This is the post that I made to inform the people in my life via Facebook that I was going ultimate tiny home!
I considered being a lifer in Vegas. Instead, I have about 146 hours left in my beloved hometown.
By Friday the 21st at noon, I’ll be on the road heading to the next chapter. Our new home is a 1990 Endeavour 42 sailboat.
This final week is beautiful and sad. So much goodness and change have happened to me in Vegas. I’ve lived 23 years of my 50 in this city. It’s given me wonderful times with friends and family. I’ve climbed the corporate ladder here. I’ve lost both parents here. My sweet Buddy was a native. The next chapter is nomad life. I deeply appreciate my boss and team being cooperative with going fully remote.
The pandemic has changed life…and there is so much more than the office and the corporate ladder.
There’s been a work-related curveball thrown. Nothing to discuss here and now. I’ve been living on Mach 5 for three days now. Haven’t found a place for everything, the van is still acting as secondary storage. Oh yeah, and we have a 5×10 storage unit in Ceres (pronounced series). More downsizing must happen!
Next week, we take her to the yard for chainplate inspection and replacement. Chainplate works is considered “destructive” so we cannot fully unpack until that work is done. For example, one chainplate reaches into the hull via the forward head (bathroom) cabinet, which is where all my bathroom stuff goes. I’ve included a diagram found from a Google search to illustrate the chainplates and their importance. It’s part of what makes a sailboat a sailboat!
I’m starting to reflect on the experience to date. Five weeks and two days since heading out, we were due back a week ago. We visited Mexico. We visited the southern most point in the continental USA. We have been places that we never dreamed of visiting on this road trip! It’s been wonderful.
It’s been annoying to juggle with my meeting schedule. Verizon signals are surprisingly strong in spots (Mexico and Organ Pipe Cactus NP) and surprisingly absent in others (Florida). We’ve only recently started having communication issues. The food is only recently started taking its toll on me. We have survived dozens on bug bites. I mean DOZENS…on just legs…at one time.
Tonight and tomorrow night, we are holed up in a hotel due to snow! We’ve stayed in hotels b/c it was convenient–both San Antonio and Key West are not van-friendly. We’ve stayed a friend of friend’s Air BNB (for just the cleaning fee!). Tonight, we stopped in Russellville, Arkansas, because we can’t drive through the snow storm and we can’t out run it. The next stop is just outside Kansas City and you can see below what lies between us and there.
We finished the van on Saturday night about 10.30pm…with a departure of Sunday morning! Whew! Just in time! This was actually 2 weeks ago. We’ve been on the road, living it in since. It’s been such a whirlwind since that I’m finally sitting down to share.
The kanban board at home has a few cosmetic incompletes that will be undone. For example, we have 3 more Bad Ass Coffee bags at home that we started building couch skirts for the couch/bedframe. We wanted more of the artsy part and to hide the garage. What we’ve learned–and why it will probably go undone–our backpacks and camera gear bags will not sit flush under the frame. This would mean the skirts would be in a constant state of disarray. Now we know, while cosmetically appealing, the skirts will be practically impractical. I think I’ll make a pouf with them when we return home.
We’ve been doing great in the van. Bed is super comfy. Showering at truck stops is actually really easy and nice. I wish we had a toilet. I wish we had 2 places to sit and use a laptop. For long workdays, to be semi-comfy, I’ve had to find off-van spots to hang out.
It’s been super easy to keep food for meals and cook. We have a table to setup for the camping stove. We have plenty of utensils and dishes for us. We have an electric kettle to make coffee and tea. We make toast the old fashioned way—in a skillet.
The lowest solar that we’ve had was about 58% after running the inverter all night along with the fan going and outlets on. Most days the power bank doesn’t drop below 85%. We’ve had great success with our power.
We are currently in Texas. We drove the van into Mexico for a couple of days. Through AZ, NM, and into Texas. We’ve slept at spots found in iOverlander and HipCamp–boondocking, staying in family’s driveway, staying in boatyards, and campsites. We are treating ourselves to a hotel for 2 nights in Austin. Then on to a friend’s backyard.
We’ve played with campsite doggies. We’ve had deer and sheep wander by. We’ve seen so many stars!
When building a sliding frame for a bed/couch combo, the dimensions, spacing, and math of building is extra critical. To align each slat along the 75″ long frame, Mark built this DIY spacer.
Aligning to the spacer means equal spacing between slats, and a 90 degree angle. We still spot-checked the angle with a square.
Mark built it out of scrap lumber. The spacer width was based on the math of 75″ long (standard cot length) divided by the number of slats.
Other building tips from for the frame:
The sliding ends of each 2×3 are chamfered to allow for an easier up on the solid boards.
Vinyl slips about 1×2″ are under the boards stationary ends of the sliding boards.
Recapping…chamfered end on sliding boards on the end that moves out, vinyl slips on the stationary end of the board.
Every other board slides.
For us, the frame leg on the passenger side of the van lands in the slider steps. Therefore, that leg is a removable, screw-in table leg. It will be out when in couch mode. It will be in during bed mode.
Stats that demonstrate the lack of women and BIPOC in leadership roles are examples of Occupational Segregation.
I was blown away by the construct of occupational segregation. It makes sense. I get it. I had never thought of it like that. My areas of privilege are being white, educated, a executive, living in an area of middle class adjacent to upper class, and being of financial ease. Brought to light during the pandemic, I’d add: having a partner, being childless, and having means to make my home office comfortable. Therefore, I haven’t had to think about occupational segregation. I know the stats of 74/26 blend of male/female where I work. But I made it up the ladder. Eye opening.
This corresponds with the stats of for every 100 men that get the crucial first promotion to manager, only 85 women do, 71 Latinas, and 58 Black women. I have stats on my side.
The speakers discussed how everyone, no matter which majority or minority group you belong to, we all have our own unconscious biases that lead to our own set of microaggressions that we need to learn and control. I’ll add: especially if you are thinking, no I don’t. What’s the line? If you don’t think your neighborhood has a loud house, then you are the loud house. That.
They shared their tips for having a conversation with someone about a microaggression that you received or witnessed. Before speaking about it, ask yourself:
Are you surrounded by support?
Are you calm enough to speak in a manner that supports your personal brand?
Can you make it safe for both of you?
Likely, you’ll need to wait and circle back. When that moment comes, they recommended starting the conversation by identifying your own microaggressions or privilege, then lead into I saw/heard __X__ from you at ___X___ time. Make it safe and remember to have built a relationship with the person first. Meaning, cultivate a sense of trust and understanding in your work network. (This is assuming it is a person that you will continue to interact with.)
The conversation also included (started with) building a personal board of directors or hype team, and dealing with imposter syndrome. I found this to be an excellent demonstration of the way, listed above, to handle a chat about microaggressions. They opened with stats to get our attention and lead from a place of unbiased, third-party data. Then discussed items that pertain to all–even white men–which were the board of directors and imposter syndrome. Then they moved into the substance of biases and personal stories of lived experiences and wisdom (phenomenology).
To end, they shared lessons to live by:
Perception is co-pilot to your brand. (I may have this wrong. It is attributed to Carla Harris.)
Make sure you know what people think or say when you are not in the room. (More Carla Harris–she’s amazing, look her up!)
Be your authentic self.
Take risks. Be comfortable with change. This enables you to better see opportunities.
Why buy $20+ orchid pots when you can reuse a pint container?
As we approach life in a smaller space where size and weight of items matter immensely and glass is an accident waiting to happen, I’ve been looking for alternative orchid pots. In a recent sailing webcast, a sailor held up a repurposed Talenti gelato pint container. She said they make wonderful storage containers.
That made me think…couldn’t they be orchid pots?
The lid becomes the base.
For terrestrial orchids, drill drain holes in bottom.
For epiphyte orchids, my Phals, drill holes in sides. The Talenti bar that wraps around the pint makes for an excellent hole drilling template.
I painted with white Plasti-Dip. You can use other plastic-approved paint. I laid it on thick with a brush to give a textured look.
Make sure to drill holes, then paint, then use an awl or similar pick to clear the holes. I drilled one after painting with Plasti-Dip…well, the drill grabbed the dip and ripped it off.
Enjoy gelato in the Vegas heat!
I kept meaning to leave the bottom third unpainted so I could fill with shells or colorful rocks. Each painting time, I just painted the whole thing. So that’s a future decorative option.