Exciting news! I’ve found The One. No, not a man; a piece of property! It is a little over an acre with good gravel roads almost all the way there (there’s a rocky section that I’m told the county will take care of if I tell them someone is living there). I’m not going to say it already has a driveway, but it’s been driven over quite a bit so it’s packed down good; I don’t think I’ll need to do anything more to it until July when the monsoons start. It has lots of nice bushy pinon and cedar trees that are good for shade and windbreakers, and also some grassy and rocky areas. It drops off at the property line on one side so there are beautiful views over the valley. The closest neighbor is about 500′ away (but not in sight) and some friends live just 1/3 mile away. And it’s in a county that has minimal building codes and practically nonexistent code enforcement. There are people living in storage sheds all over this subdivision! Taxes are $39 a year plus $100 a year to “subscribe” to the fire district. It’s less than 20 miles to big supermarkets, Home Depot, Walmart, etc.
I am very excited! I can’t think of a way to get a building to live in before spring, so it means winterizing the camper….reflectix on the windows, foam board skirting all around the bottom, and cramming strips of foam (A/C weatherstripping) into every crack and crevice I can find! And getting a larger heater. Last night it was 30° here with no wind and the camper stayed at 59°. That’s fine, but I’m going to need something a little beefier for when it gets colder.
And I guess the only way I’m going to get a “house” to live in is to build it myself. Since I had to borrow some of the purchase price, I don’t want to go even deeper in debt to buy a little storage building. And the Rent To Own prices are ridiculous…it’s something like 40% interest! I didn’t really like the look of the storage buildings anyway; they are not cute or pretty. Most of them don’t have any overhangs and super-cheap aluminum windows. You can upgrade to double pane windows for $150-250 extra per window! That’s robbery….I can buy a nice thermopane window for well under $150. I’m sure I can build a She Shed for about half what they are selling for; it’ll just take me a lot longer.
There is electricity near the property but in this county you can’t get electricity hookup until you have a septic system, and I can’t afford that, nor will I really need a septic system as I’ll have a dry toilet/composting system. So I’ll be continuing to live off-grid. I’ll get an additional solar panel and some beefy 6-volt golf cart batteries, which will give me 250 amps of power. I’ll wire the shed for 12 volt lights and cigarette lighter plugs. I’ll get a large water tank and have water delivered ($25 for up to 500 gallons). Wow, running water! It can be pumped with a simple battery-driven pump. Appliances will be propane; RV stove and refrigerator.
So….the basic theme of this blog is going to change from boondocking & travel, to the agonies of a 69 year old woman trying to build her own Tiny House. I’m sure my back and knees will not thank me! I hope everyone will hang in there with me. I’ve built an 800 sq. ft. home, a 10×16 cabin, 13z22 barn cabin, and a 14×24 houseboat. So I know how to do it all; including wiring and the minimal amount of plumbing I’ll need to do. It’ll just take me a lot longer because I’m old and creaky. Heaven help us if I have to get down on my knees to do anything! Maybe I should invest in a Life Alert……please help me, I’m kneeling and I can’t get up!
I have found a self-storage facility nearby that rents 5×10 spaces for $30 a month so I’m going to do that for a while. I’ve GOT to get my car emptied out! Right now it’s so full, I can barely fit groceries into it. I need to be able to carry building supplies, and maybe buy some things at thrift shops that I’ll eventually be able to use on the shed. Wow, and I can finally get all the rocks out of the car too! If you open any door (including the driver’s door) you see rocks. Some of them are pretty good-sized, too. I’ll bet my gas mileage will improve when I get all that weight out of the car!
I have been dogsitting for my new neighbor friends while they went to a funeral in Oklahoma. They have three tiny dogs and a doggy door, so all I really have to do is give them food & water and put them in their crates at night & let them out in the morning. I’m camped in their driveway (with electric hookup!!) I go over to the house every evening to spend a few hours with them. It has nothing to do with being able to watch their big screen TV with every available channel, honest! When Candace was still here, the dogs were all over me. As soon as they left, the dogs were terrified of me and would run out the doggy door the moment I came in the house. They weren’t eating much and I couldn’t get them to go in their crates at night because they ran if I came near them. Then one night it was chilly so I borrowed her robe from the bedroom, and draped it over me. Suddenly all three dogs were all over me……they loved me!! Since then it’s been much better; even the really skittish Yorkie lets me pet him, and the dogs go into their crates at night all by themselves. I’ve been taking Roxie over there with me and they all pretty much ignore each other.