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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Uncategorized

Snow, Snow, and More Snow

I don’t know when I’ll get this out, since I don’t have internet here and I’m a little bit snowed in at the moment! What crazy weather we’re having! Mother Nature’s off her meds!

We got 4” of snow starting Christmas afternoon. Two days later we got another 4”, then another 2” during the night. Then on New Years Eve we got a whopping 17” on top of that followed by a couple more inches the next two nights.  30” of snow in 9 days. My car hasn’t moved for over a week. The snowplow came through three days after the biggest snow, and I ran the car up & down the driveway several times to pack down a “path”. The snowplow dug deep and left a 2’ high berm across the driveway, which contained a foot of snow and a foot of gravel! It was really hard work to get that shoveled away. I threw the gravel onto my driveway, since the county obviously wants me to have it, right?  (The driveway is just a two-track path right now; no gravel) I’m going out for more propane and some groceries today. I don’t think I’ll go all the way to Show Low though, I’ll do my grocery shopping at Dollar General and the local convenience store. It’ll cost more but I’ll save almost $8 in gas by not driving that 60 miles to town & back.

snow on aliner

 

I was in good shape for food & water, just short on meat but I got through it. Yesterday I made tuna-noodle casserole on the stovetop and it was really good! I wonder if there are other casseroles that don’t really need to be baked…..any ideas?

Earlier this winter I read that it’s an El Nino year and that the winter in AZ should be warmer and wetter. I just found out, that’s only in extreme western AZ. Here, colder and wetter, as I’ve already seen. In addition to the snow we’re having extreme cold temps…lows in the single digits and low teens, and highs in the 20’s and low 30’s.  Thank goodness we’re getting some sunny days. If it’s sunny, no matter how cold it is outside I can turn off the heater and let the sun warm the camper.

Got this on my phone the other morning….!!!  My neighbor says it was not that cold and frankly, I didn’t think it felt that cold, but it sure was shocking to see that come up on the phone!

-13 templ

All the canned goods I was carrying in the car got moved to….you guessed it, my bed. The watermelons have been eaten but there’s also several cans of Great Stuff,  some spray cans of Thompson Water Seal and a couple tubes of construction glue sharing my bedspace. Did I mention that the bed is only 34” wide? I thought I cleared everything freezable out of the car except the gallon water jugs, but I forgot about a glass water bottle in the console, which froze and burst. What a mess! It was frozen in place and I had to wait til a nice sunny day to get it out of there. I wonder about the canned goods in the storage unit; I’m sure they frozen but I hope they didn’t burst. Of course all the plastic gallon water jugs are frozen solid. When I need water  I just bring one in and it thaws in about three days.

The extreme cold brought a new problem with my very fragile door. It would get heavy frost on the hinge side of the door and actually freeze the door in place. When I’d try to open it, the casing around the door would stay frozen in place but the door itself would pull away! Then the door wouldn’t close again without having to hammer it back into the frame, which means the door stays open for fairly long periods of time while I get it back to the point where it will close, and I lose a lot of heat. I’m sure all this whacking with a hammer is not doing the door any good, either. I just don’t know how to fix it.

The floors are horrible. There’s no insulation in the floor plus with the door all wonky, there’s a  gap at the bottom. I fill it in with a foam strip every time I come in plus put a rolled-up towel across the bottom but my shoes actually freeze to the floor in front of the door, and when I tried to pick up Roxie’s bed the other day, it was frozen to the floor, and it’s 3’ away from the door and around a corner!  I do kinda enjoy having an indoor refrigerator again though, instead of having to use the ice chest in the car. The cheese, eggs & veggies are in the broken refrigerator, which is staying nicely cold in this weather. The milk, coffee cream, leftovers, etc. are positioned near the door where they often are frozen in the mornings, but it doesn’t seem to hurt them.  So convenient!

I’ve been having to use a stove burner to supplement my little Olympian Wave 3 heater. It’s a great heater but 3000 btu’s is just not enough to combat this extreme cold and frozen floors. Lucky for me, there are so many wind leaks in this thing that I don’t have to open a window for ventilation….the gaps around the door & various other places provides plenty of oxygen.

It looks like there’s another storm system coming in on Saturday night. One of my weather apps says possible 4-6” of snow here and the other one says no accumulation. I never know what to believe. The temps are supposed to warm up mid-week and be in the 40’s / 20’s! That’ll probably feel like summer!  

So needless to say, no work is being done on the house. I keep shoveling the snow off the tarp-covered floor and I’m ready and willing to start building roof trusses and studwalls but Mother Nature is not being very accomodating.

dawn
Pretty Sunrise while waiting for the snow!

Here is a link to an Amazon product…..you can use this link to access Amazon and then order anything you want. Thank you!  

Portable Solar Charger 

 

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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

December’s Doings

I was vastly entertained the other morning by four little bluebirds who seemed to be trying to get into the big side window! They srabbled and flapped their wings at it but all finally gave up and perched in a row on the edge of the solar panel. So cute!  Yes, you probably guessed it, later that day I looked and there were four white streaks of bird poop running down the solar panel! So much for the “bluebirds of happiness”.

I finally cooked the turkey I got at the Food Bank. I decided to cut it up and just cook the breast part on the grill, and not try to cook the whole thing on the grill because it’s way too big.  Wow…turkeys are LOTS harder to cut up than chickens! For awhile there I wasn’t sure who was going to win that fight but finally I triumphed. It turned out really excellent…tender and juicy. I cut the meat off the thighs and legs and simmered it to make turkey noodle soup. I’ve been eating turkey sandwiches and turkey soup for 4 days in a row now, Roxie has been eating turkey at every meal and I’ve still got an awful lot of meat left. I finished off the soup tonight, thank goodness!  This week the Food Bank gave me 10# of chicken leg quarters but I gave it away; any more poultry and I’d be waking up crowing at dawn!

When the nighttime lows are in the teensit’s difficult to protect the stuff that shouldn’t be frozen. Gallon jugs of water freeze nearly solid even when they are stored in the car! Last week the Food Bank gave away mini watermelons…uh oh, that’s a problem! I ended up sleeping with 2 watermelons at the foot of my bed; thank goodness they were small! Also I looked and looked everywhere for two tubes of subfloor glue and finally  found them “keeping warm” between the mattress and the wall. And now I’m housing 5 big cans of Great Stuff Pro plus two cans of the Pro gun cleaner, and two spray cans of Thompson Water Seal. Things are getting out of hand in here; too crowded!!

I hired a $15 an hour guy to help me load my lumber onto a borrowed trailer and bring it back here, then he also helped me lay the heavy ¾” OSB panels for the subfloor. I wanted them glued and screwed, and it would have been extremely difficult for me to get them in position without making a huge mess of the glue. And in fact, I could not have gotten the tongue and grooves to go together. It took Cory using a small sledge hammer to do it….and when I tried, nothing happened at all. It didn’t take long at all, and now I can hold a dance! An extremely SMALL dance, like maybe two people. If they aren’t too exuberant. I helped with all that, but I let him unload and stack  the lumber by himself because I had run out of energy. I went to sleep at 8 pm that night, and was really sore the next day.

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I used OSB for the subfloor and it’s infamous for absorbing moisture along the edges and swelling up so I put some Thompson Water Seal on all the factory and cut edges. I hope that will help because it’s going to be quite awhile before I’ll get a roof over it. I’ll try to keep it tarped though. I also put 4” flashing tape on the two seams. It keeps out moisture, wind, bugs, etc.. Maybe overkill but I definitely don’t want swollen seams going across the middle of my floor!  I don’t have electricity to run a sander.

So now the next step is to get some 2x6x8’s and make the template and cut the roof rafters while I have the whole open floor to use as a base. I I’d like to have a 12/12 pitch roof (pretty steep). Even with that steep a pitch, there won’t be a sleeping loft because it’s just too small. I probably will have a little storage loft over the bathroom/fridge/closet space though. (Those take up the whole 8’ long back wall)

I had another knee injury last week.. At first I thought I was going to have to use a walker again! Turns out it doesn’t hurt much when I walk, just mostly when I bend it, and it’s getting better quickly. Phew!  Just what I didn’t need was another big setback. The worst thing is bending it to get into the car. Here’s what it sounds like when I get in the car: “Ow,ow,ow,ow,ow”!

The weather has moderated at bit and the nighttime lows are in the 20’s. It’s so much more comfortable than those mid-teens!  I hate waking up and the inside temp be under 50 degrees. I’m having a real problem with condensation too; my bedding is soaking wet every morning at my feet where it touches the camper walls. I’ll have to get some foam sheeting to put between them. I have foam running all up the side of the bed and at the head, just not at the foot.

I saw a local ad for 4×8 sheets of 4” thick rigid foam insulation for only $12 a sheet! It’s normally around $30. So I went and for 5 of them for my roof.  They’re used but still good, but had been in contact with fiberglass insulation and I came home itching like crazy, and me with no shower facilities. But what a steal! I thought I was going to have to put two 2” sheets together to fill the space between the rafters, which would be way more money and way more work! The 4” will be fine in my 2×6 rafters as I need to keep at least 1” air space between the insulation and the roof,  so the daytime heat can vent from the soffits up & out through the roof vent. It’s called a “hot roof” and it really helps keep the interior cooler. The shingles don’t last as long but I figure I’ll only be able to live here for 10 years at best anyway, before my mind and body fail me and I need a Keeper.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned my sore neck. I woke up one morning in July and my neck hurt, and it just never went away. I finally went to see a holistic doctor a few weeks ago, and he sent me for xrays. Darn it, I’ve got pretty severe arthritis in the base of my neck. He’s been giving me weekly injections of Traumeel, which is a very effective homeopathic anti-inflammatory (with no side effects). Shortly after getting the second set of injections, my neck felt at least 50% better! Wow! I also have to go to physical therapy a few times because I’ve lost the arch in my neck. Whatever that is. I went for the first time yesterday and got a sheet of exercises to do at home. All this doctoring and physical therapy must come to a screeching halt at the end of the year though, because if it goes into January I’d have to pay a whole new Medicare deductible.

Here are a couple links to Amazon products….it would help me a lot if you’d use one of these links to access Amazon. From there you can use Amazon’s search bar to find everything your little hearts desire. Thanks!

 

AMAZON LINKS

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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House

Birthday and Other Stuff

I made it through my 70th birthday!! And what a strange and wonderful birthday it was. I got some gifts of money that will go a long ways towards getting my roof done, and four of my camping friends threw me a long-distance birthday party! They were camping at Twin Lakes in SC, one of my favorite places. They went to Clemson University’s dairy bar and got ice cream in my honor, then later they had a decorated birthday cake and sent me a video of them singing Happy Birthday!! What a bunch of nuts! But it sure made my day.

 

The propane pigtail on my camper (goes from the regulator to the tank) cracked from sun damage and started leaking just before dark one evening and I just prayed the gas would hold out all night, because the low was 21. It did, and the next day I switched to a new one. I had to go up to the neighbor’s to borrow his vise to get an adapter off the old hose, but after that it wasn’t too bad a job. So now I have a nice new hose with stainless steel braided covering and a wire squirrel guard! I think the SS covering will keep it from degrading in the sun.  I’ll put the links for these 2 products below.

propaneil

We are having 5 days of high winds here (25-50 mph) plus snow so I hope I’ve got the tarp over the house floor secured well. It would not be good if the new insulation got wet! Next week I hope to get my 2×4’s and subflooring materials brought back here from storage and then I’ll be able to go forward with flooring and studwalls! I’m excited! I had hoped to get the materials back here before then, but it’s hard enough to wrestle 4×8 sheets of OSB subflooring by myself, let alone do it in high winds.

I’ve been working hard at closing up wind leaks. It’s so easy to find them when it’s blowing a gale outside! No wonder it’s so hard to keep the place warm; there were lots of them.j  The winds have not really been dying down at night either, which is rather odd.

I bought a $10 wheelbarrow! I have been wanting one and almost bought a really cheapie one at Lowes but it would not fit into my car. This one has had a broken handle and now has a jerry-rigged repair. Weird, but it seems to work okay, poor thing!

DSCN7985

 

Here are Amazon product links for the two propane products mentioned above. Please use one of these links to access Amazon. Once you get into Amazon, you can just use their Search bar to find anything your heart desires! (Almost)

Propane Hose Squirrel Guard

24″ Shinestar SS Braided Propane Hose

 

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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Off-grid living Uncategorized

Early November

I’m still alive! Sorry for not blogging in a while, but there’s not much new.

Last week I hauled the camper to the RV place in Show Low and got the fridge’s propane system cleaned for $60. The guy said it really had a ton of rust & dust in it, but was skeptical that that was the reason it wasn’t working. He thought there probably was a blockage in the coolant. I fired it up when I got home and it did cool, but not enough. It got down to 45 degrees and then as the daytime temps went up, so did the fridge temps. Aarrgh, that’s not cold enough! I suppose I could keep some condiments in there, like catsup, mustard, soy sauce, etc. Last night we had a hard frost so I guess the temp was down in the low 30’s, and the fridge temp was back down to 44 but I’ll bet it will go back up as the day warms. Darn!! I do have another fridge just like this one, but the guy quoted me 2 hours labor to switch them…$230. I’ll have to think on that for awhile, and at any rate, it would have to wait until next month.

When I got back here from my summer wanderings, it took forever to spot the camper where I wanted it. This time, I nailed it on the first try! Well OK so I’m a little tiny bit closer to the cedar tree than before, and every time I go out the door I get hit in the face with cedar tips, but a little judicious pruning will take care of that problem.

The weather has also improved a lot. We’re back to my favorite AZ weather; warm (60’s) sunny days and cool (30’s) nights. Aaaaaahhhhh. I know we need more rain but I hate being cooped up in this teeny camper for more than a day at a time.

I dug around in the storage unit and finally found my power tools, yay! I forgot to look for the box of screws & nails, and I still haven’t found the staple gun that I need to repair the cow damage to the hardware cloth. So I bought a really cheap staple gun at Harbor Freight that also came with 3 kinds of staples and I just hope it holds up long enough to get this one job done. I hope to make lots of progress on the house this next week, but I dunno…I’ve been feeling really lazy lately.  And scared….last week I had a really productive day, and the next day I couldn’t bend my “good” knee at all without it really hurting a lot. It did get better over the next few days but it was scary to think of being incapacitated like it was a couple years ago, and at least then I had a friend to help. Now I’m afraid to do too much.

It seems to be my month for profligate spending. I usually pinch every penny but in addition to the outlay to fix the fridge, I also ordered an 8’ tall 4 season teepee style tent to use as a storage shed. My car just isn’t big enough, and I’m really tired of not even having space for groceries in the car. The tent base is 10×12 and has nice tall doors so I won’t have to crawl in and out, and it’s double-walled for (hopefully) good rain defense. Hopefully snow will slide right off it’s steep sides as well.  Maybe later if it holds up, I can use it as Guest Quarters, assuming anyone will ever want to visit.

I am still internet-less, except for using my phone which is awfully expensive. I have been going to the library but it is a 22 mile round trip and their internet is truly horrible….more like dial-up service! And it’s often out of service completely. I’ve been trying to get this blog out for several days but I want to include a photo, and it isn’t fast enough to download it!

Ahhh, finally got the photo to load! This will be my view from my front windows: Pretty nice, I think!

DSCN7977

A huge THANKS to those who contributed via PayPal or Ko-Fi!! (At top right of this page)  I love you guys.

Here are a few Amazon product links for you to use. If you use these links to access Amazon, then you can use their search bar to find everything your little hearts desire. And thank for doing that; it really helps a lot!

Sandisk Cruzer 2.0 USB Flash Drive

Eye Mask for Sleeping

 

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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Uncategorized

No Joy

No Joy On the Home Front

We’ve had some very strange weather here. The week I got home it was too hot (in the low 80’s), the next week was really nice (in the 70’s) and the 3rd week it was winter! We got a couple inches of snow on October 7, which was a huge surprise to me; my weather forecast app was an epic fail! Thankfully it went away quickly, as my boots and snow shovel were still in storage. Since then we’ve had very cloudy days with periods of rain and several nights well into the 30’s. We even had a bunch of rain from Hurricane Rosa, which came out of the Pacific and up from Baja. I sure never thought I’d be experiencing any hurricane weather here. Whatever happened to nice sunny Arizona weather!

I’ve been procrastinating working on the house by picking up trash that got strewn all around, and pulling up those nasty weeds. I did tear off the shredded plastic and got a good look at the cow damage. It’s really only in two spots, where the hardware cloth has been torn and ripped away from the underside of the floor joists. I see that I can just put a new hardware cloth patch over those spot, but I’ll have to have access under the floor. There’s only 8 ½” of space between the ground and the bottom of the joists, and I don’t know if I can slither in there, and worse; could I slither back out? I can so easily picture myself having to call 9-1-1 to be extracted!! I’d be laying there with my feet stuck out, like the Wicked Witch of the West when the house fell on her. Perhaps I should buy some ruby slippers and a pointy hat.

 

DSCN7973

So that’s where it stands. That hardware cloth is my rodent-proofing. If there’s even a tiny gap in the hardware cloth, then the whole thing is worthless. And there seems to be a lot of mice & rats around here; I’ve had rat infestations under a house floor in the past and it’s horrible! I thought I was so smart……   I’m pretty much paralyzed with fear, and I can’t get anything else done until this is fixed or the whole idea abandoned.

I’ve been really struggling with internet issues too. For a couple years I happily paid only $5 a month for unlimited Verizon internet with a $100 Mifi device I bought on ebay. Then I guess Verizon wised up and quit taking the $5 refill cards, and now I only have whatever I can get on my phone, which isn’t much. My phone is very small and really difficult to type on, plus there’s some other issue with not getting any emails through on the phone! The cheapest internet I can get here is $60-75 a month, and if I did that, it would mean I’d only have $75-150 a month to put towards house construction! I don’t have to tell you, that just won’t work. So I’ve been going to the local library to use their free internet, but it’s really awful. It’s so slow, a lot of websites time out before they connect! And according to my Kindle, it would take 2 hours to download one book or magazine. The library ladies said “Oh no, you can never download anything from here; you have to go to XX or ZZ Library! (One is 25 miles away and the other is 30 miles)  So I am stuck with only being able to downloads books once a week, when I go to town for groceries. I guess I am weaning myself away from being an internet addict, but the withdrawal pains are horrible! Maybe when my car is paid off next July I can get internet here. Sigh……that’s a long ways away.

The only good news I have is that the cold nights have killed off the zillions of house flies that were tormenting me for the past couple of weeks.

My blog site was down for several days but I finally got it fixed. Sorry if you were unable to access it.

Here are a few links to Amazon products; feel free to use one of these links to access Amazon.  I really appreciate it!

Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Carpet Odor Eliminator

Futuro Sport Deluxe Ankle Stablizer

 

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Colorado DIY Micro House Uncategorized

Leadville Again

I finally moved away from Centennial, though I sure do love it there. Getting groceries is problematic though, as the nearest grocery store is 35 miles away. And since I don’t have a freezer, I had to go to town once a week for groceries.

I’m back in Leadville, CO now, though not in the same area as before.I found a new campsite that’s less than 4 miles from town, and all paved roads except for the last ⅓ mile!  And while the town is really small, they do have a Safeway (smallest one I’ve ever seen) and a Family Dollar store. This is a much busier area though, with cars, trucks, campers, ATVs and dirt bikes going by often. The road is sort of a horseshoe shape and I’m at the “base” of the shoe, so everybody goes past. I don’t mind, it’s just different from what I’m used to. It’s very quiet at night.

The elevation here is about 1000’ lower than my previous Leadville campsite too, so it’s easier to breathe. (I think the last one may have been around 11,500’)  I’m loving the weather here; every day it’s the same….69 degrees daytime, 40 at night. The stars at night here are amazing. I really need to learn more about the constellations. I got a “star finder” app for my phone but of course I seldom have a good enough signal for it to work.

It’s the weekend of the Leadville 100 race, and the town is bursting at the seams. I had to go get ice Saturday and vowed not to go out again until after the weekend is over; traffic was horrendous, and they already had roads closed off and were putting up bleachers on both sides of the race route. It’s a grueling 100 mile run in elevations from 9200′ to 12,600′! The winner was from Flagstaff, AZ and finished in just under 16 hours. !! I can’t imagine. The Turquoise Lake Recreation Area is nearby and their campgrounds are full, as well as the overflow areas. (Yet here there’s plenty of free space, less than a mile away….go figure.)

My campsite has a gigantic boulder, and I WANT IT! Guess I can’t take it back on top of the car, eh?

DSCN7901

Here are a few Amazon product links. You can use these to access Amazon and then use their Search bar to find everything you could possibly want! Thanks!!

Gatorade Thirst Quencher Powder

JUANWE 5 Pack 32GB USB Flash Drive

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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

The Heat Is On!

The heat is on! After 5 days of not being able to do anything because of high winds, we had two pretty nice days for working. And now we’re into a heat wave! Today is “only” 81, then for the next 13 days (that’s as far as the forecasts go) it’s supposed to be between 87 & 90 degrees!! You KNOW I don’t do heat! 80 is really my cutoff point, and that’s when I’m not doing any hard labor!  The average temp for this time of year is 75 degrees. This is exactly why I was so anxious to get the purple shed picked up and out of my way, but I really didn’t expect to run into temps like this until the end of May.

I guess I’ll just plan to only work a few minutes at a time, then rest and cool off. But that brings up another problem; I don’t have any place cool. I haven’t found anyplace better to put the camper where it’d be shady and still head into the wind.The Fantastic Vent fan does help but it’s no substitute for air conditioning!  I need to somehow rig up a big shade cloth over the whole camper.

In the past two days I got a lot done though, at least by my standards.  I built the floor framing for the sofa/bed bump-out, attached the hardware cloth, built the foundation piers and dropped it in place! It’s temporary; I did that just so I could make sure the foundation was right and everything was level. Now I have to pick it up again and permanently attach the two 2×6 foundation beams to the 4×4 posts.

The bump-out is 39″ x 85″. The finished interior size will be 34.5 x 77 and the sofabed will be 32×75.  The back is even with the back of the main house but the front is about a foot shorter, and it will not be part of the main roof; it will have it’s own little shed roof coming off the side.

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Oh how I love those nice clamps I got at Harbor Freight! It’s like having four extra hands. I don’t know how I ever built anything without them before!

My garden is officially dead and gone. It was warm last night so I left nearly all the plants outside in Roxie’s exercise pen, to protect them from the rabbits. Oops. Something smaller than a rabbit had a feast! All my dear baby tomatoes got eaten off at ground level, it ate all the buds off the marigolds, and it even ate the radishes that the rabbits didn’t like. Luckily the 3 little lettuce plants and two rosemary babies were inside the camper because the lettuce is kind of limp and wimpy-looking, and it didn’t bother the two green pepper plants.  If I have a garden next spring I’ll have to figure out a way to keep those predators away.

Here are some links to Amazon items that readers have purchased recently. Feel free to use these link to access Amazon for all your needs. Amazon has everything, you know!

Toy Storage Net for Stuffed Animals

Nature’s Truth Ultra Tart Cherry Extract

Alpicool Portable Compressor Fridge Freezer (I want one of these!!)

Hot Logic Mini-Mac Personal Portable Oven

 

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Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

One Step Forward

You know that old saying, “One step forward, two steps back”? Yeah.  That’s the dance I’m doing today. The great feelings I had for yesterday’s progress are gone.

Yesterday I opened the outlet valve on the water tank to see how it worked, and to make sure it was closed when I got the tank filled. Some water ran out! It was supposed to be a brand new tank, but I thought “Well, maybe they put some water in it to test it or something”. Didn’t think a thing more about it until this morning when I went out to wash off the valve so I could attach the thingie to convert it from 1 1/2″ opening down to garden hose size. I decided to catch that valuable water in a pan and use it to water my baby pinon tree. So I poured a couple pans of water on the tree, and it was still coming out pretty good so I went and got a bucket. As it was running into the bucket I put my hands into it to splash it around and get the dust off that area. “Hey, this isn’t water, it’s oil”!!

 I called the place I got it and he said nonchalantly “Oh yeah, it’s new but it’s got some MCT oil in it, it won’t hurt anything or you can just rinse it out.” Don’t you think that’s something they should have MENTIONED when I bought the thing????!! If it’s been used for oil, IT’S NOT NEW!!! Now I know why it was cheaper than everyone else around here. Won’t HURT anything!? It would totally ruin my water filter if I tried to run water with oil through there, and there are plenty of things I don’t want OIL in, no matter how harmless it is. (Including my baby tree that I’ve probably killed) I’ve already drawn off about 1 1/2 gallon and there’s still more in there. And it’s all over the ground and the wooden platform, what a mess.  I’m so glad I found this out before I took delivery of 275 gallons of water!!
Just rinse it out, he says. Sure, if only I had any WATER to rinse it with!! And I don’t think oil is going to come out without some kind of soap or emulsifier. So if I do put soap and water in it, how do I swish it around? Maybe a mop stuck down from the top, although now that the top of the tank is about 7′ off the ground, that would not be easy.   And is the outlet valve at the lowest point so all the soapy water would come out?? No, it is not. I would have to put water in it several times in order to dilute the soap that’s left in the bottom!!  I am SO MAD!!!!!
MCT is Medium Chain Trigliceride oil; usually from coconuts. So he’s right that it wouldn’t hurt to drink, and it’s actually very expensive to buy. ($30 a quart!)  But I don’t want it in my drinking water, and I don’t want to water my plants with it.
Also when I was awake in the middle of the night again, I realized my foundation is not good enough at all. What was I thinking??? I’ve got the whole weight of the house resting on just two 2×6 crossmembers!  I will need to add a support in between the existing two, with 4×4 going across. I should be able to do that while the floor frame is sitting in place; in fact it’ll make it easier to get the height exactly right.
And here I was feeling so optimistic about progress. Silly me, I totally forgot about the Paquette Curse. I’ve just taken a bunch of steps backward. My heart is down around my ankles and I just want to cry. I never would have bought that tank if I’d known there was anything in it, because of the difficulty of washing it out with so little availebl water. I’m probably going to have to buy some 5 gal. water jugs, and I don’t want to spend money on that! All I have is eight 1 gallon jugs, which normally last me about a week.
And I think I’m going to have to ask Frank and Tracy to lift the tank back down to the ground, and I hate to ask for help in the first place, let alone to UNDO something they just did yesterday!  Very discouraged right now.
Categories
Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

Foundation Piers and Water Tank

Well construction has gone slowly; for two weeks we had very high winds (35-65 mph) at least 4 days a week. I tried but it’s really impossible to work in those kinds of wind, with silt blowing into my face. And sometimes it’s hard just to try to stand up against it! One day it blew down one of the little trees in front of the house site, which I really needed for shade! (Even though it was a little scraggly) Turns out it had been sawed nearly all the way through at the base..?? Maybe the shed guys did that. It would not have lived anyway. Maybe someday I can plant a prettier tree there.

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Finally I have the foundation piers done. For each one I dug down a few inches and filled the cavity with small gravel and tamped it down good, then added a large 16×16″ patio stone and leveled that. Then added a cement deck block and made sure everything was level again. The trouble I ran into was trying to get all the piers level with each other, and it was really hard and heavy work, having to keep removing the deck blocks, lift up the patio stones and rearranging the gravel underneath. Actually the first three went fairly easily, it was the last one that gave me fits. Then on one of my 2 a.m. think sessions, I decided to back up and do it differently.

The cement deck blocks have indentations that will accept a 2-by board going horizontally, or a 4×4 post vertically.

DSCN7693I was trying to use the 2×6’s horizontally but I remembered that with both my first and fourth house, I attached the floor joists to short lengths of 4×4. Then in order to level it, you just adjust the height of the 2×6 on the 4×4, it doesn’t really matter if the piers are level to each other! Phew….SO much easier! After struggling with the first ones for three days, I had the new ones all set up, level with each other and clamped in place in just a few hours.  I  had to use shims to hold the 4×4’s in place and plumb though, as the spaces in the deck blocks was considerably larger than the post. Then I drilled holes and bolted the 2×6’s to the 4×4 posts. Done! The floor frame will be cantilevered out from these supports on all sides. Now I’m waiting for some help to lift the floor frame onto the foundation.

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Another thing that I had to change was how to attach the hardware cloth to the underside of the floor. I am using 1/4″ hardware cloth as rodent protection. I got the floor all squared up and screwed braces across each corner plus added joist hangers, hoping it would keep it in square. Neighbor Frank helped me list it up and lean it against a tree so I could staple on the hardware cloth. Here it is leaning against the tree.

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I got out my handy clamps and unrolled the first piece of the mesh, clamped it evenly across the top and then when I clamped it to one side, I noticed that it was not lining up straight with the floor joist. So that meant the floor was not square any more.  Frank thinks the only way to do it is to lay it on the foundation, square it up and add the mesh, then flip it over. Ugh! That’ll be a lot harder than just standing it up, attach the mesh, and lay it back down. But I’m afraid he’s right.

I’ve also been working on the water tank support in my spare time. Three sides are done and I got the first course of cement blocks all laid and leveled on the 4th side, ready for the really heavy corner pieces which are two cement blocks stuck together, with post holders embedded in the centers. I managed to get one of them down so I could work on the leveling but they are too heavy for me to lift back up, so will have to wait on that also until Frank can come back and help with the lifting. I wish I was stronger but I already have back degeneration problems and the bad knee; I’m terrified I’ll injure myself and then not be able to work on the house at all. News Flash…Frank and his friend Tracy just left,  and they helped me finish up the water tank! Wow, now I can order some water! And they also laid the floor framing down and we got it squared up so I can now attach the hardware cloth. Yippeeeee! What a good day!

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Most of my seedlings are doing well, though they seem to grow really slowly. I think they are sooo cute, especially the teeny tiny lettuce plants. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about a garden; a discussion on Facebook about gardening showed that a lot of people have given up on it around here because of the critters who come and eat it all. Even in a friend’s greenhouse! I think I will maybe just have some container vegs and maybe even put them up on a table to keep the critters away. Right now they reside inside Roxie’s exercise pen during the day, or in the car if it’s too windy.

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Two varieties of heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, chives, rosemary and a couple onions. The bell peppers never did germinate.

Oh and here are a few Amazon links; items that other readers have recently purchased. You can use these links as a gateway to the rest of Amazon’s products, and I get a small percentage. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra) Thanks! Also there are a couple links at the top right for donating……if you like the blog, please consider “a cup of coffee” for $3. I promise I won’t waste the money on buying coffee, LOL!  And for those who have donated, thank you so much!!

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Colorful Kids’ Telescopic Butterfly Nets

EHP Myristin Canine Joint Formula

 

 

 

 

Categories
Arizona DIY Micro House DIY Tiny House Micro House Off-grid living Ownen-built tiny house Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

It’s a house!

I’ve picked up a very bad habit…..I’ve been getting up at 5:30 every morning! All through my working life, all I wanted was to be able to sleep in until 8:00 and now that I can, I can’t! I’m pretty sure it’s because there are too many thoughts whirling around inside my head, and I’m hoping that if things ever settle down, I’ll be able to sleep later. But another problem is that I’m “training” Roxie to get up at 5:30 also, so she probably won’t allow me to sleep much later than that. Some mornings when I might have slept later, she insists that she MUST go out at the crack of dawn. I’ve tried getting up and taking her out, then going back to sleep but it just doesn’t work. I’m wide awake by then, Perhaps I should get blackout curtains for the house.

Here’s this morning’s sunrise. It was actually much prettier than this.

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I borrowed my neighbors’ trailer and picked up the materials for the house floor on Wednesday.. Sticker Shock and Reality Check! I had figured it would cost about $300. It actually cost $395, plus I just bought another $31 worth yesterday! That includes insulation. I had not bothered to figure costs for what I considered to be “incidentals”, and those incidentals really add up in a hurry! A small box of nails is over $4; a small box of screws is nearly $9 ($.10 each!), the hardware cloth that goes all over the underside of the floor joists to keep out mice & rats was almost $60, and there was $40 in sales tax! $400+ just for this teeny weeny  8×8′ floor?! This is gonna be a big problem down the line somewhere, as I only had a little bit in savings, plus the little bit that’s left from my monthly Social Security payments, to build this house.  I’ll just have to go as far as I can until the money runs out, then wait for the next SS check. I fear this is going to take me well into hot weather though, and I really was trying to avoid that, as I’m extremely sensitive to heat.

I let the nice helpful boys at Lowes help me pick out all the 2×6’s, a mistake I will never make again! They are terrible….nearly all of them are twisted or curved or both. Lesson learned.  That first day I hardly did anything but hammer nails in and then remove them, for one reason or another, but the second day went much better. And I’ve become an expert at removing 16-penny nails. It’s been so long since I built anything, I’ve forgotten a lot of the basics. Like measuring everything that comes from the lumberyard. I stupidly assumed an 8′ board would be 8′ long. Nope, one of mine was 1/2″ too long! If i’d used it, I never would have been able to get the floor squared. Most of the boards were “pre-cut” and were $1.50 cheaper than the full 8′ long, and since I’d have to cut them anyway, it seemed like the thing to get. I asked the guys at Lowes, if I use a pre-cut with a 2-by at each end, does that equal 8′? And they both said yes. Not true, because pre-cuts are meant for making 8′ walls which have a bottom plate and TWO top plates.  Wish I’d remembered that in the store.  So my house is 1″ narrower than I wanted. Seems a small thing, but that’s OK in one direction but not the other; I’m going to have a hard time fitting everything into that 8′ wall as it is; an inch less would be impossible.  Plus now I’m going to have to cut the subfloor sheathing instead of it fitting perfectly onto my 8×8′ square. Not a huge deal, just one more thing I have to get right.

So here’s my floor foundation. Boy, that sure does look tiny! Technically this is not going to be a Tiny House, it’s a Micro House. I think anything under 100 sq. ft. is considered Micro.

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And here’s my solution to the wind problem and raising seedlings….the car makes a great little greenhouse! I can regulate the amount of heat by opening or closing the windows on the side away from the wind. Whether or not these baby plants will ever make into a garden is up in the air, but we’ve got a pretty good start. I really want to have a garden; there’s just a lot of more important stuff going on right now, plus I hate to spend the money for materials to make raised beds and all the dirt to fill them. I’d thought about straw bale gardening but the straw is $10 a bale here, and they’re only good for one season.

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MANY THANKS to everyone who has “donated to the cause”! (Links at upper right) Every penny helps!

Here are some of the items that readers have purchased through my link recently. Please feel free to use any of these links to search for other items to purchase! I get a small commission on each item, and it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Powertec Band Clamp

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Blu-Ray

Qunol Ultra CoQ10 Water Soluble