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Arizona Uncategorized

New Shutters!

Ok so I haven’t made a whole lot of progress. I decided to work on a frivolous task first….my purple shutters! I cut all the wood and sanded it with my new $6.99 Harbor Freight palm sander. It works great! I went and got a quart of “Perfectly Purple” paint, only to find that it wasn’t perfect at all. It looked good on those tiny paint chips, but in real life, not so good. The lavender color on the house is a bluish “cool” color and Perfectly Purple is a reddish “warm” color, so they clashed. It may have been fine for someone else but my fussy little brain kept screaming “IT’S JUST WRONG”! and I would not have been able to live with it. I did do a coat of primer and 3 coats of Perfectly Purple on the first shutter, just to make sure. Then today I had to go to town for some new drill bits because I broke two, and I got a $3.48 sample size of a cool dark purple,  Yup, that’s it! Since I only have that small amount, I guess I will continue to paint everything with the original color and just do a final coat on the outside only with the new color, and hope the sample is enough to do all 4 shutters. What do you think? I love it! It’s frustrating to spend 3 days and end up with only ONE shutter done, but now I know what I’m doing and I have another one all ready to put together.

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I haven’t ever used these woodworking bar clamps before, but they were on sale at Harbor Freight for only $3 each. I’m loving them!

Clamps

I also made a little pallet porch, but I need to put some OSB or plywood on top because the top slats are are little too far apart.  I have a pile of used OSB that might contain something I can use. I was too tired to paw through the pile after moving and stacking pallets to find some good ones, and the top piece on the OSB pile is almost a full sheet, so it’s really heavy. Maybe tomorrow. I’m trying to figure out if I want a porch. I think so, but maybe not quite as big as a pallet. I probably want some kind of rain protection overhead, too. Hahah, rain!? What’s that? They tell me it does rain here during the summer Monsoon season.

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Pallet Porch

I have mentioned before that I am eligible to get free food from the local Food Bank. So last Wed. I went up early, at 10 a.m. Never again! There were 25 people in line in front of me, not counting the 2 Indian women who saw a friend ahead of me and took cuts. (Grrr) It took more than an hour to get through the line, and my knees were not happy. Usually I go around noon and there’s no waiting. I drew a chance for a turkey or chicken, and I got a 12# turkey! I already had a turkey breast so I’m seeing a LOT of turkey in my future! With no oven, I guess I’ll have to try and cook it on the bbq grill. I’m pretty sure the grill lid won’t shut but maybe I can make a hood out of heavy duty foil.  They also gave us some broccoli and pretty purple cauliflower. (Never have seen it purple!) Anyway, ICK. I thought maybe the neighbors could use it, so I took it up there in the box it came in.  I explained that I’d gotten it at the Food Bank and that I didn’t like it, and could they use it? She looked a little perplexed but said “Sure!”. So I stayed and chatted for just a couple minutes and then as I was leaving, she ran in the kitchen and came back with an apple and an orange and said “here, take these”. She’s from Russia, and as I was walking back to the car I wondered, did she think I gave her broccoli and cauliflower as a Christmas present??? Maybe she thinks it’s some crazy American custom!

I had Christmas dinner a few days early, because I bought that turkey breast on sale and have no freezer….I had to cook it once it thawed out. But I had leftovers on Christmas day, and they were just as good the 3rd time around! I wanted to cook it on my little Weber Q gas grill but it was a really windy day and it kept blowing the flame around. So I brought it in and cooked it on top of the stove in my heavy dutch oven with just a little bit of water in the bottom of the pan. It turned out amazing, even though I let it get a little overdone. It was done in less than 1 1/2 hours, and very tender and juicy.   I also had Stove Top Stuffing, gravy and mashed potatoes. And cranberry applesauce. Yum.

Christmas here was low-key. I worked on my shutters and read a new book most of the day. In the afternoon my Russian neighbor came over and invited me to their place that evening but I turned it down. That’s exactly the kind of thing I DON’T want! I like my solitude. I guess I never should have given her those veggies for Christmas!!

I have a lovely new road! Until last week, my “road” was just a two-track extending from the existing county-maintained road.  The first 60′ or so were nothing but rocks…big and small. I learned to keep to the far right so the big ones wouldn’t clunk on the bottom of the car.

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Road Before

Then the road scraper came through and I heard it and RAN up to talk to the guy. He said that they only develop the roads when someone lives there, but he would tell his supervisor and they’d get it done soon. He was a young really sweet and kind Indian guy.

Well…it was only 3 or 4 days later when here he comes again!

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He pulled up dirt from below my place to cover all the rocks. He said some of them were too big and they’d break his blade if he tried to grade them out. Now it’s a real road, smooth as a baby’s bottom! I hope they can come back out with gravel pretty soon. Actually here they use cinders. There are cinders everywhere! All of the rocks on my property (and there are many) are cinders, large and small.

Road
Road After

 

My other neighbors Candace and Frank took their RV and all 3 dogs and went to relatives for Christmas and I fed their cat. In return,  I got to do a load of laundry. Thank goodness I decided to do my laundry just a few days after they left, because the cat left a dead rabbit right next to the laundry room door!  I had my arms full of dirty clothes and didn’t see it, and stepped on it with my bare feet. Ugh!  I threw it over the fence into the field next door. (The rabbit, not the cat)

Oh gee I have to put in some kind of product link to Amazon…..how about this? I ordered a Kreg Jig! Until a few months ago I swear I had never heard of a Kreg Jig, but now seems like everywhere I turn, people are using one. It makes angled holes to join two pieces of wood together (making a corner). I’m going to be needing one. Here’s the one I got: Kreg Jig   Hey I think I just figured out how to insert a LINK so you don’t have to copy and paste any more! Wow, I’m feeling very smart!

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Arizona Uncategorized

Day Two Tiny House Build

Wow! By the end of the second day, the shed was complete! Three guys, 1 1/2 days, done! I liked how the windows looked before they were installed but now I’m not happy. It’s not anything I can remedy though, so I’ll suck it up and deal with it. I wanted 24×36 single hung windows and these are 3×3 sliders, due to a last-minute problem with the windows they ordered. (They came in with frosted glass!) I really think they are too big for the size of the wall. Not to mention, now I don’t have any space left for wall cabinets in the kitchen, and there may not be enough space between the door and window for the propane heater. I had it all planned soooo carefully! Sigh. OK. I’m just going to go with the flow. Really. Soon.

 

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I do love the color! Yes, it’s lavender! (Behr Foxglove, to be exact). I never thought I had a single girly-girl gene in me but apparently there was one hiding somewhere. I have to build shutters and windowboxes and they’ll be painted deep purple, along with the door, or maybe I’ll leave the door white. I’ll paint the other stuff first and see how it looks.  I think it’ll be great! I’ve been thinking about this color combination for a couple years now.

I keep coming up with things that have to be done before insulation, when all I want to do is get it insulated and move in!! But first I have to build the studwalls for the bathroom, closet and a short 2′ wall between the door and the end of the kitchen counter. And then I have to run the wiring.  And I woke up out of a sound sleep at 4 a.m. and remembered that I also have to run the plumbing before I insulate! Gad, it’s going to be MONTHS before I can move. I don’t plan on getting a water heater right now but I guess I’d better plumb for hot and cold water at the sink & shower. I can get a little propane instant hot water heater for around $100 on ebay, and it would be nice to have someday.

I ran into another problem, with the propane heat. I had planned on getting one of those vent-free propane wall heaters for around $120. Well. Thank goodness I found out before I bought one and installed it….they don’t work at higher elevations! Some are only good to 2000′, some are good to 4500′ but for my elevation here (6700′) I seem to only have two choices….a direct-vent heater that’s way bigger than I need for $500-600, or another Olympian Wave heater like I have and love in the camper, only bigger. They are good to 12,000′.  The problem with the vent-free heaters is that they now have those low-oxygen sensors and at higher elevation, there’s less oxygen so it shuts itself down all the time! So I guess I’ll be going with the Olympian Wave 8 heater like this: http://amzn.to/2AZJ4VH (Affiliate Link). It has 3 settings; 4200, 6000 and 8000 btu. I was hoping to get a heater that had a thermostat but this will be OK; I get up once or twice a night anyway and can adjust it then, if needed. Hate to have to pay $300 instead of $120 though. That’s one whole month’s construction budget, and I’ll have to have it before I move in, unless Spring arrives before I get everything else done!

Yesterday I went to town and ran a bunch of errands. It’s so exhausting! But I got some terrific bargains at the thrift shops! I got a big bag of 16 electrical switches, one dimmer and one outlet $3 at one thrift store, plus 4 juice glasses and 2 large drinking glasses for $.25 each. The second thrift store was having a “yard sale” and everything in their outdoor area was 1/2 price! I got all the switch & outlet plates I need for $1.50, a brand new still-in-the-box smoke alarm for $1, a pine coffee table for $5, and a sofa sleeper for $37.50! Yeah..I bought a sofa. I have to rent a trailer and go back on Tuesday to pick it up. And I know it’s going to be in the way while I’m trying to work on the house, but I couldn’t resist. The upholstery is in great shape but it’s that old 80’s navy, burgundy & green plaid. I’ve been reading up on fabric painting with Chalked Paint and apparently it will cover anything, and the fabric feels fairly soft afterward, so I’ll probably try that. If that doesn’t work, maybe a slipcover.  http://amzn.to/2CPv9is

I don’t want a coffee table but this one has 2 very nice slabs of butcher block wood that I can use for another project I have in mind.  I just have to take it apart and sand them a little. Maybe I can even find a use for the two Shaker-style ends. It says “Made in Vietnam” so I have no idea what kind of wood it is; it has that yellowish Pine color. I’ll probably whitewash it to tone down the yellow. The top is 20″x40″ and the bottom shelf is 16″x36″. Solid wood pieces like this would have cost more than $30 at Home Depot!

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Arizona Uncategorized

A Little Delay

My shed delivery was delayed from Monday until Thursday. And I’m glad! I just decided Monday (the original delivery date) that I don’t want the shed in the site I had all picked out (and that neighbor Frank had cut a bunch of limbs off the trees, and I dug all the rocks out!) I think a better place will be right where the camper is sitting now. And oh how I dreaded having to move the camper! In addition to all the “normal” junk that I carry around, I now have a whole bunch of extra things that live in here now, since they can’t be allowed to freeze. Four house plants (including Celery), 5 huge cans of Great Stuff Pro, a big can of Great Stuff Gun Cleaner, a couple quarts of paint. I also had to dismantle Roxie’s little pen and dismantle the Buddy heater propane hose that’s threaded in through an outside baggage door, and it’s all duct-taped shut, too!  I wanted to hook a tow rope onto the ramshackle stupid-looking pallet “shed” that was here, but I couldn’t find my tow rope.

The new site has a lot of advantages and only one disadvantage; it won’t get much protection from the wind. But it will be South-facing, which is the best orientation for getting winter sun and keeping out the summer sun. I can leave the wifi booster in the same place, and I know it works great there. The solar panel also works great here, without having to reposition it at all during the day.  And the driveway will be shorter, if I ever get around to getting cinders for it.  And this site is much much larger. The other site was just too small; the front yard could only have been about 5′ deep, and directly in back I would have been stumbling around on big rocks.  This site has good access for a big propane tank and 275 gallon water tank as well.  So I’m pleased. Frank came over Tuesday morning and cut one tree down and cut a bunch of  branches back out of the way.

I worked all day yesterday on getting ready to move the camper. The new spot is right around the corner so it won’t be too far to go to reach the fridge from the shed. I’m afraid it’ll be awhile before I can spare the money for even a used RV fridge! I moved some more rocks and a pile of dead branches & twigs. There were 3 piles like that here, and now they’re all in one big pile. Hopefully I can burn it one of these days, if it ever rains. Boy I was really tired & sore by the end of the day. I finally got the camper moved and set back up right before dark.

Oh! And yesterday afternoon I heard some big equipment up on the hill, with the beep-beep backup alarm. I saw a glimpse of yellow and went flying up there….it was the road scraper guy! My road is a county-maintained road but in this huge subdivision with so few homes, they don’t develop all the roads unless someone lives there.  I have a stretch of rocks about 50-60′ long that I have to creep super-slow over. He said he didn’t think he could use the road scraper on them because some were really big, and they’d break the blade. But they have some special cinder mix of big and small stuff that they just put down over the rocks. He said he’d tell his supervisor about it, and I’d get a high priority……and that they always lay new gravel before the first snow, so it would probably be in the next 2-3 weeks!!  I’ll have a real ROAD! Wow… a house AND a road! I’m feeling pretty giddy!

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This morning the shed arrived. They had to drive up from Tucson, and arrived at 11:45. Within 20 minutes they had the trailer half unloaded and had a good start on putting the floor together! I had asked if they could insulate the floor at all, since it would be nearly impossible to do when it’s just a foot or so off the ground. They included 1″ of rigid foam in the quote but it’s so much better! Once they got the floor framing done, they tipped the whole thing up and nailed 4×8 sheets of Masonite to the whole underside. That will work as a vapor barrier and a mouse/rat barrier too. Then they let it back down and filled between the joists with loose cellulose, so it’ll be R-19! And the floor joists are 12″ on center, not the usual 16″ on center. It should be very sturdy!

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Tilting the floor to install Masonic on underside

The lead guy told me that the 2×3 windows I wanted came in with frosted glass! So they went to Lowes and the smallest vinyl double-pane windows they had with grids were 3×3. Yikes, that does make a difference to my plan but I can make it work.  I love the look, and they are high-quality Pella windows.  He said that the 3 windows cost him $550!! Three 2×3 windows would have cost well under $400, but since they have to eat the cost, I don’t mind. They are sliders instead of single-hung, but I guess that’s OK too.

He also gave me a choice of which end the 3rd window goes, so I chose the opposite end from what I had on my original plan. That way I’ll be able to see if someone is coming up the driveway, and all the mechanical stuff…fridge & stove vents, etc. will be on the side of the house that no one sees. I just have to flip my plan & make a mirror image. It’ll actually end up better, as I had specified a right-hinged door and that was wrong.

Wow I’m very impressed with these guys! They were here less than 6 hours and have the floor all done & insulated, the studwalls all up, windows in, and the roof all dried in! They really know what they’re doing. And the materials are quite a bit better quality than what *I* would have used. Better windows, and the sidng is 3/4″ tongue and groove…I probably would have used 1/2″ or even the cheapie 3/8″.  They caulk all the seams and spackle the nailheads before painting.  He said they have only ever had 3 callbacks for quality issues, and I believe it.

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Sorry about all the shadows on this last photo; it was getting late in the day. It looks rather plain but once I build the shutters and windowboxes, it’ll be really cute. They’ll be back tomorrow, for more excitement!

I’m getting one of these personal alarms, supposedly for use when you get mugged, the 130 db alarm scares away the mugger. But I’m not too worried about getting mugged; I’m getting one for use around here, if I’ve fallen and can’t get up, for instance. (Hey, I’m OLD!) It comes with a carabiner so I can hook it onto my waistband if I don’t have a pocket, it’s VERY loud, and the alarm keeps up for 30 minutes unless you shut it off. I’m going to tell the closest neighbors about it so if they hear it, they’ll come and check out what’s wrong. I saw a Facebook ad and they wanted $90…..this one is less than $10 on Amazon.   http://amzn.to/2BJCrqy

alarm

I actually looked into getting a Life Alert, but they require a land-line telephone.

 

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Arizona Uncategorized

Delivery Date Scheduled!

I’ve got a delivery date of Dec. 11-13 for the shed! One week from today! They are going to assemble it on-site, which will be fun to watch. The weather forecast looks pretty good, with highs in the mid-50’s.  I’m glad it’s a Mennonite company and not Amish; hopefully I can take lots of construction photos.

Then comes wiring and insulation before I can move in. Dang, that’s going to take way too long at turtle-ish rate for getting things done. I’m guessing it’ll be the first of the year before I can stay in it, especially since I won’t even be able to purchase all the supplies needed until my next Social Security check on Dec. 27.  I’m only going to wire it for 12V DC (battery) power. I will have a small inverter to convert the 12V to 120V to run the wifi booster, recharge Kindles, phone and cordless tool batteries. Quite a few 120V things can be converted to 12V just by changing the power cord! Like TV’s, almost all smaller TV’s are built as 12V, then they put that big “wart” plug that makes it 120v (and hogs the whole outlet usually; you can’t plug two things in at the same time).  If you cut off the wart plug and rewire it to a cigarette lighter plug, voila; it runs off the battery! It seems crazy to take a 12V TV that’s converted to 120V and run it off an inverter that changes 12V power to 120! If you look around, lots and lots of things have those 110V “wart” plugs. (I’ve added this after publishing….it has been pointed out to me that not all “wall warts” are 12V. You’ll have to look on the plug; some are 5v, some are 6v.) I’ll have (eventually) a 12V ceiling fan, and all the lights will be 12V LED’s.  I don’t plan to have any real energy-sucking appliances…no toaster (sob!), no microwave or toaster oven, no air conditioner, no hairdryer.  I will have a 120V “swamp cooler” (evaporative cooler) in summer but it only uses around 100 watts/hr.

The insulation will be done in layers. The shed will have continuous roof ridge and soffit vents, so there will need to be a 1″ space left next to the roof for them to do their job. Then there’ll be a layer of 3/4″ foil-backed rigid foam, which will be a radiant barrier, reflecting heat back to the roof vents. All seams will be sealed against the joists with Great Stuff foam sealant, forming a wind barrier. Then there will be 3 more inches of rigid foam.  The side walls will also have the radiant barrier foam, with a 3/4″ airspace. It’s not much, but it should help. Also sealed with Great Stuff.  And then 2″ more rigid foam.  Since I only have 2×4″ walls and 2×6″ roof joists, this will give me the most R-Value, though it won’t be cheap! But since we do have temperature extremes here, I need to try and make it as efficient as possible. Unfortunately it means spending a bunch of money right off the bat, which I’m sure will also mean I’ll have to wait for more money to come in before I can get it all purchased.

Winter has arrived! It’s been so nice, way warmer than the norm. But I think it’s over; last night’s low was 22, tonight 17 and Wednesday 12!! And it SNOWED today! Just a bit.  I’m having a problem keeping my plants warm enough…I now have 4 small plants (including Celery who is not growing at all but still looks healthy) sharing camper space with me, and I don’t HAVE any extra space! I’ve shuffled some non-freezable things to the car.

This time I’m going to copy what another blogger is doing and show Amazon links to some of the items that have been purchased recently. Maybe you’ll see your items on the list! Sorry you may have to copy and paste them into your address bar. From there you can access all of Amazon’s goodies.

Gerber Center-Drive Multi-Tool   http://amzn.to/2AzvIMC

6 Pc. LED Fairy Lights   http://amzn.to/2AXhMhO

LifeLine AAA 300 PSI 12 Volt Air Compressor    http://amzn.to/2jV0BCX

 

 

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Arizona Uncategorized

My She Shack

Oops! It’s been pointed out that I jumped from “I can’t build it myself” to “I’ve ordered my shed” with no explanation of what it is I’ve ordered! Sorry. I decided to go with a Mennonite shed company in Tucson (4.5 hours away). They deliver free! http://www.Mennoniteshed.com.  If you go to their website, many of their sheds look like this:

shed

Really cute, right?! Especially with that hobbit door! Well, that’s a problem because it’s a shed door, and it wouldn’t keep the cold out in winter. It’s actually a square door, with the arch painted on. Also these are just 6′ walls. So I’m getting 8′ sidewalls and a regular house-type exterior door with 9-light window.  I love that they have roof overhangs all the way around, and the floor joists are 2×6 12″ on center, not the usual 16″. They’re willing to provide continuous soffit and roof vents, floor insulation and double pane windows. To me, nothing screams “garden shed” more than those roofs that stop at the walls, with no overhangs. Also it’ll have a 5/12 roof pitch, not that really shallow pitch most of the sheds have. Mine will look more like a tiny house!  There might even be space for a small loft; I’m waiting to see just how much headroom there’d be.

I also really like that they don’t use those ugle galvanized metal plates to hold the roof trusses together. Here’s what theirs look like:

roof joist

So it’s going to be 10×16, with three 24×36 single hung windows (with double pane glass) and just the one door, no double doors on the end.  They really gave me a good price, for all the extras (double pane glass, house-type door, floor insulation, soffit & roof vents) they are only adding $400 to the stock price!  I staked out 10×16 on my site and it’s HUGE!  Almost 3 times the size I’ve been living in!

My first task will be to add reflective radiant barrier to the roof and sidewalls. It really reduces the amount of heat buildup inside the shack in summer! I’ll leave a 1″ gap between the roof and the radiant barrier, to let the vents do their job and carry the heat away.  This makes for what they call a “hot roof” which does shorten the lifespan, but at my age (69 today!), who cares?  It’ll still outlive me.  I will also need to leave a 3/4″ gap between the radiant barrier and the inside of the siding, and that heat will have nowhere to go but at least it won’t be leaching into the interior space. I found some foil-covered 3/4″ rigid foam board at Lowes that I’ll be using. I was so happy to see that; it combines two steps into one! The alternative is to staple Reflectix (foil-backed bubble wrap) to each of the joists & studs, then add the rigid foam or other insulation.

I will use all rigid foam in the roof, as I’ve read that when it snows, it blows in the roof vent and can get everything all wet. They don’t have much snow here, but when it does, I sure don’t want my ceiling insulation getting all wet and moldy (which could happen if I used fiberglass) Besides, with just 2×6 roof joists, I’ll need the extra R-value of the foam.(Most real homes have 2×10’s or even 2×12’s, depending on the roof span). I looked at how much insulation is recommended for my area and it’s the same amount as the southern half of Michigan!!  There’s no way I can match that, but at least it’s small and will be easy to heat.

And since I’m going to be making a 3/4″ airspace in the walls and adding 3/4″ foil/foam, I will only have 2″ of space left so I guess I’ll use the 2″ thick denim batts.  Can you imagine installing fiberglass batts and then not having a shower afterward??!!  Shudder!!

I’m still patiently waiting for a build date. They are thinking about pre-fabbing it and bringing all the components here to erect on-site. I’d love that!

 

 

 

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Arizona Tiny Homes Tiny House Uncategorized

Progress? Not So Much.

I’ve been holding off doing another blog entry, hoping to have good news to report. Well I do know that my Rent To Own application has been approved and they’re working on setting a delivery date, but so far no news on when it’ll be. They say they probably will pre-fab the components and erect it on-site, which will be fun to watch!

I had a weird Thanksgiving. I held off grocery shopping for as long as I could, thinking perhaps one of the neighbors would invite me for dinner. No dice….until the day before! Then two of them invited me, and the 3rd one invited me on Thanksgiving day! By then I’d already bought my little tiny cornish game hen and a big can of yams. I wanted that yummy sweet potato casserole with the crunchy pecan/brown sugar topping (not a marshmallow fan). But with no oven, I ended up throwing everything in a pan on the stove. It’s pretty gloppy but it tastes good! The darn baby chick was a real hassle. I’ve got a pizza stone on the bbq grill but it’s a tad too big, so the hood doesn’t quite close. That means the stone gets really hot, but the airspace doesn’t, because the lid is open. I put the hen on top of aluminum foil balls (so the bottom wouldn’t burn) and put it on top of the stone. Much later, the grill  had only gotten up to 300 degrees. Another 30 min. later, it was completely cold….I’d run out of propane! So I had to scrounge around and find a propane cannister that had some gas in it (I refill my own) and start all over. I think it took something like 2.5 hours to cook that teeny-tiny bird!! Finally got to eat just after dark.  I had plans to make the whole schmear…dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, etc. Everything but pie.  But I abandoned all that and just had the bird and some sweet potato glop.

I’m a legal resident of AZ now! I got my AZ driver’s license, car insurance and changed the car and camper registration over to AZ, which cost WAY more than I thought….$112 for both! You have a choice of getting registration for 1, 2 or 5 years and it’s a little cheaper to go multi-year but I didn’t have enough money.  Today I went to the post office to send back my NC license plates, and get my mail. No birthday cards…..c’mon people!! I was thinking my friends would all send birthday cards this year since I finally have an address after nearly 5 years. Guess not. Maybe Christmas cards?

My Honey-Do List is long every day. And the bad thing is, I’m the Honey! I’m chipping away at things but I’ve recently been a little laid up with some weird muscle strain in my back. Or side. Or chest! I never could decide exactly where the pain was. I think it’s from tossing rocks off the shed site and/or using the pickaxe to dig out the larger rocks. I’m not used to manual labor but I’m getting there.

At the little general store where I get propane & water, there’s a sign that says: “Firearms are welcome on the premises. Please keep weapons holstered until need arises, at which time judicial marksmanship is appreciated”. HAH! 

We’ve had a couple really pretty sunsets…….

I don’t qualify for food stamps, but I do qualify for the local Food Bank. They distribute food every other Wednesday so I went the other day. Oh my! LOADS of stuff! I’m kind of a fussy eater so some of it I gave to the neighbors but still have plenty of goodies. No meat; I was hoping they gave meat. They had some whole chickens but apparently not enough to give everyone one, so they had a drawing. I didn’t win.  One of the things we got was a big bag of strange tomatoes….almost black! I thought they were plums so was very disappointed when I discovered they were tomatoes. I don’t like fresh tomatoes but love them cooked, so I  skinned, cut up and cooked most of them and made a big pot of chili. I’m gonna be so sick of chili!!  I sure wish I had a freezer!!  We also got apples, organic cucumbers, cantaloupes and mini-watermelons, 6# of raisins (??) 3 doz. eggs, some canned veggies, cranberry sauce and soups, and boxes of mac & cheese. Wow! What do you do with 6# of raisins??? I tried them as a snack and they’re pretty blah.

Here’s where the shed will go, between these two trees. This site give me the best protection from the strong winds. All the rocks you see are now gone except for two really big ones that I’ll need help moving. My neighbor Frank came over this morning (sweaty manual labor before breakfast; isn’t there some kind of law against that?!) He brought his chainsaw and trimmed back a bunch of the limbs on the trees on both sides, so now I have a 23′ wide space. He took most of the larger limbs home with him too, so I don’t have quite so much mess, and he moved those big rocks. I’m gonna put up a low picket fence in the front yard so Roxie will have her own yard and for the first time in nearly 5 years, I won’t have to walk her on a leash! I’ll put down lots of mulch too, so her coat doesn’t get full of the nasty stickers that are all over the place here. Boy that’ll be nice to just be able to open the door and let her out! 

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I sure wish there wasn’t a burning ban, but we’ve had something like 100 days of no rain. When I bought the property, there was a crappy old camper set up here. The neighbor (a friend of the previous owner) assured me that the huge pile of wood trash & pallets would be removed. I hope she’s right. She’s come after 3-4 loads so far but that junk just makes me crazy!  If only I could light a match to it, it’d be gone in a few hours.

I stupidly bought a few things at Dollar Tree to make my own Christmas wreath for the door. WHY??  I hate crafts!! My mother was very artsy but she my brother grabbed all the artistic genes and left me with none. I bought a grapevine wreath, a large silver bell, some bows and 15′ of fake garland. I was going to wrap the garland all around the wreath but didn’t get far with that….boring! Then I noticed that this nasty glitter was all over the place! I ended up taking the garland off and now I have a very very plain wreath with a bow and a bell that’s lost a lot of it’s glitter. Do I care? No. I tried. I sort of draped the garland up and over the camper roof and that’s gonna be it for decorating this year.

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And here’s the part where I’m supposed to advertise some products. I’ll do vitamins today Please copy and paste into your browser!  Any of these links will take you to Amazon, where you can shop for anything else you’re looking for!

Did you know that recent studies have shown that if you have high levels of Vit. C in your system, your risk of heart attack and early death are clearly reduced.  Of course it’s best to get it from fruits and vegetables, but failing that, a supplement is a good idea. I like this brand of Vit. C because it’s sourced in Scotland, not China. Most Vit. C comes from China.    http://amzn.to/2BqGdSs

I also like their brand of Vitamin D3. Vit. D3 is an important immune-system booster!  http://amzn.to/2hTQyxs

And it’s best to take Vitamin K2 along with Vitamin D, to help absorption.  http://amzn.to/2hTs3QX

If you’re over 50, your levels of CoQ10 are reducing. If you are taking a statin, taking a CoQ10 supplement may decrease side effects plus boost your levels.  Be sure to get the kind that has black pepper (bioperine) to help with absorption. I like this one: http://amzn.to/2iSWaJp

 

 

Categories
Arizona Tiny Homes

Moved In

I moved the camper in on Sunday. There’s a little cubby-hole the perfect size, between two rows of nice bushy pinon trees.

Concho Carport

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I’ve made a walkway with some old plywood, and put out my solar lights, and it feels like Home already. I’m working on getting the rock collection out of my car. I have to force myself to put them on the ground here; they’re going to get dirty! But I remind myself that they’re ROCKS, for heaven’s sake, and they’re washable.

I have this lovely deluxe “toolshed” right next to the camper. It’s made of old pallets and looks like scrap pieces of corrugated plastic roofing…..it leaves a lot to be desired!

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I am very impressed though that she (the former landowner) worked the roofing around a tree branch! (See it sticking up through the roof on the right side?)

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I do need a place to keep my tools but I’m not sure this is it. I suppose I could wrap the sides with a tarp if it’s going to rain, but it does need a different door. Dragging a big ol’ pallet back and forth is way too much work.  I can’t do much of anything just yet because I bought a cordless saw & drill, charger and batteries on ebay and they’re just now all trickling in. I’ve got all the materials to make a couple sawhorses….maybe tomorrow. I had all the 2×4 pieces cut at Home Depot, and bought one of the brackets at a ReStore for $2; the other I bought for $4 at Harbor Freight.

I bought some plants yesterday! A nice big mum that was on Clearance for $4.10 (and is in a pretty pot that I can reuse) and a really pretty bright red Cyclamen for $1.55. I guess with the weather getting colder they won’t last long, but it’s great to have some color around here! And so nice that I don’t have to find a space to carry them in the car when I move.  I still have little Celery but she’s not doing too great. The leaves are nice and green but she’s not growing at all. I don’t think this weather agrees with her. I read that celery likes 70/60, and it’s been a good bit colder than that at night. I do put her in the car at night, and now also the mum & cyclamen too. Maybe they’ll stay pretty longer if they don’t get frosted. It’s starting to get colder; forecast in the low 30’s for the next week or so at night.

I am realizing that I can’t build my own shack. For one thing, I don’t have enough money. And the other thing is that I just don’t have the stamina and strength any more. I sure hate to admit that. (You all probably knew that before I did) So I’m looking at buying a pre-built shed on the Rent To Own plan, which carries a horrendous interest rate.  I’ve found a place in Tucson that really does a nice job; their sheds have roof overhangs, soffit and continuous roof vents, and 2×6 floor joists 12″ on center. And the roof trusses are nice-looking, without those ugly galvanized plates holding everything together like most of the shed manufacturers use.  I’m still gathering information right now & trying to make sure I can afford it. Otherwise I’ll be living in the camper for another year or so, and I REALLY would like to be in a real structure before the hard winter weather hits.  Well it’d be pretty tough to keep the camper cool enough in the summer here too. If that happens I’ll probably have to take to the road again in summer, and maybe this winter too, if it gets too cold here.  So I’m hoping I can figure out a way to get a pre-built shack.

Some of you have already noticed that I removed the link for convenient shopping. The rules have changed, and I can’t post a general link; I have to post links to actual products. So here are few things that I like and use a lot. (Clicking on any of these product links will take you to where you can do a search for what you really want) Thanks! (Please copy and paste into your browser)

Stuff we like:

Camco Handy Mat. This is a great little mat for in front of the camper door, or under your dog’s exercise pen. It folds up very small and is cheap enough that you can just toss it out when it starts getting frayed or horribly dirty! http://amzn.to/2yjuQcV

Bonavita Coffee Dripper. I love this thing…it was a gift from a friend, and it’s a little pricey but I love that the porcelain keeps the coffee hot, and it doesn’t drip right through immediately. It will hold the brew until you’re ready to dispense it into your cup.  http://amzn.to/2yj4ojJ