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! 

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.

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 ~



Finally I have come upon an easy task!

It turns out that sanding, at least with a powered sander, is eeeaaasssyyy. Yay! It’s gratifiying to see changes so quickly, with so little effort. Caulking the screw holes and edges with silicone is easy too. It’s been a nice few days. The roof is now ready for some love with the liquid EPDM. I remembered why I bought it ~ It’s for smoothing over anything that could possibly tear the sheet of rubber roofing. The silicone was fantastic for that too, but I want to make absolutely sure that this roof WORKS. I have a slight fear of the silicone not staying adhered, although that’s probably silly.
Another fun part of this stage in the roof is that I can switch back and forth between different tasks. The fascia is now painted ~ a pretty, soft powdery yellow that was left over from painting my mother’s house. I picked it out for her originally, and just love it…no matter how gloomy it is, the yellow glows with a cheerful light. I don’t want seams to show in the fascia, so cut them at an angle where they will join. According to a contractor I met, angles are hard for the eye to detect…I vaguely remember learning something like that back when I worked at State Farm. So much information is roaming in the depths of my poor, jumbled brain…. He also suggested I sister a painted bit of wood behind the joined edges to make them strong. That was easy ~ I just used the angled cut-off bits. They are already painted, and are exactly the right size. They are sitting now, glued and clamped together, waiting to be hung. Phew!
While waiting for the various caulks, paints, and glues to dry, I managed to hang more sheathing. Handling plywood has been the most difficult part of this whole process. There isn’t anything fun about it at all ~ the stuff is heavy, awkward, and splintery. I hate it. At least there’s immediate gratification to see the house getting enclosed. If I had someone working with me, it would be tremendously easier. Working alone has drawbacks.
Working alone. Yes, there are drawbacks. Tasks take much longer alone than with help. That’s the biggie. It can be dangerous, as no one is around if I get hurt. That should be the biggie for me, but I’m used to being alone so don’t think about it too much. There isn’t anyone to bounce ideas off of when I get stuck. Something that I am a little embarrassed to admit is that it’s a bummer to not have anyone to high-five over achievements….nobody to admire Oliver’s Nest but me. Recording my progress here is helping with that. Being able to go back and re-read how ON was put together by me…well, this way it won’t get lost with so many other memories.
There are benefits to working alone, too. I go at my own pace, without guilt at holding anyone back. I make all the decisions, so my little home will be a reflection of my ideas come to fruition. There’s a deep feeling of accomplishment. Lastly, given my “issues”, it feels safe to not worry about having to rely on others to move forward. Granted, I’ve had a couple hours of people helping heft plywood, but since then I’ve come up with ideas to do it myself. Much less tension and worry. But enough of that!
Getting stuff done! Woowee! Cheers for me and everyone else who is building their own shelter with fun and love! Go, Tiny Housers!


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Tall, tall ladder….

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Ladder to the roof from above…SUPER fun to haul things up this!

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I can use any sandpaper with this little sander, which makes it flexible to use. It has a smaller hand-hold, so it’s comfortable.

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All cracks, screw holes, and all other spaces filled with silicone.

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I smoothed silicone over the clips, too.

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Fascia being painted a pretty pale yellow.

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I like the roof dimensions, although it is over-width.

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Using a cut off bit for the sister. I’ll glue them together once they are hung.


In case of fire, exit building before tweeting about it.

Taking a cue from Macy over at minimotives, I’ve decided to write about safety in a Tiny Home. People ask me about it when they find out about my build, and I’ve seen lots of questions in various blog’s comments. Although my Oliver’s Nest isn’t livable yet, I feel entitled to address this issue, as I live in a (even Tinier) truck camper while building her.

So. first off, privacy. It’s related to safety, if you think about it. Who feels safe with no place to get away from everything? To hide? To really relax? I can only do what most people do, close curtains and lock the door. Here in this camper though, those normal things doesn’t really cut it. The walls are thin, so sound carries both inwards and outwards too clearly. The windows are single pane, and some of them won’t seal close. When the wind gets to really gusting, the whole place jerks sideways with a booming sound, and if there’s an electrical storm nearby, I get to feeling a bit tense with those sound effects!

Oliver’s Nest, on the other hand, will have 6 inches of insulation in the walls and floors, and over 7 inches in the roof. I’m positive that sound will be damped by the thick sheep wool insulation. The whole structure is heavy, and sits solidly on blocks. The double-paned windows aren’t installed yet, but no doubt will be more effective than the campers are. During strong winds she doesn’t even creak. Wind and storms be damned in there!

House fires. That’s a scary one. Although I haven’t read of any fires in a Tiny Home, even those with wood stoves, odds are someone will have to contend with one at some point. I’m doing my best to ensure it isn’t me. In such a small home, even a small fire could render it unlivable. It’s taken a lot of thought on where exactly to locate the wood stove so that I can make the minimum recommended clearances on both it and the chimney. The insulation behind the stove and chimney will be Roxul (rock wool) which is completely non-flammable. I’ll have the required heat shield with an inch of air space to the wall. I’ve discovered pretty chimney guards to help prevent contact burns. I’ve thought about the weight (and my home is already quite heavy), and have decided to place it over the axles. Interior gravity-fed water storage tanks will be located nearby (overhead, in the loft) for additional insurance against disaster. Lastly, I have a plan in mind for a metal roof to be added after Oliver’s Nest is moved to her permanent location, to cover the EPDM.

And what about scary events like forest fires, or random disasters like the girl who lost her newly-built Tiny Home to a barn fire? Once again, such small homes can be quickly ruined. How to best prevent these things from happening? I’ve already spoken to one of the forest rangers local to my property to find out what they suggest for protection. It was a surprisingly reassuring conversation, given the history of severe forest fires in the area. He gave me great advice and I’m a bit less worried, as I know now how to best protect my home. I can only hope everyone is also careful, no matter the size of their home.

Moisture, as I’ve said about a million times, is a real problem here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s imperative that any home in this area be built to withstand water intrusion from every angle. This comes under Safety, as mold, mildew, rot and their attendant pests are not safe or healthy to have in your living space. If the rot gets bad enough, you can end up with not much of a home at all.

On to the question of having my home towed away or broken into. Honestly? I think it’s a valid concern. There are uncool people in the world who think nothing of taking what they want, and messing with what’s left. The good folk over at Solar Burrito Blog had stuff stolen from their building site while they were away, and that can happen to anyone, especially those with an attractive target like a Tiny Home in a more rural setting. I’m not worried too much while living here, as there are three large dogs, lots of neighbors, and my home doesn’t show from the road. There’s also the old tires on the trailer….replacing them will be an unavoidable expense, but for now helps keep my home safe. I will be removing the wheels once on my own place, which only solves part of the problem. Keeping a safe home in a very rural place isn’t just a worry for Tiny Housers. I have to hope that strong fences, big dogs, a low-profile, and knowing how to use a gun (with appropriate scary signs) will keep me safe from all sorts of predators.

One last safety feature I feel strongly about: having two methods of emergency egress. Some people make do with windows for an emergency exit. Some apparently don’t allow for emergencies at all, from looking at their tiny little windows. I have two doors (not yet installed) on opposite ends of my home. I made the trade-off of useful interior wall space for safety. It has made planning out the interior much harder ~ I admit to working out plans with only the one door, which allowed for more counter space in the kitchen, or a fully enclosed bathroom, or a much larger closet ~ but kept coming back to wanting quick access to the outdoors. So, one end of Oliver’s Nest will have a full wall of windows due to the french doors that I’ll be able to open out wide onto a large, covered patio area. The other end will have a dutch door with a window in the top half. This door will open inwards (in the event of deep snow), let in more light, and give me quick access to the “mud room” area of my little home. I feel good about my design.

I’m really curious about how other people feel about these subjects. Please feel free to comment on your own thoughts and solutions!

As for roof progress?  Not nearly as much as I thought there would be.  I was so wrong about being nearly ready to install the drip edge.  So terribly, terribly wrong….  I’ll update soon. 🙂