Thursday, July 08, 2010

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a ...

I inhaled as as I straightened up from pulling a weed last evening, and (too late) saw the small triangular moth as it disappeared into my mouth, and felt it as it fluttered down my windpipe. The song, "I know an old lady who swallowed a fly..." came to mind. Thankfully it was not a fly, and it was not swallowed, but I choked and spit and coughed up moth bits for an hour. My advise to you, dear reader, is - keep your mouth shut in the garden!

I have been preoccupied with that garden, which has fed the neighbourhood with chard and greens all spring. I need to go clear out the last feed of chard and allow the tomatoes a turn. But I have both flower and vegetable gardens. The flowers are going crazy, and the vegetables are flowering. The tomatoes are heavily laden with pea-sized tomatoes and hundreds of blossoms, the squash are putting on buds, the beans are lifting buds, the potatoes are blooming, and everywhere you look is abundance and sheer abandon.

But I haven't talked about the house in ages, and I should. Work on the wee abode creeps along at a snail's pace. I'd love to have everything I envision done in a massive week-long swoop, but at this rate five years, maybe ten, is a more realistic goal. sigh

The "Tiny House" crowd is generally dismissive of the RV as a dwelling, but with a bit of retrofitting they make comfortable and efficient housing for people who are happy in a small space. Our RV is cozy, if a bit chaotic. The structural changes are complete and what remains to do is largely cosmetic; painting, new flooring in the kitchen/entry, some resurfacing of new construction.

Unlike most "Tiny Homer's" we are retired, so our place functions as a full-time home. It's heated 24/7 in the winter and cooled appropriately in the summer. We prepare and eat our meals, shower, sleep and do our laundry here.

We have already talked at length about installing the washer/drier combo unit, and insulating, but more recently we built a platform for the drop-leaf desk we had shoved awkwardly into the living room corner. It's elevated by nine inches to clear the wheel well on the outside wall, thus creating some storage underneath, and allowing us to push the desk back against the back wall. Much better.

As you can see, the platform still needs finishing, the shelf to the left still needs a bit of finishing, the desk is in line for a repainting, and I could have tidied. I'm still thinking about window coverings. Venetian blinds are nice for controlling light, but these are old (metal) and somewhat the worse for wear. They conduct cold like crazy, so we'd like something a little more insulative. Any suggestions that don't involve yours truly sewing, which is definitely not my thing?

We replaced the broken down sofa with the eye-popping zebra patterned one, the only one I could find which would fit into the truncated space. But then I found the perfect wall unit to drop into place in the five inch space at the end, giving us room to display a couple of treasured mementos, and a bit of protection for my curio shelf filled with the collected miniatures from four generations of family members.

These are the things that say home to me, paintings we've hung, little gifts crafted by loving hands of mother, grandmother, husband, child. Touches that are priceless in any setting, small or large, humble or palatial.

Ian tore out the banquette bench seats and table, and built a shelving unit against the kitchen wall. Very handy. On the top shelf a few of the cups and saucers passed down from Tony's Grandmother, the teapot given to me by my late friend Audrey, tea caddy and flower bowls. On another shelf, the family altar. Below, storage for canned goods, pots and pans, crock pot. Oh the joy of not having to climb a ladder to get to these daily items!

The small table and chairs suit us much more than the difficult banquette ever did. We still need to change the flooring, but all in good time. Little by little it's taking on less of a "factory-installed" look and more of our personality.


Anonymous said...

I think it looks fantastic. Things can always be transformed to better serve a user.

Genevieve Ferraro said...

Hi Deb,

You have worked wonders with your RV. I know the tiny house crowd is not necessarily pro-RV, but I have always liked the option for small home living. I noticed that you are looking for insulated shades. I use Duettes by Hunter Douglas. I little pricey, but they last forever, work well and look good.

Thanks for stopping by Jewel Box.