Tag Archives: drain pipe

Not so spring 2017

So the spring equinox was back on March 20th. By now I bet you figure we should be out planting our garden and enjoying some warmer weather.

Well, in many ways we have. The temperatures have warmed up. Most days are above freezing now. A lot of snow has melted and we were starting to get into the swing of spring, as it were.

That is until yesterday. Mother nature decided she wasn’t done with the snow and sent us a doozy.

This is what it looked like outside this morning.

Yesterday, it started as some rain which turned into wet snow. Wet snow turned into freezing snow when nightfall arrived. If you are unfamiliar with freezing snow, it is wet snow that sticks and freezes immediately on contact. It does make for a pretty picture, but the trees certainly don’t do well.

Point in case.

If you look closely at that picture you can see two trees have snapped off. Actually, the broken part that you see is really the top of the trees that has fallen over and inverted themselves with the tops pointing at the ground.

Let’s take a look down the driveway.

Very white, with a lot of small trees (and a few big ones) all bent over.

Now we’ll move further down the driveway.

We had several instances of trees that had completely broken off and fallen onto the driveway.

Near the driveway entrance we came across quite a few trees that were overhanging it.

There was about 10cm (4″) of snow, but it was that really heavy wet snow that is awesome for building snowmen and snow forts. It’s also really good for doing maple taffy.

Alas, our maple syrup supply is carefully guarded and rationed out so no home-made maple taffy for us.

We’ll just sit cozy by the fire place in our very humble abode.

I should also mention that there were several communities that were without power today. Some friends of ours didn’t get their power back until 6pm, it having gone off at some point the previous evening. Fortunately for us, we’re not connected to the grid, so we really don’t care when the power goes out 😀

We were happy to find that the drain pipe that we had put in two springs ago is working well, even with all of this snow and the fact that the pond is still mostly frozen.

The part around the pipe is flowing so fast that it would take quite the drop in temperature, at this point, to freeze it. It now happily travels under the driveway and comes out to form a little stream on the other side.

Another sign of spring are the interesting tracks that have appeared around the trailer. We came home from March break to these little cute guys.

For those not familiar, that is a raccoon track. They really look like tiny human hands.

In other news, we finally finished redoing our spice rack. We had to shorten it a bit when we put in the cabinet over the counter last fall. Cutting it was easy, but we also planned to add another shelf to it, which involved more work. That got put to the wayside as winter came upon us.

Now that things have warmed up, I had the chance to steal some time in the workshop to add the new shelf. It then went to the staining department and sat there for a while, lost in the bureaucracy. Eventually, it was finished and now we can present it to you.

There it is installed, sans spices.

Once you add spices, it looks much better. As it turns out, not all of the spice jars will fit on the new bottom shelf. Some are just a few millimeters taller and the space is pretty tight. We seem to have managed though.

So after we get over this last batch of snow and things start to clear up outside (again), hopefully I’ll be able to get back to our other trailer building projects. We’re really looking forward to that new kitchen sink. Not having one is big pain the rump.


Spring Scenery

Today is May 15th and spring is in full swing, though you might not know it if you looked outside right now as it is snowing.

Yes, you read that correctly: snowing!

It’s not cold enough for it to accumulate, but it is still pretty chilly out, which is odd because we were in the mid 20’s C (upper 70’s F) earlier in the week with full sun. In any event, I decided to post some of the springtime scenery pictures we’ve taken over the last few weeks. The weather was much better when we took these.

Let’s start with the buds on the trees against a solid blue sky.


Those are several maple trees, with some white birch on the left side. Here is a similar picture of a poplar tree against the blue sky.


Those were taken back on May 6th and those buds have transformed into tiny leaves now. Not in all cases, some trees have yet to leaf out, but there are many that have begun that process.

Our drain pipe we put in last year because our driveway was being eaten by the pond is working quite well (thank goodness). On the far side of the pond, where it is draining to, there is this cute little stream where I took the following pictures.


Yeah, in that one you can see the old pipe the previous land tenants had put in and it was so clogged with debris that it was no longer functional. That’s kind of a good thing because the pipe was so low that it would have drained the pond completely and we’re trying to keep it at a reasonable depth for the frogs and other life that use it.


Further down the stream.


After that, I went over to the pond and caught some shots of the sun on the water.



Speaking of the pond, it is super noisy right now, as long as you’re not standing beside it. It’s spring peeper season. If you don’t know what that is, they are tiny frogs who are super loud. I’m sure you can find a video of them on youtube doing their thing.

Personally, I really like to hear them. I don’t find their calls disturbing at all. They have some otherworldly sense too, because if you very carefully walk towards the pond, hoping you might actually see one, you don’t have a hope in hell. No matter how quietly you walk, they know you are there and they all shut up as soon as you get within 5m (16′ or so). They are really patient too. You can wait a good 10-15 minutes and they still won’t start up again while you are close. Walk away and they start up again almost immediately.

Maybe that’s another reason they call them ‘peepers’: because they are peeping on you as you try to sneak up on them. I just hope they survive the frost we’re going to have tonight.

Oh, and if you didn’t believe me about the snow…



I just took those a few minutes ago. At least we’re nice and cozy inside with our fire going.

Trailer rebuilding: drainage, paneling and wood stove

Yes, I skipped a few days of updates. But now I have so much more to report after working all weekend.

On Friday, we had the big trench dug for the drain pipe. I spent Saturday digging and sizing and cutting over and over again until I could get the pipes joined up. It was quite the repetitive process and after numerous iterations gets frustrating too.

Just so you know, I’m using the drain pipe we had setup before (that froze solid last winter) as it was more than long enough for the job. I just had to cut it to the correct length, which is a bit tricky. I usually would cut it so it was too long and then refine it with more cuts as I got it closer and closer to the connection. It’s a PITA, but it works.

Here is the result: one drain pipe installed.


That’s all I did on Saturday. It took way longer than I thought to hook up the pipe, though there was a lot of digging involved to make the trench that goes under the trailer to the back. C’est la vie, as they say.

Speaking of digging, I also mentioned finding some shiny stuff that was dug up. Well, I managed to take a decent picture of a sample.


There was quite a bit of that, whatever it is. Some of it looks more crystal/gem-like than metallic. Perhaps we’re dealing with multiple minerals, which is probably the case. I saved some samples in case anyone comes over who wants to look at it.

Guess what I did on Sunday?

Shoveled dirt. A lot of it. Well, I also put the barrel on the end of the drain pipe and put it into place before shoveling, but for the most part, it was just moving dirt.

By the end of the day, the hole looked like this.


Almost completely full. Not bad for one day’s work. Well, more like a little over three hours, not really a full day. After slinging dirt for three hours, I had had enough. My back and shoulders were starting to feel it so we quit early.

Kat was busy inside on the weekend working on the paneling. I think she needs a break cause she is getting really frustrated with it. Some of the cuts have turned out bad for her and that is always disappointing.

I do have an interior shot from Sunday so you can see how the paneling is coming along.


So, that brings us to today: Monday. First thing we did when we arrived this morning is filled in the rest of the hole. That probably only took 30 minutes or so as Kat helped me with the final bit. Now we have a dirt path instead of a hole.


After that, I put sealer on the grout around the tiles. I was warned by the “experts” that you should always seal the grout, even if it isn’t for a kitchen or bathroom because if you try to wash it later, water will do bad things to the grout. I happened to have some grout sealer, so putting it on was no big deal. Except for the fact that my applicator bottle was seized. I couldn’t get the sealer to come out of it. So I just used a small paint brush and painted it on.

With the grout sealing done, I moved on to paneling while Kat worked outside doing some painting. We put two more panels up on the ceiling and I finished the walls around the tiles.

We took a pause for lunch, and then things got exciting.

Here is the beginning.


If you’re wondering what that is, that is stage 1 of the heat shield that goes behind the wood stove. It is a 1/2″ (13mm) cement board.

After that, we add some spacers and then put stage 2 of the heat shield, which happens to be some roof sheet metal. There is a 3″ (76mm) gap between the two shields.


Then, low and behold, a wood stove arrived. Looking quite spiffy too, with all of the work Kat has put into it.


The stove still needed a bit of tidying up, as you can see from the picture, but it was de-rusted, polished, painted and the gaskets for the window and door were replaced. Kat also cleaned out the mechanism for the draft slider so it is working better now too.

All that is left, is to put the chimney in. Unfortunately, with all of the changes to the height of the floor, the old pipe won’t fit. I could have probably modified it, but I felt this was an opportunity to try and reduce the angle of the chimney bend.

Of course, when you’re doing something like this, trying to figure out how to measure the pieces can get tricky as you have an angled piece that needs to fit into a vertical piece somewhere in mid air. If I was working in a CAD program, I would probably set up some guidelines to help with that. Well, we’re not in CAD, we’re in real life, so I set up some real life guidelines.


String is awesome! This will make it easy to take the measurements, do a bit of mathing, and then cut the new pieces of the pipe.

The old pipe used an angle of 30 degrees. This new one will only have a 15 degree angle. Hopefully this will help increase the chimney draft as we had problems with that last winter. We also added 6′ (183cm) of additional insulated chimney pipe outside when we added the roof over the trailer. We should be all set.

It shouldn’t take long to finish the chimney pipe tomorrow, so we will fully armed and operational very soon. Hide your rebel bases, cause we’re going to fire it up.