Author Archives: karmic bellhop

About karmic bellhop

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

pardon the hiatus

We now return to your regularly scheduled blog posts. After months of injury-related inaction, the container refinements are again underway.

Two sewing cabinets came into my life yesterday. One is remaining a sewing cabinet, and the other is becoming my sink and cooktop. While I’m at work, the polyurethane will dry on the new countertop.

Glued one slat, hence the strap.  Otherwise perfect.

Glued one slat, hence the strap. Otherwise perfect.

Three coats; two more tonight.

Three coats; two more tonight.

What it will look like when it's all put together.

What it will look like when it’s all put together.

The loft ladder is finally painted. I ran out of paint the last time, but this time I bought two cans.



The large holes under the sink are now covered. I had to cut the h oles to get them into their fittings in the floor, so this is my solution to covering the area.

Floor holes, solved.

Floor holes, solved.


When the time comes, this is the cooktop I am getting. It was one of the highest rated for RVs, and it is widely preferred in the Tiny House community. And it’s a wee cute little thing.



my someday vibe

Wabi-sabi future flats.








what’s done and left

– container is livable
– sink works
– cat door is in
– electricity works
– Envi heater kicks thermodynamic butt
– garden is ready for new plants

– gravel patio – more gravel, wood border
– door and window exterior framing (might rehang the door altogether)
– lighting fixtures
– magazine rack or shallow shelves from hot tub wood
– drawers in sink cabinet, one for linens, one for silverware
– cafe curtains for the door windows (four of them)
– siding
– housewarming!

de episke hyller

The epic shelves.  I’ve wanted something like them for a number of years, but I’ve finally gotten as close as I can get.  Massive 2-by-10s, over four feet long got new life today.

We came into these pine planks a year or two ago; I somehow knew to hold on to them for their eventual higher purpose.  Holding on to them consisted of propping them up against the back end of my container to be rained on and crawled across and muddied.

I had to dry the planks before anything else could happen.  Glen built a fire in the wood stove and we propped three planks nearby, turning them once to effectively take advantage of the BTUs.  By the morning, the planks were dry.

I trimmed the ends and sanded all surfaces.  Another re-use opportunity, because I used the sand paper belts from a now-defunct-and-discarded belt sander.  I made sure to sand lightly, because I wanted to preserve a decent amount of the silvered patina. It totally worked!


— Interlude —

When you buy a particular item, you sometimes don’t realize all the uses, right?  Well, when I bought that paraffin hand dip, I had no idea I would use it to melt wax for shelves.

— /Interlude —

Yep, I used liquid paraffin and an old paint brush to coat the shelves with wax.  It quickly hardened.  When all sides were encased, I used the Pampered Chef pan scraper to take off the majority of the wax.  This worked, uh, sorta okay.  This second method worked more smoothly: I used the clothes iron to melt the wax, quickly following the iron with a rag to absorb the excess paraffin.  It turned out really well!  And so much better than spending three weeks breathing VOCs from Varathane™.

A third shelf will go up when time and energy allow.  I love having room for pantry items and dishes.  Might just make a plate holder rack with scrap strips and some leftover IKEA wooden dowel plugs.

(Then I’m going to shoot this squirrel.  Beulah, go to sleep!)

…that erst were mute

“For now the fragrant flowers do spring
and sprout in seemly sort …”*

Despite recent sun-with-frost, the plants here are pretty much of one mind: spring is here. I’ve got hopeful lupines already growing, and green sprouts at the bottom of the hydrangea’s old canes. The lavender never actually packed it in last fall, the trooper.

Because the ground has frozen a few times, now is a great time to get out the plants I don’t want. I love turning over soil that has columns of dirt left over from the frost. I love the big air spaces.

The strip in front of the big house will remain largely as it is, with lavender, lupines, and dozens of volunteer California poppies, cornflowers, and other wildflowers. The odd sunflower may remain, but I’ll be sure to sow more of those, too. And the hydrangea, well, she’ll come back better than ever.

I know it’s premature, but I would love to mow and edge the leeds (lawn + weeds = leeds). If I were healthier, and in less pain, I would do so much to get the yard in shape. I mean, if we move in 4 years, this place needs to look shipshape, right? 🙂

Another thing I’d love to do is transfer some of the expensive soil from the old garden plot and put it in all the usual plots. I mean, I paid for it, and the plants are always fighting so much rocky soil.

As for the container plot, there will be sunflowers for sure. I know there is a columbine coming up already, and the honeysuckle and clematis are reliable summer performers. lily of the valley may be defunt, sad face. Might also get a foxglove back from last year. The Wildflower mix might be good, too. I think it’s time to amend the soil, fertilize, and really fill the plot with color.

The side garden, where last year I finally got a purple coneflower (echinacea) to grow, and where a huge millet plant dominated the skyline all summer and fall, is really tough to keep free of other plants. Granted, the nettles, blackberries and ferns were there first, and I tried to overrule them. Without a tiller, it just can’t be done.

And so I either toil or let it be. There are beautiful iris thingies from Isie that I think I will move to the bed in front, or split between the container bed and the front bed. Then I can plant random native wild things and let the whole thing go haywire according to the higher order.

* So opens the master work “Songs from The Knight of the Burning Pestle” by PDQ Bach, aka Peter Schickele.

Are ya flowin’?

Yes, there is now water flowing from my faucet, into my sink, and through the drain pipe out to the drainage area. IT WORKS!

I am torn between wanting to document the process and wanting to forget about it completely. Let’s begin by noting that I have very little experience with plumbing, aside from fixing a broken P-trap here and there.

The sink came to me through friends. It lay in our yard for over a year, waiting for the container to be ready for installation. The faucet came through many frustrating trips to Earthwise (my fault, not theirs!), and finally a successful trip to Second Use (an urban treasure!).

The frame I built myself, using the upside-down sink as a template so that my frame took into account all the flanges, rails, and mounting points.

Between Home Depot, McLendon’s, US Plastics, and Mountain Lumber, I was able to get all the fittings needed to connect the barrel to the downspout to the faucet to the trap to the drainpipe. There are many unused parts that I’m hoping to return; it won’t be easy figuring out which store sold me what. Picture me going in to each location, asking, “can you scan these parts and tell me which ones came from this store?” But that’s exactly my plan. Once I find all my receipts, of course. Yes, it’s been that kind of winter.

This morning I made the final trip necessary to bring it all together. I had lost the poly washer that fits on the drain pipe to seal it when it’s screwed onto the S-trap. I looked everywhere: the car, the grass, the car again, the floor of the container, the back full of parts, a second time in the back full of parts; no luck. I needed another black ABS connector anyway, so I went to Mountain Lumber and got it and two poly washers.

I don’t want to mention that I found the poly washer in the bag of plumbing parts that I’d dumped out at least three times. But there I’ve gone and mentioned it. And I am not looking forward to getting a trench dug so that the drain pipe follows a steady decline into the drain area.

But I must return to the accomplishment. No looking back. I’ve got water.

swing set

I decided that I want a rope swing. The trees in our yard are tall and a bit skinny for firs, but I figure there must be a way to rig something up. There have been many rope swings in my life, and it’s time to just have one of my own. Hell, I’ll build a grown-up swing set if I have to.

Alongside the swing would be my OmGym, a yoga sling with three levels of handles. It is great for stretching and inversion therapy. We can’t really mount it indoors because we’re not sure the Palm Harbor home design allows for a 200-pound person to hang from any of the structural members. I wouldn’t trust it.

I trust trees.