Wednesday, September 23, 2015


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Well, we pushed the ground around a bit getting a level pad, but I choose to consider today, Tuesday September 22, 2015, the day we actually broke ground in Campo.

Today the concrete crew dug the form trenches for the house.  The guy driving the excavator is actually my next door neighbor Josiah.  Just worked out that way.

The small square on the right is the breakfast nook; on the left is the screened porch.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Living in 100 square feet

This month marks one year that I have been living in my little 1967 travel trailer. Escrow closed on our 1500 square foot house in Lakeside last September 26 and I moved the trailer behind my kids' house and became a squatter, apprentice childcare assistant, and farm hand. I have dinner with the kids every night, and two nights a week, I'm the cook.

After a year in my cozy 8'x12' box, I can truly say that it's really quite nice. I share it with my little Molly dog, and she rarely leaves my side, even in the twin bed.

My little spot under the eucalyptus tree
The trailer doesn't always look this neat, but here's the interior:


This couch makes into a double bed, but I only use it when I go camping.

This is the twin bed Molly and I share.


One thing I am looking forward to is a bigger bathroom.  This one has everything I need, but it's pretty cramped.  The shower is 2'x2'.  I am hooked up to the kids' city water and electricity, my grey water runs on the ground to water the weeds, and every week or so I empty my "black tank" using a portable tank on wheels.


Since I mostly mooch dinners, I don't cook a lot in my own kitchen, but I make coffee every morning and usually a sandwich for lunch.  I quickly learned to live without some kitchen niceties, like a microwave and stove burners that light themselves.  And you really don't need cupboards full of dishes, pots, and utensils. With a tiny sink, dishes need to get washed right away, but it's just me, so usually it's just a bowl and a coffee cup.

The fridge is small, so I buy milk in half gallons, and go to the store fairly often.


This handy addition to the stove doubles my counter space:

Dining Room

One of the things I like  best about old travel trailers is the cozy dinette up front. It's where I'm sitting right now, with a little white dog curled up next to me, and it also serves as office, workbench, catch-all, and lounge.  I don't have a TV, so if I watch something on Netflix, it's here at the computer. More often than not, the "dining room" looks like this:

When I was designing the bungalow, I had the big desktop computer on this table, and had to push the keyboard aside to make room for my cereal bowl.

Occasionally I do have bachelor dinner here, like Hawaiian roll French toast! BFD - Breakfast for Dinner... one of my favorites.

If  you don't have room for a big coffee maker, you get along just fine with a teapot and a pour-over cone.

Living Room

Okay, I don't really have a living room.  I have this dinette, and a bed. I am looking forward to a recliner and a woodstove, but for now, I do fine with what I have.  

I have a library...
...a reading lamp..
A killer sound system...
"Trailer trash"

Air conditioning...

...And a dog.

And after all...

Next week the concrete crew will start on the foundation, and then we'll start to see framing, and my little bungalow will begin to take shape at long last.

But in the mean time, I have a wonderful family feeding and caring for me, and the truth is I'm not really limited to 100 square feet.  I have a huge pile of stuff from the old house stored in my kids' shop and garage.  A lot of it is my woodshop equipment, but an awful lot of it is stuff I thought I couldn't live without when I was in a three-bedroom suburban house, but haven't used in a year.

I wonder how much of it I'll still think I need when I finally unpack the boxes.


Monday, September 7, 2015

September 5, Grading Redux

The soil on my place is fine decomposed granite - almost sandy, and there are zero rocks.  That's great, and makes it easy to work, but made us a little nervous about the grading work we did a couple weeks ago. I personally wasn't comfortable with how careful we had been about making sure the "fill" part of the pad was compacted adequately.  So the boys agreed to come back this weekend with two bobcats, one heavier one with a bigger bucket and bulldozer-type treads instead of tires.

They dug out all the fill and piled it up, scraped the entire pad a little deeper, and then laid the soil back down in layers, running back and forth across each layer with the heavy tracked cat while I kept it wet with a hose and big sprinkler.

Hopefully we'll start on the foundation next week and I can post something besides pictures of dirt!