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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Life in a One-Room Cabin

I've always said that I hope to have the opportunity to live in a little cabin in the woods for a year of my life.

Be careful what you wish for!

Because, when the Fates heard of my desire, they didn't listen to the qualifiers:  I hope to have the opportunity to live in a little cabin in the woods for a year of my life when I don't have to work or see anyone else save a supplies-and-mail drop once a month.  I'll also need full computer / Internet access. 

"WHY didn't they pay attention to the qualifiers", she wails?! 

This is leading up to The Final Decision.  Dum-da-dummmmmm!!! Remember the little, one-room cabin (with a sleeping loft) that I was offered unlimited use of by dear friends back in the spring when it became clear that I'd have to leave Swamp River Ridge?  Well, that's where I am moving.  I have accepted their offer.  It's official.  

To say that I'll be downsizing would be an understatement.  From a two-story full-size house, two-story full-size garage and 40 acres to . . . a 10x16 kinda-two-story cabin.  I can have all the critters there.  I need to build a mini coop for the birds as well as an enclosed run for them.  There's no electricity or running water, BUT it's free.  That means that as long as I choose to live there, I'll be able to completely pay down all my debts, get the vehicles (and myself - new glasses) in good repair, and then start socking away a nest egg for my next Real Home.

When I first started meeting with this couple about the possibilities surrounding the little cabin, I'd been under the impression that I could build on an addition.  So, I did the rough design of a 16 x 30 addition that would turn the little cabin into a little house.  But, a meeting with them resulted in the decision that no, that wouldn't be best as it would increase their tax base so much (and they on a retirement / fixed income) AND what would happen to the little house once I got my feet under me and moved on?  (They have no desire to "really" rent it.)  Good point.  Increased taxable property + no additional income to balance it out = poor investment.

They DID say, though, that I could enclose the large porch (another 192 square feet - NOTHING to sneeze at).  So, I'd been working on those plans until I came downstairs Monday morning to find all the work and that end of the diningroom table flooded:

And that's a story for another day.  Suffice it to say, it was just another "of course" in what has become my life these last couple o' years.  (Sigh.)
Anyway, I talked to them last night, mentioning that I'd advertised locally for large, free windows (like picture windows or the removable panel from old sliding glass doors).  They didn't need to be pretty (I could work on that) - just in one piece and free of cracks.  My new "landlords" (for lack of better term) didn't understand - why the need for so many windows?  For the porch, I explained.  If I was going to enclose it for three-season use and year-round storage, it made more sense to use extra-insulating glass vs. something like Plexiglass (clear, hard plastic).

No, no, noooo!  They had meant that I could actually turn the deck into PART OF THE CABIN!  Put in a floor, studs on the walls, insulate it, turn a large window on the south side into an open doorway / archway.  YEAR-ROUND living space!  Oh!  Ummm . . . wow!  

So, I was still awake at 10:22 last night (even though I'd gone to bed nearly an hour earlier - still trying to kick this horrible cold that has - surprise, surprise - turned into a sinus infection) re-thinking my (design) plans!

The really good news to augment this already great news is that I think I can come up with nearly ALL the building materials that I'll need from my stock-pile here!  The only thing I don't have is the metal roofing and a new front door.  I have lots of seasoned, pine paneling (and I think I can even use that on the exterior).  I have sheetrock and rolls of insulation.  I have 2x4s and 2x6s for framing.  I'm low on sheets of plywood, but - aside from the aforementioned two items - that will be one of the few things I'll have to buy.

Since this news is fewer than 12 hours old, I still need time to process it . . . and my plans.  I knew that I'd be pushing the (weather) limit with just enclosing the deck to become a porch.  So, I'll REALLY need to think through the steps for this actual addition (to the cabin).  Trying to do all this (including MOVE!) with only two, non-consecutive days off each week is gonna be a challenge (to say the least).  I've already spoken to my main carpenter (Mama & Papa Pea's), but she has limited time between now and then.  I have yet to speak to my 2nd, but I feel pretty confident that he'll be able to make things happen.  Of course, the trick will be orchestrating which portions of the job each will work on.  Since they'll probably be working on opposing days, it wouldn't do for two carpenters to be trying to work on the same aspect of the job.  Two (too) many cooks in the kitchen and all that.

Anyway . . . .

Yesterday morning brought the FIRST SNOW of the season!  Just a dusting, but it was cold.  We've had winds like nobody's business these past couple of days making it just bitter out.  This is illustrated in the above picture:  even four miles into my drive yesterday morning, the snow still hadn't melted off the hood of the truck!  

THIS morning, there is a more respectable amount covering the deck.  Guess I should take the plants in now, huh?
On Thursday, despite me still being sick (I can't afford to not take advantage of my days off now), I stuffed Mom & Dad's borrowed Suburban with boxes for both the cabin and storage unit and the bed from the guest bedroom upstairs.  Tonight, they'll help me get the mattress, at least, into the little cabin so I can sleep there.  Then, tomorrow, Dad and I will spend the majority of the day looking at the little place, seeing what it needs to make it comfortable and getting a start on same.

The one big requirement that the owners have is that their privacy remain as protected as possible (MOST of us are like that up here!).  So, I don't know if I'll be able to take and show you many pictures of the outside of it.  But, I'll keep you as updated on the progress as I can - while still respecting their wishes.  

Now, I think that's it for this morning.  Time to get going with The Day.  Ugh.  You can thank Tucker for the update:  he had to go potty right at 5:00 AM, an hour before the alarm goes off.  HOWEVER, if I'd remembered that the bedroom clock is set several minutes ahead and that it had actually been 4:something when he'd awoken me, I WOULD HAVE GONE BACK TO BED!  ;)


  1. Hooray! It sounds like not the best, most comfortable option for you, but one that you can live with and make progress in your life. It sounds like almost any answer that lets you work with a goal in mind is a huge relief at this point. I hope it works out well for you and your furry housemates for a comfortable, close to nature home for a while. All of us who follow your blog wish you well as you move into this new phase of your life.

  2. Fingers crossed that this continues to unfold in the best way possible for you. And that you kick that cold soon. Good thoughts your way.

  3. At this point in time, I think FREE is the best option for you to regroup and hurray on enclosing the porch :)

  4. I think this is fantastic news, and I love how you are embracing it. I'm the same way, once I at least know what's going to happen then I can focus on it and be happy. The fact that you can get some extra sq footage via the deck will be exactly what you need to create more of a house feel. You can live small no problem, you will get used to it and you have a great attitude about it. This will be awesome for letting you get a leg up on things financially over the next year. I wish we lived closer, hubby would love to spend his free time working on your deck for you, he really enjoys that kind of thing. (Obviously not as a day job though, since he left construction to join the military LOL!)

  5. Hope things in the little cabin work out well for you & the pooches. We're all looking forward to hearing how it goes :)

  6. It sounds like quite an adventure! At least you have a plan in place and you can move on. I am sure others are wondering as well...where will you shower etc. and is there a gas stove or fridge for you to use so you can cook? Inquiring minds want to know:)

    1. Nah - I don't plan on cooking OR bathing for the duration. ;) (Okay, okay - stay tuned for those details. )

    2. heehee "snort, snort"! You are so funny :)


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