A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

From Tiny House To Small House

There's no changing my mind now. For better or worse, the tiny house now has a 344 sq ft addition!

The carpenters from Spring Branch Trading Post got the job done in 5 days, working late most days to finish. Spring Branch built the original cabin shell, plus the bunkhouse shell, and a couple of sheds we have.  They're very reasonably priced and the people are great. 

The first night the foundation was done and most of the stud walls were up. It was a few days before the full blue moon and from the window by my bed it glowed with moonlight. It's been my plan that, though I will move our bed into the addition, I will probably keep sleeping on a twin bed I plan to use in place of a sofa in the cabin. I've always slept here and it's by the fireplace, which is nice in the winter. If you've ever lost a loved one you know there is a tendency not to want to change things. But when I saw the room lit with moonlight, I wanted to move the bed right then. And dance in the moonlight again. (Dancin' In The Moonlight 2014)

Then the next night as I looked out the window, I started to cry. What had I done? Why did I add this? It changes things. I wanted to just tear it all down and go back. As if going back would make things like they were before. When I was happy. When I had Rickie.

By the third day, my swing high, swing low moods were pretty much passed and I settled down to dealing with the here and now. I could not have asked for a better team, a father and son, to put the shell up. Not only did they get the job done, they had an appreciation for the wildlife and natural world we have here. Most people living this way do, or else they go somewhere else. 

This country, more so than hospitable moderate places, requires a certain toughness of the people that live here. It requires and deserves to be inhabited by people that love it deeply. It's not the kind of country that can get along with indifferent caretakers. I try to live up to its expectations.

I'm waiting now on contractors to do the things I can't. Extend the AC duct work, electrical, and plumbing. I'm back and forth on whether to finish the bathroom. Yesterday I was definitely not going to do it and today I am going to. So, we'll see. I can't begin most of my work until these things are done.

In the meantime I've replaced the doorknobs with ones I like better. I have an old glass set we bought years ago that I've been holding for the right time. I'm using it on the door to the addition. Right now I'm waiting on some missing set screws I had to order online. Modern ones at the hardware store don't have the right thread size. I need to decide what to do with the door. It's kind of boring as it is but I don't want it to compete with the mesquite fireplace mantel we have.

The way I asked them to add the room gives an odd shaped little area outside by the chimney. It's a little place with several turns. I'm going to put a little ledge/deck there to fill the space in and make it easier to skirt. Yesterday I knocked down the stone skirting that was there. I have my lumber so I'm getting ready to do that project. 

I'm going to skirt the addition with corrugated metal. Rickie and I used that to skirt the bunkhouse. We weren't sure how to add it so we created our own method but I was trying to find a better way. So I asked the carpenter and he told me to make some frames and attach to the underside of the room. This gives support to the bottom and sides of the metal. I got the pressure treated lumber and as soon as the contractors finish I can do that. John and Zac said they are going to come help me when it's time. They are both good carpenters so the work should go fast!

Several times a day I have doubts about working without Rickie. I say to myself what the hell was I thinking!! But then I hear his voice in my head telling me I can do it, as he always did. He never doubted we could do something, even when we didn't know what we were doing! 

I've told you before about the little injured doe that I call Tougher Than Leather. She's been disappearing for long periods of time these months since Rickie died. Every time I think she is a goner, she shows back up. She gives me courage. A few day ago, after missing for many weeks and presumed dead, she showed up right outside the yard fence. And she had a little fawn with her! 

This morning out the back door I saw a picture of what courage is. She was walking her slow, painful (and heartbreaking to watch) limp across the back pasture. A few feet behind her, matching her pace, was her baby. When she paused the baby paused. It broke my heart at the same time it made me happy. 

This country requires a certain toughness of the people - and the animals and plants - that live here. I'm trying to live up to its expectations.

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