Hello! I’m Ana, a mother and homemaker from Alaska.
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Someday

September 11, 2012 |
posted by Ana White

When you were growing up, did your parents every talk about someday ... maybe someday, like:

"Someday, we'll add on and you won't have to share a room ..."

"Someday, we are going to put a pool in the back yard ..."

"Someday, we are going to gut and refinish this kitchen ..."

And someday just never happened? By the time you moved out, there just wasn't time or budget or motivation to make it happen?

Well, here is the big "someday" that never happened when I was growing up.

"Someday ... we'll get electricity."

It wasn't so bad in the summers when the sun is out around the clock and we played outside anyways, but come winter, when darkness settles in in the afternoon, and not only do you not have lights, but anything else that plugs in doesn't work either ... and life was not easy. And I'm not just talking about the tv and curling iron. Things like refrigerators, well pumps and hot water heaters didn't work either.

In the winter, we froze milk jugs of water outside and put them in the refrigerator to keep cold when the generator wasn't running. The well was run about once a day when the generator was on, and us nine kids had to fight over who's turn it was to take a bath first ... poor child that ended up last! At least if you were last, the water might be not so clean ... but it was warmer. I joke about it now, time has definitely mellowed the memory.

We had a giant wind storm just the other day, and the power was out for just a few hours, and I suddenly remembered very clearly (as clear as you can with a flashlight anyway) what it was like to be without electricity. I remembered what it's like to worry about freezers melting, toilets not flushing because the well is low, and eating a not so romantic and quite cold dinner in candlelight.

That's one of the big reasons we are building the Momplex. So my mom can have electricity, and not spend the rest of her life living in a modern world, but struggling with primitive realities.

I did write about burying our utilities, but wanted to also post about how the electrical gets from the pole to inside the Momplex. Because that "someday" never happened for me growing up, and I was disappointed. But can you imagine my mom, still hoping someday?

That someday is going to happen for my mom this year.

Someday

It starts with a giant pole being dropped off on our desk, right next to our coffee and paperwork.

Now the reason my mom never got electricity is the cost. And certainly, this is not a cheap task. But there are SOME parts of this we can do ourselves, and save a little money. Getting the pole ready and running the pipes that the electrical wires will later run through is something we can do.

Someday

And this is what is to be done today.

Someday

The pole isn't just a big wood log. It's been treated and has been certified with a pole brand that it meets code requirements. And the electrical company will use that pole brand to check to make sure you buried your pole at the right depth.

We ordered the pole and had it delivered to the Momplex.

Someday

On the pole we screw on brackets.

Someday

And on that bracket comes the electrical panel. It comes as a set with breakers already put in.

Someday

And then from the panel a pipe is run upward so the electrical company can run electrical wires from their pole, to our pole, and then down into the panel and hook up the power.

Someday

Everything gets bracketed down.

Someday

And then we hired a local electrical company to put the pole in for us.

Someday

From the pole, we've trenched a ditch to the Momplex.

Now we've gone back and forth on how to bring the power inside the Momplex, and finally decided on burying it. The wind howls up there, and I have a feeling once Mom gets electricity, she's not going to like loosing it. Bonus - no unsightly wires showing!

Someday

There is no wire yet in the pipe, that will get pulled through the empty pipe later on.

The trench goes from the pole to the Momplex, and was dug by the Ram with a backhoe. Then the backhoe is used to backfill the trench.

Someday

Once inside, the pipe is run up through the walls

Someday

And into the breaker box.

Someday

And from here, power can be distributed throughout the house.

I know this is thirty years later, but today is that someday!

So tell me, do you have a someday your are planning for your home for your kids? What is keeping you from making it happen?

posted by Ana White

Boy oh boy did you ever make my day!!!!

Thank you so much for all the support and lovely comments on my book! I so hope you love it as much as I do! I know you will!

A special thanks to those of you who have preordered. Not only do you get a great discounted price, but the more preorders we get, the lower the preorder price is for everyone! AND Amazon guarantees the lowest price on preorders, so if the price drops between your preorder date and shipment - you get the lowest price! Preordering is also great for authors too, because you are telling the reseller, Hey, this is a great book! Make sure you put it on your shelves too!!!! And that's ultimately where I want to be with a book - in the hands of someone just like me and you, who doesn't have access to the blog. So a huge huge huge thank you to you!

---

Back home in Alaska, we've been getting our hands dirty at the Momplex. Today, we are going to get the Momplex on the grid!

TRUE STORY - My mom has lived 30 years without electricity! And I'm not about to let her spend the next 30 years struggling with a generator and no lights when it's forty-some below in January in Alaska, with three hours of daylight. I'm not about to let her spend just ONE more year off the grid!

Getting on the Grid

And although we have much to do inside the Momplex to get Mom moved in, we've got a very short MUST DO list for the Momplex before snow falls on the exterior.

- Garage doors installed (on order already!)
- Upstairs ceiling electrical boxes installed and wire run
- Upstairs ceiling drywalled
- Upstairs ceiling insulated
- Utilities brought into Momplex

Now this is a list I love looking at! It's not like last winter where we are struggling against impossible odds to get a roof on.

But with the weather still nice, we want to put the utilities in. It will be so nice to have electricity to work with (we've been using a generator) and the well hooked up to the Momplex, and the fuel tank in place for when the boiler goes in.

Up here in Alaska, we don't have city sewer or water. We have to get the electricity from the pole to inside and everyone has their own heating fuel tanks.

Getting on the Grid

We've decided to bury as much as possible. You see, even up here in Alaska, the cold weather only goes about 4 feet deep. If you bury something below 4 feet deep, the ground will stay above freezing.

Getting on the Grid

For my family, it's like a giant sandbox. Only Dad is all grown up and operating the real deal, and the piles of sand are much bigger. We dig a really big hole in the ground.

Getting on the Grid

Right next to the well.

Having a backhoe on rental does not alleviate the need for a shovel.

Getting on the Grid

Despite being at least four feet down, we don't want to be digging the well line up ever again. So we buy insulated pipe - it's just a 4" black pipe with spray foam around it - and we tie it into the Momplex.

Getting on the Grid

Then it's run over to the well.

Getting on the Grid

It will connect to the well a good 9 feet or so below the top of the well.

Getting on the Grid

Inside, when we poured the downstairs slab, we put wood spacers in the slab where the well would tie in. It's quite the chore getting the spacers out of the concrete.

Getting on the Grid

And that's where the well will tie into the Momplex inside.

Getting on the Grid

The well line is wrapped in heat trace - just a wire that you can plug in and it will heat up, removing any frozen areas should the line ever freeze up.

Getting on the Grid

The well line is threaded through the insulated pipe.

Getting on the Grid

And brought out the other side.

Getting on the Grid

Then it's hooked up to the well itself.

Getting on the Grid

And more heat trace is added at the joint. We also insulate over this joint as well.

The well line is carefully buried.

With the well hooked up, it's time to move over to the other side and put the electrical in.

Getting on the Grid

Today, we are just running a pipe from the electrical pole over to the Momplex. We'll later go back and run the electrical wires through the pipe - just like what we did with the well.

And the we are ready to bury the electrical line!

And then we buried the fuel tank.

Then everything is backfilled.

Despite a really long busy couple of days, the Momplex looks pretty much the same.

But our list is getting really short, and I'm getting really excited about finishing out the inside of the Momplex!!!! Are you ready?

How are utilities done where you live? Do you have your own well? Does your electrical company bring power right to your house? It's always interesting to see how things are done in different locations!

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