Author Archives: karmic bellhop

About karmic bellhop

Buddha-tista flexi-libertine who has begun further travels by becoming her own karmic bellhop.

digging in

I dug in and did it.  The window and door are now sealed (inexpertly, messily) with auto seam sealer.


  • cleaned the window and door frames with a dry brush
  • applied sealer with a chipping brush
  • skimmed the bead with a scraper to smooth it
  •  cleaned a shit-ton of sealer off my arms and hands


  • drove to the lumber yard and bought two chipping brushes, some eco-friendly tar remover, and an aluminum ladder (anyone want to buy a “Little Giant” ladder?  It’s too heavy for me.)
  • spent at least an hour getting the old flashing tape off of the window frame
  • used five of the six razor blades that came with the scraper, dulling four and breaking one
  • got eco-friendly solvent on my arms, splashed some on my boobs
  • washed the window area with Dr. Bronner’s, rinsed it, dried it
  • applied sealant nearly everywhere I thought it would do some good
  • noted some spots with poor adhesion, accepted that I might have to do some areas again, just not today
  • washed myself by pouring cold water over me – working naked has its perks
  • packed up and headed to the lodge to teach/supervise rock painting

I am spent.  And I’m fairly certain I may have to do this over again.  Let’s just hope the weather report is accurate, at least where rain is concerned.  I will humbly redo the sealant if I have to, but in case the Weather is listening, let’s not have any rain for a few days.  Thanks.


Next:  attach the vertical furring strips to the container with Liquid Nails and perhaps one screw atop each for extra hold.

Then it’s on to SIDING! (It’s the ultimate task of the summer.  All others pale in comparison.)

Soon thereafter, or concurrently, I must install and plumb the sink.  What luxury we’ll have then.



Been too long.

Wow, seriously?  I haven’t updated since the 11th?  Dang.

The cabana is up, mostly, due to the generous help of Barb Brown.  The roof isn’t on, but everything else looks great.

Interior-wise, the countertops are assembled.  One is waxed, and the other soon will be. Once that’s done, they will be affixed with brackets and ready to use.  Oh, wait.  The sink has to go in, and for that, I’ll need to cut a big ol’ hole.  Soon.

I built two wall shelf units to go above the counters.  Over the sink, I’ll keep dishes and storage containers.  Over the prep counter, I’ve put pantry items and coffee cups.  Because: coffee.

The big bed (full-size) went in last night.  I can’t really describe the farce that was my mom and I stuffing that mattress into her Forester.  It was like birthing a baby in reverse.  I got into the back cargo area.  My feet were braced against the wheel wells and I pulled while my mom pushed the mattress into the car.  I’m sure it looked ridiculous.  But it worked!  After spending a night on it, though, I have realized that it’s way too soft, and I need something firmer.  Later.

On the advice of the Lake’s resident fabricator, I’ve purchased some automotive seam sealer to seal the welds around my window and door frames.  I didn’t know that welds are porous and will, eventually, leak.  Hmm.  Wish I’d known that a long time ago, but, onward.

After everything is sealed, the siding goes on. It’ll happen.  I know it will.


Cabana destrucción

Well that only took an hour or so, maybe an hour and a half. The cabana is completely disassembled all the way down to the roof crossmembers and the plastic roofing panels. Glen has loaded it in the trailer, and as soon as we are done with other things here, we’re headed to the lake with all the supplies. Glen and I were very happy to be able to work together and not get stressed out. Thank you, Pooh, for being patient today.



It’s been a busy few days. I found two cupboards at the Everett Habitat store for $45 total (first pic).  My TinyMom™ met me there and between her Subaru and my MINI, we brought them home without incident.  I then drove her car to the lake to drop off one cabinet, then went back home and did it again with my car and the second cabinet.

The upper of the two cabinets pictured went along the “street side” wall, the one with the doors and window.  The sink cabinet, with all the drawers, went along the “curb side” wall. I built a base with a toe kick for the sink cabinet that I’m fairly proud of.  I used scrap lumber for the supportive inner parts, and 1×4 pine for the front piece.  The frame supports on the back of it were damaged, and I used 1×4 pine to fix those, too (second pic).  There are plenty of drywall screws and finish nails holding this thing together; it’s a lot sturdier than when I first bought it.

Lunch was shiitake risotto and some leftover Pepsi from yesterday.  Of course, I took the obligatory hot-tub break to soothe my aching muscles (third pic).  The perks of Lake Bronson include, but are not limited to, 24/7 access to the hot tub, sauna, showers, lodge, deck, and lake.  I particularly like the hot tub.

Then came the trellis.  Two 4x4x from the old arbor were cut to 8 feet and pre-drilled for the carriage bolts that would hold them on the saddles on the piers (fourth pic).  I drilled one a little off-center, so there was some wrangling with that.  I also hit my knuckle with the star bit on the drill, twice.  I said some not-so-nice things, but not a bad injury count for all the work I did over two days, though.

Once the posts were upright, I screwed them into the saddles and added two four-foot cross members. Next was the chicken wire, and then the plants themselves (fifth pic).  That’s a native Washington honeysuckle on the left, and a clematis on the right.  It produces many small white flowers and I’m excited to see if the buds will actually bloom after all this messing about.

My last act of the day was to have dinner with Ozzy and Barb.  They popped over about 3:15.  We talked to some people who stopped by to see what this cabin thing was all about, and then we ate some wonderful BBQ chicken with vegetables, mozzarella with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and olive oil, blueberries, Guinness bread, the last of my risotto, and ice cream cones.

I am definitely done for today.  I came home and took a hot bath with Epsom salts.  Tomorrow I go to see Jethro Tull at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery with the inimitable Lance M., then I head for hubby’s house where I will disassemble the cabana and move it to the lake.  Whew!


Less is more . . . rewarding

Today was a good day, with no stress.  The stuff I brought to the container didn’t require any heavy lifting.  I’m fairly certain my body’s recent complaints have had a lot to do with doing heavy work without taking rest days.  Lesson learned; today I took it relatively easy.

What I brought, and what it’s for:

  • yellow cabinet – pots, pans, kitchen linens, utensils (it weighs nearly nothing)
  • heavy duty broom – cleaning the exterior before cladding
  • yellow rug and small rugs- um, floor covering, duh
  • black medicine cabinet – personal hygiene items, washcloths and hand towels
  • cleaning supplies – yeah, for cleaning
  • potting soil and pots – the clematis and honeysuckle need homes
  • chicken wire – the matrix for the trellis
  • painted rock – décor
  • clothesline, ratchet straps – hanging stuff, like clothes, and the hummingbird feeder, which will be on a pulley so the bears don’t drink the sugar water

Tomorrow will be about planting the honeysuckle and clematis.  This will require two piers, the ones with the embedded holders for 4x4s.  I want to make a trellis, but without putting the poles into the ground (as per club rules; all structures must be disassemble-able). I wish the couch would fit in my MINI, but since it barely fit in my mom’s Forester, it’s gonna have to wait.

I think I’ll look for reclaimed lumber to use as pantry shelving.  The word at the lake is to go to Barmon Lumber just outside Sultan, as they have everything you want, and many things you must have even though you didn’t know you needed them.  Also on offer are pallets of discounted lumber siding.  Gonna have to check that out.


Barmon Lumber


Next weekend I’ll go to Glen’s and disassemble the cabana we built a few years back. The dismantling will be serious work, but worth it; no additional materials to buy, and no need to plan a deck from scratch. And if I label everything properly, the frustration quotient should be moderate to mild.  Barb has offered to help me put the thing back together (“I like to screw,” she says).  Instant 6′ x 8′ deck with moonroof. I might forego the fence boards on the sides, because privacy isn’t really needed at a nudist club. I’ll install some eye bolts for hanging the hammock, too.


Namaste, bitches: I’m out until tomorrow.


It’s been over three years since I did any work on the container.  In fact, I dismantled the interior when I bought my new house in 2016, and the exterior just last weekend (end of May 2018).  Many changes, and a new start.

Now that I am a member at Lake Bronson Family Nudist Club, I was able to lease a lot and have my container hauled up there.  This is the first time they have let a shipping container onto the property as a dwelling, since the zoning requires that any structure on the lots be movable (this is, by flatbed).  There was also concern about the container looking like, well, a container, so I proposed that I clad the exterior in wood siding of some sort, to make the can blend into the environment and aesthetic of the club.  And now, I have a container to clad.

My brain is in design mode a lot of the time.  I have to remind myself that it will take as long as it takes.  There will be no peace until I can stop my brain at any given time and tell it Stop. Rest. Do something else.  Do nothing. 

I have a plan for the siding, which I hope will be cedar shingles (and if not, something plain, not grooved, that can be applied horizontally, maybe fence boards or something). With my executive functioning on holiday in Somewhere Else, I’m not sure my board-feet calculations are correct.  I do have accurate square footage figures for the amount of siding needed, just can’t figure out how to convert that into actual amount of product, and therefore the cost. Working on that.

There is another kindred eclectic builder soul at the lake.  Soon I hope to be bending his ear to see what he might suggest for materials and techniques.  Apparently his place is an homage to off-label use of materials of all kinds.

According to J., I can go ahead and do the siding now, then worry about how to cap it with a roof.  Because the container is already structurally sound, I can focus on the looks rather than the infrastructure. The window, which was improperly sealed, will have to come out and then be reseated and reframed.  The weather isn’t really cooperative right now, as Washington already had its false summer in early May.  We can’t rely on the weather to be fully sunny now until 4th of July.  It’s just a given in the PNW.

I can still get the interior spruced up.  The marine-grade mahogany plywood floor will eventually need some repair; it was water damaged when the window leaked.  Once that’s back in, I can bring up the beds, the sink and counter, the large cubby thing, and the couch.  Gotta build a pantry shelf thing, too. And where to put the honeysuckle and the clematis?



door fence

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
– Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”

Creativity requires that I set up a short width of fence near my container. The neighbor’s dog, while an amiable sort, loves to bark at me every time I cross his line of sight. We aren’t ready to fence the full 1.3 acres; that leaves me with . . . art.

I’ve always wanted to try building a fence out of old wooden doors. I figure four doors should do it. I could also use the louvered closet doors I painted red last summer. Whatever I use, here are some inspiring fences made of reclaimed and recycled stuff, and one other creative use of a door as a coffee table.