Saturday, 21 April 2012

Dock in a box...a misnomer

Who knew one could fall in love with a truck? Well...maybe in love is a little over the top, but it's pretty darn close to expressing how I feel about the convenience and the money-saving aspect this little hunk of machinery has brought into our lives so far. Appliances, BBQ's, lumber, kayaks, 12 foot dock ramps...none of these things would fit in the CRV, at least not easily anyway.

Temporary carry rack...some assembly required.
We really got to test the limits of love when it was time to pick up the dock ramp. To have the ramp delivered to Turtle Falls from where it was built would have cost about a quarter of the ramp's price and to rent a vehicle big enough to safely transport it ourselves would have cost even more because of the distance we needed to travel. One of the suggestions from an employee at DockinaBox was to bring a boat trailer to cart it home. I guess that's a valid assumption, since we are buying a dock ramp, that we might have a dock and from there I can see how it could be imagined that we have a boat as well. But we don't. Unless you count the tippy kayaks as boats. But they didn't come with a trailer. Enter little Nissan and a little bit of woodworking skill.

Here's the dock. Where's the box? Odd name for a dock business.
Some more assembly required, I see.
I have to mention that DockinaBox told me they wouldn't let me take the ramp if they didn't think my transport choice was safe once I told them I would be building a rack in the truck to carry the ramp. Really?! I suppose their skepticism was warranted. They don't know me and I bet they see all kinds of crazy carting ideas when people arrive at their loading dock hoping to leave with a 40 foot dock strapped to their Smart Car.

Anyway, the shear thought of being turned away at the loading dock made me switch to overkill on the build of the rack. And then I had to laugh as we arrived at the DockinaBox loading area, there were 2 guys trying to load 40 feet of dock parts into what looked like a 6-foot utility trailer. Like I said, they must see some crazy stuff. The loading crew took one look at my rack - the one in the truck! - and asked if I was available to build their cottage. I took that to mean we could start loading. Phew!

All in with room to spare. 955 kms round trip without a hitch, literally. Imagine the U-Haul bill at 70¢/km and gas mileage of 24L/100kms

Finally, we will have a completed dock at the waterfront this year and not have to walk the jerry-rigged 2x10 gangplank anymore. And, I'm pretty sure it will be the perfect place for my sister to park her new boat when she's motoring through our part of the waterway.

More later,

Thursday, 5 April 2012

They didn't just play - they partyed!

When cats are away...mice party hearty!
We were home from Mexico just barely a week before we headed toward Turtle Falls for the first time since Thanksgiving. We had several reasons for the trip - my nephew's 9th birthday party, pick up our new used truck (that's right, we're now truck-driving trailer park girls), meet with a passive solar design architect and to remove Priscilla's hydro-hogging fridge and measure for a new more efficient fridge.

Over the winter, along with the dreams of getting back to Turtle Falls, we were hoping that the time spent in the fall to seal up the cracks and crevices in Priscilla would be enough of a deterrent for our furry little forest friends. Yes, we were very sadly mistaken...

Woohooooo...mouse party at Priscillaaaaa!

Such industrious little creatures. They had moved a good portion of the insulation from around the hot water tank to the top of the stove's cooktop. I'm guessing the R-Value of the fiberglass insulation wasn't enough for them as they shredded the tea towels that we left in the trailer and added that to the mix. Or maybe the tea towels were being used to cut down on the itch-factor of the fiberglass. We may never know their reason but you can bet we have learned our lesson to remove all linens before closing up for the winter. Good grief! Never a dull moment...

The Oust-a-Mouse House
The Spring Cottage Life Show was just this past weekend so we went to purchase a composting toilet. The fun thing about these shows is finding unexpected new and exciting things we never knew existed. This show was no different. We had only passed a handful of booths before we found the busiest booth in the whole show. The crowd was 3-4 people deep in front of the Oust-a-Mouse booth. Our recent experience at Priscilla helped us feel no shame in elbowing our way to the front of the crowd. We have no idea if this will work to keep these vermin revellers from rearranging the rest of Priscilla's insulation, but the speed at which these little houses were flying out of the booth, 2 and 3 at a time, makes me feel good about not being the only gullible show-goer. We'll report on it's efficiency after it's been installed for a while.

I'm sure you've had enough of our mouse mess, so I shall move on. The reason for our visit to the cottage show was for the compoosting (haha...totally innocent typo with a pun. I'm leaving it like that!) toilet. This booth was almost as popular as the Oust-a-Mouse booth and the reason why we have to wait 'til the beginning of May for delivery of this item. Who knew composting toilets to be in such demand? Anyway, I can still build the outhouse structure while waiting for delivery.

Can you hold that just a little longer Ras while I get a picture?
We're very happy to be rid of Priscilla's original fridge. The removal of this went rather smoothly until we tried to get the beast out of the trailer. Why is it builders of these trailers never consider the eventual future removal of defunct appliances before they size the entry doors for them? Anyway, I pretty much destroyed the fridge removing the trim bits that were the only obstacle stopping us, by about half an inch. Then off to the local RV place to see if they would take it off our hands, for parts at least. They took it...and immediately tossed it in their dumpster. Good riddance hydro-hogging, no-good-for-parts, measly-cubic-footed fridge! Hello hydro-sipping, spacious new EnergyStar-rated fridge...on sale last week at Home Depot...yippee!

Finally, the meeting with the architect went well. We both feel confident that he knows what needs to be done to build a great passive solar house. This is comforting. What's not quite as comforting is the idea of making this man a family member for the duration of the project. I can't speak for Ras, but I never knew the extent of the services an architect offers as a complete design package. We may actually spend more time interacting with this man than we will with our own family and friends during this whole process. Good thing we have a bigger fridge now...he may need to move in!

More later,