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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Shade awning made Simple!

I have a vintage Nomad trailer. I live in Arizona and we need shade. Of course we are also in the midst of a heatwave right now so its even more important.

My trailer has a typical vintage awning rail, which is a channel that a side of a fabric awning which has a cord sewn into it would have been slide through.  With the typical Southwestern states winds, the potential is for the awning to get ripped off the side of the trailer causing damage to both the awning and the trailer.


In order to avoid all the damage I used a tarp made of shade cloth. Bought for $25 at Harbour Freight, mine is sold as a mesh tarp and is 8 feet x 10 feet in size.

Being frugal, I was looking for tent poles and since my friend Wolf is visiting,  I asked his advice! Omgosh why didn't I think this up on my own - wooden closet poles with a screw in the top! At a few cents a foot I bought one for close to $4 and one was free...whooo!

Now to attach to the awning rail I wanted a way to use elastic based bungee balls so the awning could stay up most of the time. The give of the bungee balls allows the awning to flap in a breeze without damage. Though over time I expect wear. How to attach bungee balls to an awning rail took some research on Pinterest! Some cleaver guy used aluminum tubing and paracord to make these loops. Well I had some copper tubing lining around and some cord that fit through it well, so I piddled one afternoon and made enough for me and Kathleen too.


For tie outs, Wolf having 20 years experience in the desert and at Burning Man, suggested I forgo tent stakes and simply use 3 foot long rebar. We pounded it in using a 3 pound sledgehammer.  Then using the last of my paracord, tied out the shade tarp and placed the poles. For safety, I picked up a 99 cent pool noodle, cut it in half with a  knife and slid it over the rebar.



Thats it! Grab a chair and a cold drink and you too can manage a heatwave!

Keep it Simple Silly!
Simply,
Lesa

Monday, June 19, 2017

Oh Simple - I think not...

Yesterday was window day. I pulled the front window out to repair a leak and reseal with new butyl tape. Easy peasy 1 or 2 hour job.... well not so much in the heat. It was around 95F yesterday. We are in the midst of a heatwave. So the removal went quickly and smoothly.



I put some shower water out to heat up and since it was hot, I piddled with inside stuff like... removing the old water tank and hot water heater.


Then...darn

About an hour away from Kathleen's bbq time. Its time to reinstall the window. A distant sound of thunder and a dark cloud added to my anxiety as I opened the butyl tape package and it was all melty and gooey.... I was up to my elbows in goo really quickly! Anyway I glopped it on and after a good 1.5 hours Wolf helped me lift the window back in place as we felt 4 or 5 rain drops.... yup I live in AZ, thats all we got today! The window back in, we pulled our late for the bbq butts together and went to have chicken at Kathleen's tiny vintage Terry trailer home. 




Simply bugged and plodding right along


The Cedar Gnats moved in a couple weeks ago.  How crazy annoying. I seem to be more affected by the bites than anyone around me.  Im glad I've had a leftover tube of prescription itch cream. At times I've been covered in sores. Now its even more difficult to watch Ozzie in his new haircut being swarmed by these biting monsters. We found some clove and peppermint spray for pets that helps some, but mostly we stay inside the screening of the trailer. Which can be boring!  These bugs arent out at nite and for about an hour in the morning when it is still cool, so I try to get outside stuff done early. I still swat and scratch and deal with them throughout the day as i come and go from inside trying to make progress on my work.

Im hoping to have the ceiling finished today - plenty of inside work with that. Then the next challenge will be the front window. It needs new butyl tape, which makes it weatherproof  and I am hoping that I can take the whole thing out so I can get the refrigerator casing out of the trailer!  We had to dismantle the refrigerator after I put my thumb through the rusted out gas burner and realized that it was toast. I kinda thought I could then crush the casing to make it fit out the door.  Nope too well made for that....so thats tomorrows project. Then I  think Kathleen is grilling chicken on Sunday.

Yesterday Phoenix left for a couple weeks in Colorado. Hes planning to return to take care of some personal business after that.  Wolf has been repairing his truck and he made me a composting bin! Yes, composting in Arizona is different because it is so dry here. But its not only possible, Wolf has had lots of experience with composting in the desert...so I'm learning all that i can.

Oh and my daughter and I, for personal and family reasons, have decided to cancel my trip to Virginia. We will use video chat for the birthing instead. How kewl is technology!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pay Pal link

I  havent figured out how to change my donation button yet ...so heres a beginning

paypal.me/SimplyLesa

Friday, June 9, 2017

Simply stepping right along!

Daily progress, no matter how small, can help me keep on track with my priorities and head off (well sometimes) anxiety and depression.  Yesterday was a frustrating day. It seemed everything that I touched went wrong. Spilled my coffee, cell phone battery died during a call with my credit union, old paid off credit cards took money from my account - darn...  so I gave up and went to the library. The car rides very different with new shocks,  yeah! I delivered Kathleen's grill to her and she rode in  with me, that was nice and making the delivery took something off the to do list as well as giving me a success for the day!

This morning, fully charged batteries thanks to the library, I tackled my new to me entry steps. So a friend from town brought up a set of what they thought were trashed travel trailer wooden steps. When they took them off the tow trailer, they smashed and the friend was upset. I  messed with them and made them functional. I have been using them nearly two months. I wanted to give them some color to  freshen them up. So a little screw tightening and sanding and a bit of stain - whaala!


But oops I  forgot that I live in Arizona, duh. Dark colos get HOT! (Grin)... so I  added the rug to protect Ozzie's little paws!



Shocked Simply


Simple and Easy are two very different ideas...think about it!

My Honda was bottoming out on Route 191 between Witch Well and  St Johns. Sure that road is bad, there are signs that say Rough Road! Many vehicles bottom out....but truly my shocks were pretty bad. So my buddy Phoenix is visiting and said let's change your shocks, if you can swing it financially.  So we set about shopping and I got a good price on some Monroe OESpectrums, and off we went....



Well, not so fast, because a bolt sheared off and we were kinda stuck with a welded kinda strangely and fused together mess. Trusty phone in hand and a quick text message to 3 welder/mechanic kinda buddies. My neighbor John got back to me right away saying he probly had a way to help. After a quick call, we arranged to get parts and then this morning we drove really slowly to visit....



Whoohoo I think this will be an improvement.



THANKS GUYS!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Simply a new Farmer's Market & Swap Meet

Thanks to Jim McDowell for this article and pictures that he posted on Facebook. Our community at Witch Well AZ is growing and developing. Here's what Jim wrote about the first Farmers market and swap meet  (east coasters thats a flea market, grin) YUP I was there too!

The first of our Witch Well Farmer's Market days was pretty successful.  More swap meet than consumables this first time, (3 people with eggs, one person offering coffee and cold soft drinks and one with packaged MREs), but as we get deeper into the growing season, several people I've spoken to intend to sell harvested vegetables, fruits and maybe even some baked goods.  I believe the plan is to go every Saturday morning 8-11 to establish a regular, dependable presence, then see how it goes by the end of the season.  We're in the parking lot about a hundred yards back from 191 right on 7230 (Apache Blvd).  Thanks to Doug Ball for the use of the space.  Congrats to all who came out, buyers AND sellers.  See you there again...!

     





Friday, June 2, 2017

Simply what a Wolf at my door!?

Someone said that there is "no rest for the weary"! Well I am not weary and I actually got some rest and went to my weekly group therapy meeting then took groceries to a sick friend and put in about 4 hours volunteering at the local thrift store.  AND this showed up!

Of course my friend Wolf had contacted me about visiting during June. He had mentioned possibly helping me with my trailer repairs while here. Well he had a little tire problem on the way.... yikes chained up axels and stuff... and BIG boy tires!

He had just been at an Overland Expo and brought newbie nomad Phoenix, who by the way just quit his job! What a great rig he's got.


Well, Phoenix and Ozzie have become best buddies. Its cute to watch them run and play together. Wolf has been pretty occupied off loading his camp and seeing to the damage on the truck. He needs a new bottle jack, and tires of course  and now he's wondering if he can find some local work to make money to cover this unplanned expense!  Phoenix has proved to be extremely helpful already by tinkering with and fixing my Honda's rear door which was stuck! Now I can change the blinker light bulb, Yeah!

We are planning to be at the NEW Witch Wells AZ Farmers Market & Swap Meet tomorrow! (Thats 8-11am on CR7230 1/8th mile North of the Witch Well Tavern). We are planning to help each other as we can...we intend to get my trailer leveled better and repair the roof asap. Then I  have a trip to Springerville planned because the Oz-man needs his summer haircut!

We are off and running on a new adventure!

Simply moving day for Kathleen!

Towing can be anxiety inducing!  I had gotten stuck in the sand twice recently. I was very concerned about Tuesday's project of towing the 1960 Terry travel trailer that Kathleen bought as a new home. The trailer has a very short tongue and was loaded with living. It was within the tow rating for my Honda Passport.

I'm happy to report that we made it fine, just exhausted from the stress.

She's basically all set up with a basic home. I was happy to help as well as being glad that she is capable of taking over her own responsibility now that she has a good beginning.  I've been over to visit, of course, I was greeted with big smiles and excited stories about how much she loves to have a home and property and the fenced-in area to keep the free range cattle outside . We continue to talk, text and visit helping each other...

Mission accomplished!




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

We Simply May miss May

May has been passing quickly! I moved back to the property and into the new to me trailer on May 1. I also had company arrive on May 1. My focus became my company's changes which have happened incredibly fast!

This is my friend Kathleen. She became a car-dweller about a year ago when she lost a job and rents became too difficult. She learned to be a pretty good car camper although she was disillusioned with the homeless aspect in car dwelling communities. She came to visit me on May 1 and by May 16 she bought a vintage Terry trailer and 1.25 acres of land about 5 miles from me.
She's parking on my property for a while until she feels ready to go solo at her place. She's working hard to make the trailer comfortable and stylish. This vintage trailer idea is new to her and I'm sure that she feels overwhelmed. She's making great progress! In fact we just found her a like new gas grill for cheap.  That's going to make a great outdoor area with the lawn chair and table she's been using all year.  I am so happy to have been able to help her make these big changes...and of course to have a friend in my neighborhood.

Welcome to Witch Wells AZ  Kathleen!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Here we go dreaming!

I'm simply demo-ing the tiny trailer home in preparation for a remodel to fit my simple, minimalist lifestyle.  Keep in mind that I react with allergic symptoms to many chemicals and especially to propane.... so no propane appliances or fridges or heaters.... they are gone now. A good day or more of hard dirty work and they are outside till I know what to do with them.

When I do travel I like easy and inexpensive maintenance. So I opt for a composting toilet over the need to maintain black tanks and all.

I  keep a pretty tight budget so massive solar systems are off my radar. Besides I have learned to live with a very low need for power. I would prefer no electricity at all, though olive oil lamps or candles can be dangerous especially with a dog. And I have been enjoying the luxury of communicating through Internet using my tablet and phone. So I am hoping to install a small solar system that I tested last winter. At $150 total this one fits my budget. Go here to see that I cant find a picture https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015F4R1RK/ref=cm_sw_r_other_taa_EbGhzb3R0AKYJ

For heat I have chosen to use wood. There are trees in my area and I react less to wood (and to denatured alcohol or sterno)  than to other stuff. I have tried many tiny woodstoves and have been watching the Grizzly stove which is made for tiny homes and travel trailers. When I first saw them they were priced close to  $700 which is way over my budget. Well they are on sale at just $401 now! If I could manage to get one while on sale... I think it would be a great choice for this tiny trailer home.   (I may need help to get this before the summer or the sale is over)





Next is the bathroom...so there was a tiny bathroom with toilet and shower and a sink. I could hardly turn around in the space so i am pulling everything out. I will turn this into a wet bath. I want a C Head composting toilet with an EUD (urine separator). They are running $670! I may have to temporarily use a bucket toilet. These pictures are of a C Head.



Okay and for my decorator buddies.... I  am aiming for this kind of look and color scheme!


 Perhaps tiny additions of flamingo pink?
And I haven't found pictures yet to explain the sea green/teal and white glossy exterior with a small sea foam green stripe that I am envisioning.

I am planning for this tiny trailer home to stay on my property  - tho one never knows what might develop over time.

Anyway... I am concerned that I won't be able to afford the big ticket items that would make this a great home. I don't want to ask for help, but I will simply say that if you are one of those people who have asked how to help me, there is a Donation button on my Web page for this blog and there is also a button to contact me via email. I won't turn down help and will keep you posted on how things are going.

Simply,
Lesa

Simply morning chat

We are finally starting to settle into our new tiny travel trailer home! Whoohoo!
So Ozzie and I have been chatting this morning! Smile

For the past two weeks we have been helping a fellow cardweller relocate to our neighborhood. Oh yeah she is happy and we are happy for her.

I have been so busy and had some unsettling contacts over Mothers Day and through Facebook that I had a few days of depression. It is beginning to lift as I begin to refocus on my home.

Here's a few pictures of our daily ritual 'coffee with Ozzie' time this morning.  The sun had us awake at 5:45 am. Its about 6:30 now.


I've been using the Sterno Inferno stove for hot water since the winter travels when I found and ordered it off Amazon. It works surprisingly well. I would recommend this for car dwellers and emergency use because, if you can be safe of course, it is safe to burn inside. It isnot as safe from tip overs and all as my larger HeatMate stove.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Our, me & Ozzie's Simple Tiny Home!

I got a tiny trailer home delivered and set up on my property! Ozzie was so excited he was running all around, he even went into the car to get his squeekie toy!

We have some deep cleaning to do and some repairs. Because we are having a storm with cold and rain and because I had some plans in town we will get busy on Sunday or Monday.

I know you all wanna see... so its picture day!
 Where I wanted to put it...yup worked,
 Had to use my trusty  Black and Decker Matrix saw!
 She fits here great!
 Okay what's up with the exterior  paint job?
Baby's got back tee hee

Curb side

Not too dirty even the old fiberglass curtains are pretty clean ;)

Appliances!  In my life?
Can you imagine a shower in the bath?

And a potty!



And last but not least - the Big ceiling repair - seems to be dry rot not water damage. 


So this is what you will be hearing about for a while!