Sunday, November 29, 2015

Getting off the Ground

I hit the ground running this holiday weekend and lucked out for everything to fall perfectly into place on my little house project. There were a series of events that made me think twice about my approach to beginning my project. First of all, what I had started with was a pain in my ass. I have come to understand over the years that when something isn't flowing, and isn't coming easily or smooth per say, that it most likely isn't the path you should be on. So, I chose to listen. And pause. And observe the words of wisdom that were coming to me from some direct sources and some surprise sources. My Dad said, I don't think you should do it that way. And I said, alright Dad, I hear you. Then I had a pleasant encounter with a nice man that helped his daughter build a tiny house for his ex-wife (caring and open-minded individual right there) and he was a retired electrical engineer from Boeing and he told me that 60% of a houses heat loss is thru the walls and ceiling.
My project began with me screwing some quarter inch painted plywood to the bottom of my trailer, to sandwich it with insulation and the subfloor. Now, I am not doing that. I am either going to spray insulate it, or put up some blue sheets of insulation later. The key word is later. It feels good not to think about it right now.
So, thats what I am going to do. My moto with this project, and with life really, has been to think far enough ahead until it doesn't feel positive anymore, and to stop before I get to that point. Anything that stresses me out, or makes me feel negative emotion, I don't delve into just yet. Because, I know there will be an appropriate time and place to do it, and it must not be right then.
In result of this new break thru, I have been working away at the subfloor the last two days and have gotten three boards down with the help of a new a very kind special friend I have been blessed to connected with. He has started me off on the right foot, I couldn't imagine a better person to make sure I'm doing it right. His presence, energy and knowledge is just what my little project needed, and maybe what I needed too. ;)
I am going to keep chugging away at this subfloor. It feels amazing to be moving forward and seeing some progress!!!
In the pictures you can see my Dad lifting up my trailer with the forklift so I could remove some of the boards I had already applied. Once I got those off, he lowered it back down for me so I could cover the thing in Tyvek and begin screwing on the subfloor. I used 3/4 inch sheathing and screwed it in with some really awesome fasteners. (Again glad someone great was there to help me pick out the right ones) Send me your happy energy so I can continue to have positive happenings and thoughts towards this project. And have the pleasure of working with more amazing people, or just more with the amazing people I have already met. Someone is looking out for me and my boys, and I'm never sure who, call it God, a guardian angel, spirits that wish me well, I don't know. But, I'll take it.

While I was pre drilling some holes today, my Dad offered me some drill bits that belonged to my late little brother. He and I both know how special they are. I was trying to be super careful, as careful as you can be drilling into steel. And, I said to the drill bit, don't you break you little fudger (just incase my Mother reads this) and don't ya know the very next hole it broke off in. I laughed and laughed. I love when it is so very clear when my little brother is trying to mess with me. And he can still do things to make me laugh so hard. I left it there in that hole so he can be a part of my house, and my journey. I know if he was around he would be there to help me work on this thing... lift heavy stuff for me, instal some sick speakers in the walls for me, and do anything he could to help out his sis. I think of you and miss you every day brother. <3<3<3
Thanks for reading. :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Round Two for Me

Some of you don't know about my early years, when I went to University out in Utah at Brigham Young. I was married at 19 to someone I met in the condos I lived in. We heard about this self help program from some family, and decided to apply a few months after we were married. Luckily I had stellar credit as a 19 year old and we were accepted right away and started building a home within the year. There were seven families in our group and we all helped each other. We built one house at a time, to completion and then moved onto the next. We were all in the same rural neighborhood on Utah Lake which was across from Provo, in the town of Saratoga Springs. 

Each house had a different floor plan, there might have been two the same. The floor plan we chose had a big open space and lots of windows with nice views. We had no trouble agreeing on a plan. We were both drawn to the same one. We chose the plot of land with a nice view and next to a few homes that were already built. 

Part of the program was to work on the house for 30 hours a week. And we were both working full time jobs as well. No babies yet. We went to bed dog tired every night. We would drive 30 minutes one way to work on the house 3 days a week and all weekend. Grandpa Dick (Pictured below) would come 45 minutes from Salt Lake City to come build with us one day in the week and every Saturday without fail. He was our biggest support. 

We had a foreman that was a student at BYU to ask questions to, but for the most part we were on our own. There was a lot of discussion on the proper way to do things. Grandpa and I would bicker back and forth for a few minutes and usually come to the best solution for any problem we faced. We worked so well together. I got really buff. And I could frame circles around most of the men, an some happened to do that for a living.  Reading plans came easily to me, and I loved to frame. Give me that nail gun and get out of the way. 

I also particularly enjoyed roofing. I contributed to every single roof. Even the Mexican families roof, despite the fact that they had all their family come out and do it in one day. It was very satisfying to put down the subfloor. It was a clean slate every time. Once it was done, the layout and framing began. Snapping chalk lines, measuring where the interior walls went. Reminiscing about building our house reminds me how much I really loved it! I learned so much. Not many people can say they owned a house at 20. And not many people can say they built seven houses by the time they were 21. It took us a year and a half to build those 7 houses. 

From start to finish, we knocked the pins off the foundation, then tarred it. We built up the load bearing wall in the basement, then put on the joists. Next came the subfloor, exterior walls and sheathing. Somewhere after that we did trusses, interior walls and sheathing on the roof. Then we would roof the damn thing. We did all the painting, finished carpentry, and rough plumbing. As well as yard work with the skid steer and sprinkler systems. I am efficient in all of these things. 

We did not do sheetrock, or finished plumbing or electrical. And our own home we had to paint twice. There was a heater left on with the wrong gasoline in it, and created black smoke residue all over our house. We had to scrub it down and repaint. That sucked. For homes down there in the dryer climate, stucco is popular for the exterior. We also did rock on the exterior of every house. Our home was done in the winter. That was a challenge for me to get that rock to stick! You have to have the mixture just right. 

Roofing those houses was either blasted hot, and the shingles would tear and melt all over the place and burn your hands and knees if you weren't careful. Or, in the extreme cold you could barely cut them or they would just break. And the shingles seamed so much heavier in the freezing cold. We built on that house rain or shine, snow or 100 degree weather. And if you have spent any time in Utah its only either or. ;)

And my partner in crime stayed my partner thru all the house building. The people who ran the program told us that if your marriage could survive this experience it could weather any storm. They were partly correct. We were one of two young couples who did the program when we did. The other couple divorced during, endured till the end, and sold the house immediately making $30,000 each. We may not have stayed together long term, but we sure became better people from this experience. At least I know I did. We stayed in our home for 5+ years, brought both of our babies home from the hospital to this home we built, and had countless happy memories within the walls that we raised. It is a phase of my life I can look back on and smile, and shake my head because we survived it. It was one of the most challenging experiences, physically, mentally and emotionally. Literal blood sweat and tears every day. All worth it. 

Now, it will be my second time around. But this time, I am going at it solo. I have had a lot of support so far. And love. And help. But, the brunt of the work and the worry I take on my shoulders. And as you now can see, my shoulders are broad and strong. And I'll be just fine. 

I have been collecting like a mad woman, and preparing to have all my ducks in a row to go full throttle. Im still puttering along making sure I start my foundation piece right. Bought my insulation today. Im ready for some help with a forklift to hoist my trailer on end and start securing the boards I've painted. All in due time. Pictures to come as always. Thanks for reading. Peace out. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Getting Underway

We are getting started people. I am using this quarter inch ply wood to line the bottom of my trailer to hold up my insulation and water tubes... and it must be painted to protect it from the elements. So, here we are painting. Nick and Gibson both helped out, they are my 4 and 8 year old sons. Gibson used the paint brush to gob paint on the knots, and Nick and I rolled. It was a very enjoyable after dinner activity. And in the background you see all of the windows we have acquired for our tiny house build. A LOT of windows. I think our home will be primarily windows. I hope our neighbors are okay with nudity. LOL Or, I guess we can make some curtains.
I was in the process of planning where my windows would go in my house and ended up getting bored and parascoping. Do any of you know what that is? It is rather interesting. You basically allow people to watch what you are doing. I was talking about the tiny house for a while, then I made some earrings, and made some new friends.
I must admit... While I have this looming project I have been having fun at every opportunity! I must buckle down and build this house!!
Here is a picture of what I did on my Saturday night instead of building my house......

I attended a Scotch dinner and then went and partied with my friend in my defense, it was his birthday! Anyway, Ive got to get to the grind. The more excited I get about it, the easier it is to put my social life aside and build. But, because of the way I plan to build this house, my social life is somewhat important. I need to network and talk to others that have built things, and discuss the best possible way to do what I am doing. There are so many ways to build a tiny house. My take is to gather as many useful things around the community that I can, and make due with that and whatever else I can find from the Habitat store and the Around again Store... So far I am doing quite well! 
As always I am very grateful to those that offer help and supplies and emotional support! And morning snuggles. ;) My friend and family have been tremendous so far, and I know it will only get better the deeper we get into this project. 
I am keeping my sites on the finished product. And the ability to go and travel and have a home base. And a place to call our own. And a lifestyle that fits with our being. I can't wait!! In the meantime, we are having a blast camped out in my parents basement. Send us good energy as you read this. And if you live far away, I want to come visit you, as soon as this house is built. Experiences instead of things, thats what Im teaching my boys. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

More Sappy Shit, then things are getting real

This journey is so much more than just building a tiny house. Its a journey of self discovery, and alignment, and oneness. Today marks another milestone, and transition for us on our path. The boys and I are saying goodbye to our home of the last year or so. We moved here back in February and it has been a wonderful home. It has a special energy. We were told when we moved in that no one stays here for longer than a year, without fail. Its as if the home sends you on the path that is meant for you. I know there was an older man that lived here and died here. Looking back on my time here, I believe that some of his good energy stayed behind when he went on. We were drawn to this home for a reason. It had a beautiful view of Canada, and lots of windows and open space, beams and most importantly a large fireplace which was the center of the home. I learned a lot about myself here. I became a better person here. I grew into the person I was meant to be. My children watched me go from moderately happy every day, to ecstatically happy every moment, (almost annoying.)
So, I wanted to take some time and sit here in front of my fireplace one last time. This space where I have spent special moments with several special people, talking, learning, growing, sharing stories, and getting deep. I also burned a lot of shit in this fireplace, its huge!
I am sitting here feeling grateful. And full of love. I appreciate every happy wonderful peaceful moment I have had here in this home. Im glad I got some of the good energy of this place. And, I hope I left some of my good energy for the next person. I spent a lot of time here with someone I love. And it was an honor to go thru the life we had together, as I cleaned and moved, and remember all the love we shared. Thank you for loving me. <3 And now, I will let you be. But, please come back into my life when you forgive me for letting you go, once you see it had to be.
AND NOW ITS GO TIME. I have all my things in one place. I have collected all my windows and now its time to buy me some lumber and get to work. Ill be posting updates. Wish me luck. Send me LOVE!