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! 

Fear Management

There have been so many aspects of this new life to get a grasp on in the last three or so months, that noting them has to take a back seat.  Unfortunately that means that some things I’d like to remember in the future will probably be lost, but I do what I can.  Combine a piss-poor memory with anxiety, a complete makeover in lifestyle and helpful/unhelpful medications, and you lose things along the way.  It’s ok.

As of yesterday, I have marching orders to vacate by February 20th of this year.  That puts the move out squarely in the uncertain weather category.  Around here, snow and ice aren’t unheard of through the end of March. Given, understandably I think, that I don’t want to attempt mountain passes under those circumstances, I’ll be looking for a safe place to hang out til it seems certain that roads are clear.  

Luckily, I was steered towards going to the Long Beach (ocean) area, where there are several year-round RV parks.  Paying to park is not my first choice, but options are limited and hopefully I only need a month or so there.  Honestly, staying by the ocean sounds wonderful! This rig has weathered several windstorm with barely any indication inside that anything exciting was going on outside…other than the incredible booming BONK when a pine cone hits the roof, or especially the skylight. It’s impressive how high both Leo and I can jump when we’re startled.

In any case, the ocean beaches will probably be our home soon. Leo will be learning how to walk on a leash there. Sort of throwing him into the deep end. I figure there shouldn’t be many people walking their pups this time of year, so he can get his freak out on with only me and the gulls to witness.

Raining, Pouring

creative_wallpaper_rain_021048___large….And it’s official.  Oliver’s Nest is weather-proof.

To put this in perspective, the rainfall so far this month (16 days in) has been over 6 inches (according to the National Weather Service), plus high winds and lightning.  Apparently we got hit by the remnants of Typhoon Songda, and it’s been a great test.  Not that a lot of rain is unusual for us here.  See that picture?  It’s from VisitOlympia.com.  We don’t shy away from our weather here.

The house didn’t move.  Shoot, it moves more when I walk around in it. I did however jump a few times from the drum-like BOOM of pine cones and sticks hitting the roof.  I thought a huge branch must have hit when I heard it the first time, then I realized it’s just the shape of the build amplifying the sound.  And the rain fell so hard at times I couldn’t hear the Grey’s Anatomy episode I was watching…had to put on subtitles. 😀  But the Frankenstein’s Monster of a skylight didn’t leak.  Not air, not water.  All it let through was the pretty light show of the electrical storm.

I haven’t been updating as much recently.  Please bear with me, as my mood disorder has me a bit on the ropes.

 

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.

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

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

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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:

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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:

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The colors!

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A cool blend on the side walls

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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:

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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. 🙂

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

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

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Reflectix laid down on the loft floor

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Covering the Reflectix with the mystery green stuff

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

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

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Somewhat uneven subfloor in the main room

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Underlayment glued and screwed down. Nice and level now!

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

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piecing the moisture barrier together with tape

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First few rows are in

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going down quickly now…

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…and done

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Filling in the cracks between sheets of underlayment

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/