Monthly Archives: January 2015

An update on building progress

Well, it’s been awhile since I updated y’all on the actual building process.

The welding is complete. We chose to weld only at the corner joints where each container meets its mate. We’re looking for a beam to go across the width of all three containers–it will be welded on as extra support, since we’re removing walls. It’s actually probably not that necessary, since most of the strength is in the corner posts, but we’re trying to be somewhat on the safe side since the middle container is having both side walls removed. (Note: we’re not professionals. Hire a structural engineer for that.)

Because my husband is a Jack of all trades, he decided to buy a plasma cutter. After some trial and error, here’s a pic from yesterday:

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Can you see the section of wall he’s removing? That “S” is from the outside wall of the container next to the one he’s standing in.

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Today, he’s cutting out the rest of this wall, and should finish up the second section tomorrow. I’ll post some pictures of that, and maybe a video, when it’s complete. With the walls cut out it’s going to look like a real house. Next is either roughing in the electric or framing the one wall we need to put out. We haven’t decided yet. Our contractor friend says either is fine, in this case.

Just for fun, here’s a picture of what I consider the front yard:

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Obviously, that porch is from the house-that-was-before.

That’s all, folks. More tomorrow!

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On another note

Here’s a garden post for your “Monday”.

You see, my favorite people have always been farmers, gardeners, though not all of them made/make their living that way. My friends, my grandfather, my brother–they’re all growers of things, one way or another.

Before seeds can be planted, ground must be prepared. So, I spent today moving a ton of sticks and vines off our fence. I’m not sure how that relates to ground preparation, but I’m sure it does.

I’ve got two 60×20 spaces that will work for gardening.

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They are separated by the brush in the middle, which is going to be cut down, and a fence of cedar poles (probably) will be put in its place. The idea is to use the fence as a trellis.

Below is a panorama photo, so the driveway angle is actually opposite of how it looks

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It’s been suggested that I only plant one this year. That’s good advice. I may or may not take it. You see, I bought a lot of seeds…

A new friend (?)

I lied. There are not pictures in this post. There really is welding going on, and I hereby promise there will really be photos this weekend.

Scott and I were outside late one night earlier this week (by late, I just mean after dark). He was welding, and I’d come outside to look at his work. I noticed a truck stopped in the road across the street from us and called our dog over to make sure she didn’t get too interested in what the driver was up to.

Well, turns out the driver wanted to talk to us about where we’d gotten our containers, as he’s looking for some. We told him, and of course the conversation meandered over to what we were doing with them–he immediately jumped to housing. We obfuscated, saying they were just storage for now.

We’re not fibbers, but it’s also not something we want to advertise to strangers, despite what this blog may indicate.

I asked if he planned to do a container home, and he said he’d like to, but he’s just looking for some initial storage.

At that point, we admitted we are in fact working on a house. He totally understood, saying it’s not everyone’s business and he would have understood us not telling him.

I sometimes am struck by things I really appreciate about living in the country. One of them is the idea that what you’re doing on your property is your business… Another is that a guy will just stop to chat and end up telling us everything about himself–his name, where he lives (exactly), where his parents live (exactly), and where he works (you guessed it–exactly).

Laundry

You know, I like to consider myself resourceful. Able to take on any challenge. Creative. Capable. Awes–

Um. Anyway. Back to the point.

When we first moved onto our property we had no way to do laundry. We had water, and we had a washer and dryer in storage, but there was no water line (just a water hose from the pressure tank in the well to the camper) and no wiring for electricity. We did have a cinderblock outbuilding which was structurally very solid, but which desperately needed a new roof.

I, being the sweet and slightly delusional wife I am, told Scott, “I can wash our laundry in a bucket. Plenty of people do it. It’s summer, so I can just hang the clothes to dry. You have plenty of other stuff to do without dealing with hooking up a washer and dryer.” I mean, my grandmothers grew up doing laundry by hand. Hard, sure, but just a part of life…right?

Picture this: it’s May, so summer-ish. I have a whole load of regular laundry to wash. I have a bucket. I have an old concrete foundation by the well house that I think will be perfect to set up on. I fill said bucket with water and a little soap, put the clothes in, and agitate for several minutes, then leave them to soak awhile. After a bit more agitation, I dump the water, add fresh, and agitate to remove the soap.

Problems: I am soaking wet within three minutes from a mixture of splashing water on myself and the summer humidity of Arkansas. There are bugs everywhere. There is vegetation everywhere, and I can’t figure out where all these rusty old-fashioned nails on the ground came from (I’ve had a tetanus shot, thank God), and did I mention that I have a bucket of wet clothes I need to hang on a line? Did you know clothes that have not been spun in a washer are heavy? Yeah. Like they weigh down the clothes line to within an inch of the ground, and I’m trying to figure out how to keep the dog from grabbing a pair of my lacy unmentionables and running off. My clothes line, along with my very obvious camper, is also just in sight of the road, so I’m trying to determine where exactly we rank on the redneck scale and whether putting my nicer pieces of clothing on more obvious display increases or decreases our score.

Note to self: Your grandmother may have done this, but folks used to own way fewer articles of clothing. And they were washed less frequently. 

Ring, ring–

“Hey, baby. What’s up?”

“Yeah…about me handwashing our laundry. I just did a load, and I think I was being unrealistic about the chances of that happening often enough to keep us in clean clothes…”

“Oh, I know. I’ve already got the washing machine in the truck. I’ll get it hooked up within a few days.”

Good man, my husband. Smart too.

Happy New Year

The new year has me pondering, as I’m sure it does many of you.

You know, when we sold our house in late 2013 and moved into the camper, I thought it would take three months to find land and build a simple, but liveable, structure. Being the practical-minded person I am, I prepared for six months. It’s been 13.

After spending the entire calendar year of 2014 in “transitional housing” I’m ready for the next phase of our living arrangement. Honestly, some days, I think I’m going to take up drinking before we get there.

But then I think, if we’d built a regular building, as we’d intended, we’d be spending nearly triple the amount we’ve estimated for the cargo container. We’d have a 15 (if not 30-year) mortgage. And it would take easily 2-3 times as long to build.

So, you know…it’s been worth the wait, I think. I’m happy to say 2015 will be about something besides buying or selling or building. It’s going to be about living. And sharing some of that living with you, kind readers.

UPDATES

Of course, I know what you’re really interested in are some updates. Well, I’ve only got a tiny one. As you may know, it’s been raining for approximately 29,408,209 days. Or a week. Whatever. Since our first step is welding, and Hubs is not going to weld in the rain, we’ve been in a holding pattern. However, tomorrow afternoon is supposed to be dry. If welding happens, I’ll  let you know.

Since it’s been raining for so long, and since we’re mostly shaded, and since the containers scraped up the ground as they were moved…it’s muddy, y’all. So, for Christmas, Scott put in stepping stone all the way from the parking area to the front of the camper. It’s the best gift I could have asked for.