Saturday, January 29, 2011

New Pioneer's Wood Shed

  I get more hits on this post than any other, so I decided to update it.  Please keep in mind this is the budget version of a shelter I needed for my fire wood.  I too found it extremely difficult to find any help online, but did follow the advice of a skilled builder, well most of it anyway.
While it was very affordable this way, in retrospect I would have preferred to use treated 4x4's for the standing posts and cross posts.
I will be adding some more photos of the roof as that was my most challenging endeavor.  There just aren't any good photos on the net.  It's a basic build, plywood, roof paper, three tab roofing.  The flashing is the most important!  Fits right over the top of the shingles.
So here's the original post:

I must admit, this project was the most intimidating of all ideas, an actual "structure" I must build.  But, never the less, I took it on.  I needed a dry storage space for the fire wood closer to the house than the driveway for those two and three foot snows we sometimes get. 

Fall of 2010

I began with a frame on level ground with concrete slabs under the posts.  I extended the roof line on the left so that I could hang the garden tools there.

 I also wanted a floor and sides to guard against snow drifts and snow melt.  By the way, this is the "budget" wood shed, total cost was around $150.

  I added these cute fence boards for looks, but it also allows for airflow.

 Finished result is a stable structure with a roof and garden tool storage!  Holds just a little over a half cord of wood.

Update 2011:  This structure is in it's second winter and has held up nicely in spite of not having treated wood in the structure.  I did stain some parts, and the cedar siding boards are treated fence boards.

Update 2012:  This structure is getting ready for its third winter.  As promised here is a photo of the roof which at the time was built on a very lean budget!!  I had to use three kinds of roofing, but succeeded, and it has never leaked!


OK, now it's August of 2012,  Compare how tall the tree is here to previous photos.
This shed has held up better than I thought.  I was a little concerned about not using treated wood, but no probs!  Also, to anyone who thinks they have to pour a foundation for a small structure like this - here is proof that is NOT necessary!

Here is the shed today (sorry about the washed out look, the sun is shining!).  The roof and structure are still very sound.  No leaks, no leaning, no rot.

 So there you have it, it's August of 2012 and approaching it's third winter.  Who says you can't build a woodshed on a budget??

Update 2017!  Still sound, still standing.  The apple tree came down due to bear mania, but the shed remains.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bathroom Makeover

In the winter of 2008 I got snowed in and decided it was time to start that paint project in the bathroom.  Fortunately I already had the paint and wallpaper trim and a plan in mind.
This is what I started with:

Your basic bathroom.  Not too bad looking, but not very exciting either.  I could never figure out why the medicine cabinet was over the toilet... let alone with a mirror.  The walls were textured, so without the expertise of replacing them, I decided to just paint over them and go with the texture.

I moved the medicine cabinet over the sink, for starters.  I went with a beachy surf scene, summer feel.  The wallpaper border is hard to adhere to textured walls, FYI, so I don't advise it.  Later I added a fun wooden trim which helps keep it in place anyway.  All these shots are before the final trim work.

 I found a terrific shower curtain that matched the theme, and brought in these wooden crates to fill that weird space above the furnace enclosure.

OK, so here is the "trim" along the wallpaper borders, as well as the rest of the room.  I tend to be unconventional, so plain pine wood seemed to fit the look and feel of a beach bath house.

Friday, January 21, 2011

You Can Paint Your Own House

OK ladies, this one's for you.  You don't want to hire a painter, or can't afford one, but would dearly love to put your brand on your place.
OK, so here are just a few photos of my funky old retro trailer, oh, I mean mobile home.  It's a 1972 Paroy, single wide - with some extras.

 OK, pretty hideous huh?  Well fortunately it's all reachable by ladder.  So I gave myself two years to paint it.  The first year was a side and the front, the next year was the other side and the back.

 As you can see there are some interesting additions to this place.  Keep painting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I thought this two-tone green with purple trim was quite fitting for an artist.  (Landscaping in progress).

This last one was the finishing touch so I thought it would be really out there to paint the steps red!!!!!!!!!

This project took two years, but I did it all by myself.  Who says you have to hire professionals.  Although they do have their place - as does my plumber.

In another post I'll cover more of the history of this place....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Husbands and AAA

Without husbands and AAA the New Pioneer woman needs to make her choices wisely when it comes to being out in the world.
I'm not talking about being motivated by fear, I'm talking about common sense and wisdom; lowering your risk factor.

I drive an old truck.  It's paid for, gets decent gas mileage, and gets me where I want to go reliably (until I can upgrade).  I need to choose wisely where I go at what time of day, factoring in weather and road conditions. 
I live 10 miles from the nearest very small town, and 28 miles from the small town.  The road along the waterway is a small two lane highway, with many high embankments on one side and water on the other.  Few street lights.  I rarely go out after dark.

I only recently acquired a cell phone (which doesn't always get service out here in the boonies), but does allow me a little more comfort in knowing I have some form of communication while out in the world.

It's not about worrying about what could happen - as I believe that only creates a negative energy, which will surely draw it to us.  It's more like a survival guide; basic rules and guidelines to follow that lessen risk and keeps me at peace.
I carry a small overnight bag in my truck during winter in case I'm away from home and a snowstorm or mud slide happens, blocking me from returning.  It's happened several times over the past 15 years.
If I know a storm is coming, I just don't leave, I can rearrange my schedule or cancel work.

So if you have a husband and AAA, be grateful for their roadside assistance.  If you don't, then make wise choices that keep you safe and at peace.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I have been living this lifestyle for about five years now, so I probably have enough experience to write about it.  This lifestyle being one of a single woman, mid fifties, self employed, living remotely.  That about sums it up.

But what's interesting is what happens in the spaces in between.  I haven't met anyone yet who is like me.  Similar lifestyle maybe, but not the same.  If I were inclined to loneliness, I would be.  That is one difference I don't find often in others.  I really enjoy my life, I'm free, totally free, well except I have to work, but I even enjoy my job.  I only need to work about three or four days a week to pay the bills.  My expenses are very low.  You could say I'm a bit of a minimalist, but only a bit.

The day to day of my life on the surface may not seem too appealing to others, (except for the freedom), but the experience is rich.  I live closely with nature, I navigate by the weather, feed the birds and meditate often.

I don't watch the news, or sports, I don't socialize much, I don't need people to entertain me.  I work on my house, I garden, take photographs, commune with the wildlife.  I am genuinely happy!

So in these upcoming blog posts I will share my life with you, whoever you are.  Perhaps there are others out there who feel different.  I invite you to share your story, your thoughts.
I will talk about my house, my job, my life.  More importantly I will share my secrets to a truly successful and fulfilling lifestyle, without all the frills - as a New Pioneer.

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