The Creation Begins with Destruction

The trailer has been re-located down next to the cabin. I've got the pressure-treated lumber to build the base. And if my motivation keeps up, I should have it framed in by the end of the summer. Hopefully.

Jan 30, 2010

The Blue Tarp on the Front Porch

When you move from a larger house into a smaller house ...
There is a problem pertaining to what to do with all the "STUFF".  I mean, why would you want to give up all that really good and useful stuff?  Like the dishwasher machine on the pallet out back ...

So, here is the front of the cabin with the blue tarp wrapped around the front porch.  Why do you think someone would wrap a blue tarp around the front porch?  For more storage space, of course!

As we get closer to the porch, you can start to see the accumulation.
A stack of newspapers for use in the newspaper B-B-Q.
A dresser that just won't fit inside ... but we have to keep.
A camping stove ... 
and old bottles (collector items).

Containers and milk crates filled with stuff.  
a 10' x 10' outdoor screened room (in a box)
Large pictures to hang on a wall (in a bigger house)

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff ...
dishes and towels and food.

Stuff that we've had sitting out here for nearly 3 years!
You'd think that if we haven't used it in that period of time,
that the likelihood of us using it is not great.
And we might just as well pass it on to someone else.


It could be like my old college books ...
that I've had no use for in 15 years ...
so I threw away a bunch of them 
or donated them to the thrift store.
Now I am buying them again ...
because I finally got a job where I need that information.

After I thought I was making progress on whittling down
all my excess stuff ...

Jan 29, 2010

Our Cabin in the Woods

We moved into this place about 3 years ago.

386 sq ft, 1-bedroom, 1-walkin closet, 3/4 bath

You could call it a 2-bedroom place ... but there are no closets.
There were closets ...
but one is occupied by the water heater tank,
and the other is occupied by the clothes dryer.
The other side of the wall from the dryer ...
the washing machine occupies the pantry.

See that green trashcan?  And the vertical batten board?
Just to the right of the trashcan and the batten is the dryer vent.
The batten represents an inside wall.
Just to the left of the batten is the pantry ... and washer.

The backside view is interesting ...

About halfway the length of the back wall, you see a protrusion.
That's a 34" shower ... protruding 14" thru the back wall.
That's the only way to get one in the bathroom.
The bathroom is small enough that you have to step into the shower to change your mind -- or change directions.

You can see where there used to be an A/C unit in the bedroom ...
a blue storage lean-to ... and an amperage sucking monster (A/C unit) in the living room.

That A/C/ unit was giving us $160 - $200 utility bills in the summer.
That's more than our rent!
Under the silver tarp is a dishwasher unit that my wife insists we need to keep.
And tomorrow we'll talk about the blue tarp around the front porch.

Did I mention that we have access to a swimming pool up front, fishing rights in the pond out back, a workbench & space in the big shop building, several rows usage in the big garden, all the pecans we can pick up and eat, and the landlord let me make two 4' x 8' garden boxes.  Oh yes, and I have a compost bin going ...

My wife still talks about buying a 2,000 - 6,000 sq ft house.
"The Dream"
BUT, what more do we really need?

Jan 28, 2010

Unwanted Singe-Wide

Sometimes, this is what happens to a perfectly good single-wide trailer ... even out in rural areas ... when the local government won't let you keep it on your own land.

He couldn't give it away ... the county landfill wouldn't accept it as one piece ... SO, using a backhoe, this fellow proceeded to smash it to pieces.  He sold the steel frame pieces and larger chunks of aluminum siding for scrap.  The rest of it he loaded on a flatbed trailer ...
and the landfill would now accept it.

Jan 27, 2010

Next Size Down

This is what you would call a Single-Wide Mobile Home.
14 x 70
2-bedrooms, 2-baths, 980 sq ft

It had a large carport on the left side ... a much smaller one on the right side (West) ... The wind tended to come from the West (sometimes quite violently) and had ripped off the carport on that side.  Both carports had originally been the same size.  But the one on the right was reduced to less than 1/3 it's original self.  That was all that could be salvaged after the wind storm.

You'll notice a nice little storage shed back on the right (for over-flow).  Garden boxes on the left ... a lovely chainlink fence all the way around ... and concrete driveways.

We didn't own the land.
The park owners sold the land.
The new owner doubled the rents ... took away the vehicle storage lot ... declared the child playground unsafe and tore it out ... then announced his intentions to bulldoze the park ... and create a stick-built homes development.

None of the surrounding counties would allow you to put a single-wide on any property other than an existing Mobile Home park (which were in short supply due to developers buying them up and building stores or homes on the sites).  You couldn't even put it on land that you owned.  We sold out to someone who said they were going to move it to another state nearby.  Then the housing market crashed.  No development.  It has yet to be moved.

The west side tended to catch a lot of tumble-weeds.
It was also the hottest wall.
The last windows on that side are to the Master bedroom.

This is what it looked like on the day we packed and moved.
We lost half of what we paid for it.

The lesson is ...
Know what your county & town will or won't allow...
own the land ...

HOA Tree

The ground was soggy from rains ...
Strong winds came ...
Toppled trees are Not approved of by the HOA ...

Toppled trees just don't have that perfect neighborhood look.
We have got to do something about it before the HOA arrives.

You know this tree must have a VERY shallow root system ...
because it should have disturbed a ground area
equal to the diameter of the tree top.

You'll perhaps notice that we had to whack off some of the top
in order to push it back up and prop it in place.
Yes, the tree did survive and continue to flourish.
We avoided the HOA letter ...
this time.

Jan 26, 2010

The Dream

This was the dream home that we REALLY wanted to live in.
2 garages, 2-story, a couple thousand square feet, enclosed courtyard, gated portal, Jetted Bath in the Master Suite, RV gate on the side, and spacious backyard.
We just couldn't afford it on $14 an hour x 40 hrs a wk.

So, we rented this lovely 1800 sq. ft. home in a benevolent HOA. If there can be such a thing as a benevolent HOA. They could spot weeds popping their heads above the ground faster than I could imagine ... for which we would receive a letter demanding it's removal today with a $25 fee for each additional day of non-compliance. When the rain and winds came through and toppled that small tree in the front yard, we managed to prop it back up before the HOA letter arrived.
We survived one year of their benevolence.