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.

PicShop-837946DE9207C242ECDFDAF644AEDD22

Screwed down until replacement by actual walls.

The new location will make refueling much easier.

The new location will make refueling much easier.

PicShop-3F10D48DFAE1CB121EC97FE25116EEF7

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.

PicShop-DA66D6154122FFBEF26F822CD869B4D9

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.

PicShop-51C2917AFAC8D6DEB3E4FABB20083844

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 🙂

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. 🙂

Have Fun While You Work Towards The Future You Desire

The ankle feels mostly better, and the shoulder no longer feels like it’s partially detached (at least not most of the time), so I think it’s healing too.  Been taking brisk walks with my pup Hank to get some exercise and fresh air, and to look at how other people make their homes “homey”.  Just to get new ideas.  I love to think and plan how my place will look, and to consider different setups for the exterior gardens and such.  The town I live in has one of the most progressive colleges in the States ~ The Evergreen State College ~ and the students (“Greeners”) tend to live an interesting mixture of wholesome and anything-goes living.  There are a lot of front-yard food gardens, chickens, rabbits for meat, and DIY projects for simple or even off-grid living.

So, I enjoy looking at what other folk are doing.

Given that the snow levels on my property get to an easy 4-plus feet, being able to get around to do chores easily is high on my list of priorities.  Plus, living in such a small space while potentially snowed-in and unable to get to civilization for weeks on end mean I need to plan for cabin fever.  Luckily I love reading and have a guitar I am slowly learning to play, and like to do lots of fiddly little crafts like jewelry making.  Oh, and never forget gaming.  Love a good pc or console game.

Anyway, as I was saying, I’ve been sketching out ideas for where/how to set up a greenhouse or two, the enclosures I’ll need for my rabbits and chickens, and of course, my horse and the few sheep I plan to raise.  I’m thinking about essential stuff like where will the compost pile be?  Where will the outhouse be?  How will I get to the different animals easily so as to care for them in inclement weather?  Now that Oliver’s Nest design is fairly set, it’s been fun to turn to these other puzzles.

So, I’m keeping myself entertained while healing up and waiting for good building weather to roll around again.  I missed my deadline this year, but next year will do just fine.

Peace to everyone.

So, How It Is.

I haven’t posted in quite a while because I haven’t done any work on the house, what with practically breaking my foot off and all.  Not sure if I already mentioned it, but turns out I hurt that left shoulder pretty badly too, and it’s still bugging me.  Getting better though, and I know it will heal perfectly fine!  I do believe in “thinking” our bodies into health, along with doing all the regular stuff.  I’m following the physical and occupational therapists’ recommendations and instructions, taking super-duper pain pills, and taking it easy, but I’m also thinking about the future I am reaching for.  I’m thinking about the present that I want to live.  I’m doing my best to accept what happened and keep staying positive.

Seriously. Don’t take chances that could damage your body.  Get help.  Use the right tools the right way.  Follow safety instructions.  I screwed up my plans – and to a small and non-permanent way my life – by thinking that the warning on the ladder not to stand on the very top wasn’t for me….I’m pretty smart and capable, all that stuff, but also, I’m indestructible.   Hah!

I’m still living in a very Tiny trailer, less square footage than Oliver’s Nest will have.   After my Oliver died, the place seemed a little big and empty to me, but time is passing and I’m OK and glad he was in my life.  Only real animal people get that, and everyone else just chalks it up to me being crazy.  That’s cool!

One last thing I want to mention so I don’t ever forget ~ an old boyfriend of mine, from years ago, came over and wrapped Oliver’s Nest up for the winter for  me, unasked.  How kind is that?   Like a big, half-finished Christmas present, really.

Cheers!

A Response To A Thought-Provoking Post

Over at a Laptop And A Rifle,  there is a very interesting post about the death/avoidance of adulthood.  I was inspired to write a response that is practically a treatise, and thought I’d post it here as well.  It sums up much of why I’m on this journey.  The link is to his post:

http://laptopandarifle.com/2014/10/14/thoughts-on-the-death-or-avoidance-of-adulthood/#comment-3521

And here is my response:

Fascinating. I have often thought of how I’m not “grown-up”, even though I’m in my late 40’s. I think I straddle the two generations ~ the one that valued stability and family over all else, and the one that values freedom of action and thought, even while battling a system that nearly guarantees financial failure. It’s an interesting view.

Unlike you, my childhood taught me to think for myself, but at the same time to fear non-conformity. To quite an extent, I raised myself (latchkey kid) in a time when that was rare. I suppose our parent’s desire/need to take care of us financially in an economic down-turn was the breaking point for the next generation ~ we grew up watching them struggle, both parents often working while we stayed home alone, seeing the difficulty and sadness of that life.

I am building a Tiny Home on a trailer to tow to my own property in the wilderness, miles from even the tiniest township. I know this decision scares my 25 year old son, but also impresses him with the idea of choice. There is a purpose right there. I want to live lightly on my property, therefor leading by example. It don’t plan to do much more than care for my 20 acres ~ thinning out stands of trees that were planted for lumber then neglected, for example, to allow them to grow more healthy. There is another purpose.

I too would love to meet someone compatible and live with love in my life, but so far I haven’t met anyone who can both cope with my mental health disorder and live the type of life I desire. Even one of those stipulations is hard enough! Instead, I plan on inviting someone to live on my property in their own little home. This is to continue learning how to be comfortable with other people and to have support and help when needed (and give it, of course). That’s yet another purpose.

Maybe I don’t live like a typical “adult”, but I think my life plans are worthwhile and meaningful, which is a good definition of acting mature.

Parker