Help Make Tiny Homes Legal!

Help Write Tiny Homes into the IRC (International Residential Codes) by following this link and signing the petition.  Every time we raise our voice, it makes it harder for Government to ignore us.


Raining, Pouring

creative_wallpaper_rain_021048___large….And it’s official.  Oliver’s Nest is weather-proof.

To put this in perspective, the rainfall so far this month (16 days in) has been over 6 inches (according to the National Weather Service), plus high winds and lightning.  Apparently we got hit by the remnants of Typhoon Songda, and it’s been a great test.  Not that a lot of rain is unusual for us here.  See that picture?  It’s from  We don’t shy away from our weather here.

The house didn’t move.  Shoot, it moves more when I walk around in it. I did however jump a few times from the drum-like BOOM of pine cones and sticks hitting the roof.  I thought a huge branch must have hit when I heard it the first time, then I realized it’s just the shape of the build amplifying the sound.  And the rain fell so hard at times I couldn’t hear the Grey’s Anatomy episode I was watching…had to put on subtitles.😀  But the Frankenstein’s Monster of a skylight didn’t leak.  Not air, not water.  All it let through was the pretty light show of the electrical storm.

I haven’t been updating as much recently.  Please bear with me, as my mood disorder has me a bit on the ropes.


A Little Recipe For A Little Home

So yeah, I’ve been working on Oliver’s Nest through these last sunny days of late Summer, but this post is about a little recipe I made up.  It’s probably been created a thousand times over by others, but I like it so much I thought I’d share it here in case it’s a new idea for you.  It’s simple and flexible, and yummy!

So, first you need either a bottled chimichurri sauce or make your own.  Glop about 1 tablespoon into about 1 cup of either sour cream or plain yogurt of whatever brand or style you like (I prefer a thicker, organic yogurt myself).  If you like garlic, add some finely minced garlic to the sauce.  I like garlic so I add about a teaspoon to it.  That’s step one.

Next, cook some kind of meat or meat substitute without anything other than maybe some salt and pepper.  The last time I made this I used skinless chicken thighs, baked without seasoning.  If you like, cook up some type of vegetable that you think will go with the meat/tofu/fish/whatever.  That’s step two.

Step three is to pour the sauce you mixed up over the meat and veggie/s, and salt and pepper it if you like.  You can first cut up the meat, or leave it in larger pieces.  I like to cut it up so the sauce gets all over (like I said, it’s yummy).

Eat.  This is great hot or cold, and can be really low-fat if you use low-fat yogurt.  It tastes amazing on all the vegetables I’ve tried, and seems to get better after a day or two.  Warning:  cats apparently love this too.  You WILL be watched.

Hope everyone is well this fine Fall day!

Travel and PTSD

I can’t ever seem to find the words to describe how living with my BPD and it’s accompanying PTSD affects me, and this person has done a great job. So I’m sharing her (I believe it’s a woman) words with you. I actually feel a bit better with strangers, as they have no connections that tend to trigger me (usually), but the underlying stress reactions are present for me nearly daily with different triggers. I also don’t have a support system as she does, which might make my situation harder…but I don’t know that for sure. Anyway, read on if you want a glimpse into life with BPD and PTSD.

HarsH ReaLiTy

I love the ocean. The sound of it feeds my soul and grounds me. I can sit and watch the ocean for hours. It’s huge, sometimes angry and wavy, sometimes calm and clear. I love the taste and feel of the salt water on my skin and lips. It’s different and well, oceany. Also, I love the smell of the salt air. It touches something deep, deep inside of me. A knowing, a presence, a connectedness.

I live in MN which is nowhere near the ocean. When I get close to the ocean, and my senses begin to come alive, I know I’m now on vacation. Ah, vacation! I was once that person who worked to go on vacation. Road trip? Yep, I was the first person to raise my hand and jump in the car. I love to explore, I love new places, I love new people. I understand that my little…

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About That Entertainment Center….

I wasn’t planning on using the entertainment center.  I’d forgotten it existed.  I’m not sure it is an entertainment center, as it also has a matching, rather large chest of drawers that goes with it, so it’s got to be for a bedroom.  Anyway, I’d planned on building nearly everything inside, and have lots of spare wood and plywood to do so, but honestly, I don’t think my building skills are up to it.  Sure, the build itself is solid.  I’ve been told many times that I over-engineer things.  But my detail work can be…sketchy?  Hehe, yeah, sketchy.  I believe with practice and some hands-on tutorials from a more experienced builder, I’d be able to put together creditable cabinets and whatnot, but not now.  I priced out cabinets and they are rather expensive, and heavy, and the sizes are mostly not right for the space.   So, what to do?

Look around here is what to do.  I thought about scavenging bits and pieces from this house, but I didn’t want to damage it. Plus there’s still that whole having to “build stuff” thing.  As I wandered from room to room, assessing what was available, I stumbled upon this oak wood set.  Ah-ha!  As it is modular, it seemed a perfect solution.  Without further hesitation, I started grabbing parts.

The only thing that took a lot of time was figuring out the placement of the upright attachment boards.  They had to be placed just right to set the hooks on the back of the shelves and cabinets properly, as well as being as close to the studs as possible for strength.  My spacial skills are apparently not too bad, as no mistakes were made.  So attach those boards securely to the walls, hook in the various bits, and done.  Well, except that after an experimental drive, several of the shelves fell down!  So, back to the hardware store for metal brackets to permanently attach everything.  Cheap and effective.


Modular oak shelving pieces. See those metal rods sticking out from various bits? They stick into each other and the uprights.


Shelving, cabinets and desk all hook onto uprights before I added the little metal brackets.


I have a desk under the window!🙂  The toilet will go between the desk and the kitchen cabinet.  The cabinet in this picture is pulled out and there’s actually quite a bit more room than shows.


Re-purposed solid (even the back is wood!) EXPENSIVEquarter-sawn oak entertainment set from my aunt and uncle. Heavy, yes, but solid and, FREE.

As for the two matching white cabinets I really like and wanted to use, they turned out to be way too heavy to hang.  Sadly, I won’t be using the longer one at all (which was going to hold most of my kitchenware), but the squarish one got some legs and a top, and is now firmly screwed to the walls.  To build the top, I had to glue and clamp two pinewood panels together and then cut them down to get something large enough.  The cabinet is now a good place for heavy cast iron and random largish stuff.


Painted legs to transform the hanging cabinet into a floor cabinet.


Strong wood braces made from random 1/2″ plywood pieces added to the bottom of the white cabinet, and a thing to screw the legs into.


Revamped upper cabinet. Painting the cabinet white, but I might try the tangerine color for fun.🙂 The door is nearly ready to install, and it’s been painted a matching green.  I think I’m going to paint the bit of pink on the side wall above the counter top white.

Taking the place of the longer cabinet is a bunch of roll-out closet baskets.  Light, strong, semi-attractive… works for me!


Drawer racks installed. The baskets are in the house being filled and sorted.

The lower kitchen cabinet was the real bear.  I couldn’t push it back against the wall, because of the front fuel line sticking out of the floor and wall.  Solution?  Either build a shelf behind it to cover the huge (8″) gap, or cut a hole in the back/bottom of the cabinet. No more building!!!😦  So, my son came over and cut a hold for me, as cutting holes into furniture was something I couldn’t bring myself to do.  My anxiety over it was ridiculously overwhelming.  Even though I’d added strong supports to the underside of the cabinet after bringing it home, I had visions of the whole thing collapsing in on itself.


Meet Richard from one of the local big box stores where I bought the cabinet. He helped me clamp in the support pieces I added to the bottom of the cabinet. Nice guy, right?

Yeah, that didn’t happen, and now the cabinet is against the wall and out of the way.  Thanks very much, dear boy!


I can’t do anything about the metal bars, but was able to work around this fuel line.


See how far the cabinet has to stick out? NOT GOOD. Oh, and in the background you can see the beginnings of insulating and covering the loft front area. OH!  And you can see the linoleum all laid down and looking pretty on the loft floor.


Problem solved.

I did, however, cut the counter top to size, and cut out the sink hole, by myself.  So easy!  I still have the hand pump marine faucet to cut a hole for, but now I’m not worried about being capable of doing that.  My new saw blade for finish work has really impressed me.


Look at that clean edge from my new finishing saw blade. So proud.


And now the hold for the sink….


BOOM. It still sticks out an inch due to the metal bars, but I can live with that.

So that’s the cabinet roundup.  I thought it might be interesting for people to get a sort of spacial sense of how I fit into this incredibly tight space.  I’m 5’5″, and the ceiling is 7′ high.


I can easily reach and remove the top drawers to access the contents, but the ceiling doesn’t feel too low.  Yep, that’s me in glasses!


And here I’m standing right by the bed loft area. The reflective ceiling really helps to add light. The camera I’ve been using is on my Kindle Fire, and has no flash. All the pictures pretty much reflect the actual light inside. You can also see the baskets I’ve found to store things on the shelves, and the cool closet curtains. I still need to find baskets to fit the upper shelves.

Wow, 2 Months?

I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I last updated my progress.  Once again, there’s a boat-load of pictures of stuff that’s been “finished”.   It will take me a bit of time to gather together a semi-coherent description of everything, so please bear with me.🙂

Um, I’ll put a couple up to show where things were at least recently, and then I have to go back to work.


Re-purposed quarter-sawn oak entertainment set from my aunt and uncle. Heavy, yes, but solid and FREE.


Very cheap and light oak-veneered kitchen cabinet. Super flimsy, so I hope it will hold up to the abuse….


Finished the curtains, and I love love love being able to use this fabric! Been holding on to it for years. :p The closet curtains are actually shower curtains that look like beech (birch?) trees.

Hope you all are enjoying the last bit of summer!

Painting Woes (And Another Leak)

I like to paint.  It’s easy and fun and colors, whee!  Funnily enough, the walls mostly will be covered by closets and cabinets and stuff, but I like knowing there’s something pretty behind all that.

After trying the pink painted high up on the walls, with a pale yellow on the ceiling and upper walls, I discovered I vastly preferred the white over my head. Here’s the before:



White reflects light better and looks clean and fresh.  Luckily I still had the Zinsser Oil-based primer to cover the other colors.  It took one coat, plus two coats of Glidden Extreme White Semi-Gloss Exterior Paint to cover everything perfectly.  Yes, I used exterior paint inside.  I also used it on the cedar trim on the exterior, after priming with the Zinnser (which is perfect for cedar), and had a ton left over.  Since I’m not living in the space, and since the oil-based primer is also stinky, I figured, why not?  There’s time for it to off-gas before I move in, and the color is just what I wanted.  I can’t afford to waste paint, or really anything.  This is one of the reasons why the structure is a little odd-ball.🙂

After I tamed the yellow and pink, I started trying for the look I wanted ~ a blend of pink, yellow and tangerines. I have a favorite skirt that I love that is pink and orange, green and reddish, and I want to try those colors in the interior.  I have a little pot of grass green for…somewhere.  Here’s what I have now:


The colors!


A cool blend on the side walls

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The wall under the loft. I like this area the best

I like it.  Luckily, the area I like the best, the wall under the loft (behind the cab of the truck) will show the most.  It’s pretty and not overwhelming.  Other than some touch ups, and maybe adding a little red at some point, and of course the moldings, the walls are finished.

Oh yes, the leak.  It’s not the roof, although yes, there was a small leak which is now gone due to the new roofing.  It might have been present the whole time but hidden by the bigger roof leak.  This new leak is actually through the door/skylight itself…it appears that the panes of glass and the wood joints have loosened with all the cutting and hoisting and general messing around (plus the door wasn’t built to be installed flat, of course).  But I have a solution!  Today I will go out and buy some more razor blades to clean the glass panes, sand off the extra silicone everywhere, and prime and paint the wood portions.  Once it’s dry, I will screw on to the face of the door, this stuff:

Polycarbonate Sheet

Polycarbonate Sheet from Lexan

A glass shop right down the street can provide a thicker product than is available at the big box stores, and will cut it to size, and cost less than buying it and using an expensive saw blade (which I don’t have) to cut it.  Plus, they will do it right, lol.  Yes, I am farming out some of the work.  And glad to do it.  And yes, it’s another expense, but a necessary one.  I’d always known I might have to go this route, so it’s not a surprise, and I’ve had time to figure out exactly what is needed.

I don’t know if I’ve already shown how the exterior looks now, all painted up and finished, so before I get to work on the skylight, here’s a few more pictures:

So you are all up-to-date.  I’m off to buy those razor blades and a saw blade for finish work.  Be well!