I covered the windows in my bedroom and PC room with plastic and seems to have helped stop some of the drafty cold air coming in. I really need to replace those windows and add some insulation to the area around the back door. The house is normally a bit dark and leaving the binds and curtains in place makes it very dark and cave like. I prefer to have more light coming in and while the plastic does not afford the best view it has helped a lot already. The wood in the porch wood rack lasted just over a week in zero degrees days, but I only used one bucket of mill ends mostly for restarting the fire in the morning. I learned a lot about burning elm and it seems that I’m doing a better job making it burn more clean if the glass of the wood stove is any indication by staying clear of soot.
I moved a couple of fans around and I think they will do a little better job on moving the heat from the wood stove towards the to rooms in the back of the house. Last year I used the fruit woods and mill ends the front rooms would usually hit the high 70’s 80 degree mark and it was very nice to go into the back of the house to cool off. Now that I’m keeping the front rooms about 72 degrees heating with the wood stove it. The backrooms of the house are just a touch on the cool side. When I can come up with an extra $10-20 grand to remodel and create an open floor plan in the house it will do better for both heating and cooling. That project is going to have to wait a few years.
I brought up the idea of going with a couple of smaller coops with Mom today and it did not go very well. Let just say we are both a little stressed out by trying to get all this moving done as quickly as possible and doing it in winter weather is not helping. I came up with a new idea for the foundation of the shed Mom wants to get for her chickens that uses sand and some concrete patio blocks. I have used the sand and block method on small projects around my house and feel confident that it will work and might be a little less expensive and work better than using wood for a foundation for the shed/coop. My carpentry skills are mediocre at best, but I have a lot of confidence working with rock, sand and patio blocks. I’m also on the look out for more pallets that could be used as a short term foundation. I would need just 4 pallets to build a a semi-rigid, short term foundation for the shed as long as I get it level. I have half-assed projects because of a lack of funds or just not knowing how to do stuff, but I hate it because you tend to spend more money and time trying to fix a problem you created by half-assing it!
I understand that being a prepper/self reliant means you compromise in order to get things done. While some people will not do anything to prep until everything is perfect. (Never) I don’t think a person should just go blasting off on projects without a little research and practice. If you are good at carpentry go for it and the same for any skill set you have. I think it is wise to understand your limitations as well and consider those limitations when prepping.