Posting on a Mobile Device is HARD (but that’s not what this post is about)

I am deeply touched that a couple people have contacted me since my last post, checking in to ask if I’m doing ok. As a very solitary person, I’m not used to that! I used to rebel against having to check in with family and significant others, which confused and angered them. Not at all my intention, of course. I was raised by a working, single mom back when that wasn’t as common, and naturally was on my own most of the time. I’ve read that the term “dorky” might have come from “door-key” (aka latch-key) kid, which makes me chuckle. It would be true in more than one sense in my case!  Hehe.

I took a city bus home from my grade school across town, as it was a better school than my local one. (I remember one afternoon I took the wrong bus and how scared and confused I was! I believe that was when I was in the third or fourth grade.) Add in first a bike then later a pony, and I was everywhere other than at home, sometimes with other kids and sometimes alone. I became fiercely independent and adventurous…qualities not easy to combine with trying to build a life with others, especially someone you’re romantically involved with.

But time has mellowed me, or maybe I finally have enough solitude in a regular basis to appreciate being connected to others. The first message I received surprised me. The second made me stop and think about my connection to people. It doesn’t matter anymore if your friends are right where you are. The internet, and probably especially smartphones, has made friendships seriously viable across the globe. For a mostly-loner like me, that opens up wonderful options for connection. It also means I have a responsibility to keep people up to date. This might prove to be troublesome, depending on my mood, but it’s overall a Good Thing. I don’t hate people – I’m not alone for that reason. So, thanks for reaching out to me. Thanks for saying hi. The little things do matter. I’m good, btw. 😃

Here’s me and my boy, taken yesterday after doing a last adjustment on my scooter carrier. I have some bruises today (need to get comfortable putting my green baby up there) but with this task done I’m ready to hit the road!

He’s a handsome one, eh? Learned patience and tolerance from growing up with a crazy mom. Yay? Silver linings and all that.

One last thing today. My scooter is very important to me. She gives me a somewhat similar feeling to riding a horse, gets an incredible 90+ mpg, and is useful for local trips and errands. I would not be able to finance replacement if she were lost to me. So the very last thing to do yesterday was figure out how to (hopefully) deter her theft. A braided wire cable locked with an uncuttable lock is now wrapped around her belly and the carrier. I also have a movement-triggered alarm to put on her at night. Chances are I’d hear anyone messing with her or the truck anyway, but I figure startling a prowler can’t be a bad idea. I also have a motion-activated light to help convince people to move along. And a bad temper towards anyone messing with my stuff.  Given I literally chased away two attacking Komodors (I used to work with dos for a living and am definitely an Alpha) from a friend’s dog I was walking, I think I can be scary when necessary. I’ve been approached by unsavory men trying to intimidate me and scared them off too. So, funnily enough it’s my stuff rather than my person I worry about. I’m awkward in social situations, but don’t mess with me. Grrrr! 

How To Donate To My Cause (If You Are So Inclined)

A couple of lovely people have spoken to me more than once about giving followers a chance to donate money to me.  I’ve been resistant, but….I’ve decided it won’t hurt to put the information out there, at least I hope not!  What with the Beast needing a little trip to the shop, and my scooter being semi-wrecked, and building Oliver’s Nest, and, you know, life, maybe it’s a good idea.  So, if you wish to donate, please look over at the right-hand side and you will see a Paypal “Donate” button there.

Please don’t feel I am asking you to support me monetarily, this is available only if YOU wish too! 🙂

paypal.me/coffeewitholiver

Be well!

Still Awaiting Batteries, But Found My Kitchen Cabinets

So I’ve done a possibly bad thing, but for a good reason.  My terrific Insurance company sent me the check to fix my poor lil scooter, and I’ve gone and used some of the money for Oliver’s Nest.  I have time to get Saxith (yes, I name all my vehicles) fixed, but I don’t know if I have a lot of time to get my truck house finished.  Seems like a no-brainer to do what is the most important *now* and wait on the rest.

I was at another local ReStore yesterday looking for exterior primer, and found the perfect kitchen cabinets, and after measuring and thinking (I even finally sat right down on the floor in contemplation, LOL), went for it and bought them.  They are in perfect condition and are the perfect size to hold most of my kitchen goods, minus food and large equipment, which I’ll keep in a separate pantry area.  They are likely from an older home, as they are old-fashioned looking, with lovely glass-front doors.  The hinges are loose and need adjusting, but undamaged.  Of course they could use a new paint job.  I really like the small, rounded shelves at the ends  Here’s a picture of the upper cabinets:

This section is 13" deep and 30" tall, giving a respectable 16" between it's bottom and the countertop below.

This section is 13″ deep and 30″ tall, giving a respectable 16″ between it’s bottom and the counter top below.  Normally there is an 18″ space, but everything is smaller in Oliver’s Nest.

The other section is technically also an upper cabinet, but will instead sit down on the floor, on a base I’ll build.  This section is a corner unit, 24″ by 24″ with another set of little shelves attached on the left side.  I’ll have to remove the top shelf and part of the left-hand top of the main cabinet as the sink will sit directly above and is fairly deep  All the pots/pans/smaller cooking supplies will fit.Here’s what this part looks like:

Once set on a short base, this cabinet will tuck under the counter sink, on the floor.  I might even create a flat pan/cutting board storage in the base.

Once set on a short base, this cabinet will tuck under the counter sink, on the floor. I might even create a flat pan/cutting board storage in the base.

This view was taken standing behind the cabinet.  The flat part along the upper side is the glass-front doors.

This view was taken standing behind the cabinet. The flat part with the blue tape is the glass-front cabinet doors.

I’m also doing research on backup cameras, as I have zero visibility behind me.  The Beast is wider than most other vehicles, which means I simply don’t see them behind me unless they cast a shadow….not good!  Changing lanes is “thrilling”, and backing up is downright frightening.  Wide field-of-view, low-light/infrared cameras are available for very little cost, and as there’s no stereo installed anyway, I’ll just look for one that has a monitor included that can be used to show the camera’s view.  I don’t know how to tell if the truck needs new speakers.  It doesn’t make sense to get a whole system and not be able to use a major function, so I’ll look for good quality speakers on sale, just in case.  I don’t know how to install any of this, but will give it a go to save on installation costs. If anyone out there has recommendations on any of this electronic stuff, please feel free to share. 🙂

Oh, I want to mention that the rerouted fuel intakes are working as intended.  I filled the front tank a few days ago and the flow was smoother and faster, and no leaks.  Phew.  Thank you, Son, for your help there, I couldn’t have done it without you!

So it’s off to paint I go.  This is all so exciting to me!

May your day go well ~

Parker

Hard To Post Lately.

Why has it been hard?  Two reasons:  the first is that I was scared off the road on my scooter by a *very* close encounter with a deer and crashed, and the second is my old nemesis, my mood disorder.  I’ve decided to try powering through that, and despite being a bit smooshed from the accident, have gotten a bunch done.  This will be a picture-heavy post because my hand hurts 🙂

Thank goodness for insurance!

Thank goodness for insurance!

The trade-off for light weight is plastic body panels that crack and break easily.

The trade-off for light weight is plastic body panels that crack and break easily.

To keep this post safe for everyone I won't show ALL my damaged bits!

To keep this post safe for everyone I won’t show ALL my damaged bits!

I sprained my ankle and one of my fingers.  Ouch.

I sprained my ankle and one of my fingers. Ouch.

Done, Done, Done!

Front fuel line mod is now Done, Done, Done!

Having something to trace the proper curve really helped.  Freestyle tends to get me into trouble!

Having something to trace the proper curve really helped. Freestyle tends to get me into trouble!

Still to be done is framing for the windows on the rear, and all the very front and roof framing.

Still to be done is framing for the windows on the rear, and all the very front and roof framing.

Tried to get a good picture of my pup but he wouldn't stay still. :)

Tried to get a good picture of my pup Hank but he wouldn’t stay still. 🙂

Tried to get a nice pic of Leo too, but he wanted to head-butt me instead....

Tried to get a nice pic of Leo too, but he wanted to head-butt me instead….

He finally stood still for me!  I love that he keeps me company while I work (and swear, and cry, and finally fist-pump when I get something done).

He finally stood still for me! I love that he keeps me company while I work (and swear, and cry, and finally fist-pump when I get something done).

Insulation Medley, Anyone?

I have multiple boxes of sheep wool insulation that completely slipped my mind.  I dragged one out of storage, cracked it open, and BOOM, more insulation than I even needed to finish filling the floor.  So that makes it four different types of insulation in there: Polyisocyanurate, a different kind of rigid foam board, Roxul, and wool.  Kinda makes me smile, but it’ll work just fine.  Dragged up and cut to size one of the 3/4″ plywood sheets, but then realized I’d forgotten to sand down some uneven spots.  Sigh.  Back on the scooter to the local big box store for sandpaper to fit my little powered sander.  Now it’s too dark to work, so I thought I’d throw on a quick update.  Raring to get out there first thing in the morning to finish up the sub-floor so I can finally start on the walls.  That’s when it looks like an actual build is happening.

Met my first “travelers” today, by happy chance.  We chatted for a while, and exchanged emails as they know of some great places to camp and stay for longer periods of time.  It was pretty cool to talk to people who are already doing what I’m just planning…makes it more real…or something.

Tomorrow is also (hopefully) Beast repair day, as I’m going to take the batteries to my mechanic to see if he won’t start due to a problem with them, or if it’s maybe the alternator or cables or whatever magical mechanical thing is keeping him stuck.  Those batteries are huge…it’s going to be super fun taking them on my scooter…but I’ll figure out a way.  After all, she’s carried 10 foot long pipes, big boxes of random stuff, and even a window home once.  I love that scooter.  Ted (the mechanic) is also going to help me figure out how to reroute the fuel lines to the tanks, as the fillers reside on the bed now, which obviously won’t work.  I think I love Ted, too. 🙂

Pics of the day:

This is what sheep's wool insulation looks like.  Pretty much like sheep wool :p

This is what sheep’s wool insulation looks like. Pretty much like sheep wool :p

Inconvenient spot to fill your tank, believe me.

Inconvenient spot to fill your tank, believe me.  Apparently typical location on flatbeds.  I have two of these to reroute.

A little dusty to work with, but not toxic in any way, and super effective insulation.

A little dusty to work with, but not toxic in any way, and super effective insulation.

Still Going Tiny (Picture Heavy)

My new Tiny Home in process.  Heavy metal bracing to support the build safely and securely.

My new Tiny Home in process. Heavy metal bracing to support the build safely and securely.

The bed is a full 8 by 10 feet, and the cabover frame is 8 by 5 ft.  Plenty of room for a Tiny Home.

The bed is a full 8 by 10 feet, and the cab-over frame is 8 by 5 ft. Plenty of room for a Tiny Home.

I haven’t given up.  I can’t give up.  My mother’s passing left me with nowhere to live while finishing up my Tiny Home, and I need a place to live, right?

Since the Original Oliver’s Nest isn’t even close to being liveable, I turned my attention to the truck I purchased to tow it….he (yeah, I know vehicles are normally a “she” but look at this beast!) is going to be transformed into the new version of Oliver’s Nest. I’ve even named it; meet Buster Poindexter the truck, also known as The Tonka (named by the guys who generously welded on the supports, created huge watertight storage boxes, and fixed the hole in the floor on the driver’s side).

I spent ALL of the money I made selling stuff in the house, plus did some bartering, to get the truck fixed up and welded, and to buy a cool hitch-mounted scooter carrier.  Here’s the link for what I bought: http://www.discountramps.com/tiltingmotorcyclerack/p/ACR-MOTORCYCLE-CARRIER/   I purchased the 410ACR, the 400 pound capacity carrier.  I had to really do my research to make sure I got something that is compatible with a scooter as opposed to a motorcycle.  The engine placement and the width of my Genuine Buddy are different than any motorcycle and some ramps simply won’t work.  This one should make it possible for me to load and unload my scooter by myself on the road.  I decided to go with a hitch-mounted carrier instead of a trailer to make parking easier.  If I owned one of those great, fully enclosed metal toy haulers, I’d have used it for its added storage capacity, but my solution is simple and elegant.  Here’s some pics I pulled from the web showing the ramp:

Saxith (my scooter) will fit snugly and safely behind Oliver's nest on this carrier.

My scooter will fit snugly and safely behind Oliver’s Nest on this carrier.

410ACR tilting rack

It’s lightweight enough for me to handle by myself. Important for a woman living alone on the road.

2008 125cc Genuine Buddy

Saxith, my 125cc Genuine Buddy scooter that frees me to travel without taking my home with me 🙂

ANYWAY!

Back to my revised Tiny Home plans. While Poindexter the truck was being welded by my awesome new friends Zack and Patrick, I worked on the framing and interior plans.  Here’s what the rough sketches look like:

Everything I need to live.  the bed area isn't shown, but will be 7 1/2' by 5

Everything I need to live. the bed area isn’t shown, but will be 7 1/2′ by 5″, over the cab.

Framing Diagram

Compared to the original Oliver’s Nest, this framing is simple! Going to use lots of metal strapping as this home will be extremely mobile.

It’s hard to see, but basically the shower/toilet area is in the upper left corner, the kitchen in the lower left area, the HUGE closet takes up the upper right, and the pantry, bench storage and steps are located in the lower right.  The entry goes between the pantry and the kitchen (on the passenger side).  a 40 gallon fresh water tank will sit under the kitchen counter, and I haven’t decided yet on the type of toilet I’ll use.

The framing will be done in two parts, a lower, “permanent” truck bed with insulated floor and walls, and an upper “canopy” that will likewise be fully insulated, and where all the windows will be located.  I am making it so the canopy can be removed to sit on jack stands if necessary, but as this will be my house for an extended period of time, removing it isn’t really a concern.

In between selling off stuff to fund my future, sketching plans, and dealing with some severe anxiety about life in general, I’ve had to go through my belongings to pare down even more.  I still have things I will keep in storage for the future, but even those have been reduced.  I probably won’t live on the road forever, and I hope to have a little place to hang some family pictures in some gorgeous old frames, and I have some books I just can’t part with, and would be very difficult to replace.  Craigslist, Half.com and Ebay are my friends in this downsizing.  I found that some of the books I am selling go for several hundred dollars each!  I’m glad I got to read them, and now they can be sold to help me financially and help someone else learn.  That works for me.

This is a long and picture-heavy post, I know, but so much is going on!  I could even continue, but I’ll save it for another day and another post.  I hope my current situation and solution is helpful to someone out there….as an alternative to being homeless or being trapped in a crummy rental place.

Peace, my friends. 🙂