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The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 43-49) by jacobpeacock

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The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 43-49)
**Day 43. (TFC Pumping Up Lots Of Low Tires, Getting More Rain, Teaching Folks About Steemit, Working On The Shelter Foundation & Backfilling And Tamping Dirt Around Black Locust Posts)**

This morning I got up rather early and got my morning routine wrapped up rather rapidly even though it was chilly and very damp from a long night of rainy weather. All in all the rain is greatly appreciated because the dust is finally gone and hence my sinuses are feeling much better. I could on the other hand totally have gone without the chilly weather but it is just that time of year and I am using it as motivation to get my shelter built as soon as possible before I have to spend too many more chilly nights in the tent.

First thing today I got the air compressor and an extension cord out and got the tires on both the wagons and two vehicles all filled up to their proper levels of air and once again I was delighted that my small air compressor works so well and is easily portable. I am unsure how all the tires on my big wagon lost their air at around the same time (just before I moved) but they seem to be holding air rather well after I filled them today so who the heck knows what is going on with them unless they all have a very slow leak.

After filling the tires with air I set to working on more of the foundation for the shelter but after only making minor progress it started raining again so I put all the tools up and headed down to the homestead proper so that I could give a Steemit lesson to one of my fellow homesteaders which went rather well and unsurprisingly the more that I teach folks about it the more that I myself learn and/or become familiar with the platform. One thing that is pretty awesome is having folks to share my enthusiasm about it with firsthand!

Later in the day I was able to recruit a helper to assist me in getting my shelter foundation squared up and getting all the outer bands (the frame) of the foundation fastened into place. For working with building materials that have been reused multiple times it came out rather square and even though it is not quite finished yet it is rather stout.

Just before dark I went around to each of the black locust posts that are a part of the shelter foundation (and the surrounding super structure) and backfilled dirt around them and tamped (compacted) it in around them both vigorously and thoroughly to help lock them in place and to help prevent water from being able to pool around them near the surface of the ground.

Overall it was a rather productive day and hopefully tomorrow the weather will hold off from raining and I can focus on finishing up the shelter foundation work.

Well that is about it for now and I am once again fading fast towards sleep so I better wrap this up and do the inevitable editing/posting so that I can get some rest. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.

<center>![IMAG5503.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmeeMoqhBsA9QtCk2W7agJXF17eZkTszHiqKhYEoiM2BY2/IMAG5503.jpg)</center>
<center>*The supervisor of this project highly approves of the progress!*</center>

**Day 44. (TFC Giving More Steemit Advice, Up-Cycling A Very Old Black Locust Fence Post, Finishing The Shelter Foundation & Using Some Billboard Vinyl For A Vapor Barrier)**

Although I got up early I did not actually get started working on stuff until nearly noon because I got sidetracked sharing more of my knowledge about Steemit with some of my fellow homesteaders. Since I have been a bit busy of late I had nearly forgotten just how enthralling that entire platform is and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing others being 'caught up' in the excitement of it.

Once I did get to working on the shelter I created an eight foot long four by four by joining two shorter pieces of four by four together and scabbing two short pieces of two by four onto it to hold it together. I then dug out more holes down the center of the foundation, installed the 'new' four by four and added some short black locust posts beneath it.

When all of that was completed I added two more short black locust posts to the center of the outer bands of the foundation just to stop it from potentially sagging over time. I have been running low on short straight pieces of black locust material to use as posts so yesterday I hunted around along the property line (where I have been removing barb wire from) and found a nice old black locust fence post and decided that if I needed it I could make at least two nice short posts with it which is what I did with it today for the additional outer band posts.

After getting everything secured with exterior grade screws I retrieved a piece of billboard vinyl (that I got last year) and with the assistance of a helper I was able to stretch it over the shelter foundation, pull it taut and temporarily anchor it in place. The vinyl will act as a vapor barrier for the bottom of the shelter and also it will eventually be folded up onto the walls where more vinyl (or house wrap, or tar paper) will be used to lap over it so that water cannot infiltrate the building. It is hard to describe so I guess that everyone will just have to see it in the pictures as the project continues to progress.

All in all the shelter and the surrounding area is coming along rather well and hopefully I can get the rest of the shelter itself assembled before the weather gets much colder.

Anyway I am once again feeling rather wiped out at the end of a very long day so I am going to wrap this up and do all the stuff that it takes to share it.

<center>![IMAG5529.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmW4rFWufryWLgyVFzphqLtwD8w7eQiPaMNkqfpczTVTz2/IMAG5529.jpg)</center>
<center>*The billboard vinyl stretched taut over and secured to the foundation framework.*</center>

**Day 45. (TFC Moving Heavy Stuff The Easy Way, Installing The Shelter Floor, Building Walls With Pallets & Generally Having A Very Productive Day)**

I am now halfway through what I think of as my 'ninety day adjustment period' of being at a new place and all in all things are going rather well and I am making good progress on getting myself setup for the coming winter. I definitely still have a long way to go on my shelter building and although I would love to build something nice for myself I am just going to hack a shelter together as rapidly as I can because the nights have already been getting chilly and I am quite tired of the entire 'camping scenario.' Like I have said before though it really is not all that bad as far as camping goes and now that I have a water supply line ran back into the woods I at least do not have to hike for my water anymore.

I once again got up rather early and after finishing my morning routine I enlisted the help of two of my fellow homesteaders to assist me with getting my pre-built insulated panels moved back to the shelter site which was pretty awesome because I was at a stopping point on the shelter itself without the panels getting relocated so that I could install two of them as the floor.

The panels are a bit heavy (and unwieldy because of their size) so we fastened a set of wheels to the rear of the panel so that we could roll it (with the panel itself standing on edge) and attached a medium sized piece of two by four to the 'front' so that two people could lift it and pull the panel while a third person pushed (and steadied) it from behind. Remarkably it worked really well and it actually took more time to disassemble and reassemble everything than it took to actually haul the panels but it sure made it a heck of a lot easier.

Once I got the two floor panels positioned atop the shelter foundation I squared them up the best that I could and anchored them in place with some long exterior screws before bouncing up and down on it some just to see how stout it is which by the way is pretty damn stout.

The next phase of things with the shelter construction was to haul some pallets to the shelter site and beginning the tedious task of figuring out how the heck I was going to configure them to make walls that are actually strong enough to support the other two pre-built insulated panels that I plan on using for the ceiling. I really dislike working with pallets and have adamantly avoided doing so for many years but currently I just don't have enough material (nor funds) to do what I need to do so I am using whatever I can regardless of my preferences and the aggravation involved. Anyway I got three of the walls halfway constructed with the pallets and hopefully tomorrow I can finish out the rest of them. The ceiling is going to be much lower than I originally wanted it to be but it will definitely be tall enough to comfortably stand up in which is all I really need.

Well that is about it for now and I am yet again drifting towards sleep as I write this so I am going to call it 'good enough' do the inevitable editing and get it posted. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.

<center>![IMAG5539.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmWHeMgr5zvW2Y5VraZ87B97AJWZnzGmMqayznyrtEjXvL/IMAG5539.jpg)</center>
<center>*Putting wheels on the rear and a handle on the front made moving these pre-built insulated panels really easy! There are four of them and two made the floor and two made the ceiling.*</center>

**Day 46. (TFC Getting A Cold Start To My Day, Hacking Together A Header System For The Shelter, Running Low On Materials & Installing The Pre-Built Insulated Panels For The Shelter Ceiling)**

Today I awoke long before the sun and was rather wide awake even before my espresso finished because it was much colder than it has been here which undoubtedly stirred some primal part of my brain more towards 'survival mode' rather than 'ah it is a nice relaxing morning mode.'

I was tempted to start immediately working on my shelter but I am just not one of those assholes that needlessly makes a bunch of racket in the wee hours of the morning so I set to work on a little DIY article about how I installed a torpedo level on my new electric chainsaw. If you are interested in the article you can find it here: https://steemit.com/homesteading/@jacobpeacock/adding-a-torpedo-level-to-an-electric-chainsaw

Anyway after getting the article published and doing a few other things on Steemit I got busy dragging all of the tools out and starting work on the shelter. I had been wracking my brain since yesterday on how to get the header system setup to support the pre-built insulated panels to no avail but within a few moments of being on the job site inspiration struck and a solution presented itself. I basically used every piece of long linear material at my disposal to erect a post and header system around the building which although not perfectly square worked rather well to support the two ceiling panels which is all that it really needs to do.

Along the way of building the post/header system I had to scavenge around the homestead for materials to use but fortunately I found exactly what I needed when I found a four by four that was the exact length of what I was looking for. The odds of that occurring are undoubtedly very slim but hey like I am fond of saying 'I do not question the holographic nature of the universe.' Although that piece of.material got me a little closer to my goal I still needed one more post so I wound up using a landscape timber to create the final post. None of it is all that pretty but it will all get covered up by the external (and internal) plywood so looks don't really matter as long as it serves it's purpose.

The last thing that I did on the shelter today was to muscle the two ceiling panels into place by myself which was actually made rather easy because I had staged them on that work bench that I built recently and was able to slide them off of it and only lift them about five feet up to get them onto the header/support system. I was only able to put a few screws in them to hold them down because I ran out of three and a half inch deck screws. I later found some screws that might work to finish the job but by then I was done for the day and ready to call it quits.

Anyway I am going to wrap this up, get a nice long shower, eat some food and call it a day well done. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.

<center>![IMAG5558.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmT2PqWfA3aRjvep6F8ktW4ML3rh7NzL9YBCmnUmwvBRZV/IMAG5558.jpg)</center>
<center>*The pre-built insulated panels made the ceiling and floor simple and the pallets made the walls go up fast!*</center>

**Day 47. (TFC Finishing Off The Pallet Walls On The Shelter, Installing An Old Window In The Shelter, Creating A Very Rough Opening For A Door To The Shelter, Scavenging Plywood, Mending A Fence & Spreading Some Grass Seed)**

I got an early start to my day even though it was quite chilly and all that I wanted to do was stay in bed snuggling up to the dogs under the blanket. Staying in a tent with the dogs makes for lots of getting woken up throughout the night because they either smell something, hear something or get riled up by the other dogs (and coyotes) that live in the area. Considering that there is a circular fence around the tent I at least do not overly worry about critters prowling around at night but the dogs all take their duties rather seriously and tend to just overwork themselves all night long remaining vigilant. I do not think that I have had a solid night's sleep of uninterrupted rest in the previous forty-seven days and lately I have not even been taking naps because I need every daylight hour available to me to get this little shelter finished enough that I can get moved into it. 

Anyway first thing this morning I began finishing out the pallet walls on the shelter which was not all that enjoyable because as previously stated I Fucking Detest Working With Fucking Pallets. This project has done nothing to make me more fond of working with them but I am pleased that they made for some really fast walls and I am now at the point where I can start adding plywood to the exterior of the shelter.

There are several old windows here at the homestead and I even brought a few with me but the ones that I brought are the kind that use weights and they lack any sort of casing that would allow me to open and close them. So I picked out the only window here that has a screen and slides up and down (instead of having a crank like the other windows) and after lots of ingenuitive carpentry I got a rough opening built for it and got it temporarily installed on the southeast facing wall of the shelter. The window itself is an aluminum framed one intended for use on a mobile home so I am going to have to get creative on what I do to actually seal it's edges but any window is better than no window.

There is a single old beat up mobile home door that has been laying in the yard of the homestead proper for who knows how long. It is an aluminum door with a small window and the door itself is bent in several places, malformed and a bit of an odd size but nonetheless it is the only door that I have to work with so I will have to make it work. The way the shelter came out with the short ceiling the door is a bit too tall so I will have to either cut the door down to a shorter size, cut out a few inches of the header above the doorway (which is probably a bad idea) or I might build a small porch/entryway with an appropriately sized opening to accommodate the door. I am still undecided on exactly what I am going to do so I just framed out an extra large rough opening for the doorway and will try to figure out over the coming days how to make it work.

Right after I finished with all the wall, doorway and window framing it started raining so I pushed all the tools to the center of the shelter where they would stay dry and went scavenging around the homestead for all the plywood that I could find. Since there has been some recent renovations and repairs being done to several of the buildings here there is a good bit of plywood that has been replaced and the old stuff was in a pile of other 'garbage' building materials and although the plywood sheets are not full sheets and have some rot to them around the edges there is still plenty of 'good' material left to them that I can utilize by cutting off the bad sections. There were also a few random small pieces of plywood around the yard of the homestead proper so I grabbed them as well. There was one small piece acting as a 'patch' for a hole in the dog fence so I got it also and then wound up mending about twenty feet of the fence so maybe the dogs (not my dogs) won't keep escaping.

Anyway after the rain I decided to go ahead and start spreading some grass seed directly downhill of the shelter so that perhaps I can get it growing to act as erosion control before the winter arrives. I first raked the area thoroughly then spread the seed by sprinkling it from a small glass jar and then covered it all with a thin layer of the straw that I have been using around my tent to help keep down the muck when it rains and keep down the dust when it does not rain. Hopefully the grass will start growing over the next few days and I will have the first grassy patch of what will hopefully become my 'yard.'

Well that is about it for now and I better get this edited and posted before I fall the fuck asleep from exhaustion. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.

<center>![IMAG5564.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmS2dQCnFrdnbRirHCz6kQUAR27YgLLHFfM169gAsZbr3k/IMAG5564.jpg)</center>
<center>*The old window that I found at the homestead sure fit nicely in the shelter design and brightens it up inside.*</center>

**Day 48. (TFC Being Productive On Steemit Long Before The Sun Rose, Organizing The Jobsite At The Shelter, Installing External Sheathing On The Shelter & Calling It Quits After A Long Twelve Hour Day Of Being Highly Productive)**

This morning I woke up at five o'clock and decided to immediately get busy compiling and crafting my weekly Fantastica Chronicles post on Steemit. It is always a bit of a tedious process because it amounts to a heck of a lot of text to sort through, edit and add corresponding pictures to but given how well those posts have been doing lately I do not mind the time it takes to compile and craft them. 

By the time I finished with all that stuff it was nearly seven o'clock and the sun was finally up enough that I could see outside without the aid of a flashlight so I headed over to the shelter site and spent a good amount of time getting the jobsite organized, sorting through my dwindling linear cut lumber and sweeping all the sawdust and other debris up from the shelter floor. I had noticed yesterday that the place was becoming a bit of a cluster fuck to work in so starting today off doing all that stuff felt pretty damn good and made the rest of the day working there a much more 'Zen-like' experience.

The largest pieces of plywood that I gathered yesterday turned out to be in much better shape than I initially thought they were and I only had to trim off a small amount of rot from each one to make them usable for my purposes as external sheathing. As far as the external sheathing goes I wound up using some of the plywood that I brought with me and had been saving in the hopes that I could use it on the interior of the shelter but I was at least able to get approximately two and a half walls finished today and perhaps have just enough plywood left over to finish the third wall tomorrow. We will see how that turns out though because I am unsure if I will have enough material to do it. I might wind up taking my 'solar shack' apart so that I can utilize the plywood from it but then I would need to figure out where to put the battery, charge controller and digital usage meter (for the grid power) that is currently located inside the shack.

As far as that digital usage meter goes I have used 28.7 kilowatt hours of grid electricity over the last six weeks which is pretty damned good considering that the 'average' household uses around thirty kilowatt hours per day. I knew that my consumption level of electricity was low but whoa I did not know it was that frigging low!

Anyway once it reached five o'clock this afternoon I was feeling a bit run down so I put up all the tools, tidied up the jobsite and called it quits for the day so that I would still have the wherewithal to do my evening writing/posting and not fall asleep before I could get the posting aspect of it done like I did last week. These long days with lots of work and no naps are slowly wearing me down but at least I have made really good progress on the shelter and am feeling like that maybe if I just keep plugging away at it I might actually finish it before the weather turns cold.

Well that is about it for now and I am going to do the inevitable editing/posting and get to bed early so that I can get up and do it all again tomorrow. I hope that everyone is doing well and has a nice day/night.

<center>![IMAG5592.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmVHY8mbszGhAqZSL9MpbgnHZgiss9ZGTFYa5UgkuDanyc/IMAG5592.jpg)</center>
<center>*This reused piece of plywood was the first piece installed for the external sheathing.*</center>

**Day 49. (TFC Waking To A Chilly Morning, Finishing The Exterior Sheathing On The Shelter, Rehabing A Malformed Aluminum Door, Doing Funky Things With Hinges & Having Another Really Long Productive Day)**

I got up long before the sun once again and whoa was it fucking chilly once I got out from beneath the warmth of the blankets with the dogs all snuggled up against me. By the time I got my espresso brewed both my hands were icicles and although I didn't start shivering I definitely felt that 'I'm fucking cold and better do something about it right now' feeling which lead me to hiking down to the camper and nearly frantically hunting for some of my winter gloves. The camper itself is a bit of a cluster fuck because I have been in 'go mode' for so long now that I keep needing things from it, then shuffling stuff around until I find (or give up on looking altogether) and fail to reorganize things. Eventually I found a pair of gloves though and I am unsure if putting a pair on ever felt so damn good.

After all that frantic start to my day I built a fire (in that metal enclosure that I previously constructed) and burned off all the hemlock bark I had piled near it as well as some scrap pallet material (without any nails in it) as well as some of the sticks that I raked up from that area that I spread grass seed in the other day. 

Once the fire knocked the chill off me I got to work on sheathing the rest of the building with plywood which went rather smoothly until I reached the wall where I needed to install the door.

I still had not come up with a good solution for what to do about the door not fitting but alas I just wanted to keep making progress so I went with the simplest solution that I could come up with which was to frame out an opening with two inch by two inch material on the outside of the exterior wall. Because of the way that the wall was constructed and the size of the hinges I had to extend the framing a good bit beyond the door itself which basically means that the wall around and to the left of the door extends out beyond the rest of that wall. I could have gone without extending that much of the wall but working with the pieces of plywood that I had available it made the most sense to do it that way.

The door itself (and the door knob) was in pretty bad shape so I spent a good bit of time removing the handle and using a pair of pliers, a hammer and a block of wood to straighten out the door the best that I could. The door knob itself was completely beyond salvaging and was bent in such a way that I had a hard time getting one of the screws out to disassemble it. I almost went and got the angle grinder to cut it off but 'persuaded' it with a hammer instead (to save time) and eventually I got it all loose and was able to remove it altogether.

The door is an aluminum mobile home door and the way it is intended to be hinged is via an aluminum door frame/jam that has the hinging mechanism built into it and without that frame/jam I had to get really creative with the door hinges that I already had to make it work. In the end I once again went with the simplest solution and mounted them flat on the exterior of the door and wall which looks pretty damned funky but worked out really well because the door swings all the way out and lays flat against the building when open and closes very snugly.

Later this week the weather is going to first turn rainy and then the temperature is going to plummet so over the next few days I need to get the exterior of the building waterproofed and try to get the interior as insulated as possible and for now just install some plastic to cover the walls so that I can sleep in there and not have to endure nearly freezing temperatures in the tent. We will see how it all works out but once I do actually get to sleep in inside it I might just stay in bed for a few days because damn I have been going at it full steam ahead lately and am feeling the effects of all my toils in every part of my body.

Well that is about it for now and I am going to wrap this up and call it (yet again) one heck of a productive day!

<center>![IMAG5599.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmT9x7y3B7eRZ2XT124mXUrqyRQFdcP6s9EdCj8Qeznazi/IMAG5599.jpg)</center>
<center>*It was quite the patchwork of mismatched plywood pieces but I like how the external sheathing came out!*</center>

<center>**A sneak peak at the following week's endeavors.**</center>
<center>![IMAG5718.jpg](https://cdn.steemitimages.com/DQmNjgoQE2sCCeccscBD5rKUeuurSankPiE5mijGxRBaJix/IMAG5718.jpg)</center>
<center>*Progress at the shelter area is coming along nicely!*</center>

<center>**Thanks for reading!**</center>

<center> Please consider becoming a patron on my Patreon page!!!</center><center>https://www.patreon.com/jacobpeacock</center>

<center>**Previous Fantastica chronicles:**</center>
<center>***The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 1-7)***
https://steemit.com/writing/@jacobpeacock/the-fantastica-chronicles-day-1-7
***The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 8-14)***
https://steemit.com/homesteading/@jacobpeacock/the-fantastica-chronicles-day-8-14
***The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 15-21)***
https://steemit.com/diy/@jacobpeacock/the-fantastica-chronicles-day-15-21
***The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 22-28)***
https://steemit.com/homesteading/@jacobpeacock/the-fantastica-chronicles-day-22-28
***The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 29-35)***
https://steemit.com/homesteading/@jacobpeacock/the-fantastica-chronicles-day-29-35
***The Fantastica Chronicles (Day 36-42)***
https://steemit.com/homesteading/@jacobpeacock/the-fantastica-chronicles-day-36-42
</center>
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@freemotherearth ·
Winter may be coming but you will be warm and cozy @jacobpeacock!!! I am so glad that you and the pups have indoor space now that will be what you need for the coming cold season. I am looking forward to next week's post now to see what your flare for creativity and re-purposing yields as your latest minimalist shelter manifests into an efficient personal home space. 
👍  
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@jacobpeacock ·
I sure will be warm and cozy @freemotherearth! Even without the walls insulated the shelter holds warmth rather well. It is definitely feeling quite homey especially compared to staying in a tent! 
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@trufflepig ·
**Congratulations!** Your post has been selected as a daily Steemit truffle! It is listed on **rank 10** of all contributions awarded today. You can find the [TOP DAILY TRUFFLE PICKS HERE.](https://steemit.com/@trufflepig/daily-truffle-picks-2019-10-21) 
    
I upvoted your contribution because to my mind your post is at least **6 SBD** worth and should receive **197 votes**. It's now up to the lovely Steemit community to make this come true.

I am `TrufflePig`, an Artificial Intelligence Bot that helps minnows and content curators using Machine Learning. If you are curious how I select content, [you can find an explanation here!](https://steemit.com/steemit/@trufflepig/weekly-truffle-updates-2019-42)
    
Have a nice day and sincerely yours,
![trufflepig](https://raw.githubusercontent.com/SmokinCaterpillar/TrufflePig/master/img/trufflepig17_small.png)
*`TrufflePig`*
    
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@jacobpeacock ·
Thanks @trufflepig!
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