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Let It Rain! Part Two

Let It Rain!  Part Two

Father and son put up metal over a wet deck the morning after the storm

For three days we had no deck roof while the new one was under construction.  Wouldn’t you know, during that small window of time the biggest storm of the year so far hit our homestead and our tiny house.  About two hours into the storm, our little off-grid power system shut down.

Silver Oak braved the storm to start the generator and string power cords into the house for fans, and power the camper for his parents.  After nearly 2 ½ hours and four inches of rain, it suddenly stopped.

Needless to say we faced quite a mess in the morning.  Amazingly furniture under the tarp was mostly dry.  But the inverter refused to reset.  The temperature sensor must have gotten wet and the entire inverter refused to work.  Now we couldn’t use our battery bank to power our tiny house.

It was a great learning experience.  Hopefully we will be more storm proof in the future, and we’re making a back-up system to easily switch to when necessary.  We purchased a cheap 2000-watt inverter from Harbor Freight to use while the big inverter is serviced.  It doesn’t have a charger so we also purchased a big automobile battery charger, although it’s not the most efficient.  Altogether the cheap inverter and charger cost about $240 compared to the big Magnum 2000 watt inverter/charger which was $1100.  For constant use and keeping batteries at their peak performance the cheap one would not last long.  It also won’t run our little air conditioner and we must constantly monitor the battery charge and usage manually.  But it works in a pinch.  Meanwhile our solar panels are still waiting to be installed on the new roof.

Let It Rain!  Part Two

Our makeshift battery charger (front) and inverter (top) with a meter (left) to read the charge level of the battery bank below the deck

Monday and Tuesday the rafters were finished and the radiant barrier insulation and metal roofing were put up.  What a relief to have a roof again!  We commented on how things in life often must get worse before they get better.  We had to tear down the small temporary roof and be without for a few days before the big one could be built.

 

Let It Rain!  Part Two

Adding metal roofing. It's hard to tell in the picture but the roof really does slant down from our tiny house on the right.

Let It Rain!  Part Two

Finished putting metal on the whole roof! Notice the new lights on our tiny house installed by my dad.

On Wednesday Silver Oak’s parents left for home, and Silver Oak went back to landscaping.  Friday we had another big test.  Silver Oak was in town and it began to rain again.  We shouted for joy that we had protection from the weather.  Let it rain!!

After a few minutes of hard downpour, the new roof began to cry.  Oh dear.  The metal was up but not completely fastened yet, and some of it had been used previously on another roof and the screw holes were not yet caulked shut.  Water collected above the insulation and broke through in about a dozen places, sending us scurrying for buckets and tubs.  Another mess.

 

Let It Rain!  Part Two

Our mess after the rain (notice the buckets, tubs, and watering cans)...but not nearly as bad as it used to be before this roof was built! Laddie, our Australian Shepherd, doesn't mind it.

To top it off the generator ran out of fuel soon after Silver Oak left for work since we had used it much more than usual the past day and night.  We had not yet figured out how to charge the batteries fully with a car battery charger and used up all the fuel trying.  I could have run to a gas station 15 minutes away, but decided to see if we could tough it out.  So we were out of power and the rain was coming in through our new roof.

Next we ran out of water.  It is still a mystery, but the tanks on the roof were drained.  With no power we could not refill them.  But who needs water from a well when there is tons of it coming from the sky?  From the buckets we gathered more than enough clean water for washing hands and other things.  So the leaky roof was a blessing!  And since it was overcast and rainy all day, we stayed nice and cool.

We also started having problems with our septic tank.  We may need to enlarge it or put in another one so there is one for the camper and one for our tiny house.  The house toilet has had trouble flushing sometimes recently and Silver Oak loosened the cleanout cap under our tiny house to relieve pressure temporarily.  When he emptied the sewer tank in the camper the other day it backed up and pushed the loosened cap off and came spurting out under the house.  Disgusting!!

We were up till 2am digging a big hole out back to put the scraped up mess into, then dumping over 20 gallons of strong bleach water over the whole area to cleanse it.  The cap is on tightly now so that won’t happen again, but I could tell the septic system was struggling again.

Another thing:  I was fighting a full-blown infection in my foot from an injury the previous Saturday.  More on that in another post.

I struggled the early part of that day.  How would life be living in a normal house like normal people?  Are we just crazy or what?  What is the point of all of this anyway?  My phone hadn’t been plugged in properly and the battery was nearly dead so I plugged it in out in the Suburban to charge it.  I called Silver Oak and started whining.  Thankfully he had just been encouraged by the Lord and was able to remind me gently of God’s hand in this and how we have much to be thankful for.  What a prime opportunity to be a good (or bad) example to our children.  That little pep talk was just what I needed, and helped me rearrange my attitude.  The rest of the day was much easier even though circumstances didn’t change.

On Saturday Silver Oak stayed home and plugged all the holes in the metal and caulked the overlapping metal sheets together to waterproof the roof.  He sealed the area above our tiny house where rain had run down right over our front door!  Then he built another little roof at the front end of the camper to cover that and our laundry area.  Meanwhile the rest of us cleaned and straightened up the deck and yard, which had gotten unbearably messy during construction.  It looks half sane around here again!

 

Let It Rain!  Part Two

Adding a small lean-to roof at the back of the deck roof to cover the front of the camper and the laundry area (yes, notice we set up an old washer recently to help a bit during this stressful season, now that we have a well!)

Let It Rain!  Part Two
Finishing the metal on the lean-to

Reflecting on the week we realize how important little trials like this are.  They help us see reality and prepare for serious crises which may come.  We are more motivated to make changes that will benefit us in the future.  Back when we prepared for possible trouble with Y2K it helped us to be prepared when we lost power in a topical storm the following year.  That helped us to prepare better for Hurricane Charley and losing power for a few weeks.  All these trials benefit us and those around us if we learn from them.  They are mercies from a loving Heavenly Father.

Blessings,

Let It Rain!  Part Two

PS.  Yesterday we were so honored to have our recent post “Done With Homesteading!” featured by Amy at Homestead Revival for the weekly Barn Hop.  She’s a great encourager in the homesteading movement and said some awfully nice things about us.  Thank you Amy!

Linked w/Barn Hop, Morris Tribe, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Growing Home, Frugally Sustainable, Live Renewed, Our Simple Farm, A Rural Journal, Simple Lives Thursday, My Simple Country Living, Ole’ Saturday Homesteading Trading Post, and Seasonal Celebration Sunday.

Let It Rain!  Part Two

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10 Responses to “Let It Rain! Part Two”

  1. michelle says:

    you and your husband are very strong people . My husband is also putting a roof over our deck this month. Our problem is not the rain, but unexpected cold fronts. They are killing my garden.

    • Rose Petal says:

      You are very kind, Michelle. Living this lifestyle has revealed to me how little I can handle and has made my shortcomings more obvious. I admit I have done things that took courage and stamina, and have been amazed at the strength God is giving us to do what He has called us to right now. It’s not my own, and I have done nothing to deserve it. It makes it more clear how desperately we need Him and to be in His will for protection.

      I am glad you are getting a deck roof as well. I’ve noticed the trials you are facing this year from cold snaps. May the Lord bless you with ideas to overcome these problems.

  2. Trudy says:

    Hi,
    Thanks so much for sharing what is happening on your homestead with the blogging world. I truly have enjoyed your blog for a while.
    I wanted to share with you the other day that I read your post about wanting to quit and then like a day later I read your post about being grateful for the little things. While I was reading that one I thought “If this lady could only talk to that gal who’s blog I read yesterday who wanted to quit….she so needs to talk to her, it would help her so much”. LOL….then I realized it they were both written one person….you. LOL. I sat there and laughed and though “yeah God, she already talked to her”. LOL. Don’t you just love when God gives us a renewed perspective on things? I know it also helps me to realize that other people homesteading have problems too, not every thing comes up roses for them. Thanks so much for your willingness to share your trials and your victories with us all. I don’t blog but my husband does…..http://desertratshomestead.blogspot.com/
    Hope you have an awesome day!
    Trudy

    • Rose Petal says:

      That is too funny!! I love it! The truth is that as we go through life we hit hard times that really seem hopeless. Then there are bright days that help us to remember why we’re here. Without the firm foundation of seeking the Lord’s will and following that, and having a record of the ways He has been strong for us in the past as reminders, we would probably all throw in the towel when it gets tough.

      Thank you for your encouragement!

  3. Buttons says:

    Wow I am so impressed you are very strong people and I am so glad I read this. Human strength is under estimated and you are truly an inspiration. B

    • Rose Petal says:

      God gives strength to do what we are called to do at a given moment. He doesn’t give it before we need it, and He doesn’t give it to someone else looking on. But He gives what we need when we need it.

  4. Heidi says:

    Hi Rose Petal!
    It’s been a while since I’ve been able to visit your blog, but WOW! you always amaze me. I hope you know that you and your family are an inspiration to me. I am taking baby steps, but I am trying to become more self reliant. I will be getting my first ever baby dairy goats this Christmas and I hope to have milk about a year from then. Thank you for sharing your progress. I think that deck roof is looking fine. I did get a bit nervous when I saw the men way up on top with the metal. Yikes.

  5. Tami Lewis says:

    well as usual i learned a lot from you and come away inspired. thank you for that! by the way- i never did get your email, as you posted on my fb wall. i can’t wait to read it! :)

    • Rose Petal says:

      I’m so dreadfully sorry Tami! I just sent it again to your other email address. Hopefully you will get it this time! Let me know.