Splinters, Bees and Bruises

I just completed my first week of physical work on the tiny house. I think the house needs a name,  and just like a trail name arises for long distance hikers I’m sure the house’s personality will make itself known.  This week has taught me so much already. Things about myself, tools, materials, and the small little minutiae that can make or break you.

The plans I bought from ShelterWise included material lists and even though I have completely redesigned the interior,  the trailer and shape of the exterior are the same so I didn’t think I needed to recreate the wheel.  Bill’s shop had become a catchall for stuff (like most garages or shops are) so I spent a couple of days pulling everything out, organizing the tooling and creating a usable space.  I am grateful for the access to his tools and he has LOTS of them!

Bill’s father was a craftsman and had some really cool tools.

After much research and many YouTube videos,  I felt pretty confident of the steps I needed to complete to get the sub-floor on the 24′ trailer.  My solo Home Depot shopping trip came next.  On my list; 2×6’s, 2×4’s, blocking, joist hangers, 3/4″ TG plywood, adhesive, 5/8″ bolts, washers, lock washers, #9 1/2″ screws, 2″ deck screws, rigid foam insulation and batt insulation.  I added gloves, protective eye-wear, sunscreen and a first aid kit.

Everything was going pretty well until I got to the “Fasteners” aisle … holy cow.  3 out 5 people all had their phones out talking to someone or Googling the fastener they were looking for so I was in good company with feeling slightly overwhelmed. Sure enough the bolts I bought were too long, then they were too short, so by the 3rd trip in I was able to make a bee line to what I needed. I’ll be a Home Depot aficionado by the time this is all over.  It isn’t every girls dream shopping trip, but by the time I had pulled everything and got it loaded into the truck I felt more accomplished than buying a new pair of jeans has ever left me feeling.

Ready to roll.

The July heat is on and we’re creeping into those 90ish degree temps that make you really grateful for a good fan and the deep waters of Lake Pend Oreille.  I quickly learned that the galvanized pan on the bottom of the trailer once the sun hits is blinding and hot, making me sympathize with anything I put under the broiler.  I used to sew quite a bit, quilts, clothing, pillows, bags, cushions, curtains … anything that could be constructed with fabric I was willing to tackle.  I also kept the seam ripper close at hand because I inevitably would have to rip apart what was constructed to do it right.  Apparently this build will be no different.  YouTube can only take you so far, the rest of the learning curve happens the hard way and re-doing parts of the floor system taught me some valuable lessons:

  1. It’s better to have “too much” rather than “not enough”, running to Home Depot when things are really rolling because you ran out screws is maddening.
  2. Solo work days are a blessing and a curse when that second pair of hands would be handy, or another brain would be appreciated to help think through a process.  But you just rise up and figure it out.
  3. The right bra and hair ties will greatly mitigate frustration levels.
  4. Ukulele breaks are energizing.
  5. Splinters, bee stings and bruises will be part of the new normal


This was from leaning over the trailer flange.   Looks awful, healed quick!



I’ve been wearing a necklace with a little turtle charm to remind me that slow and steady wins the race as the Trek to Tiny is a long haul.  Now off to Sandpoint Hot Yoga to keep my back in good shape!

Be Kind and Be Well,

Hillary D.

3 responses to “Splinters, Bees and Bruises”

  1. Your an Inspiration
    I’d love to see it
    And lend a hand too
    Don’t hesitate to call me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Come help raise the walls! Hope to have those ready in the next couple of weeks. If I can do this…so can you!


  2. I enjoy reading this account. Reminds my of ‘The Backyard Parables’, Margaret Roach (Work at Martha Stewart magazine for years).
    The gentle reflection speak of life’s accomplishments and miseries all on the same day and project. All backyard gardener shares the same experiences with other dirt diggers.

    Liked by 1 person

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