Hoten Holler!


January 2017

We Are Basement Dwellers

19 Jan 2017 – Sunny and high of 47°F!

We moved the mattress out of the camper into the basement bedroom on the 17th and spent our first night in the house.  It was awesome!  We were able to do this after all the work that has been completed on the house in the last two weeks.

First, they put in the carpet.carpet1

They also are almost completely done with the trim. The flooring is complete except for the stairs to the loft.

Bathroom cabinets are in.  Most of the lights have been installed.

And the grandest, most stupendest-est, awesome, bestest thing of all….. the wood stove is in and operational and heating the house!

Thanks to Todd and crew for the big and scary effort of installing the stove.  They had to climb all over the steep roof in the cold weather to make this happen and we definitely appreciate it.  The stove is a Woodstock Soapstone model with a catalytic converter and it burns wood all night, holding the main floor of the house at 75° easily.  If we aren’t running the ceiling fans, the loft could be converted to a sweat lodge. Todd has also installed transfer fans to circulate the heat to the basement and it has been about 65° at 5AM, which is warmer than the warmest nights in the camper this winter. Although it has been warmer this week during the day, the temperatures outside at night have been in the low 20’s.  The stove is working as advertised and we are quite pleased.

The southern facing windows provide a ton of passive solar heat and the construction crew has had to open windows during the day to stay cool enough while they are working!

On other fronts, the Stagecoach Springs posse has been busy doing normal ranching chores.  All the babies born in December are getting big and strong and eating a ton of hay.  But HEY, that’s what they do!

It has been a long journey living in a camper for 285 days, the last 50 or so that have been frigidly cold, but we survived and now look forward to the final touches being completed on the house.  The next project will be moving all of our things out of storage.  That sounds fun, but God willing, this will be our final move.  

How Cold Was It?

8 January 2017 – Sunny and 37° – Woot Woot!

We are basking in sunshine today.  It feels like summertime after the bitter cold week we had.  I even went running today for the first time this year!  Last week was ridiculously cold. (HOW COLD WAS IT?) It was so cold that …

          I chipped a tooth on my soup.

          Even the gangsters had to pull up their pants.

          We had to crawl inside the freezer to warm up.

          Hitchhikers were holding up pictures of thumbs.

          We had to chisel the dog off the fire hydrant.

          The polar bears all put on their long underwear.

          A can of tuna fish in the camper cupboard actually froze solid. (no joke, this is for real!)

          The antifreeze rated to -50 actually froze solid!

I’m inviting comments here.  If anyone has a good answer to the HOW COLD WAS IT? joke then please respond.  We could use the laughs!

Other unfortunate events include the failure of the refrigerator in the camper. Fortunately, we have hooked up our real fridge in the house so we just have to run back and forth when we get hungry. It’s the perfect diet for the New Year; exercise required to eat!   We are killing that poor camper one piece at a time.  The jack, the frozen water pump, the drains, and now the fridge.  Knock on wood, the heater still works like a champ.

Despite the cold and fridge busting we are really happy this weekend!  The hearth has been completed for the wood stove and it looks awesome!

Quite a few of the interior doors have been hung and we like them too!door1

The kitchen and bathroom countertops are in and a lot of the flooring has been put down.  The kitchen sink is in and we love it.


Move in is getting closer….it’s got to be getting closer, right?   

Meanwhile we will enjoy the next couple days of THAW and try to stay out of trouble.  As my Mom said, “Only three more full moons until Spring!”   


Hello 2017!

Monday, 2 January 2017 – Snow, high of 15°

Anyone notice how this winter just keeps piling on? It has become routine to hear the locals say things like, “We haven’t had a winter like this since we moved here 15 years ago!”  Or “It never snows like this, at least not this early in the season.”  And the ever popular “Normally it snows and then melts the next day.  This is the banana belt you know!”  The local news station reported that this December was the 3rd coldest on record EVER for Rapid City.  Gotta love our timing as we hear from everyone we meet, “Last winter was so mild, this is really unusual!”

We really don’t mind the snow and cold as long as things keep working.  The camper is warm and the house is really warm.  There has been some progress since our last post. 

Yesterday Dave and I dug out the slate we had harvested from the National Forest.  Foolishly, we just left it in a pile on the side of the driveway and didn’t put a tarp over it.  That was before it snowed and drifted so we had to once again go digging for the slate in about 2 feet of drifted snow.  Once we found it, we cleaned it as best we could and brought it into the house to warm up.  We spent this morning trying to align the pieces on a 4×4 piece of cardboard to mimic the hearth for the wood stove.  Todd gave us some good direction on how to lay it out and this is what we have come up with.slatelayout1

We had a great New Year’s Day.  We went to visit our neighbors down the road at Rock Ridge Ranch and had some coffee and good conversation.  Later that evening we went to Cowboy Dave and Linda’s for appetizers and some football.  We are pretty spoiled out here since everyone always hosts us and we cannot really reciprocate by having people over for dinner in the camper.  Once we move in, the dinner parties will commence! 

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