Wish Me Luck

Hey, I made it halfway to Arizona! The solar system just wanted sun so badly I decided to not head for the ocean first. So far, my truck had a minor breakdown with a $55 bill….and an $850 tow. Wiped out my emergency fund right there, but that’s what it was for, eh? At least my truck is healthy again. Had to get some kinks out of it’s system I guess! The fix was so minor, it was laughable. All the mechanic did was bypass the water extraction thingie and replace it with a bent metal tube. Ah, to know engines….

That was in the Modoc National Forest, in California. The next evening I made it to Reno where I met up with a trucker friend at the Sparks Petro truck stop. Seeing a friend so far from home was great (and weird)! He turned back north and home this morning. But maybe half of the 700 or so drivers here couldn’t go on with their travels due to Interstate 80 closures and chain requirements. That includes little ol’ me. My friend said to me when I asked his opinion about chaining up and going for it, “chains are for getting out of trouble, not going toward it”. Made sense to me!

So here I am, at a huge truck stop in Sparks, Nv. Could be worse; free cable in the tv room, pay showers, laundry facilities, and a safe place to sleep. I’ve made some acquaintances, which is rare for me, so there’s company if I want it. Much nicer than being stranded at the side of the road on a lonely highway, that’s for sure!  Thanks for the memories, California!

But I’d like to continue my journey south. Weather patterns are looking bad through the weekend, so I might be stuck here for days. Please, think thoughts of clear, warm days here for me, and all the other drivers trapped here. 😀 We’d appreciate it.

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! 

Thoughts in the Dark

I woke up around 3 am this morning. Too many thoughts going on in my head interfering with my sleep, probably.  But it’s warm in here thanks to my little heater and the abundance of on-grid electricity,  so I got up, made some coffee, and read some blogs written by other people already living the life I’m soon to dive into myself.  Not a bad start to the day.
I’m not afraid today. Not yet, at least. Instead, I have that nowadays rare thing called peace of mind.  Even a tiny bit of confidence.   Used to be I had that in spades.  I miss those days. Refinding that confidence, in myself, that things will work out, that I’ll handle whatever comes up, is my primary goal for the foreseeable future. How I lost it is a long and winding path of a story, and probably not of much interest to anyone, so I’ll just say life got really tough and I couldn’t take it any more.
But it’s been several years since most of those difficult situations had any bearing, and my present status is all of my OWN making.  “I” made the decisions that got me to this reality. That realization and distinction is important. See, it means that I am steering my little ship, not someone else, and especially not the someones who cared not a bit about me or my life or my needs. Or even a someone who does care, but doesn’t understand me, so makes things much worse by their attempts to help. That wouldn’t have been such a problem except that control over my life was part of the caring package.
So. I’d say I’m at a crossroad,  except I come to them so often that they are just another intersection. Nothing momentous in this moment, only when looking back, if I do make a profound change. Won’t know until  the dust settles.

A Great Post On Stuff

I was directed to a nice summation on viewing out possessions by The Tiny Life.  I’m still sorting through and deleting items from my “keep” pile, so it seems appropriate to link it here.  I especially like the bit about hanging on to dreams through things.  I hope you enjoy it, too. 🙂

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This is merely one room of stuff I had to go through when my mother passed away. Now add my own things in and use your imagination. Fun times!?

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My closet in Oliver’s Nest, still stuffed full of so very many things.  

 

Click here to see the original post over at Mostly Mindful.

Hiatus

Same old, same old.  Weather is keeping me idle, at least as far as building is concerned.  I’ve been keeping an eye on the tarp, and it’s holding, thank goodness!  So the interior is basically dry for when it warms up and I can glue and otherwise lay stuff down on the roof. 🙂

I have been struggling with my mood disorder for a while now….I do believe the inactivity is contributing to the problem.  It’s a hard road sometimes, isn’t it?

I hope your holiday have been wonderful and will continue to be wonderful.

Take care,

Parker

For Lack Of A 2×3….

Oliver’s Nest is this close to having a complete “roof” on it, well, not The Roof, just enough of one to allow easy tarping for any bad weather.  Except for needing a 2×3 for the angled portion in the cabover section, which I need in order to pre-prepare for the second planned skylight.  I could scrounge up enough change to purchase one, but I’m thinking that maybe I should put on another layer of paint, instead.  Also, I need a few more bits and pieces of lumber and plywood, so I feel I should save the gas money for buying it all at once.

I don’t really like to paint.  It’s messy and time-consuming.  So being “forced” to do it is maybe a good thing?  Plus, I can use up a 5 gallon lot of green paint for the under layers, using the gray as the final layer/s (I do NOT want a green house on a red truck.  I am not sorry).  I finally compiled all the painting supplies around this place and I have a ton of it.  Here’s the chance to put it to use!  I hate wasting things, and it’s here…even if I don’t particularly enjoy using it.  There are a lot of rollers, which should make this go faster than the brush I was using before.  I hope. 😉

The kitchen and family rooms are nearly empty.  I ran into a nice group of girls a few days ago who need stuff for their new home.  They happily took piles and piles of things, including nearly all of the Christmas stuff (there was so very much), pet supplies (mostly my mother’s), heaps of kitchen gadgets and dishware, lots picture frames, a bunch of vases, and a wing back chair.  Starting to get a picture of what I was dealing with yet?   It’s starting to feel spacious and … peaceful here.  I admit that some of the stuff that they took

Yeah, yeah, I know.  Gaps.  It's not finished yet. :)  The flashing has been pounded flat to enable the T1-11 and the windows to lay flat on the underlying plywood.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Gaps. It’s not finished yet. 🙂 The flashing has been pounded flat to enable the T1-11 and the windows to lay flat on the underlying plywood.

Doesn't look as weird now.  Can't wait for the two windows and the sheathing to go up!

Doesn’t look as weird now. Can’t wait for the two windows and the sheathing to go up!  The Beast is so tall that my head barely tops the hood. 😀

was mine, and what a relief to have it be gone!  I’m getting close to figuring out what I have room for in O.N. and getting it all organized.  I think I still have too much set aside, but with all this newly-acquired space to work with, I am now able to have it out and see what I really need.  Plus, it’s stuff I really like. 🙂

Wrote This Yesterday, Too Tired To Post It. LONG!

Recent rain has suited my mood perfectly. Gloomy through and through. The truck was covered by several tarps “just in case”, so at least I didn’t have to worry about it too…or so I thought. I guess a bit of wind must have picked up, and pulled the top tarp askew, allowing water access to the unprotected roof sheathing. Water made it’s way down through the wool insulation and into the ceiling. Sigh…but no permanent damage done. Wool is very forgiving. When sunshine peeked through yesterday, I pulled the tarp off to allow drying to start. According to Weatherbug, no more rain is predicted for a few days so I’ll leave the roof uncovered as long as possible.
My aching body and hand appreciate the break.
No laying around for me though! I’ve been using the indoor time to once again sort through the many piles of stuff I accumulated for the original Oliver’s Nest. It’s a bittersweet time, seeing the cool supplies for that build, many of which aren’t needed for the much smaller truck house. It’s doubtful i’ll manage to hang on to the trailer house, so I’m letting go of things I worked for years to gather. Hopefully there are people out there who can put them to good use. 😐 There’s always the option to re-donate items to a ReStore. I refuse to just dump them.
Of course, now if I need something for this build, it’s now easy to find. A huge plus.
Anyway, I now have a well organized and equipped tool box, my beading supplies are fitted into their own tool box, all the motorcycle gear is contained and ready for transferring to an eventual built-in, I’ve pared down clothing to fit into the space allotted, and on and so on. Still to go is going through all the kitchen supplies to get them down to an amount that will fit into my much-smaller kitchen space. That will be painful! I love to cook, both indoors and outdoors, which takes different equipment. I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t need all the specialty items I’d planned on. Just the basics! Well, I’m going to try to sneak in a few cool things. 😆
Another large and potentially painful project is letting go of a huge amount of computer and other electronic goodies. As an old computer builder and wannabe geek, hanging on to potentially useful bits and pieces is second nature. That simply won’t work. There are many used computer repair shops in town I’ll be donating supplies to.
I’m working my way through the food supplies as I have a ton of it in standby. Lots of interesting meals as a result again! I’m working towards eating the high fat, mid protein, low carb diet as soon as my cupboards are bare. Should be interesting on the road…. But some health issues dictate I try.
What else, what else… Ah. I made two templates for the skylights to try out placement of them. The actual skylights are HEAVY so I’m not interested in hefting them around 11 feet off the ground. I’ve fallen once and that’s plenty! What am I using for the skylights? Those beautiful old French doors. They are solid oak and I’m going over them pane by pane ensuring each seam is tight and well sealed. Once I have the funds I’m going to cover them with polycarbonate plastic sheets, well sealed. This is very strong stuff with the only downside that it scratches fairly easily. As the goal here is to protect the glass and to help keep water out, I can live with some possible marring. A little secret: I want at least the rear-most skylight to be able to open up towards the back end of the truck. That’ll allow easy access to the roof and more air flow inside. Unsure if the other skylight will open. The two front windows definitely will, and I’m excited about being able to sit on my bed but be mostly outside! Great emergency exit to the hood, too. So very many plans! Hold good thoughts that I will have at least another year here, OK? At my pace, I’ll need it! 😁
To end this rather lengthy update, I’ll fill you in on my current adventure. I’m writing this while sitting on a curb at a local store (looking for heavy-duty hinges), waiting for a tow truck to carry my little scooter home. I tried to get away with using her while gathering funds for her repair, which apparently was a bad idea! Yay, me!
Here’s hoping your day is going more smoothly than mine. 😉

What's going on here is that I've started framing in the two front windows and one of the skylights.  Lots and lots of glue!

What’s going on here is that I’ve started framing in the two front windows and one of the skylights. Lots and lots of glue!

Another Death In My Family

Harriet's favorite perch when we lived in the tiny tuck bed camper was the top of my coffee maker, especially when it was hot.  She always found the warm spots first, where ever we lived.

Harriet’s favorite perch when we lived in the tiny tuck bed camper was the top of my coffee maker, especially when it was hot. She always found the warm spots first, where ever we lived.

I’ve been working on Oliver’s Nest most every day, but with the recent death of the last of my furry triplets ~ this time Harriet ~ I just haven’t felt like posting.  I’ll do a big update soon though, promise.

Be well and keep your loved ones close.

Rain, Sun, Rain, Sun, Aaaagghhhh

It’s hard to know if it’s safe to paint when the weather is so variable, so I’m going through all my supplies again.  Lately I’ve spent a lot of time on Full-Time RVer sites, which now is close to my future plans.  The good ones go into great detail about what supplies and equipment they have found invaluable, and the list isn’t quite the same as a homesteader’s requirements.  With that, I will likely make some changes to what I’m going to bring along.  Luckily (well, unsurprising, considering how much stuff I have laying around) most of the recommended items are already here…somewhere!

I am now going to make an admission that I’ve kept hidden previously:  my mother was a hoarder, and I caught a little of that bug myself.  Thankfully, I’m a clean person who prefers a clean surrounding.  Therefore, all my own stuff is in tidy, but large, piles.  My mother wasn’t so much that way, and I’ve spent a huge amount of time going through all her things and cleaning.  At least she had a taste for nice things, so I’ve been able to sell much of it to help fund my project.  It does get tiring though, and lately I haven’t taken time to organize and sell more things.  I’m running out of money again so as the rainy season gets under way, I can add that to my “indoor jobs” list.

But, I need the rain to stay away for at least another week or two!  Building in the wet doesn’t seem optimal, and I’m not sure it’s even possible to paint in the rain.  I’m afraid I’ll find out. 😦  The roof still needs it’s coat of rubber, but that has to wait until all the skylights, windows, and the last of the roof itself is in.  The rubber *must* go on in decent weather.  Yikes!

I did manage to caulk all of the walls that are up, including sealing a couple seams I feel aren’t tight enough.  I used three different products for this:  Liquid Nails Extreme Heavy Duty, M-1 Structural Adhesive/Sealant, and Dap Dynaflex 230 Premium Indoor/Outdoor Sealant.  I used the Dap product on the screws and nails in order to secure them and to hide them for painting, and the other two for making sure suspect wood joins are strong.  That M-1 stuff is sooo sticky!  It took all of my strength to force it out of the tube!  It stays quite stretchy after drying, which in this use is a good thing.  It works in moist weather, which is another good thing. 🙂

Total cost of these three items was $3.00.  Two of the tubes were donated to my project, and the third I purchased (unopened) from a local ReStore.

Total cost of these three items was $3.00. Two of the tubes were donated to my project, and the third I purchased (unopened) from a local ReStore.

As I tried to place the screws evenly, it was quite easy to find them all, and caulking took all of an hour.  So nice to have something go well!

Ready to paint now.

Ready to paint now that the screws are caulked and the seams are sealed.

If the sky looks at all promising tomorrow, I plan on putting on the first coat of paint.  I was unable to find exterior primer, but with 5 gallons at my disposal, I should (hopefully) have enough paint to make several coats so the walls look good.  I hope latex paint likes moist weather….

The Beast tarped all over in case of rain.  Just little showers so far.

The Beast tarped all over in case of rain. Just little showers so far.

Tonight I will start the “fun” project of applying stripper to the windows.  Regardless of the claims that it’s safe to use indoors, I’m going to do it in a separate room with the window wide open.  I don’t want any fumes to go throughout the house, both for my sake and my furry friends.

My latest purchases, made after a marathon 3-days of research, were these: a 2-input monitor, this camera, and this camera.  Both cameras are very similar, so I got one of each to compare.  I love the options on them!  So hoping I am able to manage the installation myself, as otherwise it’ll have to wait until I gather a little more moola. 🙂  So much to do!

Hope you are all busy with fun projects too.