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high desert. small house.

Days 41-43 – Foam Closures, Sanding & Our Fridge

Monday

  • Mondays are usually challenging because it’s a dinner making night and an early sleep night for gym in the morning.  Did some foam closure squishing and some sanding.
Metal cros beam surgery - Brian cut an 'M' shaped opening in the bottom of each beam in order to access the corner that was invading the insulation's space.  This is still a work in progress...

Metal cross beam surgery – Brian cut an ‘M’ shaped opening in the bottom of each beam in order to access the corner that was invading the insulation’s space. Three down, five to go.

Here's my lovely ditch!  Even though most of what I dug was fill (not organic, naturally packed earth), it was still incredibly difficult.  One of the sweatiest tasks yet.

Here’s my lovely ditch! Even though most of what I dug was fill (not organic, naturally packed earth), it was still hard, compact, rocky soil and incredibly difficult to budge. One of the sweatiest tasks yet.

Tuesday

  • Brian got a jump start on sanding and also decided how we were going to handle the low spots (with #30 roofing felt).  He also started using the circular saw, with its blade on a shallow setting, to cut down the higher spots prior to sanding.  [We read about this on a forum and thought it seemed crazy…but it works great.]
  • Early night again – rain storm washed us out around 7:30pm
Mini lizard found near our apartment.  This area is rife with wildlife.

Mini lizard found near our apartment. This area is rife with wildlife.

Wednesday

  • Started investigating ‘base course’ for the driveway.  As it is, the dirt gets so muddy during the rainstorms that we don’t want to drive on the driveway.  That’s a quick way to arrest progress on the house.
  • Brian left work early and started working on the floor.  We found a few more spots that need an extra joist board so he spent a lot of time under the house, scooting around on his back.  More sanding and more foam closure stuffing.
We are stuffing the foam closures between the external layer of insulation (we will have an internal layer also) and the metal roofing.  This helps prevent heat loss...._____

We are stuffing the foam closures between the external layer of insulation (we will have an internal layer also) and the metal roofing. This helps keep critters from establishing residences and limits air movement under the roof panels.


Just for fun
Back at the beginning, when the idea of living in a tiny house was just a thought experiment, I did a lot of research and reading online, seeking to understand how people transitioned to this minimalist lifestyle.  There was a lot of advice that said to start slowly and just start reducing stuff where it is easy.  Remove clutter and non-essentials with a no pressure mindset.  Rediscover what you can live without.  Figure out what you absolutely want.  Take a break and come back to it.

I agreed that working slowly was a good approach so I started with our bathroom.  I donated 3-4 towels, probably the ones designated for guests.  (Funnily enough, I think we kept the tattier ones because they can be used in a wider range of applications – cleaning, dog baths, beach towels, etc.)  I may have also thrown out shampoo and conditioner bottles that only contained a few inches of goop.  I felt that was progress.

Having decided the bathroom was now ‘lighter’, I went back to business as usual.  Shortly after, I remember looking in the fridge and thinking, “We don’t use all this stuff!”  That’s when I got reallllll aggressive.  “We don’t need two mustards (when one old bottle has only a tiny amount), we haven’t used that soy sauce in a year, we never eat mayo, what’s in that tupperware, this smells bad, etc.”  We got rid of enough stuff that we were able to fit it all in a mini-fridge when our fridge later died.  i also attacked the cupboards – we cooked things to get rid of them and did not replace them.

Between that first bathroom clean-out and this past weekend’s mini clean-out, I have become an expert purger.  [Although, maybe I overestimate my skills since I contributed another 3 towels to the donation pile this Sunday.  Where are all these towels coming from!?]  And it isn’t a passing fad.  We don’t accumulate anymore and we think about everything we bring into the house.  We need some storage for plates and hobby stuff (computer accessories, scuba gear, motorcycle helmets, etc) but that’s about it.  The fridge is literally NEVER full.

Since the apartment is a disaster from us never being home (i.e. a whole wall of boxes of things to be installed in the house, half unpacked boxes from our move into the apartment, a giant pile of things to sell, etc) the best photos to represent our lack of clutter are really those of the fridge. Enjoy!

Main space in the fridge -

Main space in the fridge.  Top shelf:  Pickles, garlic, sauerkraut and 5 dozen eggs.  Bottom shelf:  Bucket of dates (for the raw brownies we make; we buy them in bulk), two pyrexes of dinner items I just made to get us through the week and a tiny pyrex of canned pumpkin that I needed for the dogs awhile back.  I should really dump that out.  Drawers – nada

Fridge door

Fridge door.  Top shelf butter.  Middle shelf – one container of cottage cheese and one cottage cheese container with diced tomatoes we put on our eggs, peanut butter, mustard, and more pickles (I like having two kinds – how indulgent!).  Bottom shelf – Fish sauce we purchased for a stew a few months back that we can’t seem to use up (because I won’t let Brian add it to anything he’s cooking) and cream cheese frosting I once bought for cheat day that I didn’t like (but feel guilty throwing away because it’s completely full.  Need to pitch that too.)

freezer

The freezer is really the chicken meat and pecan receptacle.  The pecans go in the raw brownies, and the chicken meat goes in the dogs’ gullets.  There is something in here I need to dispose of as well – a package of frozen mango pieces in the back.  I can’t remember the last time those were used.

For a full summary of our experience with Arched Cabins, please read Arched Cabin Summary.

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