Making a House a Home

Hi Folks,

What is it that makes a house a home?  I think it boils down to living in it – doing what you want to do in it.   Here are some of my recent “home-making” landmarks.

On Valentine’s Day I had my first guests over for lunch.  Of course, they had to put together the sofa bed for me before we could get the space reorganized and everyone could sit down.  My guests were my sister Alex, her friend Sallie, my brother Mark and my friend Deb.  I served tuna salad (somehow I got my sister to make that).  We ate, we drank tea, we chatted and laughed, we listened to music and we went for a walk.  Perfectly lovely.

Since that day I’ve done three loads of wash, no, make that four, in my kitchen sink.  I attached my hand wringer to my bathroom sink and wrung my clothes out three times (wash and two rinses) and then tried to figure out where to hang them all.  I have a little umbrella-type device with clips on it that works well for the small items, the underwear and socks.  It’s pretty cool.  If you hang it one way it collapses into a neat package and if you hang it the other, it opens up and holds your clothes out in a tidy circle so they can dry.  I haven’t set up something for the larger clothes yet so pretty much had to scatter them all over the house.

When I do water intensive things like laundry I have to empty my grey water tank before and after, just to make sure it doesn’t overflow and back up into my tub.  (Yesterday I carried 20 buckets of grey water to various places on the land.)  If it does that it can also back up into the vent tube from my composting toilet.  If that happens the smells from my toilet can’t get out.  I know that because it has happened before.  The smell isn’t terrible like an outhouse because the urine is separated from the solid waste.  But it is more smell of the wrong kind than I want in my cedar-paneled home.  It took water spilling on the floor from the vent tube when my brother was fixing my toilet fan and we had everything disconnected for me to figure that out.

It’s interesting how one thing leads to another.  Like how trying to level my house lead to one of my support jacks getting bent out of shape and me realizing just how important it is to actually have the wheels level and depend on them instead of the jacks. This week I finally got my hot water working correctly in all aspects so I can now take a shower that’s longer than one minute.  Haven’t done it yet because I have to refill my water tank – but I can do it.  News update – I had my first official, warm-to-the-very-end shower – it was great!

The plumbers also managed to find the leak in a water supply hose that I had without having to take apart the walls in my coat closet and bathroom.  They were able to take apart just the chase in the closet (only two screws and voila, out it popped), enlarge a hole a bit and work magic in the tiny space.

There aren’t so many big things left now that still aren’t working properly.  Really just two important things.  My solar panels still aren’t running my AC lights and appliances but that may get taken care of this weekend.  So I’m not totally “off grid” yet.  The other is that my grey water tank drips badly from a coupling when I empty it and the box around it isn’t completely finished.

Something very cool is that I now have my trampoline set up and can bounce my way into the morning – or any time.  I find it very meditative and it’s good for my lymphatic system and connective tissue.  I love looking out at the alpacas and the trees and the sunshine while I’m dancing on the trampoline listening to some music or silence.

I hope you enjoy these photos of how the inside of my house is coming along.

10 thoughts on “Making a House a Home

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  1. ‘Siyo, Robin– Wado for your wonderful journal– I am so glad your home is coming along! One picture says something about Grandkids’ loft– did I miss something there? Take care of yourself and see you when I’m out that way!

    Dohi- Joani

    1. Ha-ha. That’s just the name of the area – future planning. Although I do have step-grandkids and I’m hoping they’ll visit with their parents. It’s really open to anyone who wants to climb up into the loft. Do stop by – I have plenty of room.

  2. Robin,

    Thank you for sharing.  I am so impressed with what you have accomplished.  Rah, rah, rah, Robin!!!  You’ve had your house warming now, too.  Congratulations!   You are living the simpler life.  Way to go!

    I really like your layout and how you’ve managed the systems.  I hope your house gives you years of pleasure.  How long has it been from a gleam in your imagination to now?

    I’m going to share your post with my contractor.  I think he’ll find it interesting.

    Love and hugs, Suzy


    1. Hi Suzy,
      It’s hard to know when the first gleam of my imagination was. I was thinking about doing this before I left Baltimore in 2008. The earliest idea of it was to buy a 5th wheel trailer RV ready-made around 2006. But I think I was already considering a small house on wheels (like the Tumbleweed Houses) when I came out to Colorado. Then living with Dad and handling eventually his estate put the idea on hold. It was summer of 2011 after Dad passed away that I started thinking again that I could build a house on a trailer. When I bought the trailer in August of ’11 I started drawing, so I guess that’s the real beginning.

      BTW, I took some personal stuff out of your comment. Thought you might not want “the public” reading that.

      Love you too.

  3. Oh, Robin!
    Once again I have to tell you how proud I am of your achieving this. I know how much you sweat $$, blood and tears to make it happen. It is the ultimate achievement!

  4. Robin, I can’t wait to see your finished product! I saw it at various stages and visited w/ Mark before the final touches and your move-in. Since then, I’ve been hearing about it and reading your blog;love the pictures! Hope we see you very soon. Love you!

    1. Dear Jamie,
      I hope you come see Gyrtle soon too. Also hope all is moving along with your own house.

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