Canopy Project

I have a canopy over the camper to keep out rain and the sun’s heat! It was quite a project and I’m still not done, but it’s up and functioning pretty well. I just happen to have a big cedar tree on one side of the camper and a big multi-trunk stump on the other. I wanted to somehow stretch a rope that went across the top of the camper so I dug a hole at the base of the stump and used super-strong cable ties and rope to hold a 2×3 it, with a piece of 4×4 block as a spacer so it stood upright.



Then I had to take it all apart because I’d forgotten to attach the rope to the top, and it was too rocky and uneven to set up the ladder so I could reach it. Oops!

The other side was harder, because I had to somehow thread the tope through a bunch of cedar branches in order to get to the trunk. I tied the end of the rope to a 1×2 and pushed it through and then got on the ladder at the tree trunk and pulled it on through. I didn’t quite get it high enough though, so I had to cut some branches with the reciprocating saw so I could get the rope high enough.


I have some big heavy metal fence posts I still need to hammer in, so the ends will be held away from the roof a few inches. I got one in and then discovered it was in the wrong place, and now I can’t get it out! Another one needs to go where there’s a rock so I need to get my pickaxe from storage and see if I can get it out. I hope it’s not gigantic!

I got cinders delivered last week! He did a great job of spreading it while dumping and it looks really nice. I hated to spend the money but if I want to be able to get in and out of here when the monsoon rains hit (early July?) I’ll need the gravel base.  One load was enough to cover the whole driveway loop, plus the 30′ part where  I park.


I have a guest! It’s a friend of a friend who is looking for property in this area. He’s been living in a tiny teardrop camper for the past 4 years! Wow there aren’t many people who live in something smaller than my own camper. He’s got a nice little setup though, with a 10×10 canopy for his “living room”.


It’s working fine having a guest; he pretty much stays to himself and so do I. I was hoping he’d be someone who could help me with the house, but Jeff has a back back and shoulder. Darn.

I got my car paid off! Then a couple days later it started making a weird sound in the front….ain’t the way?! I had to get new struts to the tune of $917.

I also got a couple quotes from carpenters, to build my roof. It’s just labor; I already have all the materials and I even have all the rafter angles figured and rafters cut. It’s just 5 sets of rafters, 8×11 structure. Both guys agreed that it would be about 12 hrs. for two guys. Well the first guy quoted $2000, which is CRAZY!! That’s $85 per hour per man. The second guy quoted $3000 ($125 per hour per man)! I don’t get it; carpenters here make $25-30 per hour!  I guess they just didn’t want the job. So it looks like I’m going to have to build the roof myself after all. I’m scared to death to be up that high on a ladder, toting 2×6 rafters & ridge board, and sheets of plywood! Heck I can’t even pick up a sheet of plywood any more; I have to drag it The only way I can see to get the plywood up on the roof is to cut it into smaller pieces. I cried and cried but now I’m OK, I can do this thing. I’ve decided to build the interior wall first, the one for the closet, fridge and bathroom. It’ll have a small storage loft over it, and if I build that now it’ll give me a more stable platform to work from than a ladder.

I bought the 24×40 shower pan that will be the bathroom floor; I wanted to make sure I build the walls to fit. I’ll have to do the drain plumbing first though. Instead of cutting holes in my floor & messing up the insulation and rodent-proof mesh, I’m going to put a second floor in the bathroom, on top of the existing floor. I’ll just have to step up a bit to enter the bathroom. It will be a “wet bath”; the shower pan is the whole bathroom.

Oh yeah, bad news about my Amazon Associates account. They kicked me out. There’s a really long Operating Agreement with lots of legalese and I did read it, but I guess I didn’t catch all the rules. They say I told people how to bookmark a link, and that’s a big no-no. People are supposed to use “live links”, not enter from a bookmark. They take a real hard line on not following their rules; I know a couple other bloggers who got booted out for doing something wrong.  That’s a real blow to the budget, I relied on that $150 or so extra income every month. They pay two months in arrears so I’m also not going to get the $363 that I earned for the past two months. So anyway if you’re using my links to order from Amazon, try to find some other deserving blogger to get the credit.


Posted in Arizona, DIY Micro House, DIY Tiny House, Micro House, Off-grid living, Ownen-built tiny house, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Anti-inflammatory Supplements


Several people have asked what anti-inflammatory supplements I’m taking for my arthritis, so here’s a rundown on the ones I take that I think are most effective. A word of caution though; all the anti-inflammatories here also have blood thinning properties, so if you are already on a prescription blood-thinner, you might want to discuss using these with your doctor. I take a lot of supplements and I had to go off any blood-thinners and anti-inflammatories before my PRP procedure, and I was shocked to discover that I was taking SIX different blood thinning supplements! No wonder when I do a “stick” for a glucose test, it’s still bleeding five minutes later, LOL!

I’ve spent hours on line trying to figure out which supplements are most effective and best for the money. I can tell you that buying most supplements at Walmart, CVS or Walgreens is a waste of money. Supplements are one of those things where you pretty much get what you pay for. It’s difficult to figure out the actual cost per serving when all the brands have different strengths and different number of pills per serving.; when researching on Amazon you have to click on every one of the products to get that information.  A good research tool is the website  They use science-based studies, give the references and don’t sell or take advertisements for any supplements

Omega 3 Fish Oil: I use Arazo Nutrition Omega 3 Fish Oil  Research has shown that you need to take at least 2700 mg per day in order to be effective. Many of the studies use dosages of 3000-4000 mg per day. These capsules are large but go down easy, and no fishy burps if you take them with a meal! The recommended daily dose on the bottle is 3 capsules (4800 mg Omega 3) but I just take two, for 3200 mg.   $.34 per day.

Curcumin: I use ProHealth Optimized Curcumin 1000 mg  Wow, there’s a lot of different opinions on this one, but Curcumin is great stuff! Probably the best thing I take. This is the most confusing supplement I’ve researched. Apparently curcumin from just plain turmeric root is very poorly absorbed. You must get one with either Bioperine,  “Longvida” process turmeric root, one that uses 95% Standardized curcuminoids, or theracurmin (teeny tiny particle size 100x smaller than the others, so it’s readily absorbed)  The one I take is Longvida and pretty pricey but I get 1000 mg in just one pill. $1 per day.  I’m thinking of trying this one next time: Bioclinic Naturals Theracurmin 2X . It is not as strong but is supposed to be 27x more bioavailable than the other kinds. It would cost $.83 per day.

Cat’s Claw: I use Source Naturals Cats Claw Defense Complex 1000 mg Cats Claw is an immune system booster but it also helps with arthritis pain. This stuff REALLY helped with the pain in my fingers when I lived in the humid NC climate. I could tell a big difference if I didn’t take it for a couple days in a row!  One per day, $.12

Hope this helps.  When I had to go off these supplements for 10 days, I noticed a definite difference in my pain levels in fingers, neck and knees.

I’ve been trying to walk about a mile a day. Thanks to Dr. Matt (and maybe the supplements), I’m able to do this without knee pain!!  Two months ago this would have been impossible. I have a little track that’s about 500′ long, and it take two minutes for each lap, so I have to go round and round 15 times. It’s pretty boring, but it’s difficult to walk on the deep cinders in the road, plus I don’t want to have to go past the neighbor’s house in case she’s outside and I get trapped into talking to her. I’ve had to get it done before noon, when the kidney pain starts up. I must say though, the pain is GONE since I took the herb Chanca Piedra for three days! (It’s also called “stone crusher herb”) My Dr. Matt told me about it…..he’s brilliant!  I love that he uses both holistic and traditional Western medicine.

It’s warm today, around 75° and very sunny (and windy, that goes without saying these days) so I’m wearing shorts. And my knee braces. I realized while walking today that my lily-white legs are going to get a very strange tan this summer…..with a weird 11″ white spot above & below my knees, where the brace goes!

I have a little bit of house news; I’ve contacted a roofer who’s going to come out and give me an estimate on doing the roof! If it’s a decent quote, he said he could do it one day next week….woo \-hoooo!!! It would be so nice to get a little more progress on the house!











Posted in Arizona, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 9 Comments


Howdy everyone! No progress on the house to report, I’m sad to say. I spoke with Wyatt about 3 weeks ago and he agreed to help for a few hours, to square up the frame and get the first and last sets of rafters up, securing the ridge board. I thought maybe I could manage to set the in-between rafters. (Haha, no way, but it sounded good at the time). Since then we’ve had some pretty crappy weather on the Saturdays, but this Saturday looks really good…warm and not windy!  And I’ve decided that if I don’t hear from Wyatt this week, I’m going to go ahead and hire a couple guys to do the roof for me. I REALLY would like Wyatt to do it because I know he’s really good, but I just can’t wait around forever. Summer is going to be here soon and I really don’t want to be stuck having to live in this hot-box of a camper.

Last week I got PRP (Platelet-Rich-Plasma) in both knees. It’s half the cost of stem cells and seemed to be the best way to go right now; it contains several different growth factors that should prod my own lazy stem cells into going back to work and making some new cartilage. That’s the theory, anyway. They take some of my blood and spin it in a special centrifuge, then draw the platelets off the top and inject them into my knees. I always have a hard time getting blood drawn; my veins see a needle coming and they somehow manage to squirm away from the needle. It happens every time. Two people tried and it took several sticks. They needed to get 60cc of blood but gave up once they got 50cc. It turned out okay; they ended up with about 25cc of platelets and they only needed 10cc to do both knees.

So now it’s a waiting game; it takes a couple months before we’ll know if it’s working. In the meantime, my knees are pain-free! I’ve even been walking for about a mile most every day, which would have been impossible a couple months ago. I think it’s from wearing the braces and also the anti-inflammatory supplements I’m taking. I had to go off them for about a week when I got the PRP and boy, did I find out how well they worked! My fingers, neck and back all started hurting. I’m back on them now and already feeling better. Sometimes it takes more than one PRP treatment but I’m hoping I’ll get lucky and only need the one.  I’m seriously thinking about getting PRP treatment in my poor neck in a month or two also. Before I went off my supplements, it was feeling really good. Now it feels really bad again and I’m back to getting the weekly homeopathic Traumeel injections. I’m sure glad I have that to fall back on; it really does help a lot. But a more permanent fix would be nice.

So. Fixed the knees, now guess what? Kidney stone.  Yeah. I’ve been having that awful back/flank pain for three weeks now. For some reason it never hurts overnight or in the mornings; it starts up around noon every day, so I have to get out and get my chores done early.  I’m just waiting for the darn thing to work it’s way out, which I hear is terribly painful but really, I’m ready for it. I’m so tired of the unrelenting back pain! It seems like there should be a comfortable position but there’s just not. I just hope I don’t end up in the ER with it; who can afford that?! I checked and that lithotripsy procedure that they use to bust up the stones costs $5,000-$8,000! Gulp!  I don’t usually miss having electricity but this is one time I’d love to have enough power to run a heating pad; I hear that helps with the back pain. I guess I’ll buy a hot water bottle, but that’s a lot harder to lay on than a nice flat heating pad.

The weather is behaving, at least this week! Last Friday we got enough snow to  cover the ground, but it melted quickly. We’re starting to get temps in the 70’s, and around 40 at night. Nice.  Here’s a photo taken yesterday when they scraped the road near Big Lake, AZ which is at 9200′ elevation. Still a bit of snow up there!


Here’s a link you can use to access Amazon. From there you can use Amazon’s Search Bar to find everything your little hearts desire! THANK for using it! It really help me.

Village Candle Gardenia 26 oz.









Posted in Arizona, Off-grid living, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

March Winds

The March Winds arrived in February this year! Aarrgh. I was hoping to get the house enclosed before that happened. There has been no progress on the house….though I have talked with Wyatt, and he’s still on board, he just hasn’t had any free time that meshed with a good weather day. Now that the winds are here, that will be even more difficult. There’s no way I can build a 9/12 pitch roof by myself; that was NEVER in the plans!  I am pretty sure he’ll make an effort to get it “dried in” before the hot weather hits. I sure hope so, as I really don’t want to have to take off for higher elevations again this summer.

I have been working hard on my health. I’ve really let things go lately. I had bloodwork done and everything was a little bit high….glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure. My doc (he’s actually a Nurse Practitioner, but who’s counting?) draws a pretty hard line on taking care of these things so I’ve had to reform my eating habits. And that’s good; I need someone to be cracking the whip. If I think I’m going to have to answer to someone, I’ll be good as gold. I ate like a pig for the past 6 months or so, I think because I was so unhappy with my living conditions. I felt as though I deserved a consolation prize, preferably something made of pure sugar.

He threatened me with having to take Metformin, which I hope I never have to do. I think at this point it would only be a crutch for me, leaning on the drug to do MY job of watching what I eat.

So after 7 weeks, I’ve lost 18# and have been able to reduce my blood pressure meds from 3 different meds, 4 pills a day to just one. I was so glad to ditch the diuretic, for obvious reasons!  He switched me to a calcium channel blocker because I’m getting stem cells in both knees in next month (yayyy!) and that’s the blood pressure type that’s most friendly to stem cell growth. I’ve got a handle on the glucose and I’m pretty sure the next time I check the cholesterol will be down also. I’m eating way more vegetables than I like, but so far it’s bearable. I actually am trying things I’ve never eaten before!  Like avocado. Just as I thought, I didn’t like it. I don’t like very many green things except pickles and green M&M’s.

I used to tell myself I was SURELY one of the 20% of people who are not affected by salt, but I can see now that’s not true. Sob…..I LOVE salt! But cutting out most salt has really made a huge effect on my blood pressure. I used to salt everything without even tasting it first, and I’m ashamed to say I even put salt on toast. And ham.  Now i get all giddy when I think I detect a grain of salt in a mouthful of food.  I still use salt, just very sparingly.

I’m not following any particular diet but am using some of the Dash Diet principles, and just trying to eat more sensibly. I don’t count carbs or calories because it’s just too difficult. I cook, I hardly ever eat processed foods or eat in restaurants so it’s too much of a hassle to add up all those ingredients.  I’m losing a little over 2# a week and that’s fine. It’s going to be a long slow process, probably around 9 months. But I’ve GOT to get the weight off my poor knees  or else the stem cell therapy will be a total waste of borrowed money. I had stem cells in my right knee 6.5 years ago and it was like a miracle cure which should have lasted about as long as a knee replacement, but my weight is a crushing burden for them.  Did you know that for every extra pound of weight you carry, it’s 4# additional pressure on your knees?! No wonder they hurt!!

In the past 6 weeks I’ve had 3 separate knee injuries. It seemed like they were taking turns. I think when I hurt one, I’d put a lot more weight and stress on the other one, so then it would pop too. My doc would fix me up with Traumeel injections and they’d be 90% better two days later, but something had to give. He had me get hinged knee braces for both knees and I wear them all day, and my knees don’t hurt at all right now!  The brace I decided on is comfortable to wear all day and it never slides down like so many do. I had a problem with one of the straps and contacted Customer Service and they mailed me a new brace that same day, via 2nd day air!!

So that’s about all that’s going on around here. I just wanted to let everyone know that Roxie and I are still alive & kicking. We are still getting some snow and I am SO ready for Spring!!

Here are a couple links to Amazon products. You can click on these links and once you’re at the Amazon site, use their Search Bar to find everything your heart desires. And thanks!

Hinged Knee Brace Plus Size

Crio Bru Roasted Cocoa Beans (I love this stuff!)


Posted in Off-grid living, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

More Snow

You may have seen Arizona on the news because of the record snowfalls last week. Even Tucson got snow! Flagstaff had a record 35″ of snow in a 24 hour period. We dodged a bullet and only got 20″.  I was prepared for being snowed in for up to three weeks with three full tanks of propane and 10 gallons of drinking water.

I parked my car out near the road and I think I made a tactical error. I haven’t been out there because the snow was over my boot tops. We’ve had a couple nice sunny days though and now the snow is only about a foot deep so today I’m going to shovel it away from the car to give me a clear path to the road, so if the snowplow ever shows up I can get out. I really should have shoveled it while it was nice and fluffy. Now it’s wet and heavy and it will take a lot more work.  Thank goodness it’s only about 6′ from the road!

Last week right before the snow, I injured my GOOD knee! So my bad knee had to become the good knee, and that’s bad.  I could barely bend that knee. I went to my doctor (well he’s really an FNP but who’s counting?) and got Traumeel anti-inflammatory injections in both knees and by the next morning, I was good to go! My range of motion had increased a lot and it no longer hurt to walk on it. I love that stuff! It’s homeopathic so won’t do any harm, unlike steroids which can actually make your condition worse over time.

But I’m facing some tough decisions about my knees. He had already told me a couple weeks ago that if I didn’t do something, I would continue to have breakdowns and injuries one after another, and every time that happened I’d be chipping away at the little bit of meniscus and cartilage I’ve got left. And it’s already coming true. (Did he jinx me?) There is no possible way I could afford knee replacement, and really am resistant to that idea anyway. So I’m seriously contemplating getting a cash advance on my VISA card and getting hyaluronic acid injections and stem cell therapy in both knees. It’s about $4000. I hate like heck to go into debt any more than I already am, but it’s important.

I had stem cell therapy in my right knee about 8 years ago and it was like a miracle cure! It should have lasted about the same length as a knee replacement (15-20 years) but I’m sure my weight had a big factor in it not lasting that long. Per my recent x-rays, it’s still much smoother than the other knee and doesn’t have the bone spurs.

I also MUST get some weight off these poor knees! Did you know that every pound of excess weight puts 4# of extra pressure on your knees? In my case, that’s a LOT of pressure. My A1C, cholesterol and blood pressure have been a little bit high so it’s time. Watching what I eat will take care of all three of those problems. Sigh. I love candy! But I’ve been very good for the last month and have lost 11# already.  It hasn’t been that hard once the carb cravings quit.

He also said I need to get hinged knee braces for both knees and wear them all the time. I ordered a Vie Vibrante Knee Brace for fat legs from Amazon and it is surprisingly comfortable and never slips down like my old knee immobilizer. It’s amazing how embarrassing it is to have your knee brace fall down in public,  I have to wait til I get more money before I can order the second one.

As for the house, nothing has been done. The roof is next and the only thing I can do until Wyatt comes back is to get all the roof rafters cut. I got about half of them done but my saw was having a really hard time. I think the off-brand batteries I bought are losing their oomph. They work fine for the drills and sawz-all but I think the circular saw requires more power. So I bought two Dewalt brand batteries. (wow, really expensive and they don’t sell them individually, you have to buy two). Once I got them we started getting high winds for days on end and then a little rain, some snow days and I never did get back to the project. Now everything is blanketed in snow and once it melts it’ll be godawful muddy for a week or so, but one of these days I’ll get them done.

My helper Wyatt is really busy with his full-time job, pregnant wife and 3 kids plus taking care of his own homestead, and now that he’s volunteering his time I don’t feel I can call him up and order him back to work, LOL! I’m afraid coordinating a time when he has some spare time on the same day that the weather’s good will be a real challenge. We’re about to go into the windy season too, and I don’t think we can do the roof in 25 mph wind! I have faith that it will get done eventually; hopefully before the really hot weather hits.

Here’s a link to Amazon. Feel free to use this link or the one above for access, then you can use Amazon’s search bar to find everything your heart desires (almost!) Thanks for using it! (You can also bookmark the link so it’ll be easier to use it in the future)

Dr. Bronner Pure Castile Liquid Soap, Almond

Posted in Off-grid living, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

WiFi! Walls!

I finally have wifi here at the homestead!! I gave in and signed up for an unlimited ATT hotspot for $70 a month. It’s a lot of money and will take out of my building fund but I had been only using data on my Tracfone and spending $40-50 a month, and that was just for using email and Facebook, no book downloads, no clicking on cute Facebook videos or You Tube!  I’m thrilled to be able to use my Chromebook at home too, and not have to type emails on my tiny phone keyboard.

Awhile back I went to the library to use their wifi (which was usually super-slow or completely out of order) and there was a carpenter guy working on the outside of the building. So I asked him if he ever did any work on the side, and told him about my house and that I was going to need help with the roof. He said he wouldn’t mind helping, but he’d not have any time available until January. That was fine with me, as I had to build the stud walls. Well then the terrible weather came and I never did get any stud walls built.  I saw him again last week and asked if he could spare a day to help me build the walls, and he said he could be available on Friday and yesterday! We had both thought we might be able to get the walls up and a good start on the roof with two days to work, but it didn’t work out that way. Still, I am thrilled with the progress! It’s a house!

I had drawn out the stud placements for each wall, but Wyatt wanted the front and back wall to be “through walls” (full length) so I had to redo the plans. When he saw the drawings I’d done, he said “I guess you really DO know what you’re doing!” While I was doing that, he worked on figuring out a template for the roof rafters. He said he’d always built homes using manufactured trusses and not common rafters, but his dad called him and he was able to walk him through the process. I had tried and tried and TRIED and had gotten the top and bottom angles right, but I could not get the correct birdsmouth cut.  (The part that sits on top of the walls). I watched You Tube videos and looked it up in my books and nothing made sense to me. One method involves using trigonometry!!  And I flunked out of Algebra. Take the hypotenuse of the square root and……..well, that kind of stuff just makes my eyes glaze over.

So we ended up getting two walls built and the one long back wall erected that day. We only worked for 5.5 hours and I was so glad; I am really not able to stand for that long so my back and knees were killing me!  Here’s the back wall. As you can see, there will be three interior partitions intersecting it. Along that back wall will be the narrow bedspace, a closet, RV refrigerator and bathroom.



Yesterday we got the rest of the walls up!


It’s hard to tell from the photo, but from left to right, there’s a 39″ wide space for my bed, then the front of the house jogs out about a foot. The main house is 8×8 plus the 39″ by 7′ bed area. (No, don’t worry, my bed is not going to be the full 39″ twin size! It’ll be probably 34″ wide.)

I feel so lucky to have found Wyatt! And pretty astounded, because I’m not usually a lucky person. He’s actually a licensed general contractor so he really knows what he’s doing and since I’m off-grid,  he’s got a big generator to run the power tools and a gas-air compressor to run the nail guns which really speeds up the work!  He is truly a joy to work with…..if we disagree on something, he doesn’t just bulldoze his opinions on me; we discuss it and sometimes we do it his way, sometimes mine.  I can’t say enough good things about this sweet and lovely young man.

At the end of yesterday as we were putting tools away, etc. I asked him how much I owed and he told me he was committed to the project and that he was DONATING HIS TIME!!! So he’s not just going to get the walls & roof up, he’s going to be helping with the siding as well, which will be a huge help. And maybe more! I don’t know when he can come back again……we have to work around his and his wife’s work schedule (he’s got 3 kids) plus the weather. Frankly I’m glad to have a little break; those two solid days of work nearly killed me!  If it had been me building the walls, it would have taken a week. I usually work a little, then go lay down to rest my bad back and knees, then work a little more, etc. And I must admit, there is no earthly way I could have lifted the 11′ back wall into place.

I’m hoping the weather stays good (dry) for awhile. We are now back to normal weather, which is around 45/22.  The snow has almost all melted and the dreaded ooey-gooey mud has dried, yay! Roxie hated the mud as much as I did. I have some old pieces of OSB and plywood laid out as a walkway and she’d pee on them rather than get her dainty little feet muddy!

My next project is to clean out my 275 gallon IBC water tote.  I got the water delivered back in May, then took off for cooler climes for four months, so there’s still a lot of water left but it’s got THINGS floating in it!! I don’t know what they are but it tastes like pond water. I haven’t gotten sick from it but I don’t want to drink it. I was filtering it but the THINGS clogged up my filter so now I’m back to buying water in gallon jugs again. I guess I will have to hook up a garden hose and drain the tank, then add a little more water back in and bleach and use a mop to swish it around as best I can?? That would mean I somehow have to get right up on top of the thing. And perhaps I shouldn’t completely refill it next time, but just get 100 or 150 gallons for right now. (It costs $25 for up to 500 gallons) Once I get the house set up and start taking showers and using a kitchen sink, I’ll be using it much faster.

Here’s a link to Amazon. Feel free to use this link for access, then you can use Amazon’s search bar to find everything your heart desires (almost!) Thanks for using it! (You can also bookmark the link so it’ll be easier to use it in the future)

AcuRite Color Weather Station






Posted in Arizona, Micro House, Off-grid living, Ownen-built tiny house, Tiny Homes, Tiny House, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

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.


Pretty Sunrise while waiting for the snow!

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

Portable Solar Charger 


Posted in Arizona, DIY Micro House, DIY Tiny House, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

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.


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!



Posted in Arizona, DIY Micro House, DIY Tiny House, Micro House, Off-grid living, Ownen-built tiny house, Tiny Homes, Tiny House, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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.


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!



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


Posted in Arizona, DIY Micro House, DIY Tiny House, Micro House, Off-grid living, Ownen-built tiny house, Tiny Homes, Tiny House | 7 Comments

I’m insulated!

Big News! I got the floor repairs done! I decided to try it on my own. I put down a plastic tarp, then an ensolite foam camping pad on top. I thought I could lay on that and it would slide easily on the tarp. It took me a while to actually get down on the ground….I had to kneel first, and that’s excruciating on these poor knees. I laid down on my back but I couldn’t slide at all. I pulled out the foam pad and tried just laying on the tarp and I got a little ways in, but not far enough, and I could see it just wasn’t going to work. If I went in from the side, there was more space, 14” crawl space instead of only 8.5” in front (because of a low beam) so I tried that too. No go. I had two ideas, both crazy. One was to slide a long piece of plywood under there and try to borrow one of those car mechanic’s creeper things on wheels, though that would decrease the amount of available crawl space. The other idea was to spray the tarp with Pledge furniture polish; you know if you accidentally get that stuff on your floor it’s super-slippery?! (I SAID it was crazy!)

I went up to the neighbors’ to see if Frank had a creeper but he didn’t. He said “Lemme come up there and see what you’re talking about”. So we came back here and I told him my plan to do the repairs, and he dropped down and slithered right under there! I’m pretty sure it helps that he weighs about half what I do. It didn’t take long at all to get it all done, and my jerry-rigged plan actually worked! There is no way I could have done it myself, even if I could have gotten under there. WOW. I’ve been fretting over that project for two months now, and at last it’s behind me and I can make progress again!

On Wed. I put strips of ½” rigid foam insulation board between the joists. Today is really windy and I just spent half an hour chasing down all my foam strips that had blown away in today’s 25-30 mph wind! I managed to get them all back in place and weighted down with rocks. I hope they’ll stay this time.

Also on Wed.  I got the big fat roll of fiberglass insulation out of storage and strapped it to the roof of my car to get it home. Ugh, I hate insulating but at least it’ll be working downward, not on walls or ceilings where so much of that nasty stuff flies around.

I’m hoping to borrow a trailer and hire a $15 an hour guy on Saturday to help me bring my lumber back here. A friend in the neighborhood is having him come do some work already so it should just cost me one hour. I don’t need him to unload it; I would rather do that myself over a couple days’ time.  

My Thanksgiving dinner was a whole chicken that I cooked in my Weber Q grill on Wednesday. I’d have waited but it had been thawn out for 3 days and I was afraid it would go bad. I’m so glad I did that, as I would not have been able to keep the grill lit in Thursday’s wind. I didn’t do the whole dinner thing because I only have two burners on my stove and no oven; it would have been impossible to get it all hot at the same time. So I had leftover chicken, Stove Top Stuffing (ugh), instant mashed potatoes and homemade gravy from the chicken drippings.

Friday……I got the floor insulated today! Nice to have real progress. One step closer to having a house!! It was harder than I thought it would be…seems like everything is. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t done it in 30 years?



I am dog and cat-sitting for my good neighbors Candy & Frank. They have three itty bitty dogs and a huge black & white cat. Nice that I can use their internet while they’re gone and not have to drive to the library, where their internet often doesn’t work.

I can scarcely believe it, but I’m turning 70 next week. Seventy, that’s officially Elderly!! How can this happen to a nice gal like me???? I am REALLY not handling it well. I’m thinking about buying myself a cake. You should ALWAYS have cake on birthdays, right? I really shouldn’t spend the money but this birthday is so darned depressing already, I think I need lots and lots of cake to make it through the day.

Here is an Amazon product link for you to use. If you use this link to access Amazon, then you can use their search bar to find everything your little heart’s desire. Check out their Black Friday Sales! And thanks for using the links; it really helps a lot!

Pack of 6 LED Starry String Lights


Posted in Arizona, Micro House, Off-grid living, Ownen-built tiny house, Tiny Homes, Tiny House, Uncategorized | Tagged | 11 Comments

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!


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


Posted in Arizona, DIY Micro House, DIY Tiny House, Off-grid living, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

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.



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


Posted in Arizona, DIY Micro House, DIY Tiny House, Micro House, Off-grid living, Ownen-built tiny house, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Home Sweet Home

I left Silverton on 9/21, stopped for some much-needed groceries in Durango (they are hideously expensive in Silverton) and headed for home.

I stayed overnight at a nice little camping area between Mancos and Cortez, CO. It was just two miles from Mesa Verde National Park, and only ½ mile off Hwy. 160. I was worried about being able to get a site on a Saturday, and so close to the park. That’s one thing that has always amazed me during the 3+ years I traveled……that there are lovely free campsites within a few miles of nearly every national park, and I’ve never NOT been able to get a site anywhere I’ve gone! I find it very hard to understand why people will pay $8-20 for a site in an established campground with no amenities except a picnic table and rustic vault toilet, when there are always free campsites nearby. Is a stinky outhouse worth $8-20?? I’m proud to say that I didn’t spend a cent on campsites during this past 4 month adventure.

So….I’m home. First of all, I was shocked to see that my driveway has completely disappeared!! It was just a two-track off the graveled road but I didn’t think the weeds would completely take over and obliterate it.

Before I even stopped the car my Russian neighbor was here welcoming me home. Sigh. I was tired and my back & shoulders were killing me and all I wanted to do was get the camper parked, and I had to deal with HER. She said her dog “pooled me here”. It’s a 10# Pug…it can’t POOL her anywhere unless she lets it!! It’s a horrible bratty thing, completely untrained and wild. Anyway I asked her (fairly nicely) to let me get the camper parked, and that I’d had a long day of driving, and she went away. I’m 100% sure she’ll be back today. And tomorrow, and the next day. This is the worst thing about coming home; having to deal with her visits. I think twice a month would be more than enough visits, and she thinks once a day is appropriate. I just want to be left alone, unless some REAL friends want to visit. And I really hate having to deal with this situation!

When I travel, everything above the hinge line of the camper goes on top of the bed, held in place with an adjustable painter’s pole across the width of the camper. When I got home, for some reason a bunch of mashed potato flakes had escaped their box and snuggled into my fleece sheets!! What a mess. I’ve tried two different whisk brooms and they are not wanting to go…they are clinging desperately to that fleece. I’m going to have to invest in a car vac I guess. I need a little battery-powered vacuum anyway. So last night I slept on mashed potatoes. (Good thing I don’t wet the bed)

My camper door made it home intact, and in fact I’ve learned how to open and close it without making it come apart. That gives me a little more time to study it and figure out the best way to fix it.

There’s an awful lot of work to be done here to get it back to where it was when I left! I’m shocked at how many nasty foot-tall weeds have grown up everywhere. They’re the kind that get into Roxie’s coat and make mats, so I think the first thing on the agenda is to pull up a lot of those weeds so she can go out and go potty without picking up a new batch of Bad Things every time.

I had left some bags of garbage on top of an old pallet shed….I can’t remember why I was unable to take them to the dump but of course some animals got into them and now I have trash strewn all over the place. At least it’s all dried out now and I don’t have to pick up mushy, ooky stuff.

And my little house has been damaged a bit. I carefully stapled ¼” hardware cloth to the underside of the floor frame, then flipped it over. This is supposed to keep rodents out. Well in three places, the rigid foam is broken and the hardware cloth is hanging down! In order to repair it I’m going to have to take some wire and “sew” the pieces back together, and figure out a way to get underneath and staple it back in place, and in at least one of the spots, I have to somehow weave some wire in to hold it back together.  I’m afraid that means I have to lie on the ground, and I may never be able to get back up! Maybe I should have my phone on me so I can call 9-1-1.

The neighbor Elena was just here again. She told me the COWS did the damage to the house! There’s not much water around here and after a rain, it would pool up a little bit on the plastic I stapled on. Well apparently the cows were so desperate to get to the water, they tried to walk on my floor frame!! Geez I sure never thought to guard against THAT.  

Also I left a 20# propane tank here that had a leak. I was going to go exchange it for a different tank but didn’t have time before I left, but since it was leaking, I didn’t want to put it in my storage space. I thought I hid it pretty well but I guess not. Oh well…..I was very surprised to see my glass-topped patio table still here; I thought for sure someone would steal that.

So……time to go back to work! And just as I thought, it’s still too hot here. The day I got home my thermometer said 83. Ugh. I must say, the nights are very pleasant though, nicely cool but not so cold that I need the heater. It should start cooling down soon. I hope so because I have a lot of work to do and I have rules against exerting myself when it’s hot.

AWK! I just went outside and I have a flat tire. Ugh, I sure don’t look forward to trying to explain to the road service folks how to get here. There are SIX turns once you leave the highway!


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Heading Home

Well I guess I’ll be heading towards home tomorrow.  I’m having a lot of trouble with my camper door. It’s  trying to fall apart, and if it succeeds, I’d rather be home than in bear country. I guess it started back at the beginning of my trip when the camper roof latch popped off going over a big bump, and the door came open and flapped around for awhile, and the piano hinge got hyper-extended. I’ve been having minor problems wth it not wanting to shut every since.

The problems have been getting worse and worse, and last night I noticed that it was hanging more than halfway off the hinge! In hindsight, perhaps it was not such a good idea to keep trying to slam it shut. And the kicking probably didn’t help either.  Every time I open the door, it comes apart for more than halfway up, and I have to push it all back together in order to get the door shut. It’s only a matter of time before that whole strip is going to come off, and then I won’t have any way to keep the door on the camper.

It’s not the hinge though. The door is nothing but a square of 1/8″ luan plywood sandwiched between an inch of styrofoam, with 1/2″ aluminum C-channel all around the outside. The hinge is screwed into this aluminum C-channel, and it’s the channel that’s coming off. I thought at first I could just screw it back on, or even drill new holes for screws if I had to. But I can’t figure out what’s holding that channel on….maybe glue?? There aren’t any screws, and I don’t really think that screwing through just 1/8″ of plywood would hold anything for very long, especially with the bumps of the road.

So. It’s still a little warmer than I like at home, but I’d rather be there with this door thing going on.  It’ll take me two days to get there. I am ready to NOT have to move every 10-14 days!


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Still in Silverton

In this little camping area there are only 7 or 8 sites. Seven are filled, and we have an interesting array of camping styles. There’s me in my mini-A-frame camper; a truck camper, a Class C RV, a cartop tent camper, a tent, a van  camper and a motorcycle popup camper! What an assortment!

Right across the river is another camping area (Sultan) that had 8 campers all crammed together, plus 3 utility trailers. It was a group of men who went around in camo and blaze orange, so I guess they were hunting. They used noisy generators (and not nice quiet Hondas; more like the cheap Harbor Freight kind). They all left yesterday and I noticed a huge rack of elk antlers in one of the trailers, so I guess at least one of them went home happy. So glad to see the generators leave! Now I can hear the river’s song again.

I found out there’s a Fat-Chance-Belly-Dance convention here in town this week! You don’t suppose that’s why there are so many campers here now? Surely not. Here’s the photo from the event ad…….hmmm.



I am missing my friends a lot today. I’m usually OK with being totally alone since I’m an Extreme Introvert, but even introverts need friends. And mine are all far far away, and busy with their own lives. I haven’t seen any of them for more than a year and a half!

We’ve been having brilliantly sunshiny days and cold nights….in the low 30’s! I see snow on the higher mountain peaks pretty often in the mornings. The daytime temps are only in the high 60’s but the sun makes it seem warmer. The fall colors are brilliant and very beautiful, but I just can’t capture it on camera.  


Between my campsite and town there’s a marijuana farm, offering free farm tours. The sign says you have to be over 21 to take the tour, and I wonder why. Surely they don’t give out free samples at the end of the tour??

I went to town today and saw 5 moose near the side of the road! There was one young bull, two cows and two half-grown calves. I got a couple pics of the bull but the others kept hiding in the bushes so  all my photos of them were the kind where you have to say “There’s a moose in that picture, really there is!”.


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Return to Silverton

I’m in Silverton! I decided not to go to New Mexico this trip, but just head towards home. Silverton is about 50 miles out of route, but I love it here and I wanted to see the fall colors. They haven’t even started in the lower elevations, but they’re looking pretty good here. I think peak color is probably another week or so away. At the top of Molas Pass (between Durango and Silverton) they were brilliant!

I was here at exactly the same time last year but this year the campsites are crammed full of people!! Last year I had a whole cul-de-sac in Kendall camping area to myself, and that same place now has 5 campers in it! So I ended up at Anvil, which is just a little ways farther up the road, and much smaller, only 6 sites. I got a nice pull-through site right on the Animas River. It’s only about 4 miles from town so I even get a bit of a cell signal.


I left Poncha Springs and drove about half way; stayed overnight near Pagosa Springs. The sites I was aiming for were 4 miles from the main road. It was one of the worst roads I’ve ever been on!! Full of potholes; it took me 30 minutes to go less than 3 miles! I saw a pulloff with a few sites there and didn’t even bother to go the extra mile to check out the ones that were listed on It was right on the East Fork River but there were a bunch of bushes so I couldn’t actually see it, so I didn’t even unhook, just stayed overnight and went on in the morning. It took 30 minutes again to get back to the paved road.  This is a scene of one of the ranches off that road.


Along the way I was stopped for 25 minutes for construction, then as the long line of cars got moving again, I saw a moose swimming across a lake! There was no possible way to pull over and get a photo so I hope you don’t think I’m making this up, LOL!

I decided I needed a little hand-held DVD player so I stopped at Walmart in Pagosa Springs and Walmart in Durango, and they didn’t have the cheap $49 one I wanted. I even tried to order one on Amazon and have it delivered to General Delivery in Silverton, but for some reason they couldn’t ship it to a Gen. Delivery address. ??  So I guess I have to dig out my TV. It has a built-in DVD player but it takes up an awful lot of counter space in here, plus the cord has to run right across the doorway over to the inverter, and every time I need to go outside, I have to unplug everything. I am pretty bored with my only entertainment being books and the few games I have on Kindle, and I did bring a bunch of favorite DVDs plus a few bought at a yard sale right before leaving.

I forgot that I had to go over two mountain passes between Durango and here. It wasn’t too bad., as I had the road pretty much to myself. Here’s the view from the top of Molas Pass (10,910’)

It was 31 degrees this morning! The “official” low for Silverton was 28 so maybe my little $3 thermometer is off a bit. I had heavy frost on the car….sure glad I put the plants (Ivy and baby Rosemary) in the car last night. The elevation here is around 9200’ so we could actually get snow at any time. In fact when I was here back in the 70’s, there was a lot of snow and ice on the road going over Red Mountain Pass to Ouray, and that was in July! (Talk about white-knuckled driving; that pass is really scary even in good weather!)

I love Silverton, as long as the train from Durango isn’t in. Then it’s a madhouse of people everywhere. It reminds me of how Telluride used to be, back before it was “discovered”.

I caught a photo of the Durango-Silverton train leaving:



View from the other side of camp

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Retro Red Kitchen Apron

Bibene Door Alarm System DIY Security Kit

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