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Friday, December 12, 2014

Day 10 - 14 of Purge

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Day 10 - 1 pair of shoes, 2 shirts

Day 11 - nothing ... not a thing.

Day 12 - ditto. 

Day 13 - paperless billing for 2 bills. 

Day 14 - 1 pack of incense (I get headaches when I burn incense now), 1 expired bottle of Gripe Water, 1 tube of Burts Bees chapstick that is all melty/weird but I still really liked the flavor 

So ... I haven't kept to the challenge but - in my defense - I have been swamped with the end of the semester and now I've got a cold. I fly out to Virginia tomorrow so I'll pick it up again when I'm back. I hope to keep with the challenge until the day I move into the Turtle full time ... I'm aiming for 2/1! 

I've designed my graywater irrigation discharge system. I'll run a drain hose down a 2% grade to a 10gallon rubbermaid trashcan buried up to the lid (for easy access for maintenance and troubleshooting). There will be a mulch bed surrounding the tote with at least 1ft added radius past the edge of the tote. I'll build a berm around it to ensure deep drainage and prevent surface erosion. The drain hose will have a backflow prevention valve. I haven't decided if I'll do any kind of filter for it since I'll have easy access for cleaning. 

I'm researching a solar array. I know I could go the DIY route for cheaper but I just don't know enough about the systems and don't have time to learn so I may just buy a "plug and play" kit and see where that gets me. Any feedback would be great! 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Day 9 Purge Challenge

Day 5: I tackled my "Oh $#!* Kit" - also known as a first aid kit. It seems like I just went through it maybe a year ago but I found some things that expired in 2011! Fortunately, I don't use a lot of pharmaceuticals or personal care products so most of the kit is natural stuff I don't feel guilty throwing in the regular trash. There are a few expired packs of Benedryl though - I'll be dropping them off at my nearest pharmaceutical take-back location (I think Orange City PD is the closest but I'm not certain).

Well, I was too busy/not in the mood to purge on Day 6, 7, or 8. So today, Day 9, I set out to discard FORTY things to make up for lost time. Here's what I found -

5 baggies of looseleaf tea (very old ... from when I lived in Gainesville)
Many bags of commercial tea that is rather old
1 bag of Incense cones (I don't burn much incense these days, I burn candles. The incense tends to give me a headache)
1 Round candle that PJ has rolled around on the floor and is covered in dust and dirt and other junk
1 mostly empty bag of Tea candles that came from Ikea - they do not stay lit and burn up really quickly when they do stay lit
1 Felt game pieces I made for PJ but didn't turn out as I'd like and pieces are too small to do much salvaging
1 threadbare sock
4 Drawer sachets that are very old and don't even have a smell anymore
1 A broken figuring that didn't reglue very well
1 Sports top that is stained brown from mud runs (it is supposed to be blue)
2 packets of Liquid rubber that hardened
1 Tiny monkey figuring - not sure where it came from but it is a choking hazard and I see no use for it in the future

1 Tea box (I have two, both were left by an old tenant who traveled to India)
1 book
5 tops
1 calculator (I get a dozen or so a semester from lost in found in the chem lab)

1 Yarn from Hobby Lobby - not sure why I got it
1 Plastic dropcloth from Lowes - I don't remember why I got it but I don't think I need it
2 books, 1 to Lindsey one to Baron

1 infant hat (0-3 months)

Use up:
6 lined envelopes (I'll be mailing some letters to friends as a nice surprise ... you don't get much in the mail these days that isn't a bill or junk mail.
1 bath bomb

Well - it doesn't quite add up to forty (unless I count each tea bag - in which case I did GREAT!) but I think I did pretty good for one evening! It only took about 30 minutes of looking. It is starting to get harder, though - I'm having to make tougher decisions as the low-hanging fruit has been picked. I used to be able to just open one cabinet and find ten things right there. Now I have to make rounds around the house and decide where might possibly have something left to purge.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

In other Turtle news, I'm looking for the perfect spot to set up my mini-homestead. My ideal location has the following characteristics:

  • rural (or at least has a rural feel)
  • offers some level of privacy
  • has water, electric, and septic (although I'm flexible in all areas depending on the "fit"...I will eventually have my own solar bank and rainwater catchment, storage and treatment and I am also willing to use a portable RV septic tank and just take it to a dump station periodically)
  • space for chickens/quail and a garden
  • close to water, rail to trail, or other nature adventures
Here's what I've done so far to find my future spot:
  • posted ads on Craigslist 
  • posted ads in the West Volusia Beacon
  • posted comments in the Florida Tiny House Enthusiasts facebook page
  • networked with friends and other TH enthusiasts
  • applied for volunteer camp host positions in various Volusia parks
  • browsed a slew of websites looking for land to rent
If you have any suggestions to help my search, feel free to leave comments or private message me on facebook (Path Less Traveled). 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Day 4 of Purge Challenge

It is only day four and I'm already wanting to slack off ... well, putting it out there in the virtual universe definitely provides motivation, despite my super busy week. Here's what I purged in the last two days:

1 infant hat
1 onesie (size 3-6 months ... not sure how I overlooked it two days ago)

1 skirt (well loved ... purchased from a thrift store years ago and may still have some life left in it)
1 shirt (love the shirt but the cut makes it awkward to wear a bra without straps showing and I'm not a fan of strapless bras)
6 silk handkerchiefs (I got them years ago for a craft project I never did and cannot even remember what it was)
1 scarf (it has gold ... I never wear gold and I honestly have no idea where I got this thing!)

multiple pieces of paperwork no longer needed (I'm goin to go ahead and call that as my other 9 purge item ... kind of a lazy thing to do but it did take a while to go through it all!)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Purge Purge Purge

I have come to the conclusion that humans (or at least me) are like gases ... expanding to the size of the container. I've lived small since 2008 when I downsized from my 2300 sq ft prison. Since then I've lived in a 750 sq ft house, a 19ft RV (Oh how I miss Peaches!!) , a 350 sq ft cabin, and a 500 sq ft garage apartment.

I'm holding my breath until the Turtle's move-in date in January/February (pending finding land to buy or rent)! I definitely have more stuff than I can fit in. I've been sporadically purging by finding 10 things to get rid of (I've been doing this about 2x a week). Funny how it never gets harder to find things to purge ... although some days I'm like "yeah, that piece of paper I can toss from my purse counts as one" or "I tossed a pair of threadbare socks, that's two!".

To prep for the move, I am committing to a purge challenge every day until the move date (minus travel dates for the holidays). To keep myself accountable, I'll document my progress here on the Turtle Blog.

This Weekend's Purge:

3 t-shirts turned into cleaning rags

1 pair of threadbare socks
1 half-used travel size conditioner (I haven't used commercial shampoo or conditioner in over 6 months)
1 grody old toothbrush I thought may come in handy for cleaning but haven't needed in over a year
1 stale box of cereal in the back of the cabinet (not really trashed ... fed to chickens)

1 bumbo chair
5 items kids clothes (6-9 month)
1 infant shark costume

3 shirts
2 books "Tie-Dye, Batik, and CandleMaking" and "Daytona Beach Community College 50 year Celebration"

1 Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Almost Done!

The Turtle is almost ready for PJ and I to move in full time! The carpenter sent pictures of the kitchen cabinetry today and said he is ready to install the second week of December. Merry Christmas to me!

Here's a checklist of what I have left to do:
1. Install cabinetry
2. Polyurethane cabinets and walls in living room
3. Finish trim carpentry on a few windows
4. Get a portable RV septic tank (and finalize connection)
5. Haul to new homesite
6. Move my crafting gear and clothes in
7. Put together PJ's trundle bed from IKEA
8. Relax and enjoy my THOW

My next post will have pictures of the completed kitchen!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Long Overdue Update

It is hard to believe that we've been working on the Turtle for over a year now! I did grow and birth a beautiful little boy in that time, too.

It has been a while since I gave an update. A few months ago we got the bathroom usable (minus septic).

I still need to get with a stainless steel fabricator to make a shower curtain rod. I tried a DIY one. I won't even show proof of how awful it was. I'll leave that to the professionals. >.<

I also got the loft decorated!

The loft still needs some detail carpentry but is functional AND comfortable now!

I'm embarrassed to even show pictures of the rest ... the kitchen and living room are a wreck. We are using fruit crates as shelves since I desperately needed a real kitchen. In true bachelor fashion, Austin was using a 2-burner Coleman camp stove and did not even OWN a refrigerator! How he survived without me, I'm not certain. :P 

We've got miscellaneous stuff piled in what is supposed to be a reading nook ... haven't built that yet. 

We're using a rickety old fruit picking ladder until we build something better. I envision a nice built-in cabinet around the fridge with a narrow closet, too. 

Here are the fruit crates. I actually really love the look of them and we may mount these on the wall for dishes.

But down here, we have a LOT of work to do. Especially before PJ can crawl/walk - which is coming up so soon!!! At least I use mostly green cleaning chemicals. I still don't want a big ole jug of vinegar out for him to get into. 

And the storage area over the "reading nook" ... it is an eyesore. I may put stuff in baskets to make it look better but I need to figure out a door for this area...

With Summer coming to a close a full time work resuming, I'm not optimistic for finishing the Turtle soon. We haven't even finished the roof where the two levels connect or the exterior trim carpentry :/ 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Plumbed In

We took a break from the Turtle in late October for the upcoming holidays and such but Austin has recently been plugging away at the plumbing and electrical in the Turtle. I had really hoped the cottage would be "done" (read - usable as a kitchen/bathroom ... not necessarily have all the finish detail work done) by the time PJ is born. Well, I'm just over two weeks from the due date so that is NOT going to happen. I've slowly come to terms with that - through a few tears. But, here's a snapshot of the progress we've made.  

The appliances are all positioned in their approximate locations. The fridge is working and is stocked with goodies to eat! It is a bit less convenient for cooking since I'm still doing all the food prep and actual cooking in the cabin (nursery) but I don't mind it too much. The box sitting on the ground on the left is the dish drawer. I cannot wait to have a dishwasher again! Ignore all the cardboard on the floor - the floors are stunningly beautiful but we're trying to protect them while working.

This is an up-close look at the bathroom. Isn't the clawfoot tub simply adorable!! I spent entirely too much money on it and it is really only practical as a soaking bathtub for children ... but I love it. The toilet, sink, and tub are all working, although the septic drain lines are not connected to anything yet so don't use the toilet, please! The tub and sink drain lines are just draining to the yard for now. We haven't put in the septic drain field yet ...

And the adorable little ceiling fan! We didn't have enough cypress or pine to finish the interior ceiling so we'll be back at the mill buying more wood eventually. But, that's just aesthetics for now. I'm more focused on getting this project functional. I do think I will buy the light kit for this fan, though ... I didn't really think about it when buying the fan originally. Proper planning really is important for this kind of project! But. I had no idea what I was doing when I started and I've learned a lot.

Well, I have to be completely honest here ... this is the progress Austin has made. I really haven't helped with any of this as I've been preoccupied with nesting in the cabin. Here's our nursery for baby Page! I put together the crib, sewed the curtains, had a thrift store piece of art framed, and so much more. The art on the wall is the limerick "Old Man with the Beard" ... one of my favorites. My mom and I found it at Goodwill and paid $2.50 for it. I got it framed at Michaels and it makes the perfect focal point for the nursery. I also had the antique farmhouse chairs re-glued and recovered with some of the fabric used in the curtains.

And because I can't resist bragging - look how cute these tie-dyes came out! Thanks for your help and the inspiration, Kelly!