Thursday, July 7, 2016

I see with my eyes what was once a dream. I built my dream with my bare hands.

Had a really INTENSE dream about my mom last night. I saw first just her eyes all painted with make up like she used to do when I knew her. I called her out and she sat on a chair in her garage and I let her have my sadness and anger with her for being such a fucked up parent to her children. I barely had any voice though! My hand was stuck to my mouth. I pried it away. Then there was a ball in my mouth. I took it out. I saw myself talking to her in a mirror. I was naked and my hair was loose. I woke up talking, in my dream and in my bed saying " You told me I couldn't build myself a house. That by putting it on wheels I was just running away. Well I have been in the same damn town as you the whole time and you have never even seen with your eyes my beautiful little house that I built with my own bare hands."
I woke up, burned some insence, had a snack and snuggled back in my bed. It was the best. I relaxed and thought about how I forgive her. She gave birth but has no daughter. The consequences of her actions don't go away. I forgive her. She couldn't help but be herself.

Today I feel so at peace...really with everything. Anger is only for maintaining boundaries, and I don't have people in my life anymore who violate them, so there is no more anger. I trust my instincts, I trust my abilities and I enjoy the fruits of my rejuvenation and independence. Rather than trapping me, thinking or dreaming about the past has become motion into the future. I know my own worth and the value of what I have to share with others. To stand up for my boundaries is an act of love: to speak truth, breath love. Today I feel so so good. Happiness is an accomplishment!!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Decompression: Rejuvenation

I have been at my new spot for two weeks, and I am finally decompressing after a long and harrowing year and half! The scene on the farm is so peaceful, beautiful, and also dynamic! There is always something happening, but I am quite out of the way in my little corner of the world. I am starting to brainstorm new creative projects, getting back on my feet and up to speed with a new "normal" routine, making money again (starting a new business!), and planning a trip to visit my son. The best is just reading, cooking, visiting with friends, having coffee in the pecan grove with the critters in the early mornings, bathing outside in the light of the fireflies in the evening to cool off, and remembering my dreams from the night before in the mornings when the sun rises again! There are so many simple pleasures to be thankful for.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New set of hinges

These little beauties are for the window seat/desk that I am going to make for the large picture window in the living room. Made from an old horse shoe I have been lugging around for who knows how long. Thanks the Ben's Bikes for letting me rent shop time on their MIG.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Off I go to my new place! Taking the next step in the dance. Moved successfully again! Cleared all the power lines, trees, & bridges even with my new 4" of lift! Ki$$ my Grit$!

    What a relief to be getting the fork out of there! 

 Hopping on in the tow truck and ready to go!!!!
 New digs in a cozy little corner!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Making it happen!

Well, time to get working to resolve the issues with my running gear. I went to 2 local RV fix-it shops with these pictures of the tire clearance issues and the place on the chassis where I need to install the new hangers:

I got the same feed-back from both: the advice being that I could buy stock 6" hanger and 2" blocks and weld it all together, but that all that welding could weaken the metal of the chassis and the hangers. Also that it would be cheaper to just have 8" hangers made by a metal shop here in town. I should bolt the new hangers in place and then stick weld them to the chassis on the 3 sides I can reach easily and tack them in place in the back where it is harder to reach.

So I went to the guys at St. Udio on Oneta Street, who I have hired to do some TIG welding in the past, to make the new hangers for me... and....  
 Here they are !!!

 WHAT!!!! This is where the most out of whack shackle hanger was mounted.. those turkeys put it all together so quick and dirty the first time! Those bolts would have never held! So glad I am fixing this!
 Got some welding to do! Bike carts, hinges for the window seat as well.
 Still life with welding equipment. The couple who owned the one and only store on the tiny island I lived on with 120 other souls, Gambier Island in British Columbia, gave me this full length leather coat. At some point, for some reason I donated it to the thrift store, and then months later I regretted it!! I was wandering around in the Habitat with my girl friend, and she saw this and though, "Hum, perfect for Gretchen", and ShAbAnG! I was reunited with my coat, which turns out to the perfect for this welding job, sitting on the ground with lots of leather to cover my legs.

 First step: bolt the new hangers in place and make sure everything fits. They look a bit wonky here because the axle is braced with wood below.. the ground slops down on this side of the trailer. On the other side they can just rest on the ground, there is enough clearance for the brake wiring.

I borrowed a Miller stick welder/generator from my friend, the immortal Beverley Babb, and borrowed some of her mojo too. To paraphrase her words: I have been flapping my tongue bitching so much about this problem it has taken me days to re-hydrate it!
 Next step: weld new hangers in position. Thanks a million to Straw Boss for coming by to check on me and inspect my work!
BOOM! Welded in place!!!
 And BattaBing Batta BOOM!!!! Everythign reattached! Look at the clearance on those tires!
Thank you so much to my friend Randy for coming out to help me 3 TIMES!!!! Jacking, blocking, test fitting, teaching and calming my nerves! Thank you Thank you!!

Monday, May 2, 2016

My friend Paula's Tiny Hizzy!

I met my friend Dr. Paula Loniak, veterinarian of Vet to Pet, through a Tiny House meet-up group last June. I was the only person in the group at the time who had a tiny house in the works, but not even a year later my friend has got her project started, and it's looking so great! Go Paula! She has even been going to Mayor and Commission meetings + Planning Commission meetings to talk about zoning regulation changes to accommodate tiny houses! BAM!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Last Wall

 Ha ha! This photo came out upside-down! Well, anyways. I had tried once already to put a piece of paneling up around the last unfinished wall, the curved bathroom wall. But I cracked the first panel I tried to use because I just assumed that it was thin enough to be able to flex around the curve. That was sort of a good thing because I used it to finish the walls and nose compartment in the kitchen. That inspired me to build the cabinet cases, which have made my world a lot nicer and more organized.. but today was the day to finish the initial project: paneling the last wall! So this time I marked and pre-cut the piece to fit, including the hole for the hallway light, and trapped it in a curved position with weights for a day to give it the right shape.
 And then I wedged it into place with some boards and some brute force (what little I have), screwed it to the frame and cut out the openings for the bathroom vent and the loft bedroom foot steps.

 Nice smooth curve! No more catching my clothes on the exposed steel, no more bumping into the insulation and making it fall more paneling to buy (which always means getting a ride to transport it). Trim, caulk, and paint and then it's done!
My friend Ken is coming to visit me tomorrow, and he has been with me through pretty much every phase of boobie-trap my house has been: from jagged edge to tiger I really want him to be impressed by all the progress I have made, despite bike vs car near death, bone vs waterfall set back, and drunken neighbor antics over the past year!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Fixing the running gear

My friend Randy came over today and, with great patience (seeing as I was pretty nervous at times !!) helped me jack and block my house up. It took 6 hours of work, at a weekend  pace, but none the less, what a generous thing to spend your Sunday doing. Thank you so much Randy! After we got the whole house jacked up, blocked and leveled  we disengaged the shackle mounts from the chassis, letting the axles hang free. They are only attached now via the brake wiring, supported by blocks.. I am glad I left some play in the wires.

 These bolts were not the right kind of hardened bolts needed for such a important job!!! And the shackle mounts need to be welded also, and in the right place!!! The two people who assembled the running gear in an afternoon ( as a surprise for me when I came home from work) really didn't do the best job. They drank beer and put it all together with the idea in mind to really give me a great surprise, and I had not the where-with-all to question anything, or weld the shackle mounts on in place. I guess I am glad that I didn't in the long run because they are not placed right. One of them is a full 1/2" off! Well, time to fix it now so I can move on with my life! Next step, to redesign and install the shackle mounts. Maybe I can make them taller so I won't need smaller tires after all. That would definitely be cheaper, but I would probably have to redesign the hearth inside to lower the wood stove and chimney pipe so it wouldn't be too tall. Problem solving as I go.
and the shackle mounts themselves off.
 The axles totally free.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Flames! Fire in the wood! Box elder cabinet Cases

I have been on a building spree. Fast gratification + cheap project to work on. All I needed was wood glue. Satisfying to get the rough sawn box elder out of the way by building with it. I will have enough to use it for the visible case panels for the upper kitchen cabinets, the bookcase/window seat/desk and the corner office cabinet on the opposite side of the bathroom wall. The rest of the case frames are made from recycled pallets, and the face frames and doors I will make out of cedar.

 Matching kitchen upper cabinets, screwed to the wall
 and then inserted the painting for the back.

 Screwed through the kitchen cabinet frame into the back of the bookcase, which wraps around the picture window.
Such beautiful wood.

 The frames have rabbit joints where the sides and back comes together.
  Pantry cabinet glued, nailed and clamped.
Pantry cabinet installed and with two coats of Danish oil.

Port side kitchen cabinets installed side by side.
Flames in the Sun!
Fire in the wood!
I can't believe the red in the wood.
Case with and with out painting back.
Sun shade and flames in the wood.
 Stick building a knee wall. Panel and case in the clamps, and then fitting the pieces into place.
The case is attached to the floor and the wall with L brackets,

 I just can't get over how beautiful this wood is once the finish is on. 
Light installed.