Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Shelter Time, Detox Water, and Future Projects

Ok, I've be slackin' about posting! Here is a bit I've been meaning to post for awhile.....

 It has been a really great summer full of new friends, new experiences, new new new and perfectly wonderful!

 As autumn approaches, however, it is time to get down to the business of preparing for winter. I had a day off and so I finally decided to get a move on and start on the winter shelter. 

First things first, gotta hit home depot. First, I need 8 boards that will make up the base of the shelter. I was happy to find the wooden board section….that is until I looked down it:

 Yeah…..ummm….that’s a whole lotta wood! That is also a bit overwhelming and I’m really wishing I knew something about wood right about now. 

Hmmmmm. Ok, so I go down the row and look at each section. I decided on this:

I really wanted to find 2x6x6.5….as that is what the instructions I’m using calls for….but there was none to be had. So, 1x6x8 will have to do. I like having it a bit taller anyway as that will be far less claustrophobic. These are within my budget limits so I think we have a deal! 

Next issue: 

Yeah, that’s not gonna fit. 

Hello my new friend: 

 I load up the wood, grab a saw, find the braces, and snag a nifty little angle finder. I’m just about to leave when I realize I’ve forgotten to get nails. Luckily, I am passing the nail section now…..



All I want is some normal nails to hold together the boards. Regular boring ‘ol nails. It takes way too long but I FINALLY locate nails that look like they will do the trick and I head for the checkout with all the makings for a nifty shelter base: 

 I went just a few dollars over budget but I also get a chance to win big:

 So I’m convinced it will all even out in the end! Ha! I load everything into the van and head home. 

Lugging everything into camp was unpleasant…particularly through the brush path…..but I did it all in one trip. Yes, I’m just that awesome! I decided to only take everything to camp and not up to the new site. That way, I can work on cutting the boards after work when there is still a little light. Once that is done, I can lug everything up the rest of the way. I need to cut them so that when they are joined together, each connection makes a 45 degree angle. I take my new shiny tools: 

And after a couple tries:

I get it perfect! Yay me! Now I have two boards to use as a pattern for the rest. That will have to wait though, as a certain pup has decided it is time for me to take a break:

He stares at me for awhile….then sighs heavily and looks away:

 And when THAT doesn’t work, he takes it to a new level: 

Don’t mind me, I’m just cleaning my leg here:

Yeah, a little hard to get anything done with this drama queen around! 

Who? Me???? 

Ok, I can’t take the face, he wins, time for a nap:

As we are relaxing in our quickly deteriorating temporary shelter, I realize how much I’m going to miss the view of Spring: 

But newly fallen snow will be a whole other view to enjoy! I know I’m behind schedule because the store now has walls of boots on display: 

While I’m here, I checked out my beloved “as seen on tv” section of the store. There is this lovely pillow: 

What strikes me is this guy: 

How happy is he to have that pillow??? Gotta love a man with simple tastes! ….I don’t know about that mustache though…. 

I also picked up some ingredients for a “detox” water I saw online: 

I’ve been told I need to drink more water….I figured I might as well get some vitamin C in the process!

 Possible future project:

I also saw these:

I’m not sure what I’d use them for…..maybe add a handle and make them window shutters? Hmmm….

 More pictures to come once I get this base put together!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spring turns to Summer


It has been awhile since I posted but things are still moving right along at camp.  After my last post and some warmer weather we had a random return to winter:

I'll admit that put me in a bit of a funk because I was soooooo ready for spring!  The snow and the cold weather did make it much safer to have a good-sized fire though.....


There has been all sorts of goings on at work.....first up is a birthday where I took it upon myself to decorate:

Encasing a mouse in jello was not as hard as I thought it would be.....and the reaction was PRICELESS!

Then came a terrible kidnapping of the resident baby doll:

....complete with ransom note.  The demanded monopoly money is currently being collected and we have high hopes of a save return....

Last but certainly not least was Joey's birthday.  Joey is a proud Italian fellow who continually complains about a lot of things....but mostly the Olive Garden and the Red Sox.  So, for his birthday we made him his very own olive garden....sponsored by the Red Sox of course:

In shelter news.....I've been rethinking the style and am now thinking a Sami Hut.  I found detailed instructions on

This has a cleaner design, better instructions, and will hold up better....I think!  It also allows for a heat source in the form of a wood stove or a fire pit.  I've had some unexpected expenses which have stalled the purchasing of materials but hope to be moving into building mode well before summer is over and the colder temps of autumn move in....

Duffy will be thrilled to have walls again!

In other news, I have become quite the gym go-er.  I am working towards a goal of running a 5k.  I am about half a mile shy of that distance and doing a lot more brisk walking/jogging than running.....but I'm getting there!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter Wanderings, Property Finds, and Lost Things

Just before Easter I took the car in for an oil change.  The library was closed that day so I spent my waiting time wandering through the town.  There were lots and lots of Easter themed windows but this one was my favorite:

I, of course, would have gone with a festive feather boa......but that's just me.

Back at camp it is warming up.  I took a little hike and came across the coolest looking tree: 

Very cool

When I first bought the property, the seller told me there a natural spring on the land.  I had yet to find it....until now:

I'm thinking the kolarkoja will be set up near here.  No right next to the spring.....because it is kinda marshy.....but nearby.  It will be nice to be be close to a water source.  The rainwater harvesting is great but when it doesn't rain for a week or more I always end up having to haul water in.  This lovely little spring will solve that problem and get me one step closer to self sufficiency.

Speaking of self sufficiency....look what I found on the side of the road about a mile from my place:

A very cold, very hungry little pug.  He's adorable and just the sweetest thing.

It didn't take him long to warm up and get comfy:

It took two days but I was able to find his owner.  Apparently the little guy had been on his own for almost a week when I found him!  Amazing that he survived.  He's a tough little guy and both he and his human were very very happy to be back together.

Yay happy endings!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Birthday Surprise, Family Portrait, and New Toy Fun

As I ramp up for Spring, a quick update.....

I had a birthday recently and a coworker of mine made some pretty amazing cupcakes for me:

This one is topped with a tent.....

This one had a campfire.....

even the heart shaped plate was decorated with bits of Spring peaking out.

Very cool.

I also thought that taking a picture with Duffy to share would be cool.....Duffy voted against it:

That's the best one.  He prefers to be the single star in all photos I guess!

In more Duffy news, I got a cute duck toy with a rope tail for the pup to play with.....I hung it from a tree because my hands are soooooo not strong enough for a Duffy-caliber game of tug-o-war:


It did not end well for the duck:

That's about it from here! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Winter Returns, Campfire Fun, and a New Shower

 Remember how I said it looked like Winter was about to go to sleep?  Well......

Not so much. 

Knee deep snow has fallen over the past week.  While I appreciate the fabulous let work out I get from hiking through the stuff.....enough already.  I'm am so very ready for Spring to get here. 

Where is that freakin' groundhog when  you need him????

Well, before the snow flew, I did get in a couple nice campfires:

I forgot how fabulous a campfire smells.

I also put together a new shower and picked up some solar lights:

Cool moment.....last year I was buying a pre-boxed solar shower....this year I'm making one.

No seriously.....does the awesome-ness never stop?

Ok, I took a bucket, put a hole in the bottom, inserted a tube, and sealed it with plumber goo stuff.  The goo is not very pretty to look at....but I added some glitter and made the seal in the shape of a we're good.

I then covered the top with mesh and hug it up to catch the rain.  I couldn't find any giant rubber bands to hold the mesh on but I DID find some headbands.  So, not only is it secure, it is colorful!

Ok, yes, it promptly froze when the temps dipped again....but it is supposed to be warming up again this week so I'll get to try it out! 

The solar lights are nice.  They are allowing me to get around camp at night without having to use the headlamp.  Duffy is not a fan of the he's pretty happy with this solution as well. to look for Spring......

Thursday, March 7, 2013

kolarkoja, torvkåta, and koalas

As spring approaches the urgency to decide on what semi-permanent shelter I want to build increases.

I have had many suggestions forwarded, many thoughts cross my mind, and many Internet searches sifted through.  Just some of these:

debris hut
walled tent
micro house
log cabin
pallet house

All have pros and cons.....but what I have landed on is a kolarkoja.  Very similar structures are listed as torvkåta. 

I'm not entirely sure I can do justice to the pronunciation of I'm going to call my new home a koala.  Cute, cuddly, awesome.

From google images:

It blends into the surroundings, has a wood stove, natural insulation, and it super cute.  The only issue I've seen is that they don't seem to have windows....but I'm sure I can figure that one out.

There are far fewer pictures of the inside of these shelters but here are a couple I found:

I am super excited to start this project.

It is gonna be AWESOME!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Last Days of Winter, New Shelter, and As Seen On TV

Temperatures are going to be in the 40's all week.  I do believe Winter is preparing to go to sleep.

Last week we did get some wet snow:

 Everything got a fresh layer of white and was looking pretty spiffy.

Wet crunchy snow is no fun to hike through but it is really nice to look at!

When last I blogged, I had mounted a tent on top of the cot.  This worked better than expected but I was having a heck of a time keeping the poles on the cot.  They kept slipping off which made the tent shorter....and shorter....and shorter.

I decided to put together something else for the remainder of the season.  I bought myself some fence posts:

Gathered up any unused bungee cords:

 Un-mounted the tent....which Duffy did not appreciate:

The ground is still frozen so attached the fence posts to the legs of the cot and tossed a HUGE tarp over them:
I then walked around the inside to straighten it out:

Then back to the outside to wrap it snugly:

I opened the "door" using a bungee and a tree branch:

I lined the cots with a smaller tarp:

then added the carpeting: 

...and then the sleeping bag:

And then I notices there was an opening in one of the corners:

I had to rewrap part of the tarp so that Duffy didn't end up getting wrapped up on the posts...and then I had a finished shelter:

Duffy tried it out and approved:

We slept in it for the first time last night.  It is positively HUGE compared to the last two tents:

No claustrophobia issues here!

While I was gathering needed supplies for this project, I found a couple of interesting things at the stores:

First of all, the guy at the coffee place always puts a little smiley face on the cup.

I love that.

This place has stopped trying to sell ice cream.  They now sell spoons.....and give you the ice cream for free with it.

I love that.

Then there was this thing:

Apparently, there are people who voluntarily stick this wax vacuum in their ears and turn it on.


They stick a vacuum in their ears.

Yeah.....I'm going back to the woods now.