Thursday, July 31, 2014

My GF and her boy come for a visit!!!!

"Today, I took my son to see Gretchen's house. She has spent 5 years building this place by hand and heart. I could go into every detail. Solar power, water filtration, creativity. But most of all, I wanted him to see someone with determination. To show him a real live person that has held on to a dream, never gives up on it, and has accomplished what many only dream about.
The solar panels on the roof will run to solar batteries there in the floor. She will be able to convert it to ac power. She won't have to plug in anywhere. Aadon has been watching all sorts of amazing things on TV. I wanted him to meet my awesomely funny, creative, sweet friend who was a real person. Something really big clicked over in his head by seeing it in front of him." 


Self Discipline Vacation

I feel the freshness of possibility of life. It feels as if I am beginning my  20's again.. for the 3rd time. I moved out of my family home when I was a teenager and supported myself, and at that time I learned a great deal about my own maturity and self discipline by taking responsibility for my own survival. In my actual 20's I was a young mother, for a time I was a man's wife, and I had a fulfilling and demanding career. During those years I understood myself to be maturing by learning to make myself do things, big and small things, that I didn't necessarily think I could do, or things I didn't want to do. Now I have little problems or anxiety about making commitments because I know realistically what I can and can not do, what I am and am not willing to do, and I know how to communicate with others and follow through on things we agree to do together. I also now know how to walk away from situations and people that are toxic and dangerous because I know the value of what I am and have to offer, to myself and to others. I know the joy of the blessed community.

Now, in my early 30's I am learning how to create the conditions for success, or the conditions that create a good environment in which to make good choices and treat others with respect, dignity and love. I am loosing pounds and pounds of weight from off my very soul since I have been on the NO DRAMA DIET, now that the stress and failures of the past few years have been reconciled in reality. I have found myself to be in the best possible position to practice some of my gentle ideals of how to act and think, behave, decide and do. My contact with the flow of chances and changes is palpable and energizing.

I am not quite sure what is going to happen next, but I know that I want a little longer to rest before I strive to see clearly the next course; but to get from NOW to THEN I am making a deal with myself  to get motivated. I wonder why it is that it is such a common trick to make deals with oneself. It helps me to have sympathy for others. For instance, to cut other people some slack when they seem to be slack, because I don't always live up to my own standards, how important it is to be productive and positive in ones' own life so that other people will be willing and able to help,  how important it is to help others, and how to see if they will be able to make good use of my efforts to help them.

I want to go to the People's March on September 21st in NYC ( for more info). I want to take a vacation. If I start in Montreal to visit friends I can ride my bike pretty much straight to Glover VT where my friend is the new farm manager of the Bread and Puppet Theater farm. Then is is a straight shot from there to Colebrook CT where another friend will be teaching at Nature's Classroom, and then on to the march. I went to the GA Museum of Art yesterday and sat for quite a long time before a 100+ year old painting of Silver Thread falls in Dingman PA, and from there to get to Philly to see friends would only be about 60 miles! So, I am making a deal with myself: Here is my To-Do list.

It's not that long. I want to get this list finished before I leave for my trip. The stuff high lighted is stuff I need to get in order to do the projects. When this list is completed my home will be fully enclosed, road-worthy and ready for it's VIN#, and the interior will be finished enough to be able to live comfortably (camp style) anywhere I could want to go if I choose to travel while finish installing the solar system and building the cabinets, which really would be the last things to do, aside from trim work. 

 I rode with a friend to Clarkesville GA to buy this new 4 burner RV over from a Craig's list ad. $50. This was that last piece of equipment that I needed to accommodate in the design of the cabinetry.

This where everything will live in the kitchen. The right side wall will have a very shallow cabinet. There will be upper cabinets above the chest fridge on the right, to the right of the window, and also on the left side, to the the left of that window.
There will be about 18 inches between the corner of the chest fridge and the oven door when it is open, and a great deal of open floor space inside the kitchen to the right.
I bought all these painting to become the backs of the cabinets. The oven is the right height for the tall painting and then a little one on top, and still 2" for the kick plate.
Left side (port side) pantry and upper cabinet painting. I have some old octagonal tile I want to set in a wooden frame to cover the space below the right side upper cabinet, that will have a cut out for the duplex box and maybe some towel bars.
Brainstorming the cabinet units.
I have been working a lot of plumbing jobs lately and been collecting crappy scrap which I am using to build railings for holding stuff in open shelving units. This one is for the bathroom shelves inset into the wall, with a bar for hanging towels.
Rough in of the bathroom shelf space.
The rough in of the self unit. This still needs to be caulked and painted. This will have to come out to install the ceiling paneling, and then the trim around the room, but this is ready to finish when that work is done.
Looking straight on.
In use.

Windy and cool l8ly. POLAR VORTEX!

The guy I bought the oven from was awesome to talk to. He sold me the oven so cheap because he had it in a camper that leaked, and was completely ruined. He said he has owned RVs for 30 years, and they all leak. I told him that short sections of the low part of my roof leak.. very small, but I am worried about time + wear and tear. I have in my mind a gutter system that lives inside the roof, to catch any eventual leaks and prevent any damage.. preemptive solution and fix the problem I have, since I have already built out this section of roof twice. He told me not to look @ it as fixing something.. things have a way to be, and that includes the little quirks, tinkering and trouble-shootings to get things just right and work-able. He said it was smart of me to have designed something that can channel water, give it a natural course to flow even if it is a "defect"..since it's gonna happen anyway because water falls from the sky! It gave me great confidence to speak to him at such length, and changed my perspective about accomplishing the rain gutter task on my to-do list from one of trying again to fix and problem to thinking about it as working on my project until it is just right and works great.

In a final thought : I am so glad that tiny houses/ hand made trailers/ off grid living has become such a fad lately. When I first started this project many people derided me for being crazy or hypocritical. It was even asserted in court that I am a crazy unfit parent for having embarked on this project. Now that it has become a popular idea, and married to such deep Americana ideals as the open road and independence, it is so much easier and more enjoyable to talk to people about my project because I am less likely to encounter criticism and negativity. PEACE!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


I spend the vast majority of my life bare footed, as people have noted from my in process photos. I was wearing shoes today and the calluses on my feet hurt I had to use a steak knife to remove them enough to wear my shoes.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


About a year ago I pulled up the 1/2" plywood I had been using as a temporary floor because I had to build all the plumbing and run all the electrical wiring. Well, all that's done... so
The flooring for the main deck of the house. Re-claimed red/yellow pine milled to spec by Watson Spring! 220 square feet. .75" x 5".
Steel fully exposed. everything (almost) OUT!

" Re-claimed" means lots of character and a lot that is not use-able. It took me whole day to pick through the pile and glean what was useful. Lots of character.
Gonna get dirty and sweaty and make a huge mess     Me n' this piece of wood wanted to have our picture taken together Advice from a novice to a novice: When trying to cut multiple 90 degree cuts, use the framing square as a guide. Hold it as far away from the line you want to cut (eye-ball it) as the saw guard is wide and hold your saw against the straight edge as you cut the wood.

Huge mess after getting all that could be used out of the stack
Totally random lengths of what was useful. So I made myself a little library from shortest to longest and just got started. I wanted to make as few cuts as possible, and have as many joints rest of joists as possible.
First I figured how many rows would be needed to get from port to starboard side with un-cut rows of boards, and then split the difference of the remaining space. I cut the first row half of that total distance and then just got started... laying wood around the storage hatch openings  
One Row @ a Time 
Looking up - Looking back @ progress

 used knot holes to pass wiring and plumbing up from the basement
 Paper to make the pattern for the curve around the bathroom wall

 This is how to cut a curve.. one little section @ a time

Put my favorite pieces in the hall-way
, but that's weak praise because so many pieces have so much character. RE-CLAIMED WOOD! The smell of the fresh cut pine is so invigorating!

used my baseball bat to tap them into place

This opening is so large so that if I ever need to I can easily remove the steel and crawl into the basement through this hole. 2'x2'

 Looking up

the solar battery bank compartment

 Looking back

 The hatch doors
 the hatch doors in place

 All in place, unfinished wood.

Tight fit around the hearth
 Looking Forward. BOOM!

floor of closet/storage/tiny bedroom for one of my Japanese friends.
 It is 32" x 57", or 12 square feet '-)

This hatch leads to the bucket sand filter and pumps