Wow what a wonderful Thanksgiving week we had. We went to the property on Wednesday and just came back today. We are making great progress on the Ghetto. Thanks to my incredible husband, we have running water (from 55 gallon water barrels), a flushing toilet, LED lighting (all 12 volt), a 12 volt refrigerator, propane hooked up and stove and oven working. He also got the drywall up inside the ghetto so we don’t have to look at the insulation anymore! We are still sleeping in the motorhome, as it got into the high 30’s low 40’s at night and we have no heat in the ghetto yet. We did lose the water heater in the bus as the regulator took a dump and because of it we burned through a bunch of propane because of a leak. But I just heated water on the stove for dishes and we got along just fine. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner with our friends Barb and Jim and our family, Cousin Brian, daughter Samantha and grandson, Matty. I made pumpkin pie and dips and appitizers (beefy onion dip, spinach dip, stuffed celery and deviled eggs) on Tuesday while I was babysitting Matty (here at the house). The rest of the dinner was cooked at the Ghetto including the turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread and gravy. I didn’t even think about a microwave all weekend! Barb brought some creole turkey, sweet potato pie, and a wonderful blueberry cobbler.
We are learning as we go with our solar power. We now have 8 batteries and three panels. We have a 12 volt refrigerator, water pump, tv, digital box and dvd player, as well as 12 volt led lighting in the ghetto. We are using the generator much less for our daily needs now, which is a blessing as it not only eats gas, but it is noisy. My propane stove requires 110 volt because the pilot is 110, so we had to run the inverter for it while the turkey was cooking. The good news is that it worked fine all day and didn’t really eat much power as the panels were charging the batteries while they were being used. We did kick on the generator for a few minutes to use my electric knife, but outside of that we didn’t use any generator power to cook dinner. We also have the generator wired so it charges the batteries whenever we do use it, so we are making use of every ounce of power we can.
It is a good thing to live “off the grid” for several days. You not only learn to conserve every ounce of power you have, you also learn to plan your usage more wisely. If you need to use 110 power, you should use it during the daylight so it doesn’t drain the batteries, the solar panels will have a chance to give you back a full charge before nightfall. While eating dinner, I start boiling a big pot of water for dishes. It helps to heat the ghetto while we are eating and hot water is ready for washing dishes after dinner.