May 18, 2014 -

Haven With Buildings

It’s been a day and a half, but Haven has buildings! Again, they are fir-framed storage sheds once used to store grain. They are normally constructed on skids to make them easy to move.

The guy who moves graineries, J, has done hundreds of these. In a best case scenario, which is about 95% of the time, he just winches the graineries up, slides a dolly onto the rear of the side skids, attaches a hitch to the middle skid, hooks the hitch up to his truck, and away he goes. Average time from arrival on site to departure: 20 minutes.

My graineries were in the 5% that do not go smoothly.

The smaller one, which will be a shed, was not attached to its skids. J and Charles were shocked since they had come out recently to scout out the buildings and this completely escaped them.

Followed hours of trying to get the building attached securely to the skids, including a run back to Charles’ place for parts. We had arrived on site around 9:30 and didn’t get on the road with the first grainery till almost 1:30. I had complete faith in J by this point. He’s a bit of a loud mouth, but there was no cockiness here, just expertise.

It was slow going through a pasture and up a rutty private road to a gravel road, and then it was smooth going all the way to Haven.

When we got on site in the morning, I expected the buildings to be smaller than I remembered. They were bigger! I had this vision of Haven being completely crowded so I was relieved when the smaller building rolled into Haven and I saw that both would fit comfortably and still leave room for a clothesline, garden, guest RV parking spot, and Moya parking spot.

I had originally planned to stick both buildings together, but tree stumps and overhead lines nixed that plan. The shed wound up at the southwest corner of the property, near the street. Right now, its opening is right on the street, but Charles will make me a door on the side and the existing hole will be covered.

Having the first building in place, I could see where the other one would go and I hope it would be far enough south to clear my office window. My clothesline plans changed when I realised that instead of putting in posts, I could just string the clothesline between the two buildings!

It took a bit of time to get the first grainery settled and reasonably parallel to the curb. We had something to drink and set off to get the other one.

The larger grainery was on skids, but the middle skid, the one the hitch is supposed to attach to, was too wide! J got under there with a chainsaw and shaved the extra width off! After that, it was fairly quick going to get it loaded. I could tell that J and Charles fading fast.

It was much slower going bringing the larger grainery back to Haven as it is much heavier. It was a bit of work to back it in because the ground is so soft. I was really disappointed when J dropped it the first time as it was right between the RV and the neighbour’s shed, meaning a very closed in view from the office window. But after repositioning his truck, he was able to get it back just far enough for me to be happy with the positioning.

I don’t deserve any credit for all the hard work today. I documented the whole event and occasionally fetched parts, but mostly stayed out of the way. Charles and J are my heroes! I can’t believe how hard they worked today.

J originally quoted me $500, but because of the extra time, he asked for another $200. He hadn’t expected me to have the $500 today, so he said the extra can wait until I see him on the wagon train in a couple of months. $700 to get these two buildings on site is a bargain! Remember, the buildings themselves cost me nothing!

Charles and I started to work out a plan of attack for the buildings, but that will be the subject of a future post. They’re on site now and the rest can wait for a bit. The only thing I am going to try really hard for is to scrape the money to put a tin roof on them this year. We shall see.

There is short video after the pictures.

This video is worth watching for the last couple of seconds. Listen to what I say and see if you can catch it.

I said, “Is it supposed to be baloting like that?” I meant wobbling or teetering, but I apparently lose my English and resort to French when I’m excited and tired and hungry. 🙂

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May 15, 2014 -

A Kick in the Pants

The only thing missing to make the return to Haven perfect was running water. I was in Willow Bunch today and went to the town office to ask when I could expect the hydrant to be turned on for me, but the office was closed.

Well, late afternoon, there was a knock at my door from a town maintenance guy who wanted to inform me that he’d been procrastinating on getting the hydrant open, but seeing me moved back and settled was the kick in the pants he needed to get the job done! Everyone here is so kind!!!

I’m hooked up and filling the holding tank now, seeing as I need the water pump to get enough pressure for a shower. Once the tank is full, I’ll be able to see if the water heater fires up. Let’s cross all our appendages that I will be able to take a shower at home tonight!

My water system appears undamaged (no leaks) from the harsh winter I just put it through, so I’m cautiously optimistic. But we all know how temperamental my water heater can be…

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May 14, 2014 -

Miranda Back at Haven

I was done with the pressing work for today by 9:15 and immediately packed up to move. I wasn’t going far, so I just made sure the important stuff was secure inside, disconnected propane, put away the power cord, and, most important, remembered to put up my step!

It was too early to go ask Caroline to be a spotter and I decided that I could get out on my own. I got into trouble going into the spot because I underestimated how tight the turn would be. By backing straight out to just a few feet of the trees, I would clear the overhang and then be able to do the “wheels tight to one side, back up as far as possible, wheels tight to the other side, advance as far as possible” method of getting out of a tight spot with little manoeuvring room. It worked beautifully and I had zero trouble getting out!

Getting into Haven, however… Because so many trucks have been going in through the rear alley it never occurred to me that there was a giant branch in the way that I would not be able to clear! I wound up having to back out of the alley to the street, go around the block, and access Haven through a neighbour’s yard. Before I get any looks, that neighbour drives through his yard all the time, so I didn’t make any tracks that weren’t there already!

That put me in a better position to get onto the RV pad. The gravel isn’t level, so I did some back and forthing until I was positioned as best as possible and then used levelers to finish. It’s not perfect, but I suspect I will settle into the spot. At some point, I will ask Charles to help me put blocks under the axles as I am tired of rocking in the wind!

I was done by 10:30. Wow! I then did a quick run to town and had a celebratory lunch. When I got in, I sorted out the internet, managing to get full bars on my Mifi with the new booster and antenna, but zero bars on the iPhone. Very odd. It does have a decent signal strength and Siri is working, so I’ll try later to see if I can surf with it or not.

My front door is presently wide open and I’m off to dig my chairs out of Laura’s garage so that I can have a beer on my porch later. 🙂

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