Thursday, June 27, 2019

it’s a wonderful life, Weed, coral reef
and OH NO



After eleven years, M&M’s window cage had acquired a good number of minor rust spots. So I wire brushed it and gave it a spiffier paint job.

With June here, I figured summer was coming. But on June first it hailed, and it hailed again a couple days later. I’ve been in RVs when it was hailing, and I always wondered why the roof vent lids didn’t get cracked. That day I opened the bathroom door and there was water on the toilet lid; I looked up.
Reminded me of that lame, old joke, when the guy says, There’s a dead bird. His girlfriend, with the color hair that is the brunt of many jokes, looked up.

I was expecting at the worst, a crack. But there were two holes. Guano. The next day I applied T-Rex tape on both sides and I’m waiting to see if it will work. If not, I’ll put more effort into patching the holes.



Then on June 10th, I had to light the Wave 6 to take the chill off in the afternoon. I had not used it for 3-4 weeks. I was getting ready to store the hose away for the summer.

On most Sunday mornings I like to have my two mugs of hot drinks while listening to gospel music on the local NPR station. Afterwards one day, I was outside messin’ around and realized how much I’m enjoying my present lifestyle. The morning was quiet, with just the bird chatter. I’m in the woods up in the mountains, living in a small trailer, on my own piece of property with Meadow and Mesa—“It’s a wonderful life.” Well at least for now it’s pretty good.


It’s somewhat like hardwall-camping off-the-grid—no cell phone coverage; no hookups; solar power; the closest neighbor is a few hundred yards away through the trees; I spend most of the days outside being active; and I have to drive for an hour and a quarter to get to a town where I can take care of things. It is somewhat like living in a small cabin. There is solitude here and some isolation, both of which I find nurturing.

Unlike true HW-camping off-the-grid, I only have to drive ten minutes to get where I can fill up my water buckets and the closest people are not a mile or two away.

I enjoy living simply and at a low cost. There is not much invested in the Nash and the property. The new pickup will cost over twice as much. I’ve had houses; they take a lot of time and money. Been there, done that, no longer want it. And it’s not just the house, but the furniture, large appliances, carpets/rugs, yard tools, insurance and more. Nope, having everything built in and on wheels is fine with me. But then again, I’m not interested in living in a town, let alone a city. My interests lie in the mountains. Different strokes.

This setup shows me I want more of it, but not here. I hope to check out two or three other areas in the Sacramento Mtns. during the summer, looking for another piece of property. We’ll see.


I drove over to Weed one morning and talked with a realtor. I told her what I was looking for and she drove me around to some of her listings that she thought I might be interested in. Nothin’ was anywhere near what I was looking for. I’m thinkin’ this search for new property is going to take some work. Bummer. Also not looking forward to dealing with a car-sales person.

While driving back home, I was thinking how well off I am with my setup in Timberon. I felt good. The drive along Scott Abel and Aqua Chiquita roads alone was worth the trip.

If I don’t find property in this area of NM, maybe with the new pickup I’ll get back to hardwall-camping off-the-grid next year, with a focus on looking for property in northern NM. I really would like to find ‘Last Sands.’ And I’ll be needing a new piece of land to work on. I’m addicted to the work.



I’m quite surprised at how much I enjoy doing heavy work on my acre with a pick, mattock, rake, shovel and wheelbarrow. Since September 2016 until now, I’ve moved tons of gravel, rock, dirt and lengths of tree trunk. Remember, the 15 tons of gravel gave me a good start. And since then, I usually move a couple hundred pounds of this stuff 4-5 days a week—at the least, 1-1½ ton a month. Dirt weighs over 75 lbs. a cubic foot and rocks more. And I move most of it multiple times. First I use the pick to loosen the dirt; then I choke up on the mattock to rake it out in a ridge; then rake it into a pile; shovel it into the wheelbarrow, and roll it away. Guano. No one who looks at me would think I would be able to do that kind of work. The wheelbarrow is getting hammered. Not bad considering I’ll turn 70 this winter. I don’t tend to let ageing be as restrictive as most allow it to. But then, the more one puts into something, the more one gets back. Kinda simple.

One day after I had been working for almost two hours, I had a thought. This is the kind of work they give to people with numbers across their chest.


Remember there is no hardwood in the Nash, only some stained softwood? All the panels were faux wood, not even wood veneer, merely an image of wood, on probably hardboard. I like wood, and since there was mostly fake wood in my home, I decided to cover it up. I went the full route with TSP, 80-grit sandpaper, primer and two coats of paint.


I wanted a color a bit different, so I looked at some of the Southwest and Desert colors. A pale red caught my eye so when I went to the paint store, I focused on those shades. I took a number of cards home and placed them up on edges around the Nash and lived with them for a week. I decided on Coral Reef. Then I had to decide between gloss, semi-gloss, satin, flat; I went with egg shell. I also went with Sherwin-Williams since I only wanted to go through this process once and I figured might as well use a quality paint. Thankfully, there was a 30% off sale (must have been a sign from the gods). SW has a line called Harmony which is not supposed to smell anywhere near as bad as most paints. It was great.


The interior feels so much more like a home, than merely living in a trailer. After I pulled off the tape, cleaned up, poured a glass of wine, put on a classic Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue, I just sat there looking around, contemplating what I had just done. I really liked the overall effect. I’m thinkin’, Ya done good, boy.
Sure glad I did not experience another one of those, OH NO!-moments.

This is a good thing, because there is no way I can get away from it. Well, I could always go in the bathroom and close the door.

This is the kind of project Siscily would take on. Will have to ask her what she thinks of it.

Almost makes me want to get an aluminum-sided trailer so I can paint the exterior.
I also replaced all 12 drawer and door knobs with ones of four different colors and styles that I purchase at Hobby Lobby. They have quite a collection to choose from.


I really enjoy living in a trailer, but I don’t necessarily like the looks of a trailer, nor the looks of a fifth-wheel. A trailer is just a box. I like the looks of the shorter ones, 20-22’ or less. They seem more in proportion with their width and height. The long ones make me think of a square tube on wheels. And Class C and A rigs have an aesthetic, proportional look if their length is on the shorter side, but the long stuff just looks unnatural. Different tastes.

The ball is in your court. Pick it up.

May sixty minutes sixty years—1800 minutes
May Triple 18—upper: 3630; core: 3620; legs: 5945

If the sight of the blue skies
fills you with joy, if a blade of grass
springing up in the fields has power
to move you, if the simple things
in nature have a message you understand,
rejoice, for your soul is alive.
Eleanora Duse


RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

RVwest article ‘The Spaces Between the Places’

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