Chip and I are ADHD procrastinators. We are always busy doing something, but it's usually sort of random, and between us, we often have a dozen tasks started and in varying states of completion or forgotten-ness (...um, like late blog posts).
So even though we notice a need and comment on it, we don't always remember to, e.g., get things covered up in time for the next surprise rain, or to get items protected before Ike has another rip-it-up panic attack. A couple things hanging out there are: getting signs posted and a fence up top to prevent tree-cutting (oops, we've lost 6 more trees since we've been here), getting a little gate put in at the narrow spot at the top of the road to keep the roaming horses out (oops, we've had horses running through camp in the middle of the night a few times, freaking Ike out and threatening our flimsier camp components).
A few weeks ago I started commenting "We need to think about freeze protection."
Once the greenhouse is built, it will be a great place to store anything that can't freeze, and the tipi will help keep us and ours cozy. But those are weeks or months off in the future... Our pop-up has a propane heater, so we know we won't die of exposure or anything, but with 225-gallon above-ground water tanks, a power system dependent on batteries, a waste management system dependent on fermented composting organisms, and lots of stored liquids, we could end up with a real mess!
After our last post about the tipi back when temps were in the 40s-70s, my cousin Jenny (in southern New Mexico) generously offered to let us borrow her Montana Canvas wall tent and wood stove. We jumped at the offer, knowing this would be a hugely helpful addition to our camp to get us through winter -- but in typical Kimi and Chip fashion, we were in the midst of prepping for the greenhouse, and thought "we'll come down some time in the next 6 weeks..."
Our power has been slowly diminishing as the days get shorter and the sun angles lower in the sky. Our nights and mornings have been chilly, and we've been sleeping in layers of PJs and layers of blankets and hats (mama in her kerchief), sometimes supplemented by a doggy furnace. But our scare came when Chip saw the forecast for a 17-degree overnight. We reached out to Jenny again: uh, you know that "some time in the next 6 weeks?" how about if it's now??
We drove the 5 hours to Las Cruces, and spent a lovely time with Jenny and met her adult son, Jacob -- oh, did I mention the last time Jenny and I saw each other was in Iowa when I was 2? We shared some family stories, and the dogs got acquainted. Jenny generously offered to have us overnight, but we were concerned about our unfreezables back home, and we headed back on the road after loading the tent and a Coleman stovetop oven that she also discovered when pulling the tent out of her shed!
We have "the white tent" set up as a daytime office space, and moved our shower in there too. The small stove keeps it toasty (and heats the shower water!), the diffuse white lighting is perfect for working online, and it's much more comfortable than trying to work in the popup. We also discovered at Jenny's that Ike loves lounging on a cot, so he has a cot in the tent, and sometimes sleeps through the night there. Meanwhile, we've been enjoying roasted potatoes, Cornish hens, and pizza in the oven!
We last-minute crammed for the exam, but we think we've done OK on our first test... with a little help!! Thanks, Jenny!