Day 48 of WTH Am I Doing: Batten Down the Hatches

Looks like this is the week I get first hand experience of hurricanes vs tornados in trailer parks. 

Luckily, hurricanes give you way more heads up than tornadoes. Growing up in Alabama, Roll Tide y’all! I’ve had my fair share of tornadoes. I’ve experienced two hurricanes. Once in Destin at a Hilton. As far as natural disasters go, it was pretty great. We were all brought into the ballroom where they kept us fed and beveraged. The other time I was on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean as the hurricane made its way by. After today, the cruise ship was way less stressful. 

Since I had some advance notice, last weekend I went over the corners and windows of the RV.When I say that I went over the corners and windows, I really mean The Mechanic Man did. In reality, I embraced the trailer park lifestyle. 

You’ll notice that I haven’t quite abandoned the bourbon Big Gulp cups. You know what they say about a little hair of the dog…

This morning, I woke up and remember the damn cat. Nowhere in my preparedness plan did I factor in that feline.  Mizzou, my pup, loves her cat. I made a mental note to plan to trap the dog’s outdoor cat after I lure her inside. Perhaps my indifference will draw her in. 

By afternoon the chaos started. The city shut down. No, for real. They’ve closed the all city offices for the rest of the week. Then the schools closed. Governor Haley announced that evacuation will begin tomorrow at 3pm. Interstate 26 will be reversed, all lanes are going out. Am I the only one who is like “what the what?!?” This whole evacuation, interstate reversal has me a little…y’all, I don’t even know. 

There’s a gas station across from the office, sure enough, LINES of people. It was only 4 and I managed to fill up without much of a wait. People had already started posting about stations running out of gas! Again, what the what!?! By the time I left the office late, the same gas station and everyone I passed going home, had at least 30 cars waiting in line. 

But what about my house blowing away, you ask? YEAH, THATS WHAT I KEEP ASKING. 

Looks like blowing away is only one of my concerns. My end of the trailer park FLOODS. So where the hell do I move the damn thing?! Even now I’m sitting in bumper to bumper traffic of evacuees. The RV runs, it isn’t up for this kind of long haul yet though.  If I move it out of the trailer park, I can’t attempt to tie it down. The Mechanic Man came up with a genius plan. People said to do over the top strap down. Dude, that’s a lot of strap. Instead, we (again, him, I just include myself to make me look active) are driving 4ft metal rods into the ground as anchors where we’ll attach it to the frame. Please God, do not let me white trash dwelling flip over or blow away. The RV is going to make moves towards an empty lot on the other end of the trailer park. No, there’s no power meter there either. I would have already made my way over there by now! 

The RV has to be moved tonight and anchored down. It’s cool enough out I can manage without power for the evening. 

But first, let me go to Home Depot. Legit, when I walked in that rack had plywood. I snapped this pic when I was checking out. Apparently, this lady for THE last generator in the store. All in all, Home Depot wasn’t that bad or crowded. Mostly people being idiots in the parking lot taking up 3 spots as they make a  mad dash for plywood. 

It’s an early post without the tie down, anchor my tin can down results. It might be a long night and I’d rather get some info in beforehand. After all, tomorrow is the big blog day! Hooray! 

Oh! Evacuation! Obviously, I’m not going to stay in the RV during the storm. No need to try and recreate witches on bicycles a la Wizard of Oz. I haven’t decided if I’m going or staying.  I’ve got a hotel room in Greenville and a couple of hurricane sleepover offers here. Priority #1 is secure the tin can. I’ll let everyone know after that! Stay safe y’all! 

Powering Up & Power Tools

uber-has-changed-my-life-and-as-god-is-my-witness-i-will-never-take-a-taxi-again-where-available.jpgToday, as God as my witness, there WILL be power!

It will be over my dead body that they take that back up extension cord away. On the small chance (okay, HUGE chance) that I don’t get power today, I’ve got an extension cord. Crazy right? I can just plug my house up like those cars at the Tanger Outlets. I wonder if I could plug my house up at Tanger….probably not.

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It doesn’t take a special kind of plug to plug in the RV, the extension cord just needs to have the right gauge and voltage to get the compressor on the AC going. For instance, I need an extension cord that is at least 12 gauge and a minimum of 15 amps. Think of those big orange, outdoor construction extension cords, like that. And it will need to be 100 ft long to reach my target. That is where it gets expensive. In my head I was thinking hundreds probably because everything has been hundreds thus far. I looked, it’s only about $80 at Home Depot or Lowe’s. I found one on Craigslist, the guy hasn’t responded yet though. Then, hello! Where is my head! I started calling pawn shops.

For those of you that are jumping in and don’t have tools, you need to hit pawn shops. Don’t get all judgy, you’ve been considering a compost toilet. There is no room to judge. Pawn shops are an amazing place to find a good deal on quality tools. You’ll be able to get the hardcore, heavy duty stuff you need at basic prices. This is especially true when the weather gets cold and the construction jobs slow down. You can test them out there or return them within a time frame, just like a regular store.

Myself, I’m relatively handy with my own set of tools. It blows my mind how there are so many of you out there who have never used tools before and are going for it. Tiny Life did a post listing all the tools you will need to build a tiny house (you can read it HERE), he says that he spent roughly $1500 on tools. That’s like half my entire house budget. Somewhere one of the bloggers who posted a tool inventory actually said something along the lines of “don’t worry, I didn’t know what a claw hammer when I started either.”

In case you don’t know, this is a claw hammer: 900031872_0_9999_v1_m56577569831260140

The first time I read that, I thought “Dear Lord, what are these people getting into?! No wonder it takes these documentary folks years to build a tiny house!” Sidenote: I often also wonder why these documentary folks don’t have any friends to come help them.

Bishes, I will be calling all y’all over for an Amish style barn raising except with beer.

The more I thought about it the more my “Bless your heart” turned into “go on you! Not knowing about a hammer and building a tiny house!”

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Except you, that one lady who commented that it was very helpful to have a list of tools because she was a woman. Not go you, lady.

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Don’t go setting us all back. You not knowing about construction tools has nothing to do with being female.

UPDATE: the extension cord is saving my life! Power on, friend! Power on! 

 

 

Day 43 of WTH Am I Doing: Adventures in Being Legal

I don’t know which upsets me more: that my “ask me if when I’m due,” wear it only when I’m mega low on laundry, purple balloon dress seems to be good luck or that I got teary during the freaking meeting. You see, one of my co-cospirators often says that I’m homeless and that the collective we of whoever is in the room needs to help me. Usually, it makes me want to jump in to say “I’m not that kind of homeless!” Only today, when they were talking it kind of hit hard. I am that kind of homeless. F***. 

It went well (maybe the make look pregnant dress helped excuse the getting teary). First up, Planning & Zoning. Turns out that flipping Hawthorne City is a special case on zoning. Oh, don’t you worry! I’m all over finding out the ins and outs of that ba-huey! They’re flipping grandfathered into dual zoning somehow. Oh, but I will learn their secret! I will learn! 

On top of that, I’ve got some homework to do and some research to share. Learned a bunch. 

Next I wandered to Building, where it takes all I have in me not to yell “why can’t I have power?!” I also seriously have reached the point of staking out the head of the department one morning, ambushing him with coffee and gumption. Luckily, (freaking preggo dress) I caught 4.3 mins with him. Double luck! LEGAL POWER TOMORROW! At the very least, crazy long extension cords. 

There is a guy who just worked the same route in exploring with the city, which is a really good thing. Not to be shrouded in tiny house mystery, I’m not going to cover that yet. Let’s see what they’ll let us do then I’ll share the path of the tiny. That leads to my most frustrating point, flipping labels. Know how I pleaded for them just to tell me what to do or say or whatever on the level of extreme daddy issues? Turns out the moment anyone hears “tiny house on wheels” they shut down. Jay Shaffer did a podcast called  “Can You Take The Tiny Out of the Trailer Park?” that said they should just  call them habitable vehicles. It makes me think of the interview with the guy who created golden doodles and has regretted it ever since. That’s right, that adorable fluff was a Frankenstein he wants to take back, read it HERE

This seems really jumbled and will probably get a rewrite at the very least. Did I cover everything everyone was worried about today? 

City went well, no No’s

I’m homeless and out of the hotel, but staying with a friend until POWER tomorrow!

Labels are bad. 

If Only You Were a Million

Gearing up for my meeting and studying up on what’s the whats across the country. I wish there were a million followers out there who could be like “bam! Here’s my knowledge!” Where do you live? What’s the word on tiny houses there? What do you wish you could tell me? 

How is that fair? 

Stopped over at the RV today to check on it and feed Mizzou’s cat (yeah, my dog has a cat). Noticed that the trailer in a lot over isn’t building a deck, they’re flipping adding onto their trailer LIKE A WHOLE ROOM. Do they have a big yellow building permit sign posted? No. Me? I can’t even get a meter. Good visit guys! 

Day 32 of WTH Am I Doing Pt. 2:

All settled in with the comforts of civilization on the way! The driveshaft is back in, the RV moved to its final stop on my lot. Tomorrow AC! Turns out I don’t need floors for plumbing! Floors tomorrow when there’s electricity to saw them! I should probably make this painfully clear, when I say “floors” I don’t mean like flooring I mean like we had to do some maneuvering so that Mizzou didn’t just hop on out. Like I can clearly see the grass, in need of flooring.
I’m melting. There was a lot of time spent in the car today. If the Creatures were better behaved, I would have taken us all to the movies to just have some air. Tomorrow Mizzou will spend the day at the vet. Aretha has given her final FU to the RV and gone back to being an outside cat. She’s just chilling in the little woods across the street. She’ll probably crawl on up through one of the holes when she feels like it. In fact, she just meowed to have me open the cab door for her. The sun has gone down, hopefully the temp will follow. 9pm is within range which means it’s almost bedtime for all of us in the hot tin can! One more night and almost there! AC on the horizon! Indoor plumbing to follow! Seriously, how is this my life right now.

Day 32 of WTH Am I Doing: My Brief Encounter with AC and Power

Praise Jebsus of Cheddar Cheese! The generator has arrived! With the hopes of cooler or at the very least circulating air, I’m snagging a shower. The idea of being cleaned has me feeling frisky enough for a game of “stabbed or amazing tacos” then overseeing the driveshaft installation and the awning opening to stop the RV from being a baking tin. If laundromats have AC, that might be my Sunday night plan since I can charge my phone while I’m there. Floors were a ridiculous plan. How am I supposed to cut the wood without electricity? High hopes of tomorrow. I may have the generator, but unless I hit the laundromat, this may be all you hear of me today. Oh snap! Remind me when I have full battery to tell you about the creepiest ice cream truck ever.