were re-assembled into three panel sets with one set having two old panels (Sharp 200 amp) and one new panel (Canadian Solar 225 amp). That connection required some adaptation but Mike at Battery Man prepared us well and the connections went smoothly.
Saturday nothing much was accomplished as I spent the day in Brandon visiting my Mom. No such luck for Sunday. It was a sunny day but the wind was brutal. Not the best day for putting up house wrap but we wanted it up at least in the areas with windows.
Last week we got the bottom row done, so this week’s task was the second row. But first there were a few missing pieces of OSB on the south end to get up. Ken had the scaffold set up on the south wall so the first pieces were easy to do. Then the scaffold needed to be moved over. I purchased wheels for the scaffold. Using the Kabota, Ken lifted the scaffold and I installed the wheels. Then we tried to wheel the scaffold (placed three levels high) over. Unfortunately, the ground slope was a bit too much and it started to tip. We had a tense ‘now what’ conversation as we held it upright. We could think of no way out of our predicament. So on the count of three, we let go and ran. The scaffold tumbled down. No one was hurt but we did damage one of the braces. Until that is fixed we can’t go three high again. Probably a good thing.
To put up the second level of tyvek we nixed the idea of using the scaffold and opted instead to use the ladder. There are lots of windows on the second floor so I stayed on the second floor inside the house and moved from window to window holding the tyvek roll while Ken move the ladder along stapling it in place. Sounds like a smooth and slick operation. Not! It was brutal cold up there and you can’t staple or hold the roll with thick gloves on. And you can’t quit once you start. By the time we finished the roll (made it to the balcony door on the west side) I was frozen. (Ken is tougher than me. I work in an office.)
After I unthawed partially Ken tried to convince me we should finish up. Curly saved my butt (actually my hands) by showing up with the telehandler to put up the last of the panels. I still had to work outside but could scoot in to warm up more often, and I could wear warm mitts.
Having already done two-three panel sets, these went smoother as we knew what to do. In a couple of hours the panels were up and running. Ken was ecstatic with the amount of power coming in. He has high hopes for our power supply this winter.
After than cold work Curly agreed to stay and warm up in front of the wood stove with a bowl of Mexican Chowder.
Monday afternoon the windows and doors were delivered from Paramount Windows by the two installers, Daryl and Jeff. Given the chilly weather, I was really glad for our decision to have them installed rather than doing it ourselves.
While the boys worked on the windows, Ken and I cleaned up and put stuff away for winter. Hanna helped by driving the lawn tractor into the shed.
By Monday night they had four windows and the doors left to do. Dark sets in early this time of year and by 6 they had to quit for the day.
Daryl and Jeff are both back woods kind of guys and didn’t mind our less than luxurious digs; however, they had not planned on eating vegan for 2 days. Monday lunch was Black Bean Burritos. Monday dinner was Chili, roasted potatoes, Honey Mustard Brussels Sprout Slaw and Chocolate Peppermint cookies. Tuesday, they settled for toast and peanut butter for breakfast (they declined my offer of a green smoothie) and a peanut butter and banana sandwich for lunch They wanted sandwiches for lunch not the soup I had planned on (choice of Corn Chowder or Tomato Lentil Bisque) as they were quick and easy. They declined my offer of Lentil Loaf Sandwiches. Lentil Loaf sandwiches with homemade relish are my favorite. Reminds me of the meatloaf and relish sandwiches I loved as a kid.
Tuesday morning, Ken and I headed off to Winnipeg with Hanna and Sox leaving the boys to finish the last four windows and install the doors. I only had the morning off so we couldn’t stay to see the completion. Can’t wait to see it next week.