Hi everyone! I have finished my second week at Heartwood. At the end of last week, Fiona told me she was camping at some campgrounds nearby by herself and wanted me to stay with her. Despite the rain, I agreed and set my tent up at the end of the day on Monday.
This week has been kind of chaotic. I went to the Green River festival last weekend and I think I must have caught a virus from someone because on Monday night or Tuesday, my glands got really swollen and started hurting. By Tuesday night, I had a fever and it hurt to swallow, especially food that scratched my throat. I looked at my throat in the mirror and it looked pretty nasty. My parents got in contact with my on call doctor who recommended that I go to the emergency room to get tested for strep, just in case. So, as the rain poured down Tuesday night, I drove myself to Berkshire Medical Center ER in Pittsfield at about 10pm and got tested. Long story short, I hung around for two hours waiting for the results when finally, at 12:15am, the doctor came in and told me I didn’t have strep but that I should drink a lot of fluids and get a lot of sleep. My parents booked me a room at the Quality Inn nearby so I wouldn’t have to sleep in my soggy tent or drive half an hour back. I slept in and skipped the morning part of class. It’s Saturday now and I’m feeling a lot better, but for the rest of the week my throat still hurt. I also went back to our campgrounds Wednesday evening and confirmed that my tent really was a puddle. EVERYTHING was sopping wet except for the food so I packed up all my stuff and drove all the way home. Fiona just got a little damp. She was uphill from me.
Anyway, I got a good sleep at home and then decided to give it a second try and to camp out with Fiona (in her tent this time) for our final night (Thursday). Unfortunately, Thursday was so beautiful that she left her rainfly off her tent to dry out. We stayed for a wonderful pizza and graduation/ course completion party with the group until it started to rain. A lot. And rushed back to find her tent soaking wet. This time, her mom booked us a room at a nearby inn. I sure have got an experience in shelter this week. Now I know how to provide myself with shelter from building it to positioning it on top of a hill to staying at hotels. I also learned the lesson that Will has been trying to teach us first hand. He always tells us to “think like a raindrop” when building because that way we can learn how to keep it all out!
Though this week was tough to get through because of my throat, I still learned quite a lot. On Tuesday, Fiona and I went back to Heartwood for open schoolhouse where we worked on our plans and consulted Will about them together. He gave us some good feedback and answered our questions. Its sounding like I don’t need the plans that I bought from Tumbleweed after all, because now that it’s the end of the course, I know all I need to know on how to build a house, especially a tiny one. I just put in my return application for my plans so I can spend the money on building my house.
This week, we finished the walls and learned a lot about how to make rafters. A lot of it was frustrating because it was a lot of math and really hard to visualize, but on day two of rafters, Will had us work in groups. He taught us three different ways to figure out all we needed to know with the given measurements and then gave our groups each a problem to figure out the three different ways. It also took a lot of time making the rafters. We actually did a bit of timber-framing for them which was interesting.
We finished the loft this week, put up the rafters, and also finished the sheathing. It looks like a house now! This course has helped me so much. Now I know how to build a tiny house, and I also had an easier time visualizing the inside of my house by building and looking at the inside of the one we built. On Friday we covered some stuff on plumbing and electrical wiring which was interesting to me and also a little bit of a review from physics class (Thank you Mr. Patari!). Looking forward to getting started!
Oh, I also found out that I’ll be able to pick up my trailer in mid-September probably. Until then, I’ll be planning like crazy – budgeting, working, and I’ll hopefully have my materials list up on my crowd source site soon, so you all can see what I need. I just have to figure out how to use the site first…
Pictures coming soon! I have some on my camera, but lots of other people took pictures too that I’d like to get. I’ll post them when I can.