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…

View original post 879 more words

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.

picshop-3506981011e419ce44f411409edcbf90

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

picshop-ce449e0b5a046c88f87aa0dd48c2209e

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

picshop-89da387e1272cb9d9ce4b0c4890de87a

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.

picshop-5843535908404b464c3130056674ece4

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.

picshop-a694acd7d1966d0fe8b1d9574009f98c

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

picshop-78cc577303e79dc769e04eae520f7d8b

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.

picshop-1e9aeacca8bb92bcf1f6566de6fd6f34

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!

picshop-4d3aecdaee57c72aa64bd5a0219133b5

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.

picshop-ee2740343d9155c9fedee63387cb5f32

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!

picshop-ef09095d4d4c65a38ce697139fe04d6b

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

picshop-a531636dc08398fcbc5bb5bb4427e59c

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.

picshop-ea762755d902f0c325d359b632cc6b8c

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.

picshop-76f14e24eaa988360e96f759995bb5d0

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

picshop-d228895aaccedc82e6733ef92753e475

And now the hold for the sink….

picshop-e1f1d54c2b407dda37811babc7f5de30

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.

picshop-ed26678df19afb2468338c2de3cd0160

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!

picshop-1ed5c9ded293eec92ab1538956cead11

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.

picshop-5843535908404b464c3130056674ece4

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

picshop-269ad96282f2bb87a53d199024c50207

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

picshop-f54241b0b344709129b183a4f6a9ca4d

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:

PicShop-A9E81AA7AF7067B11DE8B781C3E38A51

OMG PINK

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:

PicShop-E2EC12FFD4F2303DC485E34CE8658801

The colors!

PicShop-D2B08DE0D0A258F80ABCB3AAF92088E7

A cool blend on the side walls

PicShop-9C5DD34E528C9CAF3E97480254D24B9D (1)

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!

Pushing Through

My medicine is kicking my butt today.  I’m in the little house, trying to install laminate flooring ~ laying 4 boxes of the stuff out for easy access, reading the instructions (I’ve also watched many, many videos), and generally just trying to get this done… and then I get really dizzy and have to immediately lay down, right there, on the overcrowded floor.  This happens over and over.  It’s intermittently incapacitating.  I mean, it’s not like I’m not used to my medicine causing me problems sometimes, but this is not a good time for that.

About two hours later, two rows are in. I fought hard for those two rows. It took me over an hour to get those two rows properly laid.  I’m already taking a break, trying to wait out the side effects of the meds. and trying to give myself a pep talk.  Then I start thinking about all the blogs from other Tiny Home builders. Why don’t I see in their blogs all of the trouble that seemingly small things give me?  All I see are talks about the planning, maybe some shots of the work in progress , then some pictures of things completed, and nothing, nothing about any difficulties . Is it that they had none?  Is it the fact that usually there were generally at least two people working on the project?   Maybe they have some friends who know what the heck they’re doing?  I don’t know.  It’s discouraging.

Well, it’s a few hours later now, about 5 o’clock.  I took a break shortly after struggling with the first three rows.  I don’t know what happened during that break, but when I went back to the flooring, it clicked (pun intended).  I was able to finally get as much done in five or 10 minutes as I did in the first hour . It went slick, it went smooth, it was easy.

I paid about $17.50 for each carton of the flooring and each carton covers about 20 ft.². The stuff isn’t made anymore as far as I can tell, but when I compare it to what is available now it ranks with the high-quality stuff in it’s thickness and layers and whatnot.  I don’t know if I got a good deal, but I know I got good stuff.  I bought it years ago along with a kit to install this type of flooring.  That’s what made it possible for me to have it in my home ~ buying it from a ReStore when I could afford it and holding onto it, storing it, having it be in the way;  but eventually being able to put it to use.  So much of what I’d gotten was intended for the bigger Tiny House, and doesn’t work in this space.  I’m glad I was able to use the flooring, at least.

I put in the loft flooring a couple days ago.  For that space I used linoleum ~ the real stuff, made with natural ingredients like linseed oil, pine rosin, ground cork dust and wood flour.  It’s thick and flexible and I like the way it looks.  Aside from giving myself a couple deep cuts from the carpet knife I used, it went down pretty easily.  There was a good amount of Reflectix left over from the roofing I did on the other house, and so I laid it down on the subfloor to help with air leaks and to add another layer of insulation.  The wool layer up there is much thinner than in the main floor.  Over that I put down some green stuff…I don’t have a clue what it’s for, but it’s soft and flexible, and seemed like a nice base to lay the linoleum on.  If someone reading this recognizes what it is from the pictures, would you be so kind as to fill me in?

So, pictures.🙂

PicShop-EAEAFF80AA553924818B7116342DBEBA

Linoleum unrolled and resting upside down. Recommended it’s left like that for at least 24 hours to acclimate to the room.

PicShop-1F6E3F56FDB99BB805005FBC55F1C52F

It’s quite thick, but fairly easy to work with.

PicShop-CE8CCFA24A96DE28FD39DC5F2DE6A56E

Reflectix laid down on the loft floor

PicShop-C6024E5FECE0498CBB428AB60809D92F

Covering the Reflectix with the mystery green stuff

PicShop-D3BC7A2B7333895F37D7C0FBBEF461F4

The mystery green material has a frog (?!) printed on it

PicShop-A06F187EBE3B8E2322E6C53C3EA0EA4B

laying down the linoleum, preparing to trim it to size.  I failed to take a picture of the finished floor :p

PicShop-5159A1FD227BBBD0395420D3469CF771

Somewhat uneven subfloor in the main room

PicShop-A444BBFDC4781CD3CA2CADFFF70A920B

Underlayment glued and screwed down. Nice and level now!

PicShop-9C69631A66058B961660336847411ABE

Moisture barrier for under the laminate flooring. Got this huge amount for $5 from a ReStore

PicShop-91AF0DE5315EE10EFB79C64DE527CFA4

piecing the moisture barrier together with tape

PicShop-37E3EF5F3BDEF3D2F5D1A81DC86B2313

First few rows are in

PicShop-74F19F86CC3B6F0B4A6ECB6C364AE0EB

going down quickly now…

PicShop-61374395330A746BFF74FB0418904D95

…and done

PicShop-D6CAF71A66060E4554E02F4D1AD0DCCD

some things didn’t go so smoothly but will be held in place by the molding.  It doesn’t overlap like it seems, it’s just sort of sticking up

So all in all it took one day to install the linoleum in the loft, and one day to install the laminate in the main room.  Not too bad, really. :)  Certainly easier than other things have been!

Now I have to figure out what’s next.  I’ll post once I’ve gotten that sorted out.  Till then, enjoy your summer!

Now That I’ve Fixed The Roof

The rain won’t come to let me test to make sure no water’s coming in.  Not that I see how it could, as the entire roof surface, including up the base of the skylight, is completely covered in rubber….  It took about a week to remove the old roof and finish applying the new one.  This is another picture-heavy post to try and illustrate the steps I took. Here goes!

Day 1: Removed the metal roofing, with an assist from my ever-so-helpful neighbors.  The caulking I’d used to try and waterproof it is so sticky, I couldn’t get the front piece out from under the drip edge to the slanted portion.  I needed more muscle to tear it away.  That damaged the drip edge badly enough so that it needed to be replaced.  The new solution works, but it’s not as cute.  Oh well.

PicShop-6AD696D096938AD2ACA98C933B1D6C72

EPDM caulking is applied and hopefully the roof leak is cured (not true, as it turned out)

PicShop-6A22DBF6A5B7CD8F88610EBAF67D6F34

Caulked metal roofing

Days 2:  Painted underlayment plywood with an oil-based primer (I used Zinnser, which is awesome, and very versatile) to allow the liquid rubber roofing a good adhesion.  It took me a while to get used to this stuff, as it doesn’t spread easily, instead needing to be “dragged” by the brush and forced to go where I wanted it.  Each piece took almost an hour to paint. It does dry quickly, so if I hadn’t run out of energy I could have dragged the panels up and started installing them the same day.

PicShop-A5DAF7CB3E097A6CCA98F7334E161663

Thin and smooth, the underlayment I used to cover the original roof sheathing should be easy to handle by myself and also make a good base for the new roofing.

Days 3 and 4:  Glued and screwed down the wood, and covered each hole and crack with butyl tape and polyester cloth.  Working with the butyl was fun, like being in an art class at camp.  It’s like a sticky clay..sort of.  It’s often used on boats, as it’s unbeatably weatherproof, and even holds up if underwater.  It’s also recommended for use with EPDM.  You CANNOT use anything with silicone or that asphalt-impregnated stuff with EPDM.   The polyester cloth wasn’t necessary for the flat surfaces of the roof, but does give the liquid rubber something to grab hold of.  I bought it primarily for the vertical surfaces of the skylight base, which is where the pesky leak was.  I thought it might also be useful for the edges of the new roof, to allow me to cover them and yet keep the stuff from dripping down the new flashing.  It mostly worked.  I did have to wipe off (with mineral spirits) a very few drips.  I also think I’m going to reinforce the edges with uncured EPDM tape, as I want as much protection from low-hanging branches as possible.   This is seriously sticky stuff.  You’ll want to keep it in the fridge before using it on a hot day, trust me.  It cures in the sun over time, just like the liquid EPDM does.

PicShop-4F42C422B1AF956787227AC72C65D9F4

Primered underlayment is secured to the original roof sheathing, and now I’m using the butyl tape and polyester cloth to cover any and all holes, cracks, gaps, and around the edges and up the base of the skylight. The roller is necessary to smooth down the butyl.

PicShop-0A56E6643832F5159E24E782D2160F8F

Filling in the cracks between sheets of underlayment

PicShop-6910DB8B897D7144AFA5B4DBA4FDE327

I took a piece of butyl and rolled it in my hands to make a “snake”, then used the polyester over the top and rolled it smooth

Day 5:  This is really where I needed to take deep breaths, as it was time to open the cans of liquid rubber, and start applying it.  No turning back once the catalyst is added!  I need to warn you, this is potentially very messy.  Especially if you tend towards clumsiness as I do.  I ended up tossing out all the clothing I was wearing that day, including my shoes!  See, you have to use a special mixer on your drill, because liquid rubber is thick and gooey, and it takes a lot of mixing to get the catalyst fully blended in.  What happened to me was, I was standing over the can, mixing away, when suddenly the can itself started twirling on the ground, creating a good-sized geyser of rubber.  That’s how thick it is.  So, wear old clothes, and make sure the can is on a non-slippery surface.  Little insider tip.

Applying it was pretty easy, as it turned out.  You have up to four hours working time. First, dip a brush into the mixed EPDM and cut-in around anything necessary. Then, pour the stuff onto the area you want to cover straight from the can.  Take a squeegee (which you will have to toss afterwards) and spread it as best you can, and then use a good-sized paintbrush and smooth it level.  You will have to toss the brush afterwards, too.  Then, repeat the steps in the next area.  Each gallon covers between 40 and 46 square feet, so it’s recommended you pencil in lines on the working area so you know how far to spread it.  I found that helpful.  You want a finished depth of about 20mm.  I wasn’t working on completely level ground, but it still went OK for me.

PicShop-8E40E343952A8BD569421157D9BE83A7

EPDM is on and drying. Don’t walk on it for at least 12 hours!  The seams show but are just as strong as the rest of the roof.

PicShop-04902B577E4DBDF2D11045673BE437CC

Dried EPDM now needs hot sun to fully cure. This takes weeks, and depends on the weather conditions. It will continue curing whenever the conditions are right.

PicShop-0444761A980D1F6A1EE43547FAD1622F

Rubber-coated skylight base.

So there you have it!  If I could have done this earlier, I would have.  You do need warm, dry conditions, and fully dry materials.  If your area (like mine) offers that rarely, then try to find a workshop or garage to do this in.  It’s worth it, being that it’s relatively inexpensive, easy for a DIY-er, and should last years.  Any rips or tears are extremely easy to fix with either EPDM caulk or uncured EPDM tape.   Oh, and it comes in white and gray, too.  Plus the company will special-order colors for you if that’s your thing.  Good stuff.🙂

I’m off now to hopefully finish painting the interior.  More on that later. o/