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.

I’m Not Alone!

I recently found a great blog, and have been browsing through it for the last few days.  I’ve just found the Best Post Ever there and want to link to it for your enjoyment:

via Houston, We Have a Problem – Wheeling It.

I love this post because I’ve had (too) many monumental issues and goofs this past year, and somewhere along the way lost my sense of humor and even my confidence about it all.  For some reason, reading about this lovely lady’s “incident” has made me feel better about myself ~ always a win!

I  highly recommend you check out her blog Wheeling It if you appreciate a good laugh, even if you aren’t living the Full-Time Mobile Life.   She’s got a way with words and takes great pictures to enjoy. 🙂

No pictures today for this little post. 🙂  Lots coming up for the next Oliver’s Nest update though…stay tuned!

Mostly Moping But A Little Progress

Yeah….Hi, my name is Parker, and I’m a moper.  Do they have a 12-step for that?   All I can say is that depression sucks.  It hasn’t completely gotten the best of me though, and I have gotten things done.  Short post today because I’m still not in a great mood, but I wanted to record my progress.

First off,  the cabover portion is ready for insulation and the 3/4″ plywood subfloor.  Everything is bolted, nailed or screwed firmly together.  One thing I did differently with this area as opposed to the flatbed was to use several layers of fine metal screen mesh over the planks for both keeping the wool inside, and for allowing it to dry if it gets damp.  The mesh will also keep bugs and tiny critters out of the insulation (shudder).  On the flatbed I used metal panels with drip holes.  Another difference is that I used angled metal straps to attach the planks to the joists as another way to ensure they hold together snugly.  I’ve stood on the joists, jumped up and down on the planks, and tried to shift the various pieces, and it’s solid.

Three layers of metal mesh will serve to allow the insulation to breathe, yet keep out nasty critters.

Three layers of metal mesh will serve to allow the insulation to breathe, yet keep out nasty critters.

It doesn't show in this picture, but the metal angles are spaced evenly over the cabover to ensure each plank is attached.

It doesn’t show in this picture, but the metal angles are spaced evenly over the cabover to ensure each plank is attached.

On another subject, I finally checked out the fuel filler hose situation myself today.  Turns out it’s not that big a deal and I’m going to do the fix myself.  The supplies should all arrive by the end of the week at the latest.  This piece from Amazon turned out to be perfect for my needs, and is inexpensive, to boot.  Unfortunately, it’s not long enough so I had to purchase more hose from another company, and some quite expensive couplers.  Still, the total cost of parts will only be about $100, a quarter of the cost to have a shop do it.  Plus of course, there’s the satisfaction of doing it myself!

That’s it for now. hope you are all having a great summer so far 🙂

Digging Deep

***How embarrassing it is to wake up and find you’ve hit “publish” on a half-written, mostly-incoherent, rambling rough draft.  Well!  To those who saw it, please disremember!  I claim being awake for almost 48 hours plus a nice Merlot….***

I’m having trouble with this post.  I’m torn between focusing on the actual, physical build, and my “process” ~ an often confusing mix of inspiration, depression, impulse and frustrating errors.  Maybe it’s different for people who don’t have “issues” to contend with, but needing to get life done while contending with anxiety and depression is a real struggle for me.  I have tasks I NEED to accomplish.  I don’t know the timeline, never having been in this situation before, but obviously at some point I will have to leave and have safe and secure shelter.  Yet, equally strong at times is my inability to get those tasks done due to fear and/or depression.  It’s a quandary.  Yes, I take medications, and they help, but too often not enough to keep me out of bed.  2015 has been a very full year.  At least I’ve been awake for a much greater portion of it than 2013-2014.

To sum up advancements on Oliver’s Nest v.2.0 and other goals:

  • The Beast is up and running great again.  A total blast to drive. 🙂
  • Floor framing on flatbed completed except for bolting it together.  That must wait til the fuel filler ports are moved.
  • Mockup boxes for new fuel filler ports in place.  These will hold the ports until the wall framing is in. They are super rough looking but work as intended.
  • Cabover sleeping area started.  More on this later!
  • Packed up for long-term storage the few things I want to keep but will have no room for in ON.  It’s not a lot of stuff, mostly some books, pictures, artwork I love, and other misc stuff.
  • Pared down my belongings again to the point where in theory it should all fit into Oliver’s Nest when the interior storage is finished.
  • Lost 40 pounds!  Still have 25 to go.

So.  As I’ve already said many times, the wall framing can’t be done until the fuel filler ports are moved (I have the appointment for it still on the books, but after meeting with two super-nice and knowledgeable guys from a local Ford truck club, I want to try to do at least the back one myself.  I’m planning on starting that process today…intimidated but determined).  I have my stack of 2x3s and 2x4s for the walls beside the Beast, ready.  In fact, I have a nice work area set up with everything I (think I) need to get the walls completed.  I’ve decided to go with T1 11 for the sheathing.  It’s strong, reasonably attractive, easy to work with, and affordable.  If I can move the fuel ports myself, I’ll be buying the sheathing this month.  Crossing fingers!

During my organizing/paring push, I unearthed a great find ~ thick slabs of old utility poles I’d forgotten I had.  I dragged them to my new work area, cleaned them up, and cut them into planks.  I used these for the foundation of my cabover sleeping area.  I love using reclaimed materials, and these were free, which makes it even sweeter.  I had to take a selfie once they were in place, laying down in exhaustion but very happy to have gotten this done.  Yes, I am filthy!

There hasn’t been a gratuitous critter pic in quite a while, so I’m posting a shot of huge Leo, who keeps me company while I work.  He’s a rescue I adopted last year, a loving and happy boy.  I was stuck in the nursing home, recovering from my injuries for several months soon after taking him in, and it has taken months to gain his trust after that abandonment.  It feels good to finally have reached a solid friendship with him.  My mother’s cat likewise has adjusted to her absence and my presence.  He definitely is OK now, affectionate and happy and constantly pestering me for attention.  On those days when I can’t get out of bed, he keeps me company.

Now, the pictures. WordPress is not being friendly to me today, so the pictures are a bit disorganized.  Sorry ’bout that.


Screwed down until replacement by actual walls.

The new location will make refueling much easier.

The new location will make refueling much easier.


DIY cutting fence

Some of the rough-cut planks were about 15 feet long by 12" wide.  Heavy stuff.

Some of the rough-cut planks were about 15 feet long by 12″ wide, and an actual 2″ thick. Heavy stuff.


Error! Error! Made my first cut in the wrong place. Don’t have enough of the wood to replace, so making do. It’s still strong, and won’t show once the framing is finished.


Much neater cutting around the metal bracing than down on the bed. Looks good.

Fits nicely.  The gaps are not an issue.

Fits nicely, with some minor gaps. These don’t affect strength at all. This will be the sleeping area, and is 7 1/2′ by 5′. Enough room for a queen mattress, and will have 3′ of headroom, not bad for a Tiny Home.

Resting on the cabover sleeping base, happy :)

Resting on the cabover sleeping base, happy to finally have this process finished.

Next up, framing the subfloor in the cabover.

Next up, framing the subfloor in the cabover.

Big black Leo boy!

Big black Leo boy!

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 🙂


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. 🙂